Hat tip to Stephen Rees for highlighting an advantage of high oil prices I’ve not considered: road deaths go down as people drive less and drive more slowly and the incidence and severity of accidents decreases. The fact that people will slow down to save a bit of money, but not to look out for pedestrians or children is a bit depressing, but on the other hand, the results count.

Lower speeds and less driving = people live longer. So it follows that if we get people cycling, then not only are they reducing emissions, they are also  using a slower form of transport and are therefore less dangerous to pedestrians, and on top of this, there are less cars on the roads, making it safer for other drivers. How about that?
Mr. Rees goes on to argue that while there are still masses of hydrocarbons sloshing about, the current economic problems (or as he technically puts it ‘The economy is down the toilet’) mean that demand -and therefore the price- is low, which means that there is no money to look for more oil. And the stuff is getting harder to find, and harder to get at.
In other words, when the economy gets back out of the toilet and demand for oil goes back up, supply won’t bounce back to meet it, sending prices up faster than a delayed motorist’s blood pressure and potentially causing major economic and social problems -as if cars don’tdo that already.
So, now would be a good time to stop planning more roads and think about making it possible to travel and shift materials about without burning oil, or damaging the environment, and my word, but public transport, rail based infrastructure and cycling seems to fit the bill perfectly, and cycling infrastructure is cheap and even saves money elsewhere. How fortunate that we have such a simple, useful form of transport available.

So let’s see if Ostfildern’s politicians are listening…

No, still in cloud-cuckoo land.

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