The Increasing Autombile Wastelines

Inventing Green « We’ve Got 35 Times More Horsepower in Our Cars Than in Our Power Plants talks about the power generation capacity available through automobiles vs all the rest of them! Interesting way to look at this.

I'm sure that a couple of hundred years from now, folks will both lament and wonder at the stupidity and short sightedness of a few of our generations. Consider a few facts:
  • Cars carry mostly their own weight around. Most of their energy is used up in just moving the mass of metal, rubber and glass and plastics that they are!
  • Cars are getting more and more powerful - and at least in the cities (where most run) going slower and slower!
  • On board electrical capacity can usually power a host of appliances these days - including mini refrigerators and huge entertainment systems. Mostly goes unused!
  • Cars "sit around" for 90%+ of the time, yet a lot of us have one each.
The debate often reduces to personal safety, personal convenience etc. Case in point from the comments in the above article - "I certainly would not want to take my wife & 3 kids camping in a “Tato Nano”, much less worry about what parts of me will still be around for the paramedics to save after an accident." This is a very inward out, narrow way of looking at the problem from its current state alone. The fact is that as a transportation system, its pretty flawed from an efficiency (and even safety) point of view. These arguments often ignore that completely alternative transport systems are possible which consume less on an average, provide more safety overall and are just - well - saner.

But then purging was part of "modern" medical science at some point of time, wasn't it...

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