‘WE’RE DOOMED’ . . . Mayer Hillman on the climate reality no one else will dare mention

China Mekong Basin desertification AFP Huang Dinh Nab Le Monde

Let’s see what Dr. Mayer Hillman —  eminent architect, town planner and Senior Fellow Emeritus since 1992 at the Policy Studies Institute, University of Westminster where he worked for at least thirty years —   had to offer in an interview that appeared in The Guardian last week.  By Patrick Barkham   Full text with illustrations  at https://bit.ly/2FjpEbI

W’re doomed,” says Mayer Hillman with such a  beaming smile that it takes a moment for the words to sink in. “The outcome is death, and it’s the end of most life on the planet because we’re so dependent on the burning of fossil fuels. There are no means of reversing the process which is melting the polar ice caps. And very few appear to be prepared to say so.”

Hillman, an 86-year-old social scientist and senior fellow emeritus of the Policy Studies Institute, does say so. His bleak forecast of the consequence of runaway climate change, he says without fanfare, is his “last will and testament”. His last intervention in public life. “I’m not going to write anymore because there’s nothing more that can be said,” he says when I first hear him speak to a stunned audience at the University of East Anglia late last year.

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Oslo takes bold steps to reduce air pollution, improve livability

Norway Oslo pedestrians bicycles opera

Source: https://www.unenvironment.org/news-and-stories/story/oslo-takes-bold-steps-reduce-air-pollution-improve-livability 

Norway’s capital city Oslo, home to over 670,000 people, is boldly pushing forward with a range of measures to improve air quality for the city’s inhabitants. Oslo is one of 42 cities who take part in Breathe Life, a campaign led by the World Health Organization, UN Environment and the Climate & Clean Air Coalition that inspires cities and individuals to protect our health and planet from the effects of air pollution.

Zero-emission vehicles play a key part in the city’s strategy to reduce C0equivalents by 95 per cent in 2030, and city officials are encouraging people to make the transition to electric vehicles. Benefits for drivers include reduces taxes, access to bus and taxi lanes, free travel on toll roads and public ferries, and free municipal parking. Over 1,000 charging stations have been added in recent years.

Meanwhile, all public transport in Oslo and neighbouring Akershus county is to be powered exclusively by renewable energy by 2020.

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A COMPENDIUM OF ONE HUNDRED BETTER, FASTER, CHEAPER MEASURES YOUR CITY COULD START TO IMPLEMENT TOMORROW MORNING TO SAVE THE PLANET . . . cut GHG emissions, get people to work on time, reduce traffic accidents, save lives, clear the air, improve health, create a sense of community, strengthen the economy, and improve accessibility, mobility and quality of life for all.

FB eric escooter traffic eifel towerWe often hear that transportation reform  is going to require massive public investments, large construction projects, elaborate technology deployments, and above all and by their very nature are going to take a long time before yielding significant results. This is quite simply not true. This approach, common in the last century and often associated with the “American transportation model”, no longer has its place in a competitive, efficient, democratic city  And we can start tomorrow, if we chose to.

To get a feel for this transformative learning reality let’s start with a quick look at a first lot of ideas for Slow Street Architecture as a major means for reducing traffic related nuisances, accident prevention and improving quality of life for all.  These approaches are not just “nice ideas”.  They have proven their merit and effectiveness in hundreds of cities around the world. There is no good reason that they cannot do the same in your city. Starting tomorrow morning.

(For further background on external sources feeding this listing, see Sources and Clues section below.)

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Challenge Partners (Working draft)

wORLD sTREETS - TOP - PEOPLE RUNNING ETC ITALY

Incomplete working draft of 28 July

(Introductory para here to explain, etc.)

Thus far ( 21/07/2019), eventually with direct link and 2-3 lines of comment + Key Contacts

  • World Streets, France – Journal of reference and record
  • Journal of World Transport Policy and Practice, UK – two Special Editions: Winter 2019-2020 and Spring 2021
  • SOLVED, Finland –
  • Ytech Innovations Centre, Netherlands

Plus under initial discussion at this time:

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ON THE OCCASION OF AN NTH BIRTHDAY: A FEW WORDS WITH MY FRIENDS ON CLIMATE, LEARNING BY DOING, & COLLABORATIVE PROBLEM SOLVING

Climate emisssions mobility rapid cuts = The Guardian 5 Dec 2018

The power of a new mobility concept depends not on how well it solves a given, targeted problem. But on how many problems it (partly) solves. –   Marco Te Brömmelstroet

 ON THE OCCASION OF MY BIRTHDAY, A FEW WORDS WITH MY FRIENDS

  • Eric Britton,Convener, World Streets Climate Initiative, Paris. 27 June 2019

Dear friends, colleagues, planners, policy makers, students, professors, people working with local government, engineers, accountants, and above all those of you as active citizens and participants in civil society, whom I have met, not met, collaborated, swapped ideas with, argued, modifying my position and then arguing some more . . . Because as you and I know well, nothing ever stays fixed and final in the world of transport and mobility.

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Op-Ed: “After 25 years of failure, we should abandon the UNFCCC”

  • Published Climate Change News on 27/03/2019,  Because of its importance, we reproduce it here in its entirety. With thanks.

Emissions are at record levels and the international  treaty designed  to rein them  in cannot  drive action.   It is time for new ideas to be explored

“While we’ve made enormous progress in 25 years, the world is still running behind climate change.”

“Today, the urgency to address climate change has never been greater. But because of the work begun 25 years ago, we are also better coordinated to take it on. We have the Paris Agreement, and we have the guidelines strengthening that agreement. What we need now are results.”

This is a summary of the statement that Patricia Espinosa, executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), put out on the occasion to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the entry into force of the UNFCCC.

While I agree with the sentiments above, especially the urgency to address climate change, I disagree with two points: one, the progress made by the UNFCCC so far and two, the potential of the UNFCCC to deliver results in the future.

Leaders told to bring plans, not speeches to UN climate summit

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