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Re: E-M:/ Re: CARS -- not just one answer

Enviro-Mich message from Andrew Mutch <andrewimutch@yahoo.com>

Let's not forget the role that land use planning and
infrastructure investment play in all of this. In many
places in the country, like much of SE Michigan,
getting by without a car isn't feasible for the
average resident. The same land use patterns that make
going without a car impracticle are also the same
reasons we can't sustain public transportation.
Without an sufficient density of population, public
transportation is often expensive, heavily subsidized
and lightly used. 

Even where density exists to support transportation
choices, if the built environment isn't designed to a
pedestrian scale and with pedestrians in mind, we end
up with nasty, ugly places where no one wants to live
or work. Unfortunately, in many places, little thought
is given to these issues and it makes it that much
more difficult to develop or incorporate
transportation options into a community. It's easier
to blame "developers" or "sprawl" for these problems
but much of that is a direct result of choices made
locally by communities in their zoning and
construction standards (or lack there of). 

Andrew Mutch

--- Zoe Lipman <Lipman@nwf.org> wrote:

> I just can't keep myself from finally weighing in
> here.  I'd add a couple things to this back and
> forth on hybrids:
> 1. There are a host of technologies that improve
> fuel efficiency in vehicles not just hybrids - eg, 
> new materials, better gasoline engines, new clean
> diesel engines, etc etc - many ways to get there,
> packaged in all shapes and sizes of vehicles.  For
> no CO2 emitting sector is there one silver bullet
> technology, but instead many.  All have strengths
> and weaknesses, but in the context of clear
> regulatory framework, taken together, they'll get us
> there.
> 2. And speaking of taking things together, reducing
> CO2 emissions from the transport sector does include
> fuels and vehicle use too.  Thats not to say that
> improving vehicle efficiency isn't critical, but we
> should think seriously about an investment in things
> like an effective and attractive public
> transportation infrastructure as well.  Not using
> your car to commute cuts emissions dramatically,
> more dramatically than switching to a more efficient
> vehicle - and its more pleasant and more productive
> than sitting in bumper to bumper traffic.  But
> currently most people who drive to work, don't have
> a very good alternative - thats something we can
> change, and create large numbers of jobs at the same
> time.
> 3. I tend to think Chuck is right that payback isn't
> the key reason people buy green.  People do buy more
> fuel efficient vehicles as fuel price goes up, but
> cool new enviromental technology isn't just about
> that.  Quite some time back I spoke with someone at
> honda about the Insight hybrid -- it had been out
> then just a year or two -- and they said that
> average early buyer of the insight was (roughly
> here, I don't have this written down anywhere) a
> 28-year old white male republican who loves
> technology -- not a classic tree hugger. Its time we
> thought about and marketed these technologies as
> cool, as things people actively want (I know I do!
> along with a nice color and great performance) not
> as some sort of a hardship or sacrifice.
> Zoe Lipman
> Midwest Program Manager, Global Warming
> National Wildlife Federation, Great Lakes Office
> 213 W. Liberty St., Suite 200
> Ann Arbor, MI 48104-1398
> Tel:734-769-3351 x34
> lipman@nwf.org

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