Transport Revolutions: Moving People and Freight Without Oil / Edition 2

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Modern Societies Rely Upon prodigious amounts of oil for transport activity. The impacts over the next decade of increasing oil scarcity and higher prices on transport could be among the major challenges facing humanity and could require revolutions in how we move people and goods.

Transport Revolutions looks at the state of transport today, and analyses five prior episodes of rapid and radical change in the way people and goods travel. The authors then show how ample movement of people and freight could be sustained beyond 2025 with much-reduced dependence on oil, focusing on the United States and China. Preparations for the end of cheap oil include:

Substantial use of electricity for land transport

Use of wind to power water transport

Radical changes in aviation.

Written for transport professionals, those with a business interest in transport, planners and policy-makers, this book will appeal to anyone with an interest in how transport will evolve in the years ahead.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
'A must read.'
Erick Villagomez, Re:Place Magazine

'A terrific book!'
Elizabeth Deakin, Professor of City Planning and Director, Transportation Center, University of California

'Remarkably timely, optimistic, and practical.'
Tony Hiss, author of The Experience of Place and visiting scholar at New York University

'An important book... Transport Revolutions needs to be considered by all of us if travel is to continue in the years ahead.'
Sunday News, PA

'This book should be on the desk of every transport minister's chief policy adviser.'
John Adams, Emeritus Professor of Geography, University College London

'This is an exceptionally well thought-out book.'
Colin Axon, Deputy Director, Institute for Carbon and Energy Reduction in Transport, University of Oxford.

' If policy makers ignore this book it is at our peril.'
Dave Hughes, Senior Geoscientist and Energy Analyst, Geological Survey of Canada

'One of the most thought-provoking books to cross my desk in a long while.'
Barbara Yaffe, Vancouver Sun

'Be prepared for a hard-nosed look at a future we all may face.'
James Mars, Canadian Journal of Urban Research

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780865716605
  • Publisher: New Society Publishers
  • Publication date: 5/1/2010
  • Edition description: Second Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 432
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Richard Gilbert is a Toronto-based consultant who focuses on transport and energy issues, with recent public- and private-sector clients in North America, Europe and Asia. Anthony Perl is a Professor of Political Science and Urban Studies at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, where he directs the Urban Studies Program.

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Table of Contents

Preface to First Edition vii

Preface to Second Edition xi

Introduction: Transport Revolutions Ahead 1

What is in this Book 1

Who Could Benefit from this Book, and How 5

Sources and Terminology 10

Chapter 1 Learning from Past Transport Revolutions 13

Overview 13

Britain's Railway Revolution of 1830 to 1850 17

The Great Wartime Pause in Motorization in the US 24

The Big Switch in Transatlantic Travel in the 1950s 33

The High-Speed Rail Revolution of 1960 to 1985 41

The Air Freight Revolution of 1980 to the Present 53

Reflections on Past Revolutions 58

Chapter 2 Transport Today 63

Introduction 63

How People Move Locally 67

How People Move Across Distances 88

How Freight Moves 96

Transport Tomorrow? 105

Chapter 3 Transport and Energy 111

Introduction 111

Oil and Its Future 112

Events of 2008: Reality Checks 121

Alternatives to Oil Products 131

Electric Vehicles 147

Generating Enough Electricity for Transport 162

Chapter 4 Transport's Adverse Impacts 169

Introduction 169

Global Environmental Impacts 171

Local and Regional Environmental Impacts 187

Adverse Societal and Economic Impacts 210

Relative Impacts of Transport Modes and Means of Traction 220

Chapter 5 The Next Transport Revolutions 223

Setting the Scene for 2025 223

Scenarios for 2025 for the US 229

Implementing Transport Redesign in the US 237

Scenarios for 2025 for China 260

Electricity Generation in the US and China 274

Moving into the Future 277

Chapter 6 Leading the Way Forward 281

The Wake-Up Call Provided by an Oil Price Shock 282

Examining Strands of the Recent Economic Unraveling 286

Global Economic Crisis 289

Transport's Position in the Vicious Cycle of Limited Oil Supply and Economic Distress 290

The Neglect of Transport in Searching for Cures for the Recession 293

Rescuing Chrysler and General Motors 295

Other US Steps Toward Creating New Mobility Options 298

Actions by the Government of China Suggest How to Break the Vicious Cycle 302

China Appears Poised between Virtuous and Vicious Cycles 306

Concluding Remarks 307

Appendix A List of Acronyms and Abbreviations 313

Notes and References 317

Index 423

About the Authors 433

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Customer Reviews

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  • Posted September 29, 2013

    Very thorough analysis of the authors' belief that oil productio

    Very thorough analysis of the authors' belief that oil production has peaked and will decline, leading to the necessity of reconfiguring transportation to be based on power from the electricity grid. However, the solutions that the authors give aren't particularly realistic, at least in the US. They call for spending tens of billions of dollars per year on intercity passenger rail, and having privately-owned railroad tracks held in a "condominium", giving government significant control over them. Neither of those will happen in the US in the foreseeable future; look at how Obama's passenger rail plans flopped.

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