Thursday, September 15, 2005

How Would the Oildrum Achieve Sustainability?

Looking for activist government in your life? Let me quote the PEAKGUY from“Here's a brief summary of what I have collected that we as peak oilers (Citizens for sustainable living?) are for:

1. Insist on complete transparency of the world's oil reserves and production on a well by well basis.
2. Make national energy independence a national economic and security goal
3. Create an energy efficiency ethic in society that abhors wasteful behaviors
4. Raise fuel economy standards for passenger cars and trucks - encourage adoption of hybrids, electric plug-ins and other more sustainable automobile designs
5. Re-institute the 55 mph speed limit for maximum efficiency
6. Decrease traffic through better design, congestion pricing, more telecommuting, staggered start hours, off-peak commuting incentives carpooling, etc.
7. Invest in building and maintaining mass transit systems to connect as many communities as possible.
8. Invest in the national passenger and freight rail infrastructure
9. Revise building codes for maximum energy efficiency
10. Encourage walking, biking, line skating and all forms of self propelled transportation through clearly marked lanes and public awareness campaigns.
11. Encourage local food production, urban green gardens, farmer markets.
12. Generate as much local power as possible from solar, wind, biomass, hydro/tidal and other sustainable forms of energy

LOOKING AT this list, I like #3,6,10, the latter half of #4 and even 12. I’m not sure how he will achieve #1. I certainly wish that we could achieve #1. A couple of points about his list. Starting with #9, buildings are durables that live for a long time. Will he “grandfather” existing buildings from these laws? If so, then won’t we see a Gruenspecht effect such that developers rehab old buildings to avoid new building energy laws? I would like to see some details for why we need to achieve energy independence. We can’t import from Mexico or Canada?

The author of this post is showing a lot of confidence in government. Is government up to the job?


allen claxton said...

The author of this post is showing a lot of confidence in government. Is government up to the job?

With the exception of #1, aren't these all things that governments routinely do? Certainly, some governments with more success than others, but none of the "reasonable 11" seem like herculean problems. Probably the trickiest one is #10, and even that is one that seems more about laying the foundation, and letting other factors (gas prices, changing land use patterns, allowing for good urban development to happen easily*) work their magic.

* Something that I think should be on the list, and isn't.

peakguy said...

I think government has largely been responsible for where we are now with our dependency on foreign oil, leading development of the car culture. I think government can A. stop subsidizing all aspects of the car culture and B. help provide the right incentives to move people toward a more sustainable society (assuming we have the political will!)

Mixed use zoning is a great proposal to add. thanks allen. We have to try everything that we know works. Higher sustained prices for oil will help spur changes and perhaps create a groundswell for more reforms.

Re: energy efficient buildings - there are many low cost ways to make new and old buildings more efficient without significant costs. It's more in the design than in the materials.

Anonymous said...

^^ nice blog!! ^@^

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boy labyog said...

middle east is one of the big supplier of oil.

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