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The week in sustainable mobility

Mike Millikin, WorldChanging
Summary of energy news, plus developments in green auto technology.
(16 April 2006)

Kevin Phillips interview: America under the influence of oil
Katherine Lambert, Morning Edition (NPR)
As part of The Long View series of conversations on Morning Edition, author Kevin Phillips talks with Steve Inskeep about the influence of the oil industry.

Phillips is a former aide to Nixon whose new book American Theocracy examines the emerging Republican majority and where it is taking America. He also wrote The Emerging Republican Majority in 1969.
(17 April 2006)
The original article has an excerpt from Phillips’s latest book: Chapter 4 “Radicalized Religion.”

One billion cars

Joseph B. White, Wall Street Journal
It won’t be long before the world hits that number. Here’s what it means for the consumer, the industry — and the planet.
One billion. By 2020 or sooner, that’s how many cars and light trucks there will be on the road around the world. That’s one for every 6 1/2 people on the planet — and over 25% more vehicles than we have today.

…The auto boom will only add to the congestion in major cities, as well as deepening the world’s thirst for petroleum and spewing even more carbon dioxide into the air. That will leave drivers facing rising costs and traffic headaches, and force the auto industry to deal with rising demands for fuel efficiency, pollution control and a host of other rules and regulations. For instance, worried that the European landscape will be littered with junked cars, the European Parliament has demanded that car makers devise ways to recycle and reuse 95% of the weight of a vehicle by 2015.

Longer term, the struggle to accommodate one billion autos on the planet may lead to a rethinking of the car’s place in society.

Automobiles have long been symbols of personal freedom. They’ve enabled people to live in the country and earn better wages in town. Auto makers have enjoyed special status as national industrial champions, protected to some degree from competition in return for providing high-paying jobs on a mass scale.

The view of cars as a symbol of all that’s right in the economy and society still holds a lot of power, especially in developing countries.
(17 April 2006)
The original article has a Podcast on “Powering the Future” —

When there are one billion cars on the planet, what will make them go? WSJ’s Detroit bureau chief Joseph White talks about the engines and fuels of the future and what auto makers are doing to reduce petroleum consumption today and bring about more fundamental changes in how cars are powered in the future.