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The result is tens of trillions of bucks mis-invested - from a PO POV.  

Any politician coming out and saying, "The most costly items you own: cars and home, are worth somewhere in the neighborhood of 27 cents" would be crucified.

While I strongly agree that land use patterns are based on the car and that it will prove very difficult to adapt to peak oil, I think you may be painting an unecessarily hopeless picture of the situation. Most americans don't travel so much on a daily basis that a combination of electric cars and public transit couldn't fullfil most people transportation needs. Developping higher density urban areas should of course be a priority, but adapting the existing infrastructure doesn't seem completely out of the realm of possibilities, not so much anyway that it'd be worth taking the gamble of completely bankrupting the nation through continual warfare just to keep control of the last oil reserves. Now, it is true the picture looks bleaker the longer we waste time instead of preparing for a soft landing.

by Fete des fous on Sun Oct 28th, 2007 at 09:07:33 PM EST
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Yes, I've sketched some ideas along these lines ...

Energy Independence: Retrofitting Outer Suburbia, The Transport Corridor

Energy Independence: Retrofitting Outer Suburbia, The Sketch

High Speed Rail: The Recruiters

... outside the inner suburbs, Transit Oriented Development is still possible with suburban villages around public transport stops on fixed transport corridors, with the existing suburban housing (presumably with substantially more truck gardening) oriented to the closest TOD village.

15 minutes to the station at 48kph (a sedate NEV speed) is a radius of 12km ... resulting, assuming stops within the suburb of less than 12km spacing, of a continuous band along the corridor and, in an environment of repeated crude oil price shocks with progressively higher peaks, ongoing pressure to provide supplementary fixed transport corridors intersecting with the main fixed transport corridors.


I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Sun Oct 28th, 2007 at 10:13:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In the medium term the "misinvestment" is largely a quality of life issue. We've got a looong ways to go before any sort of energy related die-off hits the first world.

you are the media you consume.

by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Mon Oct 29th, 2007 at 05:34:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think you're right--and I think this fact explains "terrorism".  There are a loooooootttta folks who'd be happy to see a few millions in the first world die--also horribly--to wake them up to their privileged position.

And there are a loooooooooottta folks in the first world who would be (and are) happy to kill a lotta poor folks to make sure that they (the rich, who feel "normal", not rich) stay more or less where they are (top o' the heap.)

I think Marx banged on about this.

Not so depressing if one is "somewhere in the middle" of the richer classes.  Pretty depressing--viscerally, I mean--if one is in the group of "not first world".

but yeah, I think you're right, unless the weather wipes out major major crop systems--don't they say we're all four meals (or is it eight?) from revolution?

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.

by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Mon Oct 29th, 2007 at 06:19:27 PM EST
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