Transport: August 2008 Archives

Facing both ways.

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makeithappenclegg.jpgNick Clegg recently published a summary of his views, coincidentally called Make It Happen (pdf link). 

Whether it's party policy or just his policy isn't clear - if you search for it, Google thinks it's called "Front Page Nick Only". They seem to have decided to go really personal, because they think that's worked for the Tories. 

Anyway, one of the sections caught the attention of a friend. On page 7, Nick says (emphasis mine):

"Labour have let us down. They make big promises about cutting emissions, but then they back dirty coal-fired power stations and plan another runway at Heathrow. And they build expensive new roads instead of funding proper public transport."

Just like Liberals when they get into power. Tavish Scott and Nicol Stephen, as Transport Ministers, rammed through a series of expensive new roads, including the Aberdeen Western Peripheral, the M74 Northern Extension (against the Inquiry's report), and the M80 project (delivered through PFI). 

But where's the Aberdeen Crossrail? The Glasgow Crossrail? Languishing still, despite four years of Liberal Transport Ministers and eight years of Liberal coalition with Labour. 

The page this hypocrisy appears on is ironically titled "Why is it so hard to go green?" Actual Greens find it pretty straightforward to go green, but it certainly seems impossible for the Liberals.

Thanks to Rayyan Mirza for the delighful montage to the left. 

Lost in space.

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carinspace.gifGristmill note that the most recent American government figures on driving show a substantial drop: a 4.7% reduction in mileage, motivated by the increase in oil prices (154Kb pdf).

A 4.7% drop amounts to a staggering 12.2 billion miles. In other words, one year's reduction in U.S. driving is equivalent to 489,940 fewer car trips around the world, a standard unit of mega-distance.

Looking at the bigger picture, the total American mileage over the last year is 2,954,326,000,000 miles, roughly. That's a little more than half a light year, the next largest such unit. Now, the nearest star system to our own is, as everyone knows, Alpha Centauri, which is 4.37 light years away. 

Over George Bush's term of office, therefore, Americans will have collectively driven as far as Alpha Centauri, more than 25 trillion miles, and all at about 24.6 miles per gallon. Other sci-fi dorks may find this as shocking as I do.

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About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Transport category from August 2008.

Transport: July 2008 is the previous archive.

Transport: September 2008 is the next archive.