Two Billion Cars: Driving Toward Sustainability

Overview

In Two Billion Cars, transportation experts Daniel Sperling and Deborah Gordon provide a concise history of America's love affair with cars and an overview of the global oil and auto industries. America is still the leading emissions culprit, and what is especially worrying is that developing nations are becoming car-centric cultures as well. The authors explain how we arrived in this dangerous state, and also what we can do about it. Sperling and Gordon expose the roots of the problem-the resistant auto ...

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Two Billion Cars: Driving Toward Sustainability

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Overview

In Two Billion Cars, transportation experts Daniel Sperling and Deborah Gordon provide a concise history of America's love affair with cars and an overview of the global oil and auto industries. America is still the leading emissions culprit, and what is especially worrying is that developing nations are becoming car-centric cultures as well. The authors explain how we arrived in this dangerous state, and also what we can do about it. Sperling and Gordon expose the roots of the problem-the resistant auto industry, dysfunctional oil markets, short-sighted government policies, and unmotivated consumers. They zero in on reforming our gas-guzzling culture, expanding the search for low-carbon fuels, environment friendly innovations in transportation planning, and more. Promising advances in both transportation technology and fuel efficiency together with shifts in travel behavior, they suggest, offer us a realistic way out of our predicament.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
This look at the global automobile industry explains how such a staggering number of autos came to be, and how we can sustain them all and the planet at the same time. The range of topics is wide; one of the most interesting chapters looks at the psychology of hybrid vehicle purchasers: "at least for the early buyers... it's about the symbolism of 'doing the right thing,' even if the individual contribution is infinitesimally small." The fortunes of fuel-sippers are also considered in relation to gas prices: in the year GM launched the Hummer brand and Toyota unveiled the Prius, gas prices at "near historic lows" made the Hummer ubiquitous in cities and suburbs. Elsewhere, Sperling and Gordon examine the problem of China's car ownership explosion, but return repeatedly to the "pioneering role" of California. Sperling and Gordon are upfront with their California ties(Sperling serves on the California Air Resources Board, Gordon has worked with the California Energy Commission, Gov. Schwarzenegger provides the foreword), and though they profile somegenuinely groundbreaking work, it can read more like public relations than objective reporting; further, some proposed solutions (personal "carbon budgets") read like parodies of Left Coast eco-liberalism. Luckily, there's enough grounding global perspective to save the text from too much California dreaming. 15 b&w photos.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199737239
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 4/21/2010
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 741,959
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Daniel Sperling is Professor of Engineering and Environmental Science & Policy at the University of California, Davis, and Founding Director of UC-Davis's Institute of Transportation Studies. He also serves on the California Air Resources Board.

Deborah Gordon is a senior transportation policy consultant who has worked with the National Commission on Energy Policy, the California Energy Commission, International Council for Clean Transportation, and the Chinese government to develop fiscal policies for their burgeoning auto fleet. She earlier developed and directed transportation policy programs for the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and the Union of Concerned Scientists.

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Table of Contents

Foreword vii

Acknowledgments xi

Chapter 1 Surviving Two Billion Cars 1

Chapter 2 Beyond the Gas-Guzzler Monoculture 13

Chapter 3 Toward a Greener Detroit 47

Chapter 4 In Search of Low-Carbon Fuels 79

Chapter 5 Aligning Big Oil with the Public Interest 113

Chapter 6 The Motivated Consumer 151

Chapter 7 California's Pioneering Role 179

Chapter 8 Stimulating Chinese innovation 205

Chapter 9 Driving toward Sustainability 235

Afterword: Transforming Transportation-After the Fall 261

Notes 279

Index 311

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