More on Illich, Energy and Equity

Further to our recent posting on “Climate Change 101: Thinking about Illich, Energy and Equity” we have just received he following commentary from Chris Bradshaw (See author note below.)

Eric,

Illich book covve - toward a history of needsI used your post to re-read — after, I estimate, 25 years — this delightful essay. I own two copies, one which is part of “Towards a History of Needs” published four years later in 1977).

In that volume, there is an introductory note, which might be useful to add (see end, along with the forward for the 1974 publication — Perennial Library — of this essay by itself). Two things come from these two extras: a) this essay first appeared in Le Monde (yes, probably in French), and b) his defined audience included, equally, the under-developed world.

He, of course, missed global warming as an issue that would fit nicely next to “energy crisis.”

I would add that he missed the link between high-speed and high-power and the formalities of control — rules, regulations, resources — that also disenfranchise those with less speed and power.

Peter D. Norton’s recent book, “Fighting Traffic” does a yeoman effort to show how the transition from “transit” to “transport” in North American cities took place 1915-1935.

I will continue to muse over Illich’s brilliant thinking.

Continue reading

From Streetsblog: Uber’s Making Traffic Worse

Uber’s Own Numbers Show It’s Making Traffic Worse

Photo: Wikipedia

Uber blasted out an Excel spreadsheet to reporters this morning, accompanied by a story and editorial in the Daily News, with data providing a snapshot of how many Uber vehicles are on Manhattan streets south of 59th Street, New York’s central business district. While Uber claims the data shows its vehicles aren’t responsible for congestion in the city core, transportation analyst Charles Komanoff has crunched Uber’s own numbers and estimates that the service has actually reduced traffic speeds in the central business district by about 8 percent.

– – – >  Full text of original available here

Continue reading

Greek Crisis:”Greece must sign a deal now”

Originally posted on Sustainable Development, Economy & Democracy:

Greece line in front of bank 28jun15

In the following op-ed, thirteen prominent economists of Greek origin from around the world call on Greece to sign a credible agreement with the Europeans immediately.

Source: http://www.cnbc.com/2015/06/29/greece-must-sign-a-credible-agreement-with-the-europeans-now-commentary.html 

What would be crucial elements of a good agreement?

View original 326 more words

Climate Change 101: Thinking about Illich, Energy and Equity

ivan illich picIn the context of ongoing work on a new book, “Toward a General Theory of Transport in Cities”, it is becoming increasingly clear to me that the starting point for policy and political decisions in the field often described as “urban transport” absolutely has to open up with considerations not of vehicles and infrastructure, technology and entrepreneurship, nor even of people and cities, but on the very bottom line our starting place must be climate and GHG emissions. And the other half of the climate coin is energy, and in fact equity.

So may I suggest that this could be  a good time for us to have another look at Illich’s incisive and important 1974 book “Energy and Equity”.  And I ask you, how do you think these remarks and views stand the test of time? We need to bear in mind the political (Vietnam, Cold War, Allende,  voter registration, 1968, etc.) currents of the time, along with the Oil Crisis, Club of Rome, The Limits of Growth,  etc., discussions, concerns and panics of the early seventies.  But none of this detracts from the singular vision that this exceptional observer and finest of men has given us.

So here you have it. The whole thing. Print it out. Mark it up. Share your thoughts. Let me take a single phrase from the book to get the ball rolling: “Participatory democracy postulates low-energy technology. Only participatory democracy creates the conditions for rational technology.” (And this almost two decades before the phrase “sustainable development” first appeared on the radar screen.  So off we go through the looking glass and into the future with Illich as our guide!)

Continue reading

Critiquing the Penang Transport Master Plan (2013-2030) s

Mayllasia Penang blog top page - local traffic

The following  strategic commentary appeared in the form of a long letter responding to an invitation by the chief transport planner of Penang with the State Government Office to comment on a strategic presentation and commentary he was about to make at end year in Kuala Lumpur reflecting back on the  Penang Transport Master Plan (2013-2030) carried out for the State by Halcrow and AKC Planning   and published in a final version in October 2-12. Mr. Lim’s commentary. Cross Roads, Game Changers & Bulls’ Horns, is available here

Update. My quick six-point “Summer 2015 Executive Summary” follows:

Continue reading

Greek Crisis: Selected international media coverage

Originally posted on Sustainable Development, Economy & Democracy:

greek crisis eading newspapersThe following listing provides links to selected references from international  sources of high quality and with quite different points of view. Access to these sources are, as might be expected, quite uneven.  About half of them require that you pay or subscribe to access full text of particles.  But over these last weeks we have done fairly well with these addresses, offering as they do some quite different perspectives on these unfolding events.

* The Guardian on Greece – http://www.theguardian.com/world/greece

* Der Spiegel on Greece – http://goo.gl/PgxiPs

* Le Monde on Grèce – http://www.lemonde.fr/crise-grecque/

* Financial Times on Greece – https://goo.gl/2lGPNu

* Krugman on Greece –  http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/?s=Greece

* The Economist on Greece –  http://goo.gl/LjGsf7

Other SDED coverage here: 

*  SDED on the Greek Crisishere.

*  SDED Facebook Coverage:  – here.

View original

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 4,279 other followers