Re: WorldTransport Forum Elizabeth Kolbert - Climate of Man
- There is one assumption made, which causes all these theories to struggle - thay assume that we need to transfer the same organisation of life, and work, which we had with the car. In the UK over a periopd of approximately 50 years, the daily average 'consumption of travel' has risen 10-fold - yet we are performing much the same tasks. No longer do we walk to the small shop on the corner or use our local high street, so rather than see a need to get more but unviable public transport, we should perhaps be encouraging more local delivery of shops & services, converting one or two of those executive villas into the local shop.
The same goes for the gross consumption of power to change the light or temperature. The designers of Hong Kong's MTR faced this one up by shunning the 'essential need to maintain chilled air in the trains to the US standard, and instead merely making the conditions tolerable for people who came in dressed to be comfortable on the non-air-conditioned streets. In the Middle East, traditional houses have plants in well lit atriia and a no-energy air conditioning system, and even our 1850 home makes best use of natural light (because in 1850 light cost serious money (tallow & oil) and made the house dirty), and the central stair well with plenum behind functions brilliantly to keep the house cool even on the hottest days, all we need now is an icewell or cool room as a larder. So instead of trying to find ways to deliver the same amount of power consider that it might be just as sound a policy to return to doing more with less.