Tuesday, 1 April 2008
Time to prepare for transport without oil
A bit heavygoing, and not very sexy, but important: Transport Revolutions: Moving People and Freight Without Oil is a new book by two Canadian academics. They note that we (i.e. the world) are going to have to find new ways of getting around as the oil runs out.
The only practicable answer is electricity, they say. Electric vehicles function independently from how their fuel is produced, which can be from numerous different sources, so electric traction fits well with the need to make the transition to renewable energy.
We have to get on with this urgently. The authors say that, with sufficient advance planning, there can be a "soft landing" into oil depletion. Without it, there could be a "hard landing" provoking economic and social disruption.
Here in the UK, I hope this book is being read by the retards at the DfT and the Treasury, who keep refusing to countenance further electrification of the railways (see e.g. this Modern Railways article last year by Roger Ford).
Unfortunately the book costs £45, but you can read the preface and the first three pages of each chapter here.