58. EXTERNALITIES OF CAR USE
WW writes in with an interesting link on the externalities of car use. From the report:
The external costs of transport are large (estimated at about 8 % of EU GDP (INFRAS, 2000)) but the estimates are uncertain. The most important categories of external cost are climate change, air pollution and accidents. Congestion is one of the highest components only in urban areas.Source (pdf)
These externalities are listed as:
Additional costs of
- medical care
- opportunity costs of society
- suffer and grief. "A value of human life of 1.5 million Euro is considered."
Damages (opportunity costs of land value) and human health.
Damages (opportunity costs) of
Damages (opportunity costs) of global warming
Brown smog cloud over Denver, November 2002
Nature and landscape:
Additional costs to repair damages, compensation claims
Separation in urban areas:
Time losses of pedestrians
Space scarcity in urban areas:
Additional costs from up- and downstream processes:
Additional environmental costs (air pollution, climate change and risks)
External additional time and operating costs
Car culture sucks, and is the very root of the peak oil problem. Yet, oddly enough, many peak oilers are dead set on defending the car. They say "conserving will just make the problem worse" or simply "you can't live without a car". These are all just junky excuses and hypocrisy. If you're driving over to a meeting on peak oil, YOU are the problem, not peak oil.
You can't blame Bush, Cheney or the oil companies if they decide to drill ANWR or nuke the tarsands. They are simply responding to the "needs" of their first world customers. If the public didn't want the oil, they wouldn't have to go to such extremes to produce it.
Why not boycott gasoline? "Oh, please... that's preposterous. We need our cars." Okay, but if you need your car, and your car needs gasoline, then Bush and Cheney need to get the oil. They're blameless, lily white. They're just following orders from the public. They don't want to pull a Jimmy Carter and piss off the electorate.
Cars aren't necessary to live, or even necessary to live a first world lifestyle, and anybody who tells you different might as well be on the payroll of Exxon. "You can't live without a car" is nothing but brainwashing that has been pounded into you since you were born by multinational corporations.