Oh really? That isn’t necessarily the case – see this scientific article!
I can vouch for the fact that if I’m travelling to work, sadly using the A34 in Oxfordshire then my mpg performance drops dramatically compared to a run where the car is able to run at a speed closer to the legal limit. And surely improving mpg is one, I’ll admit only one, measure of helping to damage the planet less. We need to get to and from work and public transport has declined to a point that unless you live in London you’re basically ****ed!
My point being that if cars were able to travel at, or even closer to, their most optimum speed the amount of petrol/diesel consumed would drop significantly. So, taking that point to it’s logical conclusion spending £42 billion on making cars work more efficiently by providing better roads would benefit far more people than building a railway that almost no one will benefit from – except of course the shareholders of those companies who win the contracts to build HS2. Less fuel used, less time spent driving to and from work = more time for actual working or for the family – ok I know there’s the negative that HMRC gets less income form petrol duty!
So, instead of ruining many thousands of people’s journeys on a daily basis thanks to traffic issues which are going to cost us nigh on £62 billion by 2016… (and this is just the value that people would put on their time – not the actual cost of their “wasted” time nor the cost of the extra fuel that is being used!)
In the UK, INRIX Roadway Analytics identified and ranked 20,375 traffic hotspots in 21 cities. The ranking was determined by an ‘Impact Factor’, which multiplied the average duration of a traffic jam with its average length and the number of times it occurred in September 2016. The cost to drivers due to time wasted in traffic at these hotspots, calculated using the DfT’s ‘value of time’, amounts to £61.8 billion in the UK by 2025 if congestion levels are not reduced.
…why not focus on these – the top 10 ways that Global Citizen reckons are the way to reduce climate change…
- Rooftop solar – Elon Musk is big into this
- Silvopasture – apparently this is as simple as planting trees in pasture land and letting cattle roam there!
- Solar farms – like your rooftops only on a massive scale.
- Family planning – tricky given that a vast majority of the under-developed world is Catholic and China’s just upped the children per household to 2!!
- Educating girls – we’re talking mainly (but not exclusively) in the under-developed world as educated girls/women have less kids – although educating stupid men not to treat women as an inferior species would be a good start!
- Protecting or replanting tropical forests – clearly cutting down the Amazon is just bonkers.
- Plant rich diets – this means shifting away from the western style processed food diet – clearly a good thing but pretty tricky to sell.
- Reducing food waste – absolutely essential. The amount of perfectly edible food that we throw away is just obscene.
- Offshore wind turbines – surely there are enough places that we could site these – without destroying the beauty of them.
- Refridgeration management – we’re talking air conditioning in homes and cars as well as well fridges!! Apparently the eradication of Ozone crunching CFCs has led to a repairing of the hole but sadly the replacement HFCs which get released at end of the fridge’s life can heat the atmosphere 900 times more than CO2!
Clearly governments have a big part to play in this, so to come back to the original headline of this post, governments need to take their collective feet off the motorist and plant them firmly on accelerators – those organisations that can stimulate innovation and future business, ‘coz that’s the only way we’re going to get things like these:
- home battery packs to store electricity generated from our roofs,
- wind turbines that can be fitted to homes and offices as well as out to sea,
- greater investment in planting more vegetation – everywhere,
- ways to convince people of certain religions that their dogmas aren’t right,
- getting “out of date” food to people and places that need it,
- packaging that can be recycled,
- home automation systems designed to minimise power usage
- I’m inclined to add in “drive less/drive smart” but only if there’s an equivalent improvement in public transportation
- tell Trump he’s an idiot and get the US to stay in the Paris agreement
- and finally tell planners to sort out the road network so we drivers CAN drive more efficiently!