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a global problem

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  • Herb Vaughan
    we are dealing with global environmental problems. global warming is contributing to the rising see level and the use of internal combustion engines contribute
    Message 1 of 4 , Oct 31, 2000
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      we are dealing with global environmental problems. global warming is
      contributing to the rising see level and the use of internal combustion
      engines contribute heavily to these changes. we have to realize that we
      can't limit our attention just to western cities, but must address urban
      transport on a global scale.
      ----- Original Message -----
      From: "J.H. Crawford" <postmaster@...>
      To: <carfree_cities@egroups.com>
      Sent: Sunday, October 29, 2000 5:01 AM
      Subject: Re: [carfree_cities] Venice has motor problems, too!


      >
      > >The Grand Canal of Venice was just featured on the latest "Great
      > >Streets" episode on PBS. Nathan Lane, the host, spoke with an
      > >expert on why Venice is sinking. The gentleman (sorry, I don't
      > >remember the expert's name!) said that the foundations of these
      > >great old buildings are crumbling due to the intense wakes
      > >created by heavy motorboat traffic. He also mentioned that "of
      > >course, they can't ban motorboat traffic," but something must be
      > >done to save the city.
      > >So Venice has motor problems too!
      >
      > Yes, it does. I've always argued that the transport system in
      > Venice, while agreeable for the users, is slow, inefficient,
      > and expensive. Wake damage to buildings and air pollution from
      > diesel engines in boats is an issue, although perhaps not such
      > a terribly serious issue. The New York Times of 29 August 2000
      > carried an article, "That Sinking Feeling, Again" as the lead
      > in the Science Times section. That article indicates that the
      > land in the Venetian lagoon has been sinking throughout the
      > entire 2000 years of archeological history, and that Venice
      > has always solved the problem by adding fill and building
      > higher. I don't think that the motorboat wakes can be called
      > "intense." There are speed limits on all the canals, and as
      > far as I have seen, they're pretty generally observed. The
      > wave energy in the open lagoon can be significant on windy
      > days, far in excess of the contribution of motorboats. It may
      > be that boat speeds should be still further reduced, but I
      > would not expect this to result in major changes. The problem
      > is simply that the water level is rising (due both to subsidence
      > and to rising sea level). Some scientists have questioned the
      > efficacy of the proposed gates at the entrances to the lagoon.
      > These would shut out the Adriatic during period of high water.
      > The problem is that these gates might have to be shut for so
      > many days a year that water quality in the lagoon would be
      > affected.
      >
      > The worst contributor to the problem was the pumping of water
      > out of aquifers under the lagoon. This practice was stopped
      > quite a few years ago.
      >
      >
      >
      > ###
      >
      > J.H. Crawford Carfree Cities
      > postmaster@... Carfree.com
      >
      >
      > To Post a message, send it to: carfree_cities@...
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    • Roy Preston
      I must publicly congratulate JH on his *wonderful* Carfree Cities book. It arrived this morning and the first thing that struck me was the design and layout
      Message 2 of 4 , Oct 31, 2000
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        I must publicly congratulate JH on his *wonderful* 'Carfree Cities' book.
        It arrived this morning and the first thing that struck me was the design
        and layout of the typography -- beautifully set in Bembo and Helvetica.
        He's utilised the ordinarily no-no square format intelligently with a
        single column of text and central gutter for notes and illustrations. This
        is a talented guy!! Now, on to reading it. . .

        Roy
      • unno@uswestmail.net
        On Tue, 31 October 2000, Roy Preston wrote: I must publicly congratulate JH on his wonderful* Carfree Cities book. Roy, Once you ve had a chance to read it,
        Message 3 of 4 , Oct 31, 2000
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          On Tue, 31 October 2000, Roy Preston wrote:

          I must publicly congratulate JH on his wonderful* 'Carfree Cities' book.

          Roy,

          Once you've had a chance to read it, I'm curious how we're going to "get past" the sheer numbers we're faced with.

          How is sufficient food production and distribution assured once fossil-fueled machines burn their last drop of fuel?

          Ron Greek


          Signup for your free USWEST.mail Email account http://www.uswestmail.net
        • J.H. Crawford
          ... We can t say with any certainty yet. Maybe we ll have so little energy that we ll be forced to abandon all mechanized transport and rely solely on bikes,
          Message 4 of 4 , Nov 2, 2000
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            Ron Greek said:

            >How is sufficient food production and distribution assured
            >once fossil-fueled machines burn their last drop of fuel?

            We can't say with any certainty yet. Maybe we'll have
            so little energy that we'll be forced to abandon all
            mechanized transport and rely solely on bikes, horses,
            and sailing ships. However, I'm cautiously optimistic
            about renewable energy. Remember that Switzerland and
            Norway are largely powered by hydroelectric plants.
            If they abandoned car use and made very efficient use
            of all energy, they would probably be more or less
            self-sufficient in energy. Windy places like the
            Netherlands will be able to generate a lot of electricity
            using windmills. (Greenpeace has proposed to generate
            1/3 of our electricity by building a wind farm in
            the North Sea, out of everybody's way and right in
            the middle of those strong North Sea winds.)
            Desert areas can use solar power to good effect.

            What we SHOULD be doing is using the last of the
            non-renewable energy to build a sustainable energy
            infrastructure. Instead, we're burning it in SUVs.

            I think that agriculture will indeed be one of the
            difficult problems. Modern techniques are highly
            intensive in their use of petroleum for fuel, fertilizer,
            and chemicals. I am not opposed to biotech and genetic
            manipulation as a way of increasing crop yields
            and reducing energy inputs. I'm just not confident
            that the current profit-driven economic structure
            likely to avert the many disasters that doubtless
            lurk between here and sustainable agriculture.
            (Anybody for a bag of corn chips? Who's taking odds
            on the chance that the FDA will fail to approve
            the corn in question for human consumption after all?
            Hey, it would probably not even kill as many people
            as the exploding Pinto gas tanks, and the money at
            stake is probably just as great.) I wish I had more
            faith in the ability of governments to apply effective
            regulation to profit-driven corporations.



            ###

            J.H. Crawford Carfree Cities
            postmaster@... Carfree.com
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