Monday, October 12, 2009

Response To Transportation (Trucking) Industry Publication Communicating Gary Locke’s (Obama’s Secretary of Commerce) Downplaying of “Climate Change”

I tend to believe that the greenhouse effect and global/warming climate change is real. We have had evidence for more than 40 years and the overwhelming geophysical evidence presented by scientists almost seems to be at consensus these days.

An associated problem, which will prove to be just as large, if not significantly larger, is the problem related to post-peak oil. It is a well-accepted belief, if not fact, that we have probably passed the peak of oil resources available for our squanderous consumption. After all, it is a finite planet and it takes millions of years under special geologic conditions to form an oil field. The effort, though considerable; to find, extract, transport, refine, transport, and exhaust (yes, poof - gone FOREVER) is but a relative flash in the pan in human history.

The world uses about 80 million barrels a day of oil. Fully 25% of that (approximately 20 million barrels a day) are consumed by the people of the continental United States, 14 million of those barrels used in the transportation sector alone.

If we want to conserve precious fossil fuels for priority uses such as solar assisted heating, cooking, electricity generation, cooling, agricultural inputs, durable products, necessary industrial processes, inter-community and inter-regional transport within a paradigm of relocalization for all communities and regions (moving towards self-sufficiency), and preserve the luxury and convenience of occasional automobile and airplane travel in a manner that explicitly adjusts for economic disruption, then we must plan and implement, allocate our resources accordingly.

We are currently on a linear projection into oblivion. We must reassess the role of the automobile and airplane in our society/economy. A huge job creations program could be realized by rebuilding our sprawled neighborhoods and reallocating production and distribution resources, so that almost all have the quality of life advantages of having their needs and reasonable wants, and the capability of making a living, available within walking distance of their homes. Such a relocalization (towards self-sufficiency) program will have the effect of reducing personal automobile use by 80% in the next 20 to 40 years, freeing up precious, yet finite fossil fuels for priority uses.

There will always be a need for long-range transport, as few if any regions could realize total self-sufficiency and comparative advantages do exist. However, the transportation industry can do their part for the youth and children, the survival of the species, by considering their role and the adjustments that will need to be made (in shifting to a more regional and inter-community/within regions economy).

Please consider the policies, programs, strategies, and actions that you can take to cooperate.

Mike Morin
Eugene, OR, USA
(541) 343-3808

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