I see tens of thousands of vehicles belching huge clouds of black smoke, idling for hours at a time with nobody inside, or stuck in soul crushing traffic. Just the other day it took a hour to drive five miles with tens of thousands of vehicles packed in.
It's also really easy to see the direct environmental impact - any place that does oil changes or repairs tires is surrounded by a huge patch of jet black earth where the waste products are simply tossed on the ground. Used tires are piled high, and crashed or burnt out vehicles commonly litter the roadside. In the first world we hide all of that from sight, sometimes I think it's better to have it out in the open so we can be more aware of what is really going on.
There's no hiding. The cars are much cleaner with lower emissions. We have industrial pollution laws so auto shops have to safely dispose of waste. We don't leave burnt out cars on the roadside. You can add chaos to anything to make that thing look bad.
Also I hope you see the irony in your comment starting with
> I've been driving around Africa for almost three years now
Reducing all those malaria deaths, etc did wonders.
But hey, it might be that pollution.
Keep thinking for a few more seconds until you realize how much impact cars had in connecting people, rural areas, people to health facilities.
Do you believe child deaths are prevented by people walking with sick children to hospitals, or medicine being distributed on camel backs?
Why do you think the automobile is responsible?
What makes you think I do?
I wrote that the positive contribution of automobiles should be considered and not denied. Why do you think distribution of malaria medication and child care was not improved by automobiles widely used in medical care and logistics?
His argument is to move towards electric mass transit, Which clearly won’t work everywhere. In fact, it won’t work in most places.
I think they must be having one of those nerd arguments.
Using coal for electricity, for example, helped change the world, and had positive effects, but we want to move beyond that.
Reducing the need for automobiles is definitely worth the effort. That doesn’t mean we will illuminate them of course, by a long shot.
There's a practice here (UK) of buying diesels for the increased fuel economy, then having the particulate filters removed (discreetly, leaving the casing in place to hide the work) to reduce maintenance costs. Most garages offer this as a service openly, and it's common practice.
The cars are very easy to spot as the exhaust belches huge clouds of thick black smoke every time they accelerate.
The irony of this is that a great many of the cars currently on the road here are dirtier than cars that were banned twenty years ago for that same reason. The point being that we're not just not fixing the problem - we're actively going backwards.
I don't take my son to school through the car park (the most direct route) anymore for this reason. Most parents drive 4x4s which they idle there while parked. The smell alone is eye-watering, not to mention the smoke.
The point is that people just don't care. They don't care about their own kids' health, so of course they don't care about anyone elses.
Anyone I've discussed this with offline think it's silly to be bothered by this or I'm over-reacting, because (and I don't have the science to back this up) the world's getting progressively more stupid and (ob)noxious over time.
Your vehicle will get a major fault if the MOT tester:
* can see smoke of any colour coming from the exhaust
* finds evidence that the DPF has been tampered with
Hoping for sanity, though.
Once electric vehicles technology and cost strike a good balance, then I believe most people would go for an elecric vehicle. Legislation/regulations also help speed things up.
We need to both switch to electric vehicles and significantly cut down on the number of vehicles on the road.
And how many years of life are lost due to inadequate sleep as a result of 24/7 road noise?
Perhaps we need a regulation that interior vehicle noise needs to match external noise measured at kerbside.
Also electric vehicles will still kill plenty of pedestrians and other drivers. Also they still need massive swaths of land to be concreted over to be used as actual roads and parking.
1. Ban cars, 2. Promote better public transport that meets needs, 3. Ban cruise ships and promote environmentally aware shipping, 4. Power the grid from sustainable sources, 5. Take holidays by public transport.
Yep, fully behind all that.
My father was the first person in his extended family to own a car, around 60 years ago. Car travel was a luxury. My mother used to go on holiday via train, something that is almost unheard of now in the UK.
At my children's school parents would rather spend the best part of an hour queuing for a car parking space, then queuing to get out of car park rather than go to the effort of walking in much less time.
People seem to be prepared to put up with the madness rather than walk / use public transport.
I doubt it.
> Traffic counts suggest that the number of miles cycled in 2017 – 3.27 billion – is around 29% above the figure for 1997.
> Cycle use increases have been higher in some urban areas: in London, for example, around 27,000 people cycled across the central London by cycle in 1977 (both directions), compared to 184,000 in 2016 – almost seven times as many.
You will never get rid of cars in the city. You need a get to a hospital, take kids to kindergarten in winter, come back drunk from the party, deliver good to a shop or restaurant.
Doesn't seem especially hyperbolic either.
“Demand for oil was also largely unchanged in 2018 (-0.3%). Within that total, demand for diesel and petrol both saw annual declines of around 1%, whereas aviation fuel was up 2%.“
Which circles? He has been on the side of science and an outspoken critic of denialists for the last 15 years, both in his columns and other avenues (letters to Nature etc).
Apart from that and in general terms, both sides of a debate thinking you are a lunatic usually doesn't mean you are a visionary - but a lunatic.
That being said, you're right that he definitely falls squarely in the anti-climate change denier column.
Unrelated note: my NoScript blocks 11 'untrustued' (by me) websites' scripts.
So maybe a city-centric approach is the right thing.