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Page added on August 20, 2010

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Steady State Transportation: Closing the Door on the Dirty Oil Era


by Brent Blackwelder

If human civilization is to make the move to a steady state economy that provides prosperity without growth, it must meet people’s basic mobility needs without reliance on fossil fuels. The U.S. requires a revolutionary transformation of its transportation systems, and recent experience with the downsides of oil provides a potent political push to overcome inertia.

In the United States, the transportation sector consumes about 60% of the oil and is responsible for about one-third of greenhouse gas emissions. We use more gasoline than the next 20 nations combined. America has 2.6 million miles of paved roads with 3 cars for every 4 people in the country, and 88% of people get to work via automobile.

Concerns about global climate destabilization and dramatic water pollution have put the issue of oil usage front and center. The world has focused on the tragedy of the gigantic BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico that began on April 20. But numerous other spills, leakages, and pipeline breaks have occurred since April. For example, the Enbridge pipeline ruptured the last week in July and spilled over one million gallons of oil into the Kalamazoo River in Michigan. As with BP, this recent spill was not a unique mishap but rather one in a long series of accidents and violations in Enbridge’s history.

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2 Comments on "Steady State Transportation: Closing the Door on the Dirty Oil Era"

  1. KenZ300 on Sat, 21st Aug 2010 11:31 pm 

    Economic security and national security
    demand that nations diversify their energy sources and increase their use of sustainable, alternative energy.

    Wind, solar, geothermal and biofuels are
    the future. Will we transition fast enough to avert an economic crisis caused by rising oil prices?

  2. KenZ300 on Sun, 22nd Aug 2010 8:06 am 

    The automobile has monopolized transportation for the last 50 years to the detriment of public transportation.

    We need more trains, bicycle paths, pedicabs, water-taxi’s, trolleys and buses.

    Consumers need choice in their transportation decisions.

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