Going Green

Friday, September 14, 2007

Let's Ban Automobiles!!

Now this really makes sense -- NOT!

Emissions Targets For 2030 Will Only Be Reached By Banning Cars In London

Science Daily — Unless the Greater London Authority (GLA) takes radical steps, one of which could be the removal of all cars from both inner and outer London, it will not meet its goals for reducing carbon dioxide emissions, according to a new report.

The GLA is committed to reducing London's carbon dioxide emissions by 60% by 2025, but most climate scientists argue that even more rapid reductions will be needed if we are to avoid dangerous climate change. A team of experts from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) and the Transport Studies Unit (Oxford University Centre for the Environment) revealed that London is on course to reduce land transport emissions by only 10%-23%.

They do, however, offer a radical vision....(complete story here)

They want to ban all automobiles in London.

One can look at the smog hanging over cities and know with certainty that emissions are a problem. Whether they contribute to global warming is beside the point. Air quality is a health issue.

Banning private automobiles would certainly eliminate some exhaust. However, the last time I was behind a Public Transportation Bus, I was almost overwhelmed by the diesel exhaust fumes.

There is much more to the transportation problem into cities than just banning automobiles. The complete infrastructure needs to be re-evaluated. Urban sprawl is a huge part of the problem. The longer the commute, the more travel, the more exhaust fumes. Parking lots and streets are a problem for water runoff. Utilities and other city services such as garbage and water into suburban areas are a problem. Conversion of farmland to sub developments is a problem. In short, the whole concept of a city with commuter suburbs needs to be re-thought.

What is a reasonable distance to ride a bicycle to work? What about when it rains? Do we add special cars to commuter trains to haul bicycles that can then be ridden from the station to the workplace? What is a reasonable distance to walk?

Regional planning seems to be the only way to create a workable system. The capitalist in me resists such an idea. Will the free market ultimately solve the problem when gasoline prices get so high that alternative forms of transportation become more feasible? Personally I think that might be the best answer. However, the gloom-and-doom global warming crowd will say that we must do something radical to "save" the planet. What do you think the answer is?

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