Arbutus corridor decision

185 posts / 0 new
Last post

"I think you missed my point. If you stuck to those arguments, and left your Energy Wars post- apocalyptic doomsaying out of your argument against 'cars', the debate would be productive."


Extrapolate the current trend (heck, have the world's gross energy use stagnate at current levels even) and tell me how we DON'T end up with a bigger, deadlier energy war than the one we're currently fighting in the Middle East.


Man O Man, everyone says my argument lacks logic, but I've yet to hear anyone else's that doesn't fall apart in less than a couple of centuries. Say what you will about my position, but it is a few things:


- Achievable


- Realistic


- scalable to a global level.


What it's not:


- Relying on a technological fix that remains illusory


- focused on only one aspect of the issue


- operating under the illusion that current levels of resource consumption are equitable or sustainable.

Start another thread if you think that in the near future we'll not have an alternative energy

source that's much, much better (efficient, clean, available, non-geographical). I'll be happy to

discuss.

kermit said:


"That is perceived as a step backwards. Like it or not, perception equals reality and it won't happen."


Very true. Now you know why I so vociferously position bikes as a step forward. I don't need science on my side. It already is. Public perception is the issue, and when you go around telling people it's going to be fine and we'll all get to drive our hydrogen/oreo cars no problemo, you're feeding them b*llshit and making the problem worse - because it gives false hope for a future that is as much a science fiction tale as the cheesiest episode of Battlestar Galactica.

We may get that energy source Temple. In fact, it's hard to imagine why we wouldn't. But it's likely to be a while before it arrives. And, how will it address all the other problems that come with a dependence on cars for transportation?


Please try to think in terms of the entire problem and holistic solutions. As you've noted, (upthread, approaching problems from multiple vectors rather than concentrating on one area) compartmentalizing the issue isn't the way to find an answer

A response in less than 60 seconds with just two incredible leaps beyond curent fuel->energy use

that are avaiable in the next few months, no radical science

fiction:


http://www.ihsresearch.com/h2n-gen.php


http://www.dailytech.com/article.aspx?newsid=1000

Where have I suggested one solution to 'the problem'?


The closest I've come to having an opinion on the subject of bikes vs. cars (as opposed to trying

to keep the

discussion useful), is suggesting that I disagree with the "bikes-only" solution.

"is suggesting that I disagree with the "bikes-only" solution. "


Jeezus, so do I! Please pay attention to what is actually written by me instead of projecting a position that's easy to argue against.



WTF is the matter with you people? Show me where I said all cars will be gone. Lordy, if you can't make an argument to defeat my position you just change which position you have me take.


ONE LAST TIME;


CARS WILL BE AROUND FOR A LONG TIME BUT IT IS UNREALISTIC AND UNSUSTAINABLE TO EXPECT THAT THE NORTH AMERICAN MODEL OF TRANSPORTATION THAT RELIES ON PRIVATE AUTOMOBILES IS CAPABLE OF HANDLING LARGER POPULATIONS OR THAT IT CAN BE THE KIND OF SYSTEM THAT WON'T UTILIZE THE LION'S SHARE OF RESOURCES FOR A PRIVILEGED FEW. DOES YELLING MAKE IT ANY EASIER TO UNDERSTAND WHERE I AM COMING FROM?



THAT IS ALL!

Stump: "Finally, bikes WILL be the transportation method of choice in the future (both for

people and light goods) for a variety of reasons, most of which are quite obvious when you

remove our cultural biases and view them dispassionately."


I read this as bikes-only. I've followed along that you suggested larger automobiles will still be

around for certain uses, but you've been pretty on-message about a bikes-only personal

conveyance means for

the future.

A response in less than 60 seconds with just two incredible leaps beyond curent fuel->energy use that are avaiable in the next few months, no radical science fiction:

http://www.ihsresearch.com/h2n-gen.php


http://www.dailytech.com/article.aspx?newsid=1000



No doubt you noticed that the first link is to a device that requires distilled water. As yes, water, that's hardly a valuable useful resource that's getting scarcer every day. Can't think of any other use for it than to carry cagers to the gym so they can run on the treadmill for an hour. (I can make stupid statements that misrepresent too!)


Link two is to a car that goes from 0 - 60 in twenty seconds. I bet that'll take the North American market by storm!

Choice does imply that there will be other methods available to people does it not?


Believe me, I've had this argument too many times to be so stupid as say all people will always ride bikes. To reiterate, the car/person ratio must drop by a big factor for long-term sustainability. Cars will not disappear, they will just be recognized for what they are, a resource-intensive, expensive method of conveyance most suited for a a fairly small number of instances. As such, the pricing for use will reflect those realities. As the price rises people will find effective substitutes.

"Link two is to a car that goes from 0 - 60 in twenty seconds. I bet that'll take the North

American market by storm!"


Another fine example of a logically flawed argument.


The first car race was held in Chicago in 1895, the top speed was an average of 5.25 miles per

hour, much, much, slower than horses and horse-drawn carriages of the day.


To use that same flawed argument one could have said after that race about automobiles: "I bet

that'll take the North American market by storm!"


PS: Link two also had a version which went 0-60 in 9 seconds. Still in it's early, early days, yet

decent acceleration already.

You might want to educate yourself as to the avg speed and range of a horse. Over the long haul even a man can outrun a horse. You might want to find out how many stops were made in that first race as that will drive the average down. I notice you didn't refute my observation about water as fuel.

"Choice does imply that there will be other methods available to people does it not?


Believe me, I've had this argument too many times to be so stupid as say all people will

always ride bikes. To reiterate, the car/person ratio must drop by a big factor for long-term

sustainability. Cars will not disappear, they will just be recognized for what they are, a

resource-intensive, expensive method of conveyance most suited for a a fairly small number

of instances. As such, the pricing for use will reflect those realities. As the price rises people

will find effective substitutes."


Now we're getting on track to a useful discussion!


If, as you say that it will be at best a choice, then we need to determine the future pros/cons

of 'cars'. You'll have to describe those pros/cons in such a way that the choice will be vastly

in favour of 'bikes'.


What if pricing of automobiles does not continue to rise? What if it falls? The vast majority of

the weight, bulk, and complexity of a car is due to the internal combustion engine and its

support systems. If and when cars go electric (past hydrogen burning, past hybrid), the drive

mechanism will be isolated to very small compartments aruond the individual wheels, and the

battery pack. They can be a fraction of the weight, complexity, and cost.

Again Temple, I invite you to consider the other numerous problems associated with the single occupant vehicle transporation model beyond greenhouse gas emission. Such as, where will the electricity for these cars be generated? 100% solar, or tidal, or wind? Seems hard to acheive, so again we're looking at resource depletion.



A quick factoid courtesy of google re: horses and range to explain why even crappy cars quickly overcame the horse as a preferred method of transportation.


"In the first half of the 19th century the need arose for mail delivery from New York to San Francisco. In April 1860 the Pony Express was established to meet that need. An ad read: "Wanted. Young, skinny, wiry fellows. Not over 18. Must be expert riders. Willing to risk death daily. Orphans preferred." The principle of the Pony Express was to create an infrastructure that dealt with the problems of range and recharging time. The infrastructure consisted of stations where the horse was fed and rested. As compared to the 30 miles covered in one day by the single rider and horse, the average daily distance covered by the Pony Express increased to as much as 270 miles, 9 times as far.


The Pony Express was a novel way of overcoming the problems of using the horse to travel long distances in as short a time as possible. The problems were range and time to recharge. The solution to the problems was to create stations using the existing technology. At each station the rider exchanged the spent horse for a new fresh horse."

"Such as, where will the electricity for these cars be generated? 100% solar, or tidal, or wind?

Seems hard to acheive, so again we're looking at resource depletion."


I vote for new energy source, of which there are countless under active research. Barring a

new

energy discovery (which I think is quite unlikely), I agree with your post-apocalyptic

wasteland.


"The Pony Express was a novel way of overcoming the problems of using the horse to travel

long

distances..."


You forgot to mention that the average pace of a pony express rider and horse was 9 mph,

almost twice as fast as the car that won the auto race. The first auto race was 55miles, but

the

horse equivalent of a top-of-the-line race car can beat 5.25 mph over 55 miles easily.


Regardless of that fact. The first autos couldn't travel at speeds anywhere aproaching a horse

over short distances, so why would one dream that city dwellers would ever need one? Don't

try to suggest that the argument suggesting that because a nascent technology isn't better

than the existing technology, that it will never overcome the existing one, is a logically sound

argument.

"PS: Link two also had a version which went 0-60 in 9 seconds. Still in it's early, early days, yet decent acceleration already. "


Turbo-diesel are far from 'in their early days'. Diesel engines have been around for well over a century. Sorry, but it doesn't represent any great leaps forward.

The only fact that's apparent in this whole discussion is that Stump won't believe that we've found a sustainable replacement for the IC engine at any point before he dies. We can trot out technology after technology, existing and projected. We can show him fact upon fact, and still he'll claim that bikes are the only way.


Hey Stump: Here's a more efficient mode of transportation than biking. Walking. Since you're so damned concerned about all the components of transportation, surely you must admit that there is a high energy cost for building bikes. In fact, if even you believe the stuff you post, you can't possibly come to the conclusion that bikes are the way to go for one simple reason. They rely on non-renewable resources. Period.


What do you build your bikes out of? Metals, right? How many metals are there on the planet? Is it an infinite amount? Or a finite amount? Too bad your own argumnet has just defeated itself.



I'm happy to say that on my way in to work today there were still cars on the road (mine among them). I'm happy to say that Stump has single-handedly made me want to drive more. A priviledge that I happily took advantage of this weekend, and will happily take advantage of tomorrow. I'd bet good money that Stump relies heavily upon the IC engine as it is, and it's equally clear that he doesn't understand economics, science or sociology. All he seems to grasp is blind faith.


"Turbo-diesel are far from 'in their early days'. Diesel engines have been around for well over a

century. Sorry, but it doesn't represent any great leaps forward."


Another logical non-sequitor. You're suggesting I said turbo-diesels are in their early days, and

running with it.


By that logic one would say that electric cars and hybrid-electric cars are not in their early days

(both have been around for over a century, in fact an electric car was in that first auto race I

mentioned).

There's been no significant research until very recently on using these technologies (including

diesel) for ultra-efficient fuel->energy transportation. And comparing current hybrid/diesel/

electric technologies with the ones from 100 years ago is misleading, as there's much, much

more to the technology than the name implies.

By the way, if we cannot agree that (at least for the purposes of this discussion) that a car can

someday be made that is at least as efficient as a human-powered bicycle, then there's no point

in discussing the pros/cons of cars/bikes, as that agreement is the fork in the path to two

different future realities. People with feet in different realities could not possibly come to the

same conclustion.


There's more than enough energy around us, we're just now discovering how to find the most

efficient and clean way to harness it.


Again, if you're interested in starting a new thread about the possibility of a clean and bountiful

energy supply, I'll participate in that there.

I think you might be able to spell sustainable Dugly, but I get the impression you're unclear on the definition. BTW, I haven't claimed bikes are the only way. Try to pay attention bud. Esp when you drive. Blind faith is believing the myth when the truth is already out there. Which is what you're doing. Enjoy your convenience and comfort while you go back for thirds at the buffet of life.

wow, don't check for an hour and the whole thread goes insane...


I think we can leave this at we have a difference of opinion that is made worse by trying to express it clumsily through this board.


Perhaps we should heed the advice of Tenacious D and all work towards investing in tube technology.

"I'd bet good money that Stump relies heavily upon the IC engine as it is."


Everyone does to some extent Dugly. That's the problem. However, I don't rely 'heavily' on internal combustion. It's called walking the walk.


I'll take your wager if you define the terms within some semblance of current reality. A week's worth of gas money from me vs a week of bike commuting for you? Put your money where your mouth is if you dare.

"By the way, if we cannot agree that (at least for the purposes of this discussion) that a car can someday be made that is at least as efficient as a human-powered bicycle"


Hmm, I'd say it's highly unlikely, bordering on the impossible. A bike has minimal CO2 emissions after manufacture. And that's just the first aspect. There's also infrastructure requirements (guess which one requires a lot more), and a host of other issues that were pointed out earlier.


But, suppose we can. The question is can we do it fast enough to not end up with irreversible climate change and a toxic environment? It's not looking very hopeful at this time, according to experts who are not me.


Why not promote something that we know can work (better transit, more bike amenities, improved land use patterns) rather than wait for a technological miracle to maintain a system that's breeding a whole host of problems outside of just air quality? Because lots of people are lazy and let themselves get trapped in a certain lifestyle? Sorry, but I think our grandchildren need us to hold ourselves to a higher standard. I know some people get offended by such talk, but again, it's not me crying "the sky is falling" just because, but rather a lot of minds much sharper than any on this forum are ringing alarm bells.


"What do you build your bikes out of? Metals, right? How many metals are there on the planet? Is it an infinite amount? Or a finite amount? Too bad your own argumnet has just defeated itself. "


Too bad that's not my argument. But if it were, it would certainly make manufacturing a thirty pound steel or aluminum bike a much better choice when compared to churning out a one ton car. Perhaps you might consider how much longer all those natural resources will last if we build more bikes and less cars. You also might want to start coming up with better examples.

A hydrogen power source would generate only pure water exhaust. We have the technology

today to generate hydrogen using wind-generated (hydro-electric, tidal) power. It wouldn't

take too long before the energy watt per watt of those systems would expel less CO

(factoring construction) than a human-powered bicycle system.


Of course that's not scaleable, so we need another way of getting hydrogen.


I believe that this will happen in our lifetime, at least I sure hope so.


You're right that we're in a race against time. But the question is, what's going to have the

greatest impact on the environment soonest?


1) Having people give up their cars.


2) Finding an alt-energy source that will halt the destruction of the environment.


I'm confident that #2 will have a much greater impact, sooner than #1 will on the destruction

of the environment. In fact I think the only way that #1 can happen is if it's already 'too late'

(enter the post-apocalyptic future). Remember that both systems will still require roads and

bridges (for bikes and the absolutely necessary cars that you admit will be necessary), just

smaller ones, and probably a bit fewer, so a significant portion the energy spent on

maintenance of roads would still be necessary.


Now assuming that we accomplish #2 before it's too late, there would still be a valid debate

on what type of personal conveyance is best.

"Hey Stump: Here's a more efficient mode of transportation than biking. Walking."


You've just described how I get to work one or two days a week. How I get myself over to Blockbuster and the grocery store quite often. Wow, walking... what will they think of next? A way to avoid walking? It's called the Segway I believe. Haven't seen one in a while.

Not to mention that walking is much less efficient than bicycling...

Temple:


While CO2 emissions no doubt rise when one is on a bike, it's not as if one wouldn't be breathing at all in its absence. When you say it wouldn't take too long, are we talking months, days, years?


James Lovelock says we're already too late. I hope he's wrong.



To all:


We may have the technology today, but we still have to construct all this wonderful stuff and time is running out. Even if you don't believe in a pedal-powered future, real change is needed real soon. When people like Dugly spew this "don't worry, be happy" nonsense it's very persausive to people, because it's exactly what they want to hear. Too bad it's exactly wrong. I'm just trying to counter the misinformation and blind optimism that it's all going to work out. Because it's not unless we all do a little bit to make it work out.


If you want easy answers and an easy life... listen to Dugly.


If you want the sad truth and the realization that without hard work, a concerted effort by us First Worlders to rein in the consumption we're so fond of, and some sizable sacrifices to your comfort and convenience - to give humans a fighting chance for survival... well, I'm easy to find. :-)

"and still he'll claim that bikes are the only way. "


And you'll still get my position wrong, because it's easier than dealing with what I've really said. So sad. Bikes aren't the only way, just the easiest given what we have and the problems we face.

"Of course that's not scaleable, so we need another way of getting hydrogen.


I believe that this will happen in our lifetime, at least I sure hope so."


I mean absolutely no offence Temple so don't take me the wrong way here, but WTF??? You believe???? I believe some stuff too, and everyone calls me a loony. Your faith that we'll develop an alternative isn't enough for me. I want a real solution and I think I've found one.


If my way is wrong, the worst thing that happens is there's few more fitter people out there. If you're wrong, we're screwed. I gotta tell ya, I'll take my way over vapourware any day.


"I mean absolutely no offence Temple so don't take me the wrong way here, but WTF??? You

believe???? I believe some stuff too, and everyone calls me a loony. Your faith that we'll

develop an alternative isn't enough for me. I want a real solution and I think I've found one."


You can't offend me, but I appreciate your clarification of the tenor. I believe this based on

the knowledge that we're making huge advances toward it on a variety of fronts in the very

short time we've been looking.


If there's a difference in credibility between what you and I have been predicting, you may

want to wonder why. I've suggested it has everything to do with the way you tend to

undermine the rest of your arguments with logical non-sequitors, not to mention the creative

reasoning you tend to use.


I'm not sure what you mean by "If my way is wrong". I'm convinced that both solutions could

conceivably work, but I'm doubtful that your solution will work in the real world. By the same

reasoning, if people didn't commit crimes, we wouldn't need a police force, but human nature

tells us that people will commit crimes, and therefore the 'solution' of encouraging people to

not commit crimes, just isn't viable in today's world. The real question is which pollution/

energy solution is going to have the greater effect on

preventing environmental catastrophe.


I'm convinced that humans will not give up their cars before that environmental catastrophe

(or the civil catastrophe if the oil runs out). You're convinced that convincing people to give

up their cars can be accomplished before that happens.


If you're right, there's a few more fitter people out there. If you're wrong, we'd both better

hope there's a continual gradual progress in the multitude of alternative energies. Ideally

these will progress to the first truly green energy source.


If you are right, and we can accomplish your goal of people giving up their cars before an

environmental/civil catastrophe. How do you suggest it be done? What sort of timeline do you

think the grassroots advocation of cycling will take? Are there better methods of

accomplishing your goal. Could you describe how it'll happen

voluntarily? I would suggest that you cannot.

I honestly don't think Stump understands the science and research being performed today. Stump, since you continually appeal to "smarter people than are on this forum" or however you put it as experts and the ones who we should all listen to, then I'll go listen to the VAST majority of urban planners and fuel cell researchers who don't believe that bikes are the only solution to the "energy crisis".



You can have your religion, I'll live in the real world with everyone else. Have fun, and enjoy your time on your bike, I know I enjoy mine.

If you want to read the experts I think you'd do well to include climatologists as well. I honestly think you don't want to hear what I've said, which once again, is not that bikes are the only solution. Do me the courtesy of least representing my radical viewpoint for what it is. I don't characterize your argument as 'everyone gets a car' because you apparently don't think that's the case. I don't think bikes are the only solution, but you just want to keep spinning it that way because it's an argument you know you can win.


FWIW, I do understand the science and research being done. I don't think that is more than part of the answer and it's certainly not going to be happening for at least a couple of decades even if the pace speeds up. The other part is individuals with more than enough cutting back a little bit on their consumption. Is that the part of the message that frightens you? Because the way you react to my ideas suggests they frighten you.

"If you are right, and we can accomplish your goal of people giving up their cars before an environmental/civil catastrophe. How do you suggest it be done?"


- By example


"What sort of timeline do you think the grassroots advocation of cycling will take?"


- about a hundred years or two generations to get North America mostly on-side in urban areas. Other countries hard to say and less important, because we are the major consumers of fossil fuels.


"Are there better methods of accomplishing your goal. Could you describe how it'll happen voluntarily? I would suggest that you cannot."


Education and advocacy are the only ways to get voluntary buy-in. Forcing people out of their cars isn't going to work. It will happen voluntarily when our communal ethical outlook views wasting fossil fuels to drive cars unnecessarily as morally wrong. Just as our positions on other behaviours have changed, we'll come to realize our reliance on cars comes at too great a cost. We will evolve, just as we always have. But it requires someone to take the radical viewpoint, to push the debate and battle complacency. It's hardly fun all the time (it does have its moments... bikers throw even better parties than Ultimate players) but it's necessary.


As I've mentioned earlier, the global average for cars to people is a ration of about 1 to 100. In the U.S. it's either 1.25/1 or .75/1 (sorry, but I forget which one). Clearly something is going on there. Most people in the know say it's because North America is consuming resources in a ratio way out whack with our population. Cars play a big role in that.


Either way we'll change our thinking, be it with a partial technological fix, or through a catastrophic event(s). Math may not be my strong point, so I'm certainly willing to listen to how we'll maintain our current lifestyle, deal with more numerous people (have you seen the latest pop. growth figures... people are getting BUSY!) and apportion even scarcer resources, but without a sea change in our attitudes about entitlement and resource allocation I fail to see how the numbers are going to add up.


That's all I'm going to say about bike, transportation, and the solution to our problems. I will add, in an attempt to bring us back on track, that I certainly hope CPR will do the right thing and trade the Arbutus Corrider land back to the City for a generous tax receipt, having done so well by our original gift of land in the city's formative years. And, that we'll not try to jam a solution in there before we've had a chance to see how the city evolves over the next decade or so.

Pages