Stephen Rees's blog

Thoughts about the relationships between transport and the urban area it serves

Guest Post

with 2 comments

I have been trying to persuade Meredith Botta that he should start his own blog, but he says he is too busy right now. This is an example of what you are missing – his title was simply “more links”


This one is to ASPO ( and links to a Washington Post article on the effects of higher fuel prices on suburban housing price and demographic trends. There is an interesting debate between pro-transit officials and the Texas Transportation Institute, which appears to be pro-car.

[Stephen’s note – same link that inspired the previous post]

This one is to today’s Vancouver Sun editorial, which I find not a little infuriating. They state that market forces alone are responsible for a 3.2% decrease in US gasoline sales in July as compared to July ’07, and imply that is a very significant drop while contorting themselves into knots to keep government, peak oil, and CO2 emissions away from markets.

What the Sun editors aren’t acknowledging is that American (and I would bet Canadian) car / oil dependency is still 96.8% of last year’s, and any further price spikes – market caused or not — will have far more profound effects on society, but especially in sprawling suburbs as iterated in the Post article. The Sun ignored a corresponding decrease in US housing prices at the urban periphery, and a record increase in transit demand. Unlike the Post, they failed to admit that it is governments through their policies that set new trends and good solutions in planning and urban design that work marvelously in relieving car dependency and increasing not just sustainability, but the building of vibrant communities. They go absolutely nowhere in promoting a decrease in our subsidized dependency on oil and act as though there is no such thing as geological evidence. Further, they are at odds in the editorial with the majority of the scientific community on deliberate action to mitigate climate change.

Perhaps they can afford to be wrong when they are owned by narrow interests.

Written by Stephen Rees

August 7, 2008 at 3:19 pm

Posted in Transportation

2 Responses

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  1. How is oil subsidized? (I’m not doubting you, just wondering)

    Andy in Germany

    August 8, 2008 at 3:23 am

  2. In North America the oil companies get very generous tax credits for exploration and developing new fields

    Stephen Rees

    August 8, 2008 at 11:12 am

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