On Sat Sep 23 16:18:21 2000, "Vandergraaf, Chuck" <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> Now that you've been to Paris, you will have a first-hand comparison between
> Paris and Houston (or any other (mostly) Western North American city). You
> will have noticed that Paris was designed before the advent of the motor car
> and that, consequently, it's not exactly a driver-friendly city. Seems to
> me that the only reasonable direction we, North Americans, can take is to
> design our cities like Paris, where, within the Peripherique, one is within
> six blocks of "le Metro," an efficient people hauler if there ever was one!
You are absolutely correct about the Metro. We only used a cab once and that
was when we were coming back to the hotel late one night so that we wouldn't
have to walk in the dark and worry about muggers. However, all European cities
were designed before the car--even Aberdeen. The roads are very narrow with
many country roads being nothing more than one lane which presents problems
when two cars meet up. I don't think the metro would work in an American city
like Houston or Dallas. One would have to dig thousands of miles of tunnels to
allow people to be within 6 blocks of the Metro. Without that, no one will ride
it. Besides, the living patterns appear to be different in European cities.
Everyone lives downtown. In the US everyone wants to be in the burbs.
>BTW, you are correct in that the Prius relies
> on oil/gasoline, but the Prius does not use a fuel cell. Its
> gasoline-powered engine produces electricity that is used to charge a
> battery and both the internal combustion engine and the battery supply power
> as needed.
I stand corrected.
> The answers, IMHO, is to reserve the oil and gas for transportation where
> electrical power is impractical. Electrification of the railroads in North
> America is one way to replace oil. We also have to move towards mass
> transit, and that means building compact cities like Paris. Nuclear should
> be used to generate base load electricity, with the waste heat used to heat
> buildings and greenhouses.
As things currently stand, 25% of our electricity is generated by oil and
natural gas. Personally I think we need to lose our fear of nuclear and build
the plants now or the French (who are almost totally nuclear in electrical
generation) will be the ones to conquor the world this century.)
> There are some simple things we can do to reduce our energy consumption.
> For example, we could legislate that drivers shut their engines off when
> waiting at traffic lights. This is already the practice in countries like
> Switzerland. We can form car pools.
Companies will have to be more sensitive to letting people go on time. There is
nothing worse than having to make your ride wait an hour while you finish the
job your boss just gave you, or waiting for your ride to finish his job. That
at least has been my experience with car pools.
This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Sun Sep 24 2000 - 05:38:27 EDT