339. CARGO SCOOTERS AND BICYCLES
Clearly, there is tremendous waste in our current usage of oil and oil products. Everyone agrees with that. The argument arises over what that means in the context of peak oil. There are two basic positions which we can summarize as follows:
- Optimist: Waste is our friend. The solution to peak oil is to dramatically conserve energy, and then switchover the remaining part to alternatives.
- Doomer: We can't conserve -- because conservation: a) is impossible and b) will destroy the economy -- therefore we're doomed.
To something like this:
So the bad news, if you're an American etc., is that your superstud lifestyle is going to go down the toilet. The good news is that it was only your lifestyle, so who cares? Suck it up, and quit whining like a bunch of wimps. You still get from point A to point B, and that's what counts. It's not business-as-usual, but it is functionality-as-usual, and the beat goes on.
I know it's hard for Americans to visualize people actually living in such a high-efficiency future, and I've previously posted a series of articles to help them with that: (144. YOUR BUDDY THE SPACE HEATER, 156. BICYCLES IN JAPAN, 285. STREET CAR!). Today, I'd like to show you a place where ordinary people routinely move around and tote cargo using scooters, bicycles and motorcycles. It's the city where I live -- Osaka, Japan.
Lately I've been seeing so many cargo scooters and electric bicycles, that I decided to shoot the video above to share it with you. The above was shot over the course of about an hour, just walking around a few blocks in central Osaka. One interesting cargo scooter that I see a lot is this unit, a 3-wheel scooter with cargo space and roof (mileage approx. 41km/l, or 100mpg):