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Closing: Token efforts we know are useless...

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  • J.H. Crawford
    Hi All, I m finding myself tired of this thread and have held back a couple of long posts as a result. However, we do need to put this subject to bed. (There s
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 23, 2007
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      Hi All,

      I'm finding myself tired of this thread and have held back
      a couple of long posts as a result. However, we do need to
      put this subject to bed. (There's a further discussion over
      on World Carfree Network for those who insist....)

      First of all, people in rural areas are going to continue to
      drive almost no matter what. As it happens, I'm driving 20,000
      miles a year myself right now... due to a car crash. My parents
      lived in the woods until the neighbor boy crashed into them.
      I'm now living in my parents' house and commuting down to
      their hospitals and nursing homes, about 50 miles away.

      I hate to drive, but "fortunately" I'm doing the driving in a
      Prius, which at least gets about 55 MPG. The only cure for this
      is to sell the house and move down nearer to where they are, and
      I am in fact in the process of doing this. It won't entirely
      eliminate my need to drive, but it will reduce it considerably.
      (There is, of course, no effective public transport option, this
      being the USA.)

      As long as people live in rural areas, they will be wanting
      to drive, as there is no practical alternative.


      What I think we need to do is to dramatically reduce the impact
      of the driving that must be done. I would like to ask anyone
      who wants to continue this discussion to read the material at:

      http://www.jhcrawford.com/energy/index.html

      (including the links). I regret that I have never had time to
      finish development of this site, but the ideas are still valid,
      I believe.

      The first and easiest step to take to reduce CO2 emissions,
      fuel consumption, and the general impact of cars on society
      is to lower the national US speed limit from the de facto 75 MPH
      to an enforced 55 MPH. This was actually done in the fall of 1973
      and had a real effect on both fuel consumption and road safety.
      It was implemented in a matter of a month or two. This step
      can be Al Gore's first move when he is inaugurated in Jan. 2009. ;-)

      55 MPH is not actually slow enough, but it's a good start.
      We will need to cut top speeds to 50 or even 45 MPH. We then
      need to stop the manufacture of any automobile that can exceed
      whatever is the top national speed limit. The "need" for huge
      V-8 engines will disappear, as even a modest 4-cylinder engine
      can move a large vehicle at this speed. We will also need to
      cap maximum acceleration. (Remember that the acceleration ramps
      on freeways will be amply long for slow-moving cars with "poor"
      acceleration.) I suppose a rapidly-increase gas tax is an obvious
      second step, and mandated fuel economy standards the third.

      Once we have done that, we will be on the way to a national
      fleet with an average fuel economy of 60 or so MPG (without
      the need for hybrids and their nickle batteries).

      Then (i.e., the following week) it will be time to start improving
      public transport and moving cars out of cities.

      I think that the first priority is to make dramatic cuts in
      fuel consumption. Fuel-efficient, not-fun-to-drive cars are
      the first step.

      Regards,

      Joel



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      J.H. Crawford Carfree Cities
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