The Decline of Car Culture in the West

We’ve covered this before, but it’s worth repeating. The OECD nations are all driving less, while developing nations are all driving more. Basically, and I bet almost 99% of westerners will be shocked at this thought, but people in China, India, and, yes, Iran, are increasingly more able to do what we used to do without thinking about it: They are outbidding us for oil.…
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Oil, Thatcher, and the Wealth of Nations

Data visualisation specialist Jonathan Callahan has produced by far the most interesting response to the death of Margaret Thatcher I’ve yet to see, originally posted as a comment on The Oil Drum and reproduced below. Using his Energy Data Browser he has linked significant points of Thatcher’s career to the North Sea Oil boom.…
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Our driving trends aren’t unique

Following on from my post this morning around the Harbour bridge, I was pointed to this article from the US on trends on the amount of vehicle miles travelled each year. The post starts as It’s now common knowledge that annual changes in the volume of driving no longer follow the old patterns.…
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Brittle Thinking

This post is a follow on from Stu’s, here, on the transport minister’s extraordinary answers to questions in parliament concerning the wisdom of his extremely unbalanced transport spending programme. You will recall that Mr Brownlee thinks that petrol price is irrelevant to decisions about transport investment.…
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Oil Strike!

The Herald on Saturday ran a big feature on the role of oil in the NZ economy:Pain at pump offset by $2bn exportsThe reason for this is the publication by Edison Investment Research of the first ever New Zealand Petroleum Sector Yearbook [Commissioned by whom?…
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Enrique Peñalosa

For those that didn’t make it to our film night or haven’t seen Gary Huswit’s Urbanized here is a little more on what was, for me, one of the highlights of the film. Dr Enrique Peñalosa. The implausibly suave ex-Mayor of Bogota.…
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The Peak Oil debate rears its head

An article in the Guardian by environmentalist writer George Monbiot has led to some really interesting debate around whether peak oil will happen, when it might happen, whether it’s happened already or whether the old adage of “the stone age didn’t end because we ran out of stones” might be true or not.…
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Walking the Tightrope

There has been a noticeable change in the reporting of global oil supply issues recently, although not locally. First I was quite surprised to see this article in the UK’s Daily Telegraph. Surprised because hitherto the Telegraph has largely run skeptical views on Peak Oil:Plateau oil meets 125m Chinese carsThe clever, or coy, replacement of ‘peak’ with ‘plateau’ refers to the fact that global oil supply has been bouncing around on a bumpy plateau since 2005 despite the ever rising price signal from the market.…
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