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SG-W:/ Urban Sprawl
This is a copy of an
opinion which I hope to give to council. Urban Sprawl is the reason our energy
consumption is so high. The curve in Popular Science should be an alarm bell to
Recently I had a letter in
the AA News which talked about Urban Sprawl and about shortages in natural gas.
The editor does not like numbers and removed them. The number quoted to a Senate
committee was 885 trillion cubic feet. Our present consumption is about 23
trillion cubic feet which would imply gas for 38 years. However we are using
considerably more oil now than natural gas. If we use gas to replace oil and
coal to reduce Global Warming, then our consumption could double and reduce time
to 19 years. Substituting gas for oil is not a long term
The May 2000 Popular Science has an article
about cars which includes a curve of future oil availability (Page 56).
The curve indicates present production as being 75 million barrels /day. In 2030
it will be only 20 million barrels, and by 2050 it will be 10 million barrels.
This means gas rationing is coming soon. Don't expect much from tar sands,
shale, or heavy oil. It will be difficult to get them into production, They will
be costly, and if successful will cause more Global Warming. The problem in
retrieving the harder to get fossil fuels is that it takes enormous amounts of
oil to get them. For example coal is mined now by cutting off entire mountain
tops with bulldozers fueled by oil. We can do without airplanes but we need
Hydrogen as a fuel is a mirage because the
only way we could produce it now in quantities would be from fossil fuels. The
investment to even produce a quarter of our present usage from solar or wind
would be in the trillions of dollars.
is not done it is my prediction that within 30 years there will be widespread
poverty, joblessness, civil unrest, and hunger. Finally there would be the
starvation of millions of people. The only way to fight this problem is by
sharply reducing consumption and investing trillions in alternate energy. We
will have to tear down houses and replace them with apartments. Cities must be
redesigned to eliminate cars for going to work, for shopping, and for every
other use. This means a city design which starts with a power plant in the
center, then there would be factories, then apartments, and then farms nearby.
We must go back to agriculture. The construction of small buildings must be
totally eliminated. Geometry is all important.
environmental committee will do nothing to solve this problem. What is needed is
to change the Environmental committee to a Sustainability committee. Then we
must try to educate local scientists and engineers in the magnitude of the
problem and enlist their help in finding diverse solutions. A large
Sustainability group would not only devise strategies but would also educate the
population in the dangers that are confronting our
One of the strategies is to create an
Ecomindium at the landfill site which would research all of the problems of
housing, energy, and food in a real environment. The facility would serve as
both a research place and a publicity forum. Please help me save our Grand
children from the disaster which is about to occur.
Kermit Schlansker 971 5283