Getting about green: Sydney's future after the oil age

Transport & Logistics News has a write-up of a recent lecture at UTS on peak oil and climate change, featuring ASPO Australia's Garry Glazebrook.

With the price of oil now reaching more than $120 per barrel, the reality of peak oil and rising costs at the petrol pump are truly straining the budgets of most Australian families. This worsening issue, the future of the petrol engine and Sydney's troubled transport infrastructure were the focus of a recent UTSpeaks public lecture presented by three of University of Technology Sydney's (UTS) leading sustainability researchers. More than 250 people heard presentations that scoped the problems facing transport in Sydney and associated environmental dangers ahead.

According to UTS Institute for Sustainable Futures (ISF) Senior Research Consultant Dr Michelle Zeibots the rising price of petrol will, not surprisingly, hit families living in the outer lying regions of Sydney hardest, where reliance on car trips is greatest. ...

Senior Lecturer in urban planning with the UTS Faculty of Design, Architecture and Building, Dr Garry Glazebrook, painted a sobering picture of the environmental consequences of climate change due to the greenhouse effect. He said we were fast approaching a concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere that would lead to dramatic and irreversible climate change, acidification of the oceans and dramatic rise in sea level.

"We are addicted to the car despite the fact it is a very costly way of travel financially and environmentally," Dr Glazebrook said. "Much of our real financial costs are obscured to us by staggered fees associated with car ownership – registration costs, depreciation and so on. We need to get used to the idea of travelling less and when we do travel, choose options that have far fewer environmental impacts.

"Alternative sources of energy used in association with public transport is one of the most obvious and urgent solutions we should be pursuing. There is no reason why our train system in Sydney should not be run entirely on green energy and our buses be fuelled by electricity. ...

This makes for interesting reading in reagrds to cities.

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