Monday, May 11, 2015

Peak car?

Ever since some alarmist came up with the economically nonsensical term peak oil, we’ve been inundated with peak this, that, and the other thing. There’s peak helium. How about peak phosphorus?

More recently, the term has been twisted from a supply issue to a demand issue, such as peak smart phone. And now peak car. Yet, reading about peak car, the Antiplanner can’t help but feeling that this is neither a supply nor a demand issue but more wishful thinking on the part of city officials who are doing their best to create auto-hostile environments.

Millennials don’t drive? It turns out that’s not true, just as it isn’t true that Millennials avoid the suburbs...

The fundamental problem for anti-auto people is that cars are faster, less expensive, and more convenient than the alternatives for most urban trips. Bicycles may work for short trips and for people of a certain athletic ability, but a city that depends on bicycles is not going to be as wealthy as one that uses cars. Transit is simply non-competitive without gargantuan subsidies...

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Texas


Daily Kos on Texas:

The supposed Jade Helm 15 conspiracy may be the single stupidest thing to come out of Texas in 20 years, and for a state that has reliably given us such treasures as Louie Gohmert, Steve Stockman, Ted Cruz, Rick Perry, and George W. Bush himself that is saying something.

It may not even be possible to adequately convey how stupid this story is. There may not be words in the English language—there may in fact be no words in any language, simply because no civilization has yet existed that ever needed to convey a stupidity as deep or as empty-headed as would apply here. It is a stupidity so stupid that we may be able to use it as future measure of the viability of nation-states; if a majority of any definable population is stupid enough to believe this thing, it is evidence that that population has lost the intellectual ability to maintain a government.



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Cell phones and cancer



Are government officials doing enough to protect us from the potential long-term health effects of wearable devices and cellphones? Maybe not. A letter released today, signed by more than 190 scientists from 38 countries, calls on the United Nations, the World Health Organization (WHO), and national governments to develop stricter controls on these and other products that create electromagnetic fields (EMF).

"Based on peer-reviewed, published research, we have serious concerns regarding the ubiquitous and increasing exposure to EMF generated by electric and wireless devices," reads the letter, whose signatories have collectively published more than 2,000 peer-reviewed papers on the subject. "The various agencies setting safety standards have failed to impose sufficient guidelines to protect the general public, particularly children who are more vulnerable to the effects of EMF..."


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