The twin prongs of a solution are: emerging alternative-transportation developments (such as Bus Rapid Transit, platoons of buses in dedicated lanes); and alternative fuel sources for cars, a field distorted in the United States by subsidies for one of the worst options, corn ethanol.
One industry that gets off lightly here is Big Oil: “By any measure, oil companies are managed responsibly,” the authors write soothingly. One of them used to work for Chevron. But automobiles, they reckon, will inevitably move to fully electric drive, and governments should get more involved in shaping transport policy through incentives and taxes, because there has been a “market failure”.
Two Billion Cars
Daniel Sperling and Deborah Gordon
Oxford University Press, 2009
— By Steven Poole
Copyright Guardian News and Media Limited, 2009