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RE: Trains, Buses and Automobiles (was "Paradigm Shift in Houston:)

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  • mtneuman@juno.com
    ... energy, ... the ... entrances). ... In the absence of significant economic incentives to do otherwise, people in this country will continue to use their
    Message 1 of 4 , Jul 7, 2003
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      --- In carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com, Richard Risemberg <rickrise@e...>
      wrote:
      > mtneuman@j... wrote:
      > > Then Houston's train's in essence runs on fossil fuel derived
      energy,
      > > which add's more greenhouse gases (GHGs) to the atmosphere.
      > Yes, but trains use 1/4th the energy that trucks (or buses) carrying
      the
      > equivalent load would use. And they use much much less land--with a
      > subway train using almost no land at all (except for station
      entrances).
      > This leaves room for denser development. Fewer and narrower roads =
      > things closer together = less driving/more transit, walking, biking.

      In the absence of significant economic incentives to do otherwise, people
      in this country will continue to use their automobiles. You can bet on
      it. After all, in America, the car is king. How many TV commercials do
      you see for subway trains vs. automobiles?

      Mike

      http://danenet.danenet.org/bcp/trans/neuman_vmt.html
      http://danenet.wicip.org/bcp/neuman_gw.pdf
      http://danenet.danenet.org/bcp/neuman_gw_letter.pdf





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    • Louis-Luc
      ... What I see and feel is America is Auto-Destructing itself. If nothing is done, the society is to be destroyed by its automobiles sooner or later. I m
      Message 2 of 4 , Jul 8, 2003
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        > In the absence of significant economic incentives to do otherwise, people
        > in this country will continue to use their automobiles. You can bet on
        > it. After all, in America, the car is king. How many TV commercials do
        > you see for subway trains vs. automobiles?
        >
        > Mike
        What I see and feel is America is "Auto-Destructing"
        itself.
        If nothing is done, the society is to be destroyed by
        its automobiles sooner or later. I'm just awaiting the
        day where oil become rare and suburbs will die unless
        some rail transit will offer a link to town or at least
        some place where you can find services/goods.
        Houses more than 10-minutes away (by foot, confirming
        implicit mode of transit) from everywhere and big-box stores in a
        sea of cars will eventually become phantom places
        unless something is done NOW.

        Car culture is to pay for its nuisance sooner or later.
        Thinking about the stubbornness of some car dependant
        gov't, society, or individuals, I'm thinking it might
        be faster to let them burn oil as fast as they can, so
        we'll reach the end of the nightmare (for us carfree
        people) sooner, and by our non-dependancy on cars we
        should survive much better into the next generation, if not live and enjoy
        life better, when oil is over and
        human-scaled development is forced back in as it should have always
        remained.

        I don't know about future, so that's a guess for me,
        but each time I see one of those TV ads throwing speeding beasts on my
        screen, I think it can't be that
        way for very long now.

        Louis-Luc
      • Mike Neuman
        Excellent comments by Louis-Luc, but there is plenty of evidence on the global warming problem now to show that waiting for the day we burn up all the oil will
        Message 3 of 4 , Jul 9, 2003
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          Excellent comments by Louis-Luc, but there is plenty of evidence on
          the global warming problem now to show that waiting for the day we
          burn up all the oil will doom us to ever increasingly hot and humid
          temperatures, (as existed on the planet during the time the
          permafrost region was formed). It could very well get much hotter
          than that if we continue our present fossil fuel burning dependent
          lifestyles in the U.S. and other developed and developing countries
          of the world. Our planet could ultimately turn into a wasteland, with
          no water and no plant and animal life possible, as scientists say
          happened on Venus years ago, when Venus' atmosphere experienced a
          runaway greenhouse effect, and its oceans of water simmered away.

          No, this is not scare mongering, as many of the global warming
          skeptics would argue passionate environmentalists like to do. The
          potential for this scenario playing itself out on Venus's twin
          planet, Earth, is very real.

          This is not to say temperatures on Earth will reach levels near 900
          degrees Fareighnheit as presently exist on Venus, the hottest planet
          in the solar system. Earth's temperature presently averages about 50
          degrees F. All it would take would be a doubling of so of that to
          wipe out all life on the planet.

          Scientific modeling of what our future climate will be like BY the
          turn of the century if we continue to operate under the current
          administration's "business as usual" approach to addressing
          (ignoring) the issue of climate change is that summertime
          temperature's in Wisconsin could be close to 20 degrees F. in summer,
          with higher humidity levels as well. Such increases in temperature
          levels in the already hot summer months will be dead for human and
          other forms of animal and plant life, and will destroy much
          infrastructure in cities and rural areas as well. Such is the legacy
          we are going to be leaving to the children of today --many of whom
          will still be alive by the turn of the century -- and of tomorrow, if
          we continue to do business as usual, without taking appropriate major
          and significant actions now to reduce fossil fuel burning.

          The time to begin cutting back on oil burning in cars and other
          motorized vehicles is now. There are basically only two ways of
          doing that, both of which should be done now: (1) greatly improve
          energy efficiency in motorized vehicles; (2) greatly reduce our use
          of motorized vehicles, preferably to emergency uses only, if possible.

          Here's a way that might be achieved:
          http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ClimateArchive/message/229

          Someone once said there is "no free lunch" when it comes to using and
          polluting the environment. The time to conserve and preserve the
          environment, by greatly reducing fossil fuel burning in vehicles,
          homes and recreational use is now, before the pathetic condition of
          being "too late" arrives.

          "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that
          matter."
          - Martin Luther King, Jr.



          --- In carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com, "Louis-Luc" <exqmtl@a...>
          wrote:

          > What I see and feel is America is "Auto-Destructing"
          > itself.
          > If nothing is done, the society is to be destroyed by
          > its automobiles sooner or later. I'm just awaiting the
          > day where oil become rare and suburbs will die unless
          > some rail transit will offer a link to town or at least
          > some place where you can find services/goods.
          > Houses more than 10-minutes away (by foot, confirming
          > implicit mode of transit) from everywhere and big-box stores in a
          > sea of cars will eventually become phantom places
          > unless something is done NOW.
          >
          > Car culture is to pay for its nuisance sooner or later.
          > Thinking about the stubbornness of some car dependant
          > gov't, society, or individuals, I'm thinking it might
          > be faster to let them burn oil as fast as they can, so
          > we'll reach the end of the nightmare (for us carfree
          > people) sooner, and by our non-dependancy on cars we
          > should survive much better into the next generation, if not live
          and enjoy
          > life better, when oil is over and
          > human-scaled development is forced back in as it should have always
          > remained.
          >
          > I don't know about future, so that's a guess for me,
          > but each time I see one of those TV ads throwing speeding beasts on
          my
          > screen, I think it can't be that
          > way for very long now.
          >
          > Louis-Luc
        • Mike Neuman
          Inadvertently, the post I made this morning under the Trains, Planes and Automobiles subject line had a word missing in one of the ... degrees F. in summer,
          Message 4 of 4 , Jul 9, 2003
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            Inadvertently, the post I made this morning under the "Trains, Planes
            and Automobiles" subject line had a word missing in one of the
            sentences. The following was the sentence:

            > ... summertime temperature's in Wisconsin could be close to 20
            degrees F. in summer, with higher humidity levels as well....

            I meant to say summertime temperatures in Wisconsin by the end of the
            century are expected to be 20 degrees F. "hotter" than Wisconsin's
            present summertime temperatures (if current rate of greenhouse gas
            emissions continue). The source of this projected increase is from a
            study published by the Union of Concerned Scientists this past April,
            which was authored by a number of prominent global warming scientists
            from various universities around the Midwest. The study can be read
            and downloaded from the following web site:
            http://www.ucsusa.org/greatlakes/glchallengereport.html


            For your information, temperatures already reach into the 90s and
            occasionally above 100 degrees F in Wisconsin during the spring and
            summer. An increase in summertime temperatures by 20 degrees F as
            projected above will greatly add to mortality rates from heat waves
            in Wisconsin.
            http://www.crh.noaa.gov/mkx/heatwave.htm

            The heat wave-caused mortality will be especially high in Wisconsin
            and other cities, as the so-called "heat-island effect" -- largely
            created by a city having a substantial portions of its area paved
            over with heat-absorbing cement concrete and black asphalt (primarily
            for automobile use of highways, streets, parking lots and driveways) -
            - typically causes summertime temperature levels in cities to be
            2-10°
            F degrees F warmer than temperatures in the non-paved areas
            surrounding cities.
            http://yosemite.epa.gov/oar/globalwarming.nsf/content/ActionsLocalHeat
            IslandEffect.html

            Of also increased concern is that not only do the elevated
            temperature levels in these cities contribute to potentially
            dangerous heat related public health impacts in these areas
            (especially for those having no home air conditioning, and for those
            who have to be outside for long period of time during the day), but
            also these areas typically have higher ground level ozone levels due
            to all the automobile driving in the area, which is a factor that can
            lead to increased rates of hospitalization and mortality in the
            population of asthmatic children and adults having a prior history of
            respiratory problems.

            Finally, humidity levels, as measured by dew point temperatures, have
            been increasing in essentially all regions of the country over the
            past several years. Refer to Table 4 of the article posted below on
            the Climate Archive Yahoo group:
            http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ClimateArchive/message/226
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