More Signs of ‘Peak Us’ in New Study of ‘Peak Oil Demand’ by Andrew C. Revkin
New York Times, July 10th, 2013
Back in 2010, I asked this question: “Which Comes First – Peak Everything or Peak Us?” My focus was whether humans could use the gift of foresight to curb resource appetites in ways that would avoid having the peak imposed on us by shortages or human-induced environmental shifts like climate disruption.
There are growing signs the answer is yes. First came work pointing to “peak travel.” Then I wrote about a study foreseeing “peak farmland” — an end to the need to keep pressing into untrammeled ecosystems to expand agriculture.
Now comes this fascinating paper in Environmental Science & Technology: “Peak Oil Demand: The Role of Fuel Efficiency and Alternative Fuels in a Global Oil Production Decline.” I asked the lead author, Adam R. Brandt of Stanford University, to write an “abstract for the common man” and he kindly complied. Here it is, with a followup question and answer:
Bloomberg’s Traffic Ideas: First the World, Then, Maybe, the City
The roads may soon teem with miles of new bike lanes, made possible by Michael R. Bloomberg. In Turkey.
High-capacity buses zip through exclusive traffic corridors, part of Mr. Bloomberg’s bet that better public transit options will discourage private car use. In Brazil and Mexico.
And in Egypt, between the uprisings in the streets, speed-tracking cameras were hung along the Ring Road of Cairo. They resemble the ones expected to reach New York City, eventually, under a bill approved in Albany last month.
Though often hamstrung at home by headstrong state lawmakers, an entrenched taxi industry and a city in which even a single bike lane can inspire years of litigation, Mr. Bloomberg has found success overseas in pushing — and financing — a global transportation agenda during his final years as the mayor of New York City. Read more…. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/14/nyregion/bloombergs-traffic-ideas-first-the-world-then-maybe-the-city.html
As the average number of miles driven by Americans heads into its eighth year of decline, a new report from the MASSPIRG Education Fund finds that the slowdown in driving is likely to continue. Baby Boomers are moving out of the phase in their life when they do the most commuting, while driving-averse Millennials move into that phase. These demographic changes will likely keep driving down for decades, according to the report, “A New Direction: Our Changing Relationship with Driving and the Implications for America’s Future.”
“The Driving Boom is over,” said Kirstie Pecci, Advocate for the MASSPIRG Education Fund. “The constant increases we saw in driving up until 2005 show no sign of returning. As more and more Millennials become adults, and their tendency to drive less becomes the norm, the reduction in driving will be even larger.” Read more… http://www.masspirg.org/news/map/new-report-reduction-driving-likely-continue