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'Nano will add to global pollution'
Paritosh Parasher, Sify
An Australian motoring expert has slammed the world's least expensive car Nano, which was launched in Mumbai Monday, claiming it would increase global pollution and push up fuel prices.
"When India gets to the level of car ownership that we enjoy in the West, which is about 700 cars for every 1,000 people, it could double the number of cars on earth, presently 900 million, to 1.8 billion," Wheels magazine's features editor John Cadogan told ABC Radio.
... The Australian also believed Nano would impact fuel prices.
"Oil is running out and in fact we're at about peak oil production now. China and India are running to the party and the keg is half empty," he said.
(24 March 2009)
In Praise of the Lowly Bus
Clark Williams-Derry, Sightline Daily
Sustainable transportation geeks give trains lots of love, but tend to overlook buses. That's a mistake: buses are surprisingly green. This report, for example, finds that buses are pretty much the most fuel efficient way to travel between cities -- better, on average, than rail, cars, or airplanes.
Of course, you can't just trust one report -- especially one that was funded by the American Bus Association. But plenty of other people have found the exact same thing. Our research on greenhouse gas emissions per mile of travel found that inter-city buses have the lowest climate impact of any form of travel. Rhe authors of the Consumer's Guide to Effective Environmental Choices -- which is a bit out of date now, but still excellent -- found the same thing. So did the Environmental Defense Fund. I could go on; but the bottom line is that people who care about sustainable transportation find that intercity buses are a pretty good deal for the climate.
There are two key reasons why intercity buses are so fuel efficient. First, the average intercity bus in the US carries about 21 passengers at a time (calculated form tables 1-32 and 1-37 of the Bureau of Transportation Statistics National Transportation Statistics report.) Second, they get between 6 and 7 miles per gallon (figure of ~6mpg from table VM-1 of the Federal Highway Administration's Highway Statistics Series, and 6.7 mpg from WRI's GHG protocol.) Put those two numbers together, and you find that a bus gets well over 120 passenger-miles per gallon of fuel. Not bad -- that's nearly as good as a Prius carrying a driver and 2 passengers!
(24 March 2009)
David Strahan, The Independent
“The future has not been cancelled”, quipped BP chief executive Tony Hayward in a bullish presentation about the company’s prospects recently. But one thing the company has been forced to cancel, or at least postpone, is a reception to celebrate its centenary at the British Museum this week - shelved because BP feared disruption by climate campaigners gathering for the G20 summit.
A century on from the founding of the Anglo Persian Oil Company, this may be the least of BP’s worries. Because along with the recession, the collapse of the oil price, and the struggle to maintain output in the face of global oil depletion, BP and its peers now also face the rapid resurgence of an ancient rival: the electric car.
... Some analysts argue the problem for the oil industry is not so much that it is investing too little in renewables but too much in oil and gas. BP recently made much of the fact that it added reserves equivalent to 121% of its production in 2008. But Gary Kendall of SustainAbility, which counts the world’s three biggest listed oil companies among its clients, says the industry’s resource base of hundreds of billions of barrels risks becoming a vast stranded asset. “Climate change means we can’t afford to burn all of this stuff, so at some point they will have to walk away from it with massive write-downs”. And the electric car could precipitate that crisis surprisingly quickly, he says: “Twenty years ago nobody had a mobile phone, but nowadays, who doesn’t?”
The future may not have been cancelled for BP and its peers, but if they don’t reinvent themselves soon, it could be very much smaller.
(29 March 2009)
Also posted at Strahan's blog.