I think most of us on this list would share this perspective.
Certainly there are clear links between high oil prices - and hence
higher consumer fuel prices and the dash for biofuels, high global food
prices, and the US mortgage crisis, where essential costs (food,
transport) have risen to the point where small rises in mortgage rates
tip people into financial chaos. Furthermore at the housing development
level, highly geared developments in exurbs are no longer financially
viable, and this represented a large part of the US mortgage market.
This is a classic combination of the interaction between a resource cost
shock and a financial bubble. What will be interesting to see is the
extent to which oil prices fall further. The current drops are
fluctuations around a rising trend, and provide a little room to take
action, not a permanent respite!
Simon Norton wrote:
> I agree with Lee Schipper. Driving, together with flying, should be one of the
> easiest sources of emissions to remove as it is the one that has mushroomed most
> All that's needed to reduce emissions from driving is the willingness to travel
> in shared vehicles, or non-motorised vehicles, or to obtain facilities closer to
> one's home or workplace. One doesn't have to sit in the cold or dark. One
> doesn't have to wait hours in one's home, day after day depending on how
> complicated the job is, for someone to come around to install a new, more
> efficient, boiler. One doesn't have to do without anything.
> According to Lynn Sloman's book "Car Sick" we could get rid of about 40% of car
> trips that way (I don't know what proportion of car mileage that works out as),
> and a similar amount on top if we made modest improvements to alternative ways
> of getting around. What could be easier, if only our politicians would get it
> into their heads that people who don't use cars are not subhumans.
> In fact I believe that it should be the transport sector where reduction targets
> should be set at their highest, because of the side benefits for our quality of
> life. A high proportion of flights could be replaced by trains, and the volume
> of world shipping would be reduced by more localisation of production.
> I feel that what motorists have been saying in recent weeks amounts to the
> following: "Sorry, we aren't interested in making more than token cuts in road
> traffic. We'd rather see the economy collapse as a way of bringing demand and
> supply for oil back into balance."
> How plausible is it to argue that it is the oil price shock that pushed the
> world economy over the precipice, and this could have been avoided had
> governments acted to reduce demand ?
> Simon Norton
> The New Mobility/World Transport Agenda
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