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73Fwd: distributed economies

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  • Allan Johansson
    Sep 26, 2001
      >Date: Wed, 26 Sep 2001 08:39:36 +0300
      >To: eric.britton@...
      >From: Allan Johansson <Allan.Johansson@...>
      >Subject: Fwd: distributed economies
      Date: Thu, 20 Sep 2001 10:13:41 +0300

      From: Allan Johansson <Allan.Johansson@...>
      Subject: distributed economies

      Dear Eric,

      A sudden sign of life from one of your more dormant members. Transport is not
      my "thing" but it does pop up more and more frequently as a central issue
      (obstacle) in all technical visions of a sustainable development. My pet
      thought for the moment is "decentralized economies" which I think has a lot
      to offer (that's my hammer), as it builds on the individual's , or few
      individuals selfish interests to change things to the better.

      As I see it, perhaps a little cynically, no real progress has been achieved
      in the area of environmental concern ( or will be) , except were a limited
      number of individuals have seen a selfish interest to improve things. With
      affluence there is an interest to protect the local environment etc, but for
      global problems the real will to change is small. Thus the leverage point to
      change systems is to find the nuclei were a small number of individuals see
      an advantage/opportunity to bring in an improvement-that is provide a
      qualitatively better service in a less consuming way.

      City transport certainly represents a great challenge in this area, but to
      me the issue of cars present a totally different problem, and a very
      difficult one. They respond to a profound sentiment of humans- personal
      freedom of movement and image (like the horse for the legendary cow - boy I
      assume, not being American).
      It is a bit ironic that much of the traffic jams in cities are created by
      these freedom lovers, getting nowhere, but outside the grip of better city
      transport systems. In order to change that, one needs to find a substitute,
      not only technically for transportation, but for all the imaginary values
      -sense of freedom, power, virility etc..

      In more general terms I have come to the belief that rather than try to
      change whole systems we need to find and demonstrate solutions that are
      qualitatively better and offer attractive economic opportunities to
      individuals, if successful, these will then "infect " the system and bring
      about change from within so to say. Unfortunately for me, in these issues
      technology seems to play a lesser part.

      best regards Allan


      Prof Allan Johansson
      tel:+358 9 456 6594
      fax:+358 9 456 7026

      Industrial Environmental Economics
      POB 1401
      FIN-02044 VTT
      ( and International Institute for Industrial Environmental Economics, Lund
      University, Sweden http://www.iiiee.lu.se )