This flowchart as it stands gives us a good idea of what happens in today’s dominant mobility pattern in most cities, where each year the net impact of transport policy (or lack thereof) is to nudge up VKT . (Actually that should better read MVKT — MOTOR Vehicle Kilometers Traveled , since that brings us right to the main core of the challenge.
Which, if we turn it around and look at it closely, gives us a number of good ideas and targets for our 2020 Five Percent Challenge . Figure out how to reduce VKT and all sorts of good stuff happens!
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Bio: Founding editor of World Streets (1988), Eric Britton is an American political scientist, teacher, occasional consultant, and sustainability activist who has observed, learned, taught and worked on missions and advisory assignments on all continents. In the autumn of 2019, he committed his remaining life work to the challenges of aggressively countering climate change and specifically greenhouse gas emissions emanating from the mobility sector. He is not worried about running out of work. Further background and updates: @ericbritton | http://bit.ly/2Ti8LsX | #fekbritton | https://twitter.com/ericbritton | and | https://www.linkedin.com/in/ericbritton/ Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org) | +336 508 80787 (Also WhatApp) | Skype: newmobility.)
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Let me be very clear as to my motives here just so there is no ambiguity on my position. I would like no less than to drive a sharp stake through the dark heart of this egregiously unsustainable transport concept once and for all, so that we can concentrate our limited resources on approaches that are capable of doing the job and meeting the sustainability challenge head on. Which is exactly not the case with monorails. Let’s have a look. Continue reading
If you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you. – F. Nietzsche
On the early morning of 27 June when reading that the leader of the Greek coalition government, Alexis Tsipras, called for a national referendum to get the views of Greece’s population on the bitter on-going disputes with Europe and the IMF, and in particular whether or not to accept the Troika’s uncompromising bailout conditions to settle the country’s government-debt crisis, I decided to see if we might do our bit by providing selective daily summary and international commentary on this unfolding the topic – and, more importantly, the uncertain evolving process behind it.
This quickly took the form of a series of daily summaries of a certain number of what I regard as the key points, issues, ideas, attitudes and players shaping this debate. You will find just below the dozen-plus articles that were posted in the pages of World Streets since the 27th. They appear here in the order written, and each is hot-linked to facilitate your access.
The core of this story is the huge gap between the level of understanding of leading members of the economics and policy community and that of the troika members. The ever combatative Paul Krugman put it like this in a 5 July article in the New York Times.
18:00, Sunday 5 July 2015 in Greece and the polls have just closed on this momentous day for democracy. The outcome of the unexpected but oh so important referendum will not be known for several hours yet. So what better time to pour a glass of cool retsina white, sit down with some friends, and sort through the accumulated evidence of these last ten days in which the eyes of the world have turned to Greece.
Here are a few observations and thoughts about the future which come most immediately to mind to this ever-curious observer:
Signing of Versailles Treaty imposing ruinous economic sanctions on the defeated Germany
Last night I dreamt I was wandering the stacks of the great Butler Library at Columbia, in a search to see if I could identify a certain number of what I would like to call “leading political economists” who have through their work and contributions over the last several centuries helped to shape our understanding of the relationship between economy, efficiency, democracy and governance. In particular I was looking for indications in their work that would allow me to make an educated guess as to what their position might have been in the case of the Sunday Referendum in Greece.
Athens, 27 June 2015. The leader of the Greek coalition government, Alexis Tsipras, who had previously indicated that he might be obliged to call a referendum, or even national elections, if Greece was not able to secure an acceptable agreement in the restructuring negotiations, announced this morning that a national referendum on the topic would be held on Sunday 5 July.
Click here for offical Greek Government website for the Referendum (Ministry of Communications) – http://www.referendum2015gov.gr/en/
In the face of what he and his team considered wrong-minded, punitive and impossible to meet conditions set out in the last round of unbending proposals on the part of their negotiating partners, the “troika” of led by the European Commission (EC), the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the European Central Bank (ECB), Tsipras announced that his government was going to turn to the Greek people and ask them, Yes of No, whether to accept the latest troika’s terms.
Within hours the swords were drawn and the harsh words started to ring out, almost always with more passion than reason.
The climate/transport link transits directly via the energy sector. Conceptually the relationships are very simple. Reality is of course quite another thing.
Our immediate emergency target (climate change, resource depletion, and species extinctions) is to find ways to combine technologies and procedures which will allow us to virtually eliminate carbon-based fuels and impacts in a necessary short amount of time.
Paris. Pollution alert emergency measures. 23 March 2015
We would be foolish, we would be irresponsible beyond pardon, if we do not start by understanding and accepting that the world climate emergency is the most important single policy issue of our time. All of our decisions and actions from this points on must be tempered by the planetary challenges that threaten us today: climate change, resource depletion, and species extinctions.
Shortlist of Transformative Realities and Trends
One of the great recompenses of having watched the sustainable transportation and related technology developments evolve over the course of several decades, is that if one takes the time to step back and scan the evidence for pattern breaks, one can readily spot a certain number of fundamental structural changes, quite a few of which bode well for a different and better future for transport in and around cities. Here are a handful of the fundamental underlying changes which I have spotted over the last decades and which I would like to share with you this morning.
Thinking about grabbing a taxi this morning? Did you ever consider this?