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Sprawling From Grace: Driven to Madness (2008) (urban sprawl and the impact of peak oil)

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JohnyCanuck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-23-11 11:46 PM
Original message
Sprawling From Grace: Driven to Madness (2008) (urban sprawl and the impact of peak oil)
Run time: 81:59
Posted on YouTube: September 02, 2010
By YouTube Member: NewVideoDigital
Views on YouTube: 2679
Posted on DU: April 24, 2011
By DU Member: JohnyCanuck
Views on DU: 661
Apparently this documentary recently aired on CNBC.
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napoleon_in_rags Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 01:51 AM
Response to Original message
1. I'm about 70 minutes in and I have to weigh in.
Edited on Sun Apr-24-11 01:56 AM by napoleon_in_rags
First, thanks for posting. Very thoughtful and relevant film.

But the place I am right now the light and hopeful piano music is playing, and a future based on public transportation is being advocated. As a person who lived for years and years off bicycle and bus before giving in a buying a car, I must take issue. Public transportation is only a small part of the answer. People who live out of cars don't know what its like. A trip to three stores will take all day, as the bus stops every two blocks to pick up a dottering old lady or drop one off. I used to beat it regularly on my bike, which averages 12 mph. There is no "I thought it might be cold so I brought a coat in the trunk". If you're not wearing a coat, you freeze. Your entire life is carried around with you at all times on a backpack. There is also no "whoops, I left my wallet/keys in the car", there is only losing your wallet and keys in a public place. You get sick more because of all the exposure on the bus. In my town if you need to go somewhere sunday night, you're out of luck. It sucks.

My take is that the answer to the coming transportation crisis is threefold:

1) Light, private, electronic vehicles. The best solution to me would be like a bike with a locking trunk, and cover from the rain. Not big heavy car replacements, (at least for the poor) but little things for those spontaneous trips and joyrides around town. Current manufacturers don't get it yet, you still see e-bikes with lithium ion batteries that aren't physically locked to the frame (like having a laptop velcroed to the top of your car.) so you can't leave them anywhere when you go into a store. And few offer a rainproof solution for us in Washington state.

2) Old fashioned logistics. The simple transportation solution for many trips is just not to make them, but to have somebody else make them for you. Looking at it mathematically, I see something like Metcalfe's law applies to logistics, the more people participating in a logistics system the more profitable it becomes. e.g. if everyone in town ordered lunch from restaurants instead of eating at them, it would be profitable for a third party logistics firm to deliver all the lunches cheaply with good route planning software. Of course this transfers the shopping experience onto your smart phone...

3) Human logistics. This is where you move people around like packages. I'm using this term because we need to throw the old fashioned ideas of public transportation out the window (although surely some of the infrastructure for this could be publicly owned) where you stand at a bus stop waiting, trying to manipulate unchanging paper schedules. We have the technology to make the ride come to you, and take you (through switching vehicles once or twice, in accordance with the downloaded instructions on your phone) to exactly where you are going. There would be no such thing as bus schedules, no buses going in circles around routes with no riders, where the buses went would be computed constantly in real time based on where people were. The system would have to be liquid enough to allow private companies to interact with public infrastructure, like subways.

edit: After griping about this one thing, I feel compelled to say again this is a great film, they have NAILED it urban planning.

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cantbeserious Donating Member (270 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 07:42 AM
Response to Reply #1
3. These Are Headed In The Right Direction
Edited on Sun Apr-24-11 08:03 AM by cantbeserious

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napoleon_in_rags Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 02:47 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. Beautiful! That's what I'm talking about.
Here in Washington, 50% of the year cycling is pure pleasure, except for powering up hills. With the rain cover, 95% would be pure pleasure.

The idea solution also be so light you could fit it in some storage area under the bus/mass transit. It would be great to have the cheapness of mass transit to get places, but still have that personal freedom and autonomy, once you get there, not to mention a place you can lock a change of clothes.
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HolyCity2012 Donating Member (378 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 05:19 AM
Response to Original message
2. The End of Suburbia
52 minute documentary on oil

"We're literally stuck up a cul-de-sac in a cement SUV without a fill-up" - James Howard Kunstler

Global oil peak and the inevitable decline of fossil fuels are upon us now, Are today's suburbs destined to become the slums of the future? This is a short version of "The End of Suburbia: Oil Depletion and the Collapse of The American Dream", a documentary about the end of the age of cheap oil.
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