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carbon pricing and driving

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  • Simon Norton
    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
    Message 1 of 2 , Oct 10, 2008
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      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
      recently.

      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
    • Roland Sapsford
      Hi 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
      Message 2 of 2 , Oct 11, 2008
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        Hi

        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!

        Kind regards
        Roland

        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
        > recently.
        >
        > 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
        >
        >
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        --
        ______________

        Roland Sapsford
        +64-4-9341106(w); +64-4-3851105(h); +64-21-651105(m)

        "the most insidious form of ignorance is misplaced certainty"
        (Robert Costanza)
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