Claim: Global shift away from cars saves US$100 trillion, eliminates 1,700 MT of CO2 pollution

From Burness Communications via Eurekalert

Urban transportation systems an emerging priority ahead of UN climate and sustainable development meetings

NEW YORK (17 September, 2014)—More than $100 trillion in cumulative public and private spending, and 1,700 megatons of annual carbon dioxide (CO2)—a 40 percent reduction of urban passenger transport emissions—could be eliminated by 2050 if the world expands public transportation, walking and cycling in cities, according to a new report released by the University of California, Davis, and the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP).

Further, an estimated 1.4 million early deaths could be avoided annually by 2050 if governments require the strongest vehicle pollution controls and ultralow-sulfur fuels, according to a related analysis of these urban vehicle activity pathways by the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) included in the report.

“Transportation, driven by rapid growth in car use, has been the fastest growing source of CO2 in the world, said Michael Replogle, ITDP’s managing director for policy and co-author of the report. “An affordable but largely overlooked way to cut that pollution is to give people clean options to use public transportation, walking and cycling, expanding mobility options especially for the poor and curbing air pollution from traffic.”

“The analysis shows that getting away from car-centric development will cut urban CO2 dramatically and also reduce costs, especially in rapidly expanding economies,” said report co-author Lew Fulton, co-director of NextSTEPS Program at the Institute of Transportation Studies at UC Davis. “It is also critical to reduce the energy use and carbon emissions of all vehicles.”

The report, A Global High Shift Scenario, is the first study to examine how major changes in transport investments worldwide would affect urban passenger transport emissions as well as the mobility of different income groups. The authors calculated CO2 emissions in 2050 under two scenarios, a business-as-usual scenario and a “High Shift” scenario where governments significantly increased rail and clean bus transport, especially Bus Rapid Transit (BRT), and helped urban areas provide infrastructure to ensure safe walking, bicycling and other active forms of transportation. The projections also include moving investments away from road construction, parking garages and other ways that encourage car ownership.

Under this High Shift, not only would CO2 emissions plummet, but the net financial impact of this shift would be an enormous savings over the next 35 years, covering construction, operating, vehicle and fuel-related costs.

The report was released at the United Nations Habitat III Preparatory Meeting in New York on September 17th, in advance of the September 23rd United Nations Secretary-General’s Climate Summit, where many nations and corporations will announce voluntary commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, including new efforts focused on sustainable transportation.

“This timely study is a significant contribution to the evidence base showing that public transport should play central role in visions for the city of tomorrow” says Alain Flausch, Secretary General of the International Association of Public Transport, and member of UN Secretary General’s Advisory Group on Sustainable Transport.

Better Mobility Leads to Social Mobility

The new report also describes sustainable transportation as a key factor in economic development. Under the High Shift scenario, mass transit access is projected to more than triple for the lowest income groups and more than double for the second lowest groups. Notably, the overall mobility evens out between income groups, providing those more impoverished with better access to employment and services that can improve their family livelihoods.

“Today and out to 2050, lower income groups will have limited access to cars in most countries under almost any scenario; improving access to modern, clean, high-capacity public transport is crucial,” said Fulton.

“Unmanaged growth in motor vehicle use threatens to exacerbate growing income inequality and environmental ills, while more sustainable transport delivers access for all, reducing these ills. This report’s findings should help support wider agreement on climate policy, where costs and equity of the cleanup burden between rich and poor are key issues,” noted Replogle.

Emission Standards Save Lives

Air pollution is a leading cause of early death, responsible for more than 3.2 million early deaths annually. Exposure to vehicle tailpipe emissions is associated with increased risk of early death from cardiopulmonary disease and lung cancer, as well as respiratory infections in children. Car and diesel exhaust also increases the risk of non-fatal health outcomes, including asthma and cardiovascular disease.

The International Council on Clean Transportation evaluated the impacts of urban travel by cars, motorcycles, trucks and buses on the number of early deaths from exposure to soot emitted directly from vehicle tailpipes. “Future growth in vehicle activity could produce a four-fold increase in associated early deaths by 2050, even with a global shift to mass transit,” said ICCT’s Joshua Miller, a contributor to the study. “We could avoid about 1.4 million early deaths annually if national leaders committed to a global policy roadmap that requires the strongest vehicle pollution controls and ultralow-sulfur fuels.” Cleaner buses alone would account for 20 percent of these benefits.

Fuel Economy Standards Save Fuel and Cut CO2 Emissions

While this study has not focused on further actions to boost motor vehicle fuel economy, it takes into account existing policies that, in the International Energy Agency’s Baseline scenario, improve average new car fuel economy by 32 percent in countries that belong to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), a group of 34 of the world’s most developed, democratic, market economies, and 23 percent in non-OECD countries.

The High Shift scenario increases this to 36 percent and 27 percent respectively, due to improved in-use driving conditions and a slight shift to smaller vehicles. However, the Global Fuel Economy Initiative (GFEI) calls for much more: a 50 percent reduction in fuel use per kilometer for light-duty vehicles worldwide by 2030. Achieving the GFEI 2030 goal could reduce 700 megatons of CO2 annually beyond the 1,700 reduction possible from a High Shift scenario. Taken together, achieving this fuel economy goal with better public transport, walking and cycling could cut annual urban passenger transport CO2 emissions in 2050 by 55 percent from what they might otherwise be in 2050 and 10 percent below 2010 levels.

Cutting Emissions with Sustainable Transportation Across the World’s Cities

Transportation in urban areas accounted for about 2,300 megatons of CO2 in 2010, almost one quarter of carbon emissions from all parts of the transportation sector. Rapid urbanization—especially in fast developing countries like China and India—will cause these emissions to double by 2050 in the baseline scenario.

Among the countries examined in the study, three stand out:

  • United States: Currently the world leader in urban passenger transportation CO2 emissions, with nearly 670 megatons annually, the US is projected to lower these emissions to 560 megatons by 2050 because of slower population growth, higher fuel efficiencies, and a decline in driving per person that has already started as people move back to cities. But this pace can be sharply accelerated with more sustainable transportation options, dropping to about 280 megatons, under the High Shift scenario.
  • China: CO2 emissions from transportation are expected to mushroom from 190 megatons annually to more than 1,100 megatons, due in large part to the explosive growth of China’s urban areas, the growing wealth of Chinese consumers, and their dependence on automobiles. But this increase can be slashed to 650 megatons under the High Shift scenario, in which cities develop extensive BRT and metro systems. The latest data show China is already sharply increasing investments in public transport.
  • India: CO2 emissions are projected to leap from about 70 megatons today to 540 megatons by 2050, also because of growing wealth and urban populations. But this increase can be moderated to only 350 megatons, under the High Shift scenario, by addressing crucial deficiencies in India’s public transport.

The Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP) is a global nonprofit that helps cities design and implement high-quality transit systems to make communities more livable, competitive and sustainable. ITDP works with cities worldwide to bring about transport solutions that cut greenhouse gas emissions, reduce poverty, and improve the quality of urban life. Please visit for more information.

UC Davis is a global community of individuals united to better humanity and our natural world while seeking solutions to some of our most pressing challenges. Located near the California state capital, UC Davis has more than 34,000 students, and the full-time equivalent of 4,100 faculty and other academics and 17,400 staff. The campus has an annual research budget of over $750 million, a comprehensive health system and about two dozen specialized research centers. The university offers interdisciplinary graduate study and 99 undergraduate majors in four colleges and six professional schools.

International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) is a non-profit research organization dedicated to improving the environmental performance and efficiency of transportation to protect public health, the environment, and quality of life. ICCT provides national and local policymakers with technical analysis of regulations, fiscal incentives, and other measures for clean vehicles and fuels. For more information, please visit


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Dan in Bothell

You will have to pry my steering wheel out of my cold dead hands!

The Ghost Of Big Jim Cooley

Mr Grace, on forums, try not to be deliberately waggish.

I think Peter asks a perfectly sensible question. And it is quite possible Dan is more likely to front end a brick wall because he is also keen on ensuring a firearm is found in his cold dead grip.

David A

I think, despite what P.G. thinks, Dan’s comment is fine. (A paraphrased protest quote against the would be “masters of the world”)
Dan’s car allows far greater freedom, and often efficiency. Dan’s car helps crops grow better world wide.
The statistics in this article are simply non-sense.


non-sense? Is that the latest euphemism for made up?

Owen in GA

Or one of my favorites, “Horse-Hockey”. It invokes so much more of the global warming hockey stick based meme. (h/t Col Sherman Potter (Harry Morgan) from MASH)

Gary Pearse

Were certainly easier to herd when they have us all gathered into 50 foot aluminum boxes and tubes, I’ll grant you that. It takes away those silly spontaneous urges to take a drive in the country alone or with company you choose. Peter, how about full disclosure of your transportation choices.

Don E

Depending on what you drive you may be producing less CO2 per passenger mile. I recall a government study done several years ago where transit produces more CO2 per passenger mile that automobiles. I think because the busses and trains off hours were not full and sometimes nearly empty.

Don Gleason

Is ISIS on board with this.


That depends what the meaning of IS IS


Name change to ISIL. Try to keep up.


You know… for as many times as I’ve thought of Bill Clinton when I heard the name ISIS (and it has happened often), it never clicked why the White House has taken to calling them ISIL. Perhaps one of them made the connection, too, and didn’t want to be associated with Clinton?


Lee, my first thought was why they had to start dragging Egyptian gods into this.
John, according to Dr. Pipes, the best translation of this groups name is Islamic State in Greater Syria. Greater Syria and Levant are rough equivalents.


This was noted when everyone else was calling them ISIS but your revered leader (Obama) was making a point of calling them ISIL. The L standing for ‘Levant’ – the heart of the Levant is … Israel. They are already making commentary that ‘Palestine’ is their target.

Socialism and it’s solutions?


Hell: A planned community.

Stephen Skinner

Does that mean that Somalia is Heaven?


Stephen, there’s a world of difference between total govt and no govt.
Complaining about too much govt is not the logical equivalent to a declaration that there should be no govt.

Stephen Skinner

MarkW September 18, 2014 at 6:08 am
“Stephen, there’s a world of difference between total govt and no govt.
Complaining about too much govt is not the logical equivalent to a declaration that there should be no govt.”
Yes, of course, but what does “Hell: A planned community.” sounds like?

Dire Wolf

It sounds like first-hand experience with a home owner’s association. That is Planning Commission tyranny at a much more personal level.

Solutions? That depends on what you think the problem

steve oregon

Oh my. Climate cult meet the anti-car central planning cult.
They are one in the same.


The Planners are dangerous people mostly educated in socialist environments … it is a question of mind over matter, I don’t mind and you don’t matter!

Ya gotta have some planning, lads.


By 2050 NO ONE. Will care how much CO2 is produced


markx, why?


Hi MarkW,
I am glad you asked. You may not have noticed, but homo saliens tends to live in groups. That means there are many interactions between individuals, and between groups. Within a civil society, decisions must be made and agreed upon. So some degree of organisation, structure and plannibg is required.
Otherwise it is dog eat dog and survival of the fittest.


If people live longer as a result of reduced pollution, won’t they in turn consume more, thus creating more polution?



David A

True that. However CO2 is not pollution, and the inane morons of the left need to learn that.

Gary Pearse

And the laid off auto workers and economic spin off won’t cost us much.

With an increasingly old population, how are you going to get them on bicycles and walking miles in the heat, rain and snow? How are you going to elderly to carry their groceries and new purchases of all kinds home? How are we going to be able to compete with societies that take advantage of mechanized travel? How are we going to care for the green plants and trees that need more CO2? Green things die when CO2 is down to 250ppm, and ideal is 2200ppm. Today we are at 400ppm we need to make more CO2 for more greenery to produce more Oxygen and to produce more food. In Canada, they direct the exhaust from their heaters directly into their Greenhouses to double plant growth with more CO2.

Bryan A

Build a vertical society where everything needed is contained in the same building. Deliveries in the freight elevator please

Wouldn’t have to be vertical. Edgar Chambless’s Roadtown was a similar idea, but stretched out horizontally.

Stephen Skinner

Are you thinking of Paolo Soleri because he also talked of solutions to how best to shape mega-cities?


Stephen, It’s been almost 40 years since I visited ArcoSanti. Are they still working on it?

Solomon Green

They tried that in several sixties Britain council estates, where high rise meant only ten or twelve floors not the twenty or more floors that modern high rise housing demands. Unfortunately elevators were often vandalised. Others just broke down. In 1972 and then again in 1974 domestic power cuts resulted in there being no elevators for at least three hours each day. Disabled, elderly (and not just elderly) were stuck in their apartments or, if they had missed the last elevator, in the lobby or in the street.
Because of Green pressure against the building of nuclear and current EU legislation forcing the closure of coal power stations the United Kingdom has been warned that within the next couple of years there could be serious electricity power cuts during the winter. The possibility of such cuts is bound to get worse as the country becomes more and more dependent on wind and solar. (In most of Britain for two months each winter the sun does shines for less than eight hours a day, even in clear weather.)

Stephen Skinner

I don’t know what has happened but it looks like it hasn’t come to much. Paolo Soleri did try to infer that his ideas weren’t dogma. I thought his approach confronted the practical problems of unlimited extension of cities in one dimension. Atlanta in particular have quantified that civic costs start to increase once a city grows beyond a certain limit.
The problems with the 60s high rise were not caused by these structures. Broken lifts or vandalism can be solved or addressed. Paolo Soleris argument was that a city of individual high rises meant that all physical communication was via one plane (ground level), thus introducing additional barriers, than with low rise. His ideas, although controversial, considered having one building per city and travel would be in 3 dimensions with no need for any vehicle other than elevators or escalators. The surface area of a city building would be significantly less than it’s current equivalent thus reducing the distance to get to open space. He also articulated the problem of unrestrained horizontal development in that all journeys require space and the ability to cross each others journeys. As a consequence the internal combustion engine is not a great solution to getting around if it can never get into 5th gear and up to a sustained 60 mph and ones journey is constantly interrupted by someone else s.. And I do not mean that the internal combustion engine is bad as I think it is a fantastic liberating tool.


Frank Lee MeiDere
September 17, 2014 at 10:01 pm
“Wouldn’t have to be vertical. Edgar Chambless’s Roadtown was a similar idea, but stretched out horizontally. ”
Fantastic idea. You could even build several of them in parallel, and others orthogonal to the first ones, and you would arrive at a compact grid. I think I’ll call that GridTown. Gridtown has the advantage of allowing an optimal usage of land and the grid of roads enables fast travel to any destination.

Steve P

how are you going to get them on bicycles and walking miles in the heat, rain and snow? How are you going to elderly to carry their groceries and new purchases of all kinds home?

In California, they’re about to ban plastic bags. That should help.


So, how are the elderly going to take care of their garbage?


People won’t be allowed to buy more than they can carry. Simples.

David Cage

So we now have to make six trips instead of the one. Simpletons.

Already happening, stack ’em & pack ’em.
Or, put in search box :
Speaking of Agenda 21 Dr. Stanley Monteith & Michael Shaw
1 hr 49 mins
Filmed 2006.

I’m surprised that this is the first mention of agenda 21 and ICLIE. Search also Rosa Koire for YouTube videos of her great presentations. Oh well I might as well attach the one I think explains the UN agenda best. It is UN international, but being implemented locally through ICLIE:

Rick Bradford

The whole point of Green initiatives is that old people don’t need to travel to buy groceries — that is rampant planet-killing consumerism. Why don’t they grow a vegetable garden on their living room carpet, or go out and gnaw trees?
Old people are overwhelmingly bigoted and reactionary anyway, so why not just help them to die quickly? /sarc

David A

Sadly some think and feel this way. Old white people are especially looked down at.


Not just Canada, UK as well, but few know that CO2 is good for plants certainly not our stupid government.

David A


Owen in GA

Once we are all herded into our 5X5 boxes so they can cram 100 million people into the area of the Bronx, who will need to go anywhere anyway? We will all be too depressed and “irrationally” angry at the unnatural state of it all that our overlords will have to put us out of our misery. – the Utopian world of Agenda 21.

Once crammed into habitation zones, the overlords will only need to shut down food/water/sewer systems. There, problem solved!


Excellent points especially the elderly, weather, bicycles, and walking, etc.
These people in Universities have no idea what the common folks need to survive or live comfortably and especially in the USA, in the suburbs and rural areas where people are working and paying taxes. Next they will take our Air Conditioners away and tell us where ti set our thermostats in the winter
Do they have any idea as to how snowbound much of the USA was last winter and In Northern NJ where I live, little of the snow and ice melted until late Spring. When I was a kid I tried riding my bike on ice and learned a lesson quickly.
My proposal is that any significant idea such as this should undergo a 5 year trial mandatory for Government employees, especially the administration, congress, and the EPA employees. If it is successful after the trial period, then we could expand the proposal. Think how this would solve the traffic problem in Washington and how many employees would leave the government because they don’t like riding bikes to work/school.

James the Elder

Already solved. They’ll simply move us. China is waiting.
Cheap and lots of open spaces————–if you like the desert.

Don Gleason

Is ISIS on board with this?
Wait, $100 trillion???

David A

LOL, yes 100 trillion. These are the same numskulls that enabled global support through international banking to leverage debt to currency collapsing levels.

I think it’s $100T over the next 20,000 years or some such.

John Andrews

Cut out the CO2 calculatons from this report and re-evaluate to see if it still makes sense, economically. CO2 is not toxic and poses no threat to human health at concentrations many thousands of times higher than current concentrations. Other emissions, maybe not the same case.


I tried this – copying the report and them removing the references to CO2 emissions. It does make sense, especially if you omit the references to BRT (usually means “Bus Rapid Transit”, though some would suggest it should be interpreted to mean “Build Rail Transit”).
Buses are heavily polluting, diesel exhaust is not good to breathe, and the UK is well behind the cue ball, contravening European air pollution standards frequently. The various nitrogen oxides and the particulates, unburnt and partially burnt soot particles are carcinogenic to some degree. Electrically powered vehicles, preferably on rail as then sections can be linked together, as in the multi-articulated trams in favour in many European cities, operate with minimal pollution in the streets (some small amount of ozone from the electric motors is probably not dangerous in the very low concentrations.
For Dan Bothell – keep your steering wheel if you with – this is about giving people a choice. Santa Baby, nothing to do with Socialism. Steve Oregon – nothing to do with any anti-car planning cult, just good orban economics.
Thanks, John Andrews for your suggestion, you are right.

Dire Wolf

How many times do we have to run around this tree? People do not want to be stacked in little cubbies for the convenience of everyone else. If they did, suburbs would be anathema by nature. They aren’t in every single culture. There is yet to exist a culture where living in dense populations is considered good. And since cultures are actually accumulated knowledge from past failures, I go with the culture.
This list of transit in the US seems pretty authoritative:
What does it show? The NY/Newark area have as much transit use as the rest of the nation combined. What is NY like? High costs for everything (especially housing) leading to cramped conditions, poverty, stress.
Are people flocking there? Only the huddled masses yearning to be free. Once they get free, they head to mid-sized cities outside of the large urban complexes.
What this tells me (and I have been trained in urban planning) is that no one willingly signs on to these boon doggles. They must be coerced. I will consider giving up my car when every single liberal politician, celebrity and activist gives up every vehicle in their possession and rides nothing but bicycles and mass transit.

Nothing needs be banned, it is simply a matter of charging accordingly…. (See Singapore’s COE and ERP systems). So, the rich, privileged, the wasteful, the status seekers can drive as much as they wish, but in the process they contribute to government coffers, which, hopefully and realistically, will be spent on improving infrastructure. You can hang onto your steering wheel if you wish.
Idiotic concepts of whacking carbon taxes on power generation should be ditched, (power generation that brings education and production efficiency and civilization) and instead the focus should be on improving goods and people transportation.


LOL, tell that to Wendell Cox !!

there is absolutely nothing wrong with having a good public transportation system together with better facilities to encourage walking and cycling where appropriate.
However very many people need their own vehicles or modern life could not be lived and there is not always a practical alternative.


Diesel particulates have a bad press due to US EPA action without any scientific backing. They banned PM2.5 based on geresay. When taken to task they tried to get humans to breath in PM2.5 particles but had to stop because it was against the law that they had imposed.
We breath in all sorts of particles, pollen, fungal spores, bateria, virus. Most of these are PM2.5 or smaller and have no effects, unless as a bacteria or virus they are infective but many many are not, and diesel particulates are non reactive carbon. They should not be a problem.
Nitrogen oxides are different and high concentrations are a problem.


Dudley, people have a choice, and they choose their own cars.
Choice implies that you are paying for it yourself. You want mass transit, feel free to pay the whole cost yourself.


markx, interesting how you assume that people drive cars because they are status seekers.
Shows that your personal biases are completely blinding you to reality.
BTW, those who ride cars are paying our own way. It’s the mass transit bums who are demanding that everyone else pay their way. No mass transit system in the world pays it’s own way, they can’t even cover operating costs, much less capital investment.

Russ in Houston

Mass transit only makes sense if the population is willing to use it. Houston Metro has a budget of $1.3B and fares account for 7% of that. That barely covers the cost of fuel. Most of the remainder is subsidized by sales tax. The problem for Metro is the buses must run regardless of how many, if any, want to ride. I often see empty buses driving on the streets. Metro has about 58.5M riders per year…that means the cost per ride is $22/rider. Is it worth it? I have my doubts.

Steve P

johnmarshall offered
September 18, 2014 at 3:54 am

Diesel particulates have a bad press

Not when you’re stuck behind one in traffic, especially on a bicycle. Dragon breath couldn’t be worse.


MarkW on September 18, 2014 at 6:15 am says: …… “markx, interesting how you assume that people drive cars because they are status seekers….”
No, you misunderstand me. Now, with the transport systems we have, many need cars, and many people such as myself care little for driving anything for status value. Small and economical to run, or old and cheap to buy usually is the go.
But, in a world where cars are expensive to buy and expensive to run, and decent public transport is available, the more likely purchasers are the very rich, or the not quite so rich. The very rich, because to them it is a trivial expense. The not so rich, either for status, and sometimes out of convenience. The poor value keeping their hard earned cash over convenience.
Obviously the improved public transport system should be in place before cars get squezed out, but I am reasonably sure most governments eill manage to get that the wrong way around.
Disclaimer. I lived for two years in Singapore and not once did I feel the need or desire to own a car. The rest of my life I have lived outside of major population centers and have always owned and felt the need to own a car or motorcycle.
But now I see relatively poor populations in densely populated areas harnessing themselves to the banks and finance companies (now THERE is the real enemy!) as soon as they can… Enslaving themselves for that illusion if freedom…. And in truth they currently have little choice .

Singapore is a city state. The US is a real country, with real distances.
Price does not live in a vacuum. What allowed man to raise themselves out of subsistence was not making things more expensive, but making them cheaper. Until you understand that basic law of economics, you will always be clueless.


Its everything about totalitarian Socialism which is being infiltrated into western society by the United Nations.
Just look up ICLEI which is the UN’s arm that infiltrates local councils and take a good read. The odds are that your local council is a member.
Take are read around your local school curriculum and you will likely find the infiltration there as well and god knows elsewhere.
You could also read my blog at

I’m still waiting for AL Gore to come down to my level of pollution.
Ban, call me when you and Al get onboard with this pollution thing.
Please, the earth is dying and you guys are holding up saving the whole planet.
Reduce your pollution to my level then I’ll let you know what we need to do next.
I’m way ahead of you and Al, I’ve already stopped my world travel to climate conventions.
Plus I refuse to take my private jet out of the hanger.
Let’s go…Your move.

John, try some basic math before posting such nonsense. “CO2 is not toxic and poses no threat to human health at concentrations many thousands of times higher than current concentrations.”
Let’s try a simple “many” multiplier of 2.5 * 1000 * 400 = ?ppm
Yep, that’s pure CO2, which does pose a threat to human health…
Though you probably meant “many thousands of ppm higher”, which is true of course. 8D

“eliminates 1,700 MT of CO2 pollution”

Umm; CO2 is plant food, and necessary to life on earth. It IS NOT a pollutant.

Jeff giles

If you say it enough times it makes it true.

Uh. Actually it is true. Plants die without enough CO2. They thrive with CO2 up in the 1,000s of ppm.


Without CO2 this planet would be a lifeless wet rock in space.


Reality is true, no matter how many times you try to claim otherwise.
CO2 is plant food and necessary to life on earth.
There is no evidence that CO2 at levels less than around 50,000ppm is harmful to life.

Gary Pearse

That’s how you types operate. Transference, ever heard of it.

John Endicott

Jeff giles says: September 17, 2014 at 9:44 pm
If you say it enough times it makes it true.
It’s true. I dare you to find one peer reviewed scientific paper that claims CO2 is not plant food and is not necessary to life on Earth. Just one will do..

Jeff giles said “If you say it enough times it makes it true.”
Jeff giles is a troll. Jeff giles is a troll. Jeff giles is a troll.
There, it’ s true!

Cost of living in NYC is high because demand to live there is high. Same as in LA where I live. I take public transportation as much as i can. It sure beats fighting traffic and looking for parking. I’d rather walk two miles than drive, and I do so on a regular basis. It has nothing to do with CO2 for me. It’s convenience.

Dire Wolf

There is another side to the cost of NY. It is set on a group of peninsulas and islands, making it difficult to get around without costly bridges/tunnels which are natural choke-points.
While there are some like you who love urban living, that is not the trend. The demand for NY living is, like every central city in the country, declining due to affluence. The population density of every central city has been continuously declining since the advent of easy transportation away from them (aka the 1950s).
Given a choice, most people choose to have more than a single wall between them and their neighbors, and usually, the more distance you can put between you and them affordably, the better.

Dire Wolf, you logic is dire. I live in NYC and the population density is ever increasing, the rents and real estate more and more astronomical. People are moving here despite the suburban choice. They move here for loads of reasons, convenience behind one of them. Everything I need, culturally, sexually and intellectually is at my fingertips as well as a bar, pizzeria and all night laundry. Other cities are declining for the simple fact that there’s no work as well as a dynamic city. Some people love cities others hate them. Some people love the unpredictability, the convenience, the diversity of cities; others like the quiet, predictable, easy pace of the burbs. Each to his own.
But one thing I am absolutely sure of, if you want to save resources, nothing makes more sense than moving to a city. In NYC, we consume over 40 percent less energy than our suburban brethren.
Either way, on a forum about getting facts right, get yours right first before commenting.

Stephen Skinner

Dire Wolf September 17, 2014 at 11:01 pm
“The population density of every central city has been continuously declining since the advent of easy transportation away from them (aka the 1950s).”
I think its more to do with the reduction in family size. My mother’s family house in London at the turn of the century had 6/7 family members plus another family renting out one room. Increasing wealth and education has helped reduce family size and therefore density.The ‘gravity’ of mega cities has not abated and I’m sure you know as well as me that now more people live in urban than rural. It is true that there is a greater turn over of city populations than before but there are other dynamics than transportation, such as schools and work. London still pulls more people in due to the variety of opportunities which is the same for just about all cities.

No doubt,and when I lived in New York I liked the 2 mile walk I was doing everyday to school so much that it became a 4 mile round trip, but later, when it was rainy or snowing It started to become a pain and so I took the subway more often. Then in the Dinkins administration, the streets and sidewalks became so crowded with bike messengers that you could hardly walk without being knocked down by them. The thing with bikes is you can’t hear them coming. That’s when and why I left the city. You see something really does happen to people when they age, those 4 mile walks that used to be fun become harder and harder to do.
People use public transportation in New York not because they like the busses and subways, but because the alternative makes no sense. It cost over $400 a month just to park a car and, if you drive it you’ll probably not find a parking place anywhere near your destination, and sit in traffic all day while you look for parking. The older people who can afford it can take cabs, if they can find one and don’t mind sitting in traffic. It takes at least 1/2 hour to get anywhere in the city.
I now live in Sarasota Florida, there was more to do in NYC, but I do more here. Most of the time what I want to do is a 5-15 minute drive sometimes 1/2 and hour drive, rarely longer than that. There were plenty of time in New York I wouldn’t go out because the trip was too long.


I don’t think we’re in any danger of running low on CO2. Too much water can also be bad — it’s called a flood.

David A

Pete, and your point is? You see, water is healthy to a point , correct? Well we have done thousands of peer reviewed studies on CO2. The benefits are clear and linear for several doublings from pre-industrial times. So no, we are not in danger of drowning from CO2.

Adam from Kansas

More bicycle commuting would not be a bad thing if it involved the new power-assist bikes making it easy to climb hills and going against the wind (not to mention just going faster).
It would pare down the obesity epidemic by quite a bit too, as the aerobics would build muscle and burn millions of pounds of fat across the nation. The public health savings from that would be huge, something which the study doesn’t really mention.
Either way, it’s probably one of the cheapest options, bike paths cost much less to build and maintain than light rail lines and are even suitable for small towns.

Steve P

Power-assist bikes? C’mon! The bicycle is one of man’s greatest inventions. Climb hills with your gut and thighs, or get into granny gear. Plan C: get off and walk. You aren’t going to be cutting down on the obesity epidemic with power-assist bikes.
In addition, it is usually the least-skilled riders on such contraptions, going too fast, and making the paths less safe for everyone.
Good ideas about the bike paths, because the big problem now is that our cities have been designed around the car, and for the most part, cars and bikes do not mix. Sorry. I’ve been riding a long time, and there are too many reckless and/or distracted drivers on the streets.
The problem with bike paths is that they become too popular, with all manner of wheeled devices competing for the driveway-wide pavement, including baby carriages, unicycles, skateboards, roller-bladers, runners, walkers and bicyclists, including the powered-jobs, and people with dogs, lots of people with dogs.

I know what you mean…God I hate people. Especially people walking or walking with dogs.


Exactly. It is a win-win all around. I look forward to the day we have free public transport, although I’ll never see it. I lives the idea of subsidized taxis, actually, although I do not know if it could work.
For those objecting to diesel buses, we have very nice gas-powered buses and taxis here in Oz, and they are cheaper to run.


“…free public transport…”
Define ‘free’. If you mean YOU don’t pay but I do, that’s not free.

I have had an electric bike for 5 years which I charge up using a small solar panel.
It is excellent in many circumstances but there are many other circumstances where it is not practicable.
I can see few downsides in encouraging their wider use by providing better facilities such as dedicated cycling routes.

Personally I think it would be a literal pain in the butt. I hate bikes because of that.
Power assist bikes are not new. They have been around the 1970s, and were called mopeds. There used to be some in cities in China and France, and even a few of the bicycle messengers I mentioned in my previous post had them, but they died out when people got cars. People like cars. Email replaced many of the bike messengers.
A few years ago I was visiting NYC and there was rare huge March snow storm. We wait two hours for Chinese food to be delivered a few blocks, it is very hard to peddle in a foot of snow.


Yeah, lets all go back to horse and carriage and the gruesome middle ages

Geoff Sherrington

Every gun shot also pollutes the air.
Take guns away from the people.
Get a university to research that in USA.
Good luck.

Bryan A

Every breath releases dangerous levels of carbon pollution so how long before CO2 scrubbers become standard facewear?

David A

“Every gun shot also pollutes the air.
Take guns away from the people.
Get a university to research that in USA.
Good luck”
Will never happen as that would only save 100 billion, not 100 trillion.


I would like to know from the experts what the knock-on impact will be on efficiencies of scale for automotive and commercial fuel production, manufacturing suppliers, raw materials suppliers, 3rd-party replacement parts, service depots, and fueling stations for long-haul truckers and those of us who are not near urban centers when this urban utopia kicks in.

Dire Wolf

I can’t wait to see the farmers bicycling the food to market.

You think too much in terms of absolutes.
In some instances IC engines will still be very necessary. (Although you are perhaps correct to fear incompetent government and narrow minded bureaucrats, as it reminds me a bit of DDT bans, and the banning of certain CFCs).

All long-haul would be done by rail, connecting the urban centers. Urban centers would also become production centers and vice-versa. Those of us who are not near urban centers would be ordered to report or face criminal charges. Urban centers which become disruptive or no longer carry their weight would have their food and water cut off. Simple solutions to difficult problems.


dbstealey says: September 18, 2014 at 11:27 am Dudley says:
“…when demand increases too much, it is necessary to look to the very expensive cost of a subway. It has been often said that if the planners in Los Angeles had realised what the demand on the Blue Line would have grown to, they would have gone for a subway in the first place.”
And DBStealey chimed in with:
“You argue eloquently against the California so-called “bullet train”.
In fact I did not mention the ‘bullet train’. I don’t think anyone else has done so either. The entire tenor of my post was in regard to Urban Transport.
I am still amazed at the horrendous number of people who believe that those who wish to improve public transit are trying to force them out of their beloved cars. Where do they get these ideas from? I am not certain that any transit advocate in the USA, or elsewhere, has put forward any ideas of ‘forcing people out of cars’ Rather what they are trying to do is to provide a choice for people who wish to chose their means of transport. To give them an option different from “You will travel by car or you will not travel!” Call them libertarians or call them conservatives, choice is the American way of life, and to say YOU MUST GO BY CAR OR ELSE! is not the right way. Get a life!

Dire Wolf

Actually, the more offensive message from the transit-heroes is “Subsidize our lifestyle choice forever.” No mass transit pays for itself. All of them demand subsidies. Here in DFW the Dart moves nice middle to upper middle class people in near empty train cars subsidized by everyone else. I am all for mass transit that pays for itself. If it doesn’t please don’t ask me to pay for your lifestyle.

Relax, I wasn’t attacking you. I was attacking the ‘bullet train’. That’s on-topic, no? I meant that your arguments were useful regarding the bullet train fiasco.
*Sheesh*, you sound like a transit consultant I know! Sorry if I stepped on your toes. Didn’t mean to.

Crispin in Waterloo but really in Auroville (really!)

“…if governments require the strongest vehicle pollution controls and ultralow-sulfur fuels”
Ultra-low sulfur fuels are made from coal.
One of the most pernicious forms of environmental pollution is the deluge of unscientific BS that is poured into the media stream by CAGW fanatics, each bent on their own version of half-baked Eden. I am in Auroville, Tamil Naidu, where people with practical feet have walked the walk and turned a cattle-eroded desert wasteland into a thriving, forested, bird infested (they make so much noise in the morning) productive and verdant landscape. Boots on the ground, not boots in the street, if you want to make the world a better place.

Bryan A

The only true way to eliminate cars for 95% of commuting is to reengineer cities so that they are truely vertical. Then the commute to work would be down the elevator. No more driving required.

Dire Wolf

Yea, I can’t wait to see those bicycle cranes you will use to put up those skyscrapers

Steve P

We’re talking about transportation, not construction. No one sensible is suggesting that the bicycle is anything other than what it is: a very economical way to get around that also contributes to good health and attractive physique.


With the US GDP at $16.80 trillion USD (2013) and world GDP at $71.83 trillion, we are talking about 17 months of world GDP to get that $100 trillion figure


“1,700 megatons of annual carbon dioxide (CO2)”
We need more CO2 not less! CO2 is PLANT FOOD and GREENING THE PLANETt. With two ocean cycles going to their cool phases, the Sun going into a Grand Minimum, and volcanic ash threatening to block out what little energy the Sun has to give, we have immediate and long term cooling for 30 to 130 years.
CO2 has been much higher for the vast majority of the last 600 million years and it is a lie that higher concentrations are harmful to any life of any kind.
Higher CO2 makes plants grow faster and use water and nutrients more efficiently. CO2 does none of the bad things they claim. No trace gas of any kind at any concentration in the atmosphere can warm the climate. In reality, CO2 and water vapor serve to cool the planet at night, helping to convert heat energy to IR radiation and sending it upward to space. That is why the evening air cools so rapidly when the Sun goes down.
No ocean acidification has been detected at all—any such claims are lies—as seawater is a complex buffer system that easily resists such a weak acid as carbonic acid. The coral reefs are thriving, despite the lies about their bleaching, which is only normal when they are switching their symbiotic algae with water temperature changes both up an down. Come back a few months after they bleach and they are colorful again.
And, natural gas and oil are renewable resources, now that we know that they come from the Earth’s core and are available anywhere that we drill deep enough. Russian scientists have been trying to tell us for years that gas and oil are abiotic and everywhere. This is a fantastic resource and can allow mankind to thrive, develop, live longer, and have the time, wealth, and resources to fix past environmental mistakes and not make new ones. The development of all the world’s countries are the cure to environmental problems. It is in the undeveloped countries that environmental problems thrive. Instead the radical environmentalists and the UN would like to lower our standard of living to that of North Korea, their poster child for “sustainable poverty, suffering and death” at the hands of evil and cruel masters.
The scam of insisting on decreasing CO2 emissions is simply part of the UN’s global scam to implement their Agenda 21, take over and cripple the world’s economies, and impose a One World Government that would have to be totalitarian and socialist. They want to enslave the world and retire the human race to an agrarian society, scratching a lousy existence by hand from the soil, with no machines, no livestock, and no guns. They want to force the world to be vegetarian when we are clearly 95% carnivore. Forcing us to be vegetarian ensures that mankind will suffer long term malnutrition, decrease 95% in population, and not be able to rebel against the masters. Remember, the UN plans to be the slave masters, with all powers over everyone. We will have a powerful elite lording over the slaves. How could that be good for anybody but those stinking rulers?


I was reading an article in Men’s Health Magazine while I waited in my doctor’s office. The article had to do with the cause of growing obesity worldwide in both humans and, it claimed, various species of animals. The writer speculated that CO2 was the cause. I didn’t get to finish the article as the nurse called my name. I could only shake my head and laugh. Is there nothing that CO2 can’t do? Lol.


Interesting. UC Davis has 4 times the “staff” as it has faculty?


The Leftist-Progressives-Fascist ruling class-wannabees are okay with this. Give the masses their mass transportation to their Yobs. And let the ruling elite class and Elon Musk and Tom Steyer billionaires have limos, private jets, and ski chalets in Aspen, Banff, and Zermatt.
Ultimately mineral resources are finite. Save the petrol for the private jets. Buses and trains can run electric.

Michael Wassil

They talk ‘gigatons’ because big words sound so impressive. They’d be laughed off stage if they admitted that CO2 represents 0.04% (400ppm) of atmospheric gases and the human contribution to that, from all causes, is 3-4% (12-16ppm). They obsess about a miniscule portion of a miniscule component of the atmosphere, without which all life on earth would cease. And which quite obviously has no effect on temperatures. I really think they need professional help.

Crispin in Waterloo but really in Auroville

Michael your point about the contribution is well taken: 15 ppm, let’s say. So to raise it to 1000 would be more than 60 times our present industrial age total. But we are supposed to be at peak oil already!
OK…ok we are not at peak oil, but 60 times more than we burned so far? Isn’t that the oil and coal of 20 or 30 earths?
Unless there are a heck of a lot of unsuspected resources lurking down there, we are not going to see 1000 ppm in a thousand years.

Not politically or perhaps environmentally or economically practical, but I can significantly decrease the fuel consumption of my 2010 Hyundai Sante Fe Limited V6 by 10 to 30% depending on wind and road conditions simply by avoiding ethanol blended fuels. That may be just for that vehicle, but I have been testing it off and on for about two years, winter and summer and the results are clear. I can pay 10 to 15 cents a litre more for fuel without ethanol and justify it soley on the lower overall cost of fuel. (with fuel price in Alberta at about 1.16 per litre for regular and 1.27 per litre for premium depending on the station. Here is a photo of a gas pump and ethanol contents:comment image?dl=0
This is the fuel consumption on premium fuel with no ethanol:comment image?dl=0
And this is the fuel consumption on regular fuel with up to 10% ethanol:comment image?dl=0
Now, these photos are an unfair test of only 135 km but I have done it on the same route from Red Deer, Alberta to Grand Forks, BC, several times and generally I get 15 to 20% better economy on premium fuel. Since premium fuel often costs only about 10% more (and sometimes less), for this particular automobile and in the test conditions it has been subject to, it is cost effective and I assume less polluting to avoid ethanol “enhanced” fuels.
On a recent 2000 km trip I used regular fuel going and premium fuel on the return and I travelled over a 7000 foot pass than I missed on the out trip. Going out was 10.5 litres per 100km, returning was 8.7 litres per hundred km or a 20% fuel saving: comment image?dl=0
Law of unintended consequence at work again. I also note that one refiner provides much more fuel efficient fuel than some others but that is up to people to figure out as many things enter into your choice of suppliers.


That’s probably why here in Australia, the fuel vendors charge up 20c/Litre more for premium grade over regular grade … and premium grade is recommended for most new cars nowadays so it can’t be a volume issue.


[Ethanol] fuels with their lower energy density and corrosion problems are an abomination. More so if they are made from corn.

You’ve done a nice job confirming what I learned in basic chemistry. Ethanol has about 17% fewer BTU’s(or whatever unit on energy you like) than pure petroleum chemicals. The main reason it is in fuels is the highly effective lobbies of the giant grain companies(ADM, Cargill, etc) who joined up with the greenies to turn food into fuel at great expense and no benefit to the air and at great cost to the economy. The big companies get big subsidies to keep the alcohol cheaper, and this year the EPA had to lower their planned EtOH requirement because it was simply unavailable. The subsidies are tapering off and no one thinks a new ethanol plant will be viable without them.
There is a useful, antipollutant reason for ethanol. It reduces NOx emissions, which are true smog-producing pollutants. Other chemicals can be used but alcohol has the advantage of being relatively non-toxic(although it ruins vehicles that were not designed to use it).

Crispin in Waterloo but really in Auroville

Logical: I think the energy loss is a bit more stark than 17%.
It is more like 33% less than gasoline:
E85 fuel gives 15-25% less fuel mileage than gasoline.

We could solve the whole CAGW problem by requiring any ‘climate scientist’ to also have an advanced degree is statistics.

Dire Wolf

Actually, having an advanced degree in getting by like most blue collar and 2nd/3rd world people must often cures grandiosity. Let them live off the grid for a while.
Heck, let’s make it a reality program. We can call it “Rainbow Six x 4”. Voice-over “Deep in the heart of an unforgiving jungle, 2 dozen climate scientists will have to live with no power, no power tools, no industrial products, just their genius intelligence and the courage of their convictions.” I’d pay to watch that.

Cold in Wisconsin

That would be precious! How would they travel to their deserted island? Kayaking I hope. Then we could see how smart they really are, just themselves against the elements. Gilligan’s Island with a full cast of Professors.


Love it!


That still wouldn’t stop the lying. Some would get even cagier at it. Better to introduce statistical analysis and logic training in high school for all. Most tricks undertaken by the climate scientists are pretty basic and can be found in “How to Lie with Statistics” by Darrell Huff and ” Use and Abuse of Statistics” by W. J. Reichman. Both books are little gems and with some updating would be ideal study texts.

Mark T

Mann had to drop out of his physics program… he’d never get through a statistics program.


It really is too bad central planners are congenitally incapable of learning from history.
Some of us learn, but the planners don’t listen, either. The Plan is all-important, and what you want is less than an inconvenience to the Planners.


Like most socialists, their excuse is always that not enough resources were put into the planning. With more money they would have succeeded.

They have learned. This is intentional. They have no intention of subjecting themselves or their families to “The Plan”.

They’re such idiots. That’s $100 trillion out of the global economy. People build cars, service cars, repair cars, etc… It’s a huge part of the world economy.


You are not thinking out of the box. That part of the economy could be replaced with something more useful. For instance, the Egyptians chose to build pyramids.
We could do that too.
It may be an uphill push getting people believing in god-kings again, but if they were paid a decent wage, they’d likely fake that bit.

The Egyptians used slaves to build the Pyramids- is that what you are advocating?

That was a bit tongue in cheek from me, but you do bring up another point.
They very likely were not slaves, although that may depend upon your definition of slavery. Most people go into construction work because they need the money, as I did when I was young. While perhaps some saw themselves as “wage slaves” I really enjoyed the hard physical work, and it seemed to me, so did most people on the sites.

Hawass said the builders came from poor Egyptian families from the north and the south, and were respected for their work — so much so that those who died during construction were bestowed the honor of being buried in the tombs near the sacred pyramids of their pharaohs.
Their proximity to the pyramids and the manner of burial in preparation for the afterlife backs this theory, Hawass said.
“No way would they have been buried so honorably if they were slaves,” he said.
The tombs contained no gold or valuables, which safeguarded them from tomb-raiders throughout antiquity. The skeletons were found buried in a fetal position — the head pointing to the West and the feet to the East according to ancient Egyptian beliefs, surrounded by the jars once filled with supplies for afterlife.
The men who built the last remaining wonder of the ancient world ate meat regularly and worked in three months shifts, said Hawass. It took 10,000 workers more than 30 years to build a single pyramid, Hawass said — a tenth of the work force of 100,000 that Herodotus wrote of after visiting Egypt around 450 B.C.
Hawass said evidence from the site indicates that the approximately 10,000 laborers working on the pyramids ate 21 cattle and 23 sheep sent to them daily from farms.
Though they were not slaves, the pyramid builders led a life of hard labor, said Adel Okasha, supervisor of the excavation. Their skeletons have signs of arthritis, and their lower vertebrae point to a life passed in difficulty, he said.

I’d just like to see the emerging Chinese and Indian middle classes give up their new-found status symbols !
As usual, the west seems hell-bent on self-destruction and implosion whilst the remainder of the world carry on regardless. Rethink Kyoto anyone?

Two Labs

This came out of UC Davis? How embarassing!


This is most definitely NOT about “giving people a choice”.
Where I live, Calgary, has always been a boom-bust city. Currently we’re riding an extended boom, with a population surge to 1.2 million. Our roads were designed for a city half that size. Commuting is a disaster, my previous morning commute was a grueling hour of idling 6 minutes away. All of this because our last few mayors are completely on-board with the ridiculous UN mandates to reduce personal transportation.
Insufficient roads, coupled with over 100 clearly identified AND clearly INTENTIONAL choke points to slow traffic down. That’s the future of mandated public transportation.
Oh, and the public transportation? None. Our LRT (train) has no line coming to my 1/3rd of the city. The cost of building it is ridiculous, and only climbing. It’s already 30 years old and in desperate need of major repairs and renovation, and it’s a major focus of crime.
The goal of the push toward public transportation is NOT to make it possible for people to pursue the lifestyle we have now. Not everyone lives the way downtown dwellers live, and most of us don’t want to. But one by one the major cities are closing to vehicle traffic, either by eliminating parking or outright banning. This is not a positive thing. I despise having to go downtown for anything, and everything government is down there, like the courts (I was in court over 20 times the last 3 years, and every trip there is a nightmare of parking, traffic, hassles, and even the times I took the train were just as bad.)

I think one of the problems of recent decades is the centralisation of many previously available local facilities such as bakers, greengrocers, newsagents etc etc into huge shopping malls only accessible by car. it means that walking or cycling to pick up your everyday stuff becomes very difficult for many people and so they need a vehicle.
There are of course many shops that exist better in a mall with easy larking such as those selling carpets and white goods and other heavy objects where you need ready access.
We are fortunate that our village still has all the necessities of everyday life which we can walk to.


It depends on the city and where in the city you live. I live within walking distance of 3 malls—4 if I’m in the mood for a 30-minute walk one way. When I shop for groceries, I usually bring a stroller bag, which is handy for dragging home 10+ kg of stuff. That said, however, using a car is quite convenient when transporting bulky/heavy items, traveling long distances, traveling in inclement weather, and transporting elderly people.

Ian L. McQueen

Is this why bicycle lanes have become such an urgent matter?
Ian M

Nope, I disagree with all comments so far, I reckon they are onto something here!
Goverment SHOULD invest heavily in long-lasting transportation infrastructure.
Cars, trucks, gigantic freeway structures, massive amounts of real estate devoted to parking… etc, are hugely inefficient and wasteful ways to move people and things.
The future should bring heavy rail, HSR, rapid light rail, automated driverless taxis, and within the cities moving walkways, electric bikes, scooters, (and electric wheelchairs etc for the infirm and old!). And a few more bicycles and space to use them would do a lot of us some good.
It is damn silly us all sitting there alone in our several tonnes of steel and alloy and plastic and rubber, in a traffic jam on a few million tonnes of concrete freeway, listening to the radio and burning petrol and not going anywhere. I am not so worried about CO2, but it is a ridiculous waste of energy and resources, and a lousy economic system to boot.
Those who have not traveled would not believe the speed of growth of car and motorcycle growth in the developing countries …. and the resulting traffic jams on the lagging road system.
Rural areas? Still will need cars and trucks into the foreseeable future. But that can be solved by a certification/licensing entitlement system, and road access charges. If you want to drive into the city, you get to pay for the privilege. No bans needed, just charges and structures.
Don’t worry, under the right system those who like cars will still be able to collect them, but they will have to decide if that is the best way they want to spend their money!

Don’t underestimate the technology. If you could just stand on the footpath, press an Uber type app button on your smartphone, and a self driving taxi swerved over to pick you up and take you to the nearest train stop, owning, fueling and parking a car would start to look a lot less attractive. If the train stations were within walking distance, you’d happily do it if it was cheaper more convenient and quicker than dealing with a car trip. (Experience: Singapore, where car taxes double the price of a car, plus the COE (cert) to own one doubles that again, then automatic road pricing kicks in …. the MRT, Bus and taxi services are great and become much more attractive).
An aside: Note after decades of trying to promote ride sharing with special lanes etc, note how governments respond to Uber? By banning it in support of the taxi owners.
Try Beijing, Shanghai and Bangkok, where you can only use your car on odd or even numbered dates depending on whether the last digit of the number plate is odd or even … it is not quite so convenient any more then.

Dire Wolf

markx, I will believe the technology future you envision when I get the flying car they promised me when I was a kid.
The attack on Uber shows that this is not about getting people to share rides, but about control.
Speaking of ride-share, I have yet to see any research that HOV (High Occupancy Vehicle) lanes cause any significant increase in ride sharing. I have, on the other hand, seen studies that show that HOV lanes make the rest of traffic worse (along with metering and other innovations).

Unless there is a major revolution in physics, flying cars ain’t ever going to happen, and never would. Expending energy to fly in a low density medium such as our atmosphere was never going to out-compete something as simple as a wheel with bearings.
I agree with your opinions on Uber and the failure of ride sharing. (Although they found ride sharing worked marvelously in Jakarta; enterprising young kids would wait on the side off the road and fill up a passenger seat for about 10 cents, so the cars always had sufficient people on board!)

Dire Wolf

It is very nice of you to decide what is best for the rest of us. Next we can systematize the rest of the economy. For example, once I sat and the crest of Snoqualmie Pass, in WA and watched the interstate traffic. I saw two trucks headed opposite directions carrying what seemed to be essentially the same load of lumber. I’m sure a good Soviet 5 year plan could have eliminated it. Unfortunately liberty and capitalism are the worst possible systems, excepting all the others.

Hi Dire,
No, it is an opinion. I am not deciding anything for you. You can do it however you want.
Interesting that you think (I assume) that the best implementation of liberty and capitalism necessitates elimination of all forms of government, planning and central control.

Dire Wolf

markx, there is nothing so bad that government planners can’t make it worse. I am a libertarian who sees the value of limited government. Government needs to set boundaries for society so that when I seek my good I do not harm you and vice versa. Government needs to plan in such a way as to allow the greater wisdom and achievement of people voluntarily acting together to create a better world, one not pre-determined by a small group of elite. As Hayek noted, no small group of people can plan as well as the whole mass working independently.

You misspelled your name, there’s a K there that shouldn’t be …

Hi Tom,
I have great faith in capitalism, but none in the manipulators who are making sure every single thing favors big business so some can live like kings. (Yeah, carbon trading and taxes fits that bill too0.
It is (in my humble opinion) one of the great faults of the great US of A that everything is immediately visualized through the simple prism of left/right politics, and that there is a huge indoctrinated underpayed underclass who are, strangely enough, rabidly right wing and actually believe they are getting a great deal because they have read about a guy who actually made it from the bottom and dragged himself up by his bootlaces to be a success. The basic binary belief system now contaminates and muddies most western countries.
I suspect this all stems from the anti-communist movements of the 50s and those feelings linger. But undoubtedly most of the more recent indoctrination comes from our current crop of uber-capitalists and multinationals and the politicians extracting political donations. That lot are very rapidly ending up buying up the world, and after a few more mergers, we will likely all end up working for the one company.
It is NOT a simple left/right divide. The wonderful (and I mean that genuinely) capitalist system we have seen to date depends on a myriad of rules, regulations and government controls. From the basics of private property ownership, legal systems, banking laws, currency regulations, banking systems, financial controls,labor regulations and laws; we can see that everything only operates because of this.
Something as simple as controlling, regulating car usage can easily be controlled from within a nicely capitalist system.
It is a funny and revealing thing that cars are marketed in the booming car market of China, not with advertisements of how convenient owning a car is, or how much efficiency it will add to one’s day.
Nope, all the advertising is about “freedom!” and “success!” and “Now you have made it!”.
All quite a con job, really.

What I really dislike is our ‘rulers’ trying to tell us how we must live and behave, how and where we travel etc.

“Telling us where and how to live…”
Tom, they don’t and won’t need to tell us that. That is already dictated to us by the economics. If my desire was to live in the middle of New York, or Singapore, but also to live in a two story house with a large garden and swimming pool, I’d find I could not, because it was too expensive. So I would choose to live somewhere else, or to live in a smaller apartment in the city site of my choice.
Likewise, I currently may wish to drive a Mercedes, but if I also want a 4 door car with a powerful engine, I’d better buy something cheaper.
And if the system was set up so that driving a car into a densely packed city was expensive, I may happily choose to take the MRT.


markx, interesting how you just assume that the only reason why the world isn’t shaping up the way you believe it should is because powerful interests are conspiring against you.
The tag Marxist fits you just fine, even if you don’t want to admit it yet.

Funny how you see that, I never knew that a belief in small government, private enterprise and free speech is marxist. Isn’t that what conservative Tea Party folk believe in? I prefer CHOICE in spending my hard-earned money, if I prefer to ‘waste resources’, that’s my business.


Mark W
Powerful interests don’t need to conspire agaist me. In fact, they barely need to conspire at all, as the connections and the current system makes itveasy for them.
You don’t see it now, but your libiterian world will lead to fewer larger multinational companies running more, and setting pricing as they wish. More mergers and acquisitions and fewer inordinately rich running everything.
You will be dictated to by a very small elite. But you will have absolutely no electoral say over them, as they will be part of shadowy, self selecting and self sustaining boards.


I’ll have my car, by choice, because I live in the sticks. All the farmers round our way will too. We’ll pay more because we’ll lose economy of scale, but the majority in towns will save because of economies of scale. I’m OK with that.


Notice how that statist declares that the govt should just over ride the wishes of the polloi. Heck with what you want, mass transit is, in his opinion, better for you, so govt should force it on you.
Another constant, the statist feel that personal freedom and having the ability to control your own life has no value.

Those who have not traveled would not believe the speed of growth of car and motorcycle growth in the developing countries …. and the resulting traffic jams on the lagging road system.
Don’t tell me about it…make those developing countries get with the program.
More buses, HSR, LR, subways and lots and lots more bicycles.
These 3rd world people are such a pain.

Says you.

Can you find the hidden message?

Further, an estimated 1.4 million early deaths could be avoided annually by 2050…
Air pollution is a leading cause of early death, responsible for more than 3.2 million early deaths annually.
The Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP) is a global nonprofit that helps cities design and implement high-quality transit systems to make communities more livable, competitive and sustainable. ITDP works with cities worldwide to bring about transport solutions that cut greenhouse gas emissions, reduce poverty, and improve the quality of urban life.
UC Davis is a global community of individuals united to better humanity and our natural world while seeking solutions to some of our most pressing challenges.
International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) is a non-profit research organization dedicated to improving the environmental performance and efficiency of transportation to protect public health, the environment, and quality of life.

Do you know what words are not in the press release? Fitness and Exercise.
You all know what is one of the most pressing challenges, that must be tackled to increase quality of (urban) life and reduce poverty? Too many old people. Social Security and Medicare shall bankrupt the US if they don’t figure out how to get rid of so much non-productive dead weight sucking up tax revenue that needs to be urgently spent on social programs elsewhere. Many other developed countries have the same problem.
Have they mentioned how switching to walking and cycling will provide exercise, leading to higher levels of fitness and increased life expectancy? No, because that is not a desired result. They got to get rid of excess oldies to make things better for the rest.
Will they complain about air pollution that might be making the younger serfs less productive and thus generating less taxable revenues, by the productivity and revenues of their employers or perhaps themselves? Yes, because it is convenient.
They are demanding “ultralow-sulfur fuels” which is almost specifically diesel. Many places already demand low sulfur diesel, dyed green for easy identification. #2 home heating fuel and diesel differ on additives, heating fuel dyed red.
How much longer until they attack that other source of atmospheric sulfur, #2 home heating fuel? Which is wastefully burned with antiquated technology lacking the efficient emissions controls found on vehicles. Think of the many millions of projected lives that will be saved by demanding more-expensive “ultralow-sulfur fuels” with much-more-expensive emissions-controlled furnaces.
You know what other fuel is used for home heating that contains sulfur? Coal. Since that is inherent to the fuel, you’ll either need tested and certified “ultralow-sulfur” coal, and keep the documents proving such from every load, or perhaps they can sell home-sized emissions scrubbers, to be maintained by outside certified technicians.
Old people freezing because they can’t afford fuel, mandated new furnaces, or even the mandated visits from the certified heating systems inspectors who verify the emissions are within compliance? Reduced societal burden, therefore a desirable outcome.
With the moves to reduce power plant emissions thus driving up the cost of electricity for heating and cooling, like with the UK National Health Service where life improving and saving operations are granted based on equations using estimated remaining productive years (coming to Medicare officially soon), and several other nudges like allowing the flooding of the country with illegal immigrants who spread contagious diseases among the poor and elderly, it’s all shaping up to be quite an effective start for their society-improving progressive pogrom.

This is why I agree with the premise of the article: If there is, or is going to be a problem of pollution, of too rapid consumption of resources, of lack of space, then don’t crack down on power stations and home heating and make those basic necessities of life more expensive … crack down on the most inefficient system around: grid locked cars and gigantic concrete freeways.
In a few thousand years they will gaze upon the relics of our work in bafflement and say, “Did they really erect all that concrete to move individual people in large motorized vehicles?”

David A

We do not have a space problem, (the world can well support a few billion more) we do not have a resources problem… we do not have an energy problem. CO2 is not a pollution problem. Indeed, it is an immense water resource and land saver.
If you, and other people like you wish to invest in a transportation system that is better in some areas, please do so. If highways are regularly grid locked, you may be a success as customer come in droves.

“In a few thousand years they will gaze upon the relics of our work in bafflement and say, “Did they really erect all that concrete to move individual people in large motorized vehicles?”
I doubt it.
They’ll say, “Damn, those guys were lucky. I wish I had my own car, my own house, my own life.”


You may well be correct about that David, and I truly think the urgency of all those situations is hugely overstated. But cities based around a car centric system are surely horrifically wasteful and often unpleasant structres (especially in relativel unplanned developing nations) .
I believe there has to be a better way.

“In a few thousand years they will gaze upon the relics of our work in bafflement and say, “Did they really erect all that concrete to move individual people in large motorized vehicles?””
Then their central planning manager will beat them for talking and “encourage” them to continue working.


OK, the million-Hyundai theory …
Here in southern Australia, the state of Victoria spends a round billion dollars a year on public transport: Bus, Train, Tram.
With depots, offices and railway right-of-way they sit on literally billions of dollars of real estate (Australian real estate is expensive stuff, not like that cheap state-side stuff).
Less than 10% of commutes are made by public transport. Also, the local real estate values are directly proportional to the level of public transport. Translation: wealthy people in wealthy suburbs get all the public transport. Poor people in poor suburbs get none.
The million-Hyundai theory is:
(a) immediately scrap all public transport. Use that billion dollars a year towards the following.
(b) auction off all the real estate at fire sale prices – except for a couple of railway lines to convert to freeways.
Use four billion of the sale proceeds for the following. Any left over can go towards the new freeways.
(c) Ring Mr. Hyundai and make him an offer: “I will give you 5 billion dollars down payment, and 1 billion a year for ten years. All you have to do is to deliver a million Hyundai’s over the ten years. How you do it is your problem.”
(d) Anyone who wants to go somewhere, take a free Hyundai. Give it back when you’re done.
(e) Granny can’t drive? A new condition of receiving welfare benefits is that you offer to drive 5 grannies a week to do their shopping (or to the male stripper show, whatever).
(f) Traffic will be clogged? Not so much. Remember, less than 10 percent of commuter trips here are via public transport. Besides, we get a couple new freeways out of the railway tracks.
At the end of the day the whole thing is cost neutral. And Mr Hyundai is very happy.
OK, in reality the million-Hyundai theory is silly.
But try a couple of variants:
“The million-Uber-ride theory”
“The million-Google-car theory”.
The bottom line is that we are pissing billions up against the wall on nineteenth century socialist transportation systems, while the 21st century marches on and leaves us all behind.


Heh – one thing about dictators, is they can make the trains run on time. Back in the 30s, that actually had a meaning that was universally understood. Today people just don’t get it.
You’re right – trains and buses ARE 19th century socialist transportation systems. And some of the commentors here don’t understand that I WANT my car, no matter what. I want the choice of make and model. I enjoy having a car that can smoke a set of tires into oblivion at will. I like a car that isn’t just a utilitarian transportation, but is actually fun, loaded with leather, airbags, gadgets, gizmos, GPS, ABS, ESP, etc.
By the way, like many cities we have the Smart cars hanging around all over town that you can just “borrow”, pay a minimal price, and drive yourself. They’re losing money, rapidly. They’re only useful for a small percentage of people, just like ALL transportation systems.

Owen in GA

Me too,
But when I visit a city with a subway system and that subway has stops in walking distance of where I want to go, I will park at one of the outlying stations with large parking facilities and use the subway train. It saves me having to park.
In Atlanta, I am usually visiting the downtown area, so I park at the station outside the I-285 ring and ride in to go to the attractions in downtown. If I am going anywhere else in Atlanta though, I have to drive because they don’t have very good coverage of the whole city, and I refuse to use the bus systems.
In DC, when I visit I use the stations on the Metro outside the I-495 ring and do my business in the city. I even try to get hotels that are near enough to those stations to make an easy drive (but far enough out to avoid some of the crime problems – there’s that downside of density)
So I am not against rail systems where they make sense, but I want my car for those areas where it doesn’t make economic sense to invest trillions of dollars in lightly used infrastructure.

Now there’s a socialist’s dream.
Forget freedom…make ’em do what you say.
Slaves may need occasional whipping, though.
Nothing could go wrong relying on a stranger to drive Granny to the bank or your 12 year old daughter to soccer practice.
Which commie should we put in charge of this plan?

Obama will be in charge. Thank you.

Any article that says CO2 is a pollutant is not worth reading.


Public transport – a great concept! Unfortunately, it is controlled by the same numbingly incompetent twits that are trying to tell us that the sun doesn’t make the earth warm.
Somehow I can’t imagine this ever coming to fruition. Plus, it is not like I enjoy my drive to work – I would gladly jump on cheaper, faster, safer, reliable, flexible public transport – could someone point out where this exists? Assuming, of course, that I am allowed to travel to more places than just work, the tax office, and my shoebox appartment?


Public transport is not a great concept. It forces people to waste one of the most important thing of their lives: TIME


You should read the rest of my post.


You have probably never been gridlocked for two hours in central Bangkok. Since the overhead rail system opened, most smart peiple prefer tobuse that to get around in peak hour…. Or many other times of the day.

“…the sun doesn’t make the earth warm.”
Not enough energy to warm the earth but plenty to hook us all up on solar panels.
They confuse me so much.


In other news switching from houses to mud huts will save the U.S. 300 bazillion dollars. Loin cloths are expected to save another gazillion.
Why doesn’t lefty set the example and leave everyone else the hell alone?


well, it seems what cars are left will not be running on alternative fuels!
***amusing quote from a UC-Davis fellow:
17 Sept: Bloomberg: Joe Carroll: Chevron’s Search for Alternative Fuels
Stumps Best Minds
Chevron Corp’s attempts to turn plants into alternative fuels for
profitable, large-scale production have failed.
The second-largest U.S. oil company by market value spent “significant sums”
and assigned some of its best scientists to evaluate more than 100 kinds of
feedstock and 50 techniques for converting them into fuels without success,
Chevron Chairman and Chief Executive Officer John Watson said during an
address to the Economic Club of Minnesota in Minneapolis today…
Major crude producers from Chevron to BP Plc have been scaling back
investment in renewables to focus on higher-profit ventures such as
deep-water oil wells.
Chevron’s setbacks echo those of Exxon Mobil Corp., which last year said its
$600 million foray into algae-based fuel may not succeed for another 25
years. BP put $3.1 billion of wind assets for sale last year after
withdrawing from solar in 2011…
***Watson, a University of California at Davis-trained agricultural economist,
also said the U.S. government should reconsider the mandate requiring
domestic refiners to add corn-based ethanol to gasoline.
“Is it really good energy or land-use policy to have 40 percent of our corn
crop effectively mandated for fuel use?” Watson asked …

John F. Hultquist

On February 28, 2001 an earthquake damaged Seattle’s Alaskan Way Viaduct. The planned replacement is a tunnel. Note the word planned. It took until January, 2009 to arrive at the decision. The tunnel boring finally got started in early summer of 2013 and stopped in early December when the cutting blades encountered a steel pipe. It has not restarted. I do not see rapid and radical restructuring of urban areas between now and 2050.
I live 15 miles from the nearest grocery store, gas station, school, and so on. Rural or semi-rural living is common in many places. This is where crops are grown, timber for wood products are obtained, and rock/gravel/sand dug from the ground. Many poor and retired people live in the country because of inexpensive land and housing. Advancing age induces many to move into an urban setting – reluctantly. The house remains to be filled by another family seeking a low cost situation and rural setting. I do not see rapid and radical restructuring of rural areas between now and 2050.
Give me $5 Million of that $100 Trillion and I could find a place in a city and walk to a grocery store. In a few years I’ll need a powered scooter or similar mode of transportation. Make that $ 6 Million.

Dr. Strangelove

“The International Council on Clean Transportation evaluated the impacts of urban travel by cars, motorcycles, trucks and buses on the number of early deaths from exposure to soot emitted directly from vehicle tailpipes.”
Soot is unburned carbon. If your car emits more soot, the engine is malfunctioning. Fix your engine. If your house roof is leaking, will you move to a cave? Cycling is a good exercise but it cannot replace cars. Bicycle deaths is 2% of all traffic deaths but only 1% of all trips.
Percent death to percent trip ratio:
Bicycle = 2/1 = 2
All other modes of urban travel = 98/99 < 1
It seems cycling is not very safe mode of transport.

Steve P

I Can’t disagree with your closing comment. For a bicyclist, danger is everywhere.
A big factor in bicycle safety is choice of route. The savvy (sub)urban rider learns to avoid pinch points, and heavily traveled streets, The danger is not only being run down from behind, but also something/anything impeding progress of the bicycle’s front wheel.
The more congested an area, the more likely something will pull, bolt, open, jump, slide, or run in front of you. Such obstructions as a small dog, a water bottle, a brick, even a rock can block the front wheel, and throw the rider over the handlebars. And some people just don’t know how to get out of the way. They may see you coming, and yet step directly in your path.
I’m not suggesting that the bike can replace the car, or that people should give up their cars. But I am suggesting that some driving is frivolous and unnecessary.
After all, what would all those people on the 210 on Sunday afternoons do if they couldn’t get to wherever it is the 210 takes them on a Sunday afternoon? In California, many people not only have a fairly lengthy commute every day, but they also on weekends hop in their cars and drive to Santa Barbara, Yosemite, Oceano, Venice Beach…lots of things to do and places to go in California, and even if you have no real destination, why, you can just get on the freeway and drive, man, drive.
Driving is like flying. It was only good when not so many people were doing it.
Meanwhile, I do my frivolous traveling on my bicycle.

Dire Wolf

It’s really amazing how you can decide that any of the people on the 210 are driving “frivolously”. Should we have a “frivolous” commission deciding which trips are really needed? As the song says, “You do your thing, I’ll do mine.”

The rudest, riskiest drivers I have ever seem on the road were people on bicycles. I used to commute in DC. They are absolutely awful, dangerous, rude, etc. I’m not saying *YOU* are any of those things, just based on my personal experience.


I don’t want to live in a city full of stinking, noisy, dangerous cars. I live in the centre of a large densely built European city where cars are effectively kept out (narrow streets, insufficient parking space, high parking rates) and where public transportation is good, and walking and cycling a joy, and relatively safe. It is a great place to live even for the very old and very young, with all the attractions and possibilities that only big cities can offer. Forget about the CO2, this is all about quality of life. I think that making cities attractive for living, rather than just for working, shopping and entertainment, is a great idea. And as an added benefit, it makes them more attractive for visitors as places where you like to BE, even for a couple of hours, rather than as places you have to traverse to get to something you want to need.

[thumbs up!]

Keith Willshaw

Trouble is I hate cities, having been brought up in a northern industrial town and living in London for 15 years moving to a large country village was the best thing I ever did. Its large enough to have essentials like schools, pubs and the village shop but small enough to be civilized. The only down side being the almost complete absence of public transport as the local council while preaching green values slashed the budget for rural public transport, after all none of us vote for those socialist numpties anyway.
Short answer is I am in my 60’s and arthritic, cycling is NOT an option.


People in their seventies and later cycle around here. All the time. They are probably arthritic too. Activity helps.

Steve P

Familiarity breeds contempt.
I’m old too, also arthritic, and riding a bicycle is easier for me than walking. I can’t run, so riding is the only real cardiovascular exercise I get.
The bicycle provides a very high return of investment in terms of distance traveled and energy expended. On a nice surface, a few rotations of the pedal crank can take me 100 meters, or more, depending on gear, and much of it may be spent just coasting.
The further benefit for those with arthritis is that bicycling is a low-impact activity, and that amounts to very little wear and tear on the joints, especially hips, knees, ankles and feet.
I often ride at not much more than a walking pace. Maintaining balance at slow speeds is a valuable exercise. Climbing hills is good concentrated exercise, but a big enough hill can kick anyone’s fanny.


So you want a city only for yourself. A mostly dead city.
Hating other people freedom.

Dire Wolf

Cees, cudos to you. I don’t want to live in a city full of stinking, noisy, dangerous cars, either. I want to live in a smaller city where the cars don’t stink, people are more polite/quiet and don’t drive like idiots. Cars are not the problem. Density is. Cars lined up in a traffic jam — bad. Cars flowing smoothly through city streets — good.


What you consider quality of life, I would consider hell on earth.

John Endicott

I don’t want to live in a city full stop. I’ll stick to the suburbs, thank you very much.


If these people think that in 2050 we will still be driving around in gas powered cars, they are nuts.


I will be.

Of course not. They’ll be driven by steam, the boilers automatically fired with pellets made from wood, usually recycled, with added paper and field waste. Just as the Green God wanted. A few electric motors and some electromechanical switches, doesn’t even need solid state electronics, the same pellets and carbon-neutral boiler technology can power your car or heat your house. In fact there’ll be dual-purpose boiler units, the same model could power your car or heat your hovel. You can have a Ford in your driveway and another Ford as “backup” for your thermal solar panels.

Owen in GA

even better, they’ll survive an EMP attack! Steam – It’s not just for the 19th Century anymore!


I don’t see any technology that is likely to be taking over from gas anytime in the next hundred years or so.


The reaction to this is really silly. If you look at the death rate from using cars as a means of mass transportation, its really appalling. If someone were to propose it, western society would simply reject it out of hand. Its well over a million a year worldwide killed, and serious injuries must be several times that.
In addition there are the side issues about pollution. In Europe and the UK diesel powered cars are putting out huge amounts of particulates. Oxford Street is a main pedestrian shopping street, and it has huge pollution levels.
It is perfectly rational to want to take social action to limit car use. Not because we should be seeking to reduce CO2 emissions to reduce global warming – that is simply idiotic. But because getting cars out of our cities and away from places people live and walk would improve the quality of life.
If you look at London or Paris, not only has the car damaged the environment and killed people, because its an intrinsically unsafe method of mass transport. It has also made it impossible to cycle safely, so its contributed indirectly to lack of physical activity, which itself is a major health concern.
So yes to restriction of cars, yes to taking back of living and walking outdoor space, yes to more provision for safe cycling in temperate climates. And do it for the right reasons, human welfare, not because of this absurd warming hysteria.
The complete irritation of people wanting to do the right thing, but for the most wrong headed reason you could imagine!

The reaction to this is really silly. If you look at the death rate from eating potato chips as a means of mass-appeal snacking, its really appalling. If someone were to propose it, western society would simply reject it out of hand. Its well over a million a year worldwide killed, and serious health complications must be several times that.

Steve P

Yes, those photos of smashed-up potato-chip gobblers are just too horrifying, especially the posterior views


I love it the way statists are so eager to re-design the world. For your benefit of course.
Of course they also never actually ask you if you want the world to be redesigned.


I’m not eager to redesign the world. Nor am I a statist.
I am simply pointing out the inconvenient truth that we have implemented a system of mass transport that leads to a million or so deaths a year. If we had been asked up front would we allow this, the answer would have been no, there must be a better way. And there is. It is to separate cars and people. To separate high speed traffic from residential and shopping neighborhoods. It can be done, its no great limitation on freedom of movement, any more than other traffic regulations are. What do you think a shopping mall does? Oxford Street in London is one vast shopping mall, with, bizarrely, cars buses trucks and taxis all running through the middle of it at speed emitting clouds of particulates. Why on earth is this right for Oxford St and wrong for the suburban shopping mall? No-one in their right mind would ever design a shopping area in this way.
You can see this also if you just look at Northern Europe, Holland in particular. It works. It does not stop people driving. But it does stop them, as they do so, destroying the environments and yes the property rights of those who live where they drive through. It separates living and the walked environment from high speed traffic.
One of the extraordinary things about car mania is that it is usually expressed as a variety of free market liberalism. But the right being claimed is actually an attack on private property. If you are never secure from your side street with high valued properties and amenities being autocratically transformed into a rat run, you have lost property rights.
Give power to the people whose streets are being driven through and you will soon find that they are very willing to sacrifice their own right to drive at speed through others neighborhoods in order to have their streets safe and pleasant for their children to play in.
But, of course, do not do this in the name of carbon emission reduction. That is simply mad. Do it if anything in the name of stopping people having to breathe in particulate diesel fumes. That makes perfect sense.

Dire Wolf

If cars are a problem in residential areas there are simple solutions: cul-de-sacs and speed bumps. Take all your residential neighborhoods and cut off streets in the middle of blocks. No more people running helter skelter through your neighborhood. All the high-income neighborhoods in Dallas-Fort Worth use cul-de-sacs and winding (sometimes maze-like) roads to keep the riff-raff out.
Speed bumps effectively discourage through-traffic.
Funny, though, how no one in the neighborhoods you say are suffering damage to their property right clamor for these solutions. Maybe they value access more than the supposed deterioration you claim happens.


Dire Wolf on September 18, 2014 at 7:36 am days: “If cars are a problem in residential areas there are simple solutions: cul-de-sacs and speed bumps.”
Dang! That sounds exactly like central planning and government telling people what to do and how to do it!

Dire Wolf

You obviously missed my comment that these solutions aren’t used because people don’t clamor for them and actually prefer access over the so-called harm of cars driving through the neighborhood. If people in the community want it, it ain’t planning.


“If someone were to propose it, western society would simply reject it out of hand.” Meanwhile on actual earth, more and more people embrace personal vehicles globally by the day, knowing the dangers. I live in a very rural place, with this central planning mindset growing I have to wonder what the future holds for me. A lack of a vehicle certainly wouldnt improve my families welfare. I would rather be stranded out here in the trees on my mountain then live in even an efficiently run and well planned city let alone the nonsense we see forming thus far from this central plan.

Steve P

Careful, you’re poking a sacred cow. I grew up hearing Dinah Shore’s golden voice ♪ See the U S A, in your Chev ro let ♪, and now they advertise cars showing them spinning out, racing through Gotham, wheels whirling, smoke swirling, you know you’re a real stud when you get behind the wheel of the latest sleek model from your favorite manufacturer, and with all those visions of Madison Ave. racing in your head, you go racing down the road just like the dude in the ad. Cool, ain’t it, how that works?
So it’s true. It’s deeply ingrained part of American Culture, good ol’ red blooded pedal to the metal, and lead, follow, or get out of the way! You know it’s all good ’cause it’s on the television.
So why fix lunch when I can jump in my ride and cruise on down to junk food junction and pick up a bag of the savory fare, big ol’ sloshing soda, and a cheeseburger in paradise.
The flight to the suburbs was accompanied by the development of bigger and bigger malls, and that accelerated the decline and near-death of core cities. I wonder how many of the big malls were paid off, before they went under? Of course, this is the United States of America, so there was no central planning involved when all the sudden everybody starts building malls. And at the end of the fiasco, the question always arises: who got left holding the bag?
The best plan is to get the cars out of the urban centers. Cities like Denver and Boulder in Colorado that have done this enjoy vibrant pedestrian malls.

The issue is practicality and not politics.
Public transport is good and useful: I use my OAP Bus Pass where that is useful. But personal transport such as my car is better: it is more convenient in every way.
My car is available at any time but public transport is intermittent. I prefer to be traveling in comfort in my car instead of waiting in the cold and rain at a bus stop.
Here in tiny Falmouth, Cornwall, we have three railway stations (four if you include Penryn). But the walk down and back up the hill to the nearest station is not possible for the infirm such as me, especially not with luggage. And even a power-assisted bicycle is not an efficient shopping transporter.
Carrying children in a car is safer and easier than on a bicycle especially when loaded with shopping..
If I use my car to the station then I can use it to get were I want to be. And the marginal cost of the car journey is much less than the train fare. It is very much less for a family with children.
The young and fit are always too arrogant to understand that they, too, may get old. Bicycles and public transport may fit their existing needs, but do not meet the needs of many (most?) others. Private transport such as cars does.

Pamela Gray

For me it has nothing to do with practicality. I work hard for my salary. Long hours each day and I often put in time on the weekends to continue that work. I will buy a car if I damn well feel like it. Even a gas guzzler. And those nosy nannies who think I should be more concerned about CO2 can butt out of my life.


Yes, Pamela. I is not about whether you can buy a car. It is about where you can drive it and at what speed. And its about what rights those who own the properties you drive by, in the neigborhoods you drive through, what rights they have.
Buy one by all means. Just don’t drive it through our neighborhood.

Pamela Gray

Sorry Michel but your complaint falls on stout Irish Daughters of the American Revolution ears, The Civil War ears, and the Oregon Trail ears. Independent pioneering folk. So call 1-800 waaaaayyy. Better yet, put on your big boy panties. If the street is public, I helped build the damn thing. I can drive on it if I want to.

Dire Wolf

Exactly, Richard.


Richard, I may be wrong but I don’t believe anyone in here is advocating that cars simply get taken away, leaving people stranded in their homes. Obviously you cannot use a public transport system where one does not exist.
I think the general concept is that cars are often a pretty poor system of transport, and if they can be replaced by something better, they should be. And there will very likely remain situations where they continue to be needed and used.
I also get the impression that some in here regard the automobile as the ultimate form of transport and as the pinnacle of the expression of freedom, but I could be wrong about that, too.

You begin your post saying to me

Richard, I may be wrong but I don’t believe anyone in here is advocating that cars simply get taken away, leaving people stranded in their homes. Obviously you cannot use a public transport system where one does not exist.

What on Earth makes you think I suggested “cars simply get taken away” or that one “cannot use a public transport system where one does not exist”.
I began my post saying

The issue is practicality and not politics.
Public transport is good and useful: I use my OAP Bus Pass where that is useful. But personal transport such as my car is better: it is more convenient in every way.

Public transport will replace the car if the practical reasons I listed for preferring car to public transport are resolved. Until then, it won’t.
This is demonstrated by London. The tax on cars into London is not the major reason people use the tube in favour of cars: commuters drive to the station where they park their cars and take the train for the part of their journey which is fastest and most convenient by train.

Dire Wolf

markx, the problem is that public transportation is such a poor transportation system. Just take shopping. Carrying or dragging groceries of any appreciable amount any distance is difficult. I have been in Paris where people shopped every day for food because it was too difficult to carry any quantity home on foot/bike/metro. Think of all the waste of human talent/time when you have to shop daily.
The car delivers the best solution for most people. Last I looked, NYC where transit is best in the US only 17% of all trips are taken on public transit. That ought to tell you exactly what you need to know about the usability of transit for most people.

Hi Richard,
Yes, you are correct and I apologise. I think I over-interpreted your remark somehow.
We seem to be on the same page in that sometimes cars are perfectly appropriate, and sometimes their presence and the structure of their facilities is not.


These cliamte obsessed tools should see what a low carbon footprint really looks like:


Sorry, let’s try that again:
These climate obsessed tools should see what a low carbon footprint really looks like:


I want to ask the mayor of my city why all her officials have access to the Council’s fleet of cars. Why can’t they take public transport or ride bicycles ,in the same manner that we will be expected to use?

Jeff giles September 17, 2014 at 9:44 pm
If you say it enough times it makes it true.
Ah, the CAGW mantra!

Bill Williams

Wow, everything good happens by getting away from cars! I thought history showed a different story. The US economy was based on rail service and local public transportation like horses, trolleys, and walking. Then along came Ford and the Model T.
But now everything will be solved by going back to the future.

Buses and trains are really going to work well during a natural catastrophe and you need to leave town with your family and belongings fast.


Um, so why would we actually want to reduce our GDP by $100 trillion.
Perhaps these people might take Economics 101 before making these announcements.


Look this polarization becomes silly at a certain point and is missing the point.
Buses are not evil
Cars are not evil
Managing our waste and limiting pollution is not evil
CO2 is not evil
Public Transporation is not evil
Bicycles are not evil
Walking is not evil
The problem is apples, the garden of Eden and all that.

David A

Telling someone else the have to do any of the above is evil.

Duncan M

I couldn’t agree more with this article. America’s highest priority should be increased subsidies for the lawyers and investment bankers who commute on Metro North with me from Connecticut and Westchester into Manhattan.


More unproven models?