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Slick Vik

The End of Suburbia

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ROFL   Just one lie picked out from the video...  Maine to Florida on I-95 and never able to see open countryside?  Who was that moron?

Edited by Houston19514

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That documentary was made 10 years ago.

 

There's a lot newer information that's a bit more relevant.

 

I haven't seen this particular documentary, but most of them don't explain 'peak oil' correctly.

 

It's not the end of oil, it's the end of cheap oil, as the easy wells dry up (Saudi Arabia, etc) the costs to pull it out of the ground go up. 

 

This doesn't spell doom for Houston, it spells doom for the lifestyle of driving a truck every day of the year 30 miles to/from work. 

Edited by samagon

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Did you see the article in the Charon a couple of weeks ago that showed that 80% of homes sold were outside the beltway? The rat of sprawl is increasing in Houston, not decreasing.

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Did you see the article in the Charon a couple of weeks ago that showed that 80% of homes sold were outside the beltway? The rat of sprawl is increasing in Houston, not decreasing.

 

Yes because people aren't thinking long term. Once the price of oil becomes so high, people will reconsider living out in the boonies, because the price of transportation will be astronomical, and Houston's politics have put it in a position where there is no public transit alternative. And this suburban lifestyle is causing pain for the rest of the world indirectly. Makes no sense that USA uses 25% of the world's resources. There are a lot of indirect costs for the entire american population, higher airline fares, higher costs for all products since they are shipped via air/train/trucks, etc. Just a matter of time before stuff hits the fan.

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Yes because people aren't thinking long term. Once the price of oil becomes so high, people will reconsider living out in the boonies, because the price of transportation will be astronomical, and Houston's politics have put it in a position where there is no public transit alternative. And this suburban lifestyle is causing pain for the rest of the world indirectly. Makes no sense that USA uses 25% of the world's resources. There are a lot of indirect costs for the entire american population, higher airline fares, higher costs for all products since they are shipped via air/train/trucks, etc. Just a matter of time before stuff hits the fan.

It's not the oil that allows for sprawl, it's the private vehicle. That vehicle can and will be powered by things other than oil as prices rise. Same thing with bulk transport. The only real danger is a sudden and sustained very large spike in oil prices that doesn't give us time to adapt. If oil prices rise gradually, new technologies will come on line and suburbia will be saved for future generations to enjoy. Thanks to fracking, oil production in Texas has doubled in the last few years and makes it even more likely that we'll see a gradual increase in oil prices rather than a catastrophic spike.

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It's not the oil that allows for sprawl, it's the private vehicle. That vehicle can and will be powered by things other than oil as prices rise. Same thing with bulk transport. The only real danger is a sudden and sustained very large spike in oil prices that doesn't give us time to adapt. If oil prices rise gradually, new technologies will come on line and suburbia will be saved for future generations to enjoy. Thanks to fracking, oil production in Texas has doubled in the last few years and makes it even more likely that we'll see a gradual increase in oil prices rather than a catastrophic spike.

 

Fracking has its own issues, like damaging water supply. And the private vehicle was made into a must have due to the confluence of the federal government, developers, and general motors. It was not some kind of natural process. The "American Dream" is a profiteering racket that made a lot of people very rich.

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Fracking has its own issues, like damaging water supply. And the private vehicle was made into a must have due to the confluence of the federal government, developers, and general motors. It was not some kind of natural process. The "American Dream" is a profiteering racket that made a lot of people very rich.

The private vehicle has a long history of precursors that predates developers, GM, and the US Government. People have wanted and needed to move themselves about in better ways than walking since the dawn of time and have found ways to do that. Cars running on petroleum are just the most popular of the recent transportation innovations. As prices rise, other options will emerge and suburbia will be saved.

Edited by august948
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Predictions of the demise of oil have been predicted for over 100 years. Oil will never run out.. it is a commodity chemical. Only when the energy needed to extract petroleum, surpasses the energy output of petroleum will you see a change in automobile use. This is called Energy Return on Investment 

 

In addition, the end of urban sprawl doesnt mean the end of Houston at all. Oil, may not be used as the fuel of the future, but it is still used in thousands of other chemicals that are not constrained by the energy market. 

 

Even if gasoline isnt used in the future, the innovation brought out about will likely result in infrastructure implementation for the electric car, or hydrogen car.  

 

 

Edited by Purdueenginerd
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Yes because people aren't thinking long term. Once the price of oil becomes so high, people will reconsider living out in the boonies, because the price of transportation will be astronomical, and Houston's politics have put it in a position where there is no public transit alternative. And this suburban lifestyle is causing pain for the rest of the world indirectly. Makes no sense that USA uses 25% of the world's resources. There are a lot of indirect costs for the entire american population, higher airline fares, higher costs for all products since they are shipped via air/train/trucks, etc. Just a matter of time before stuff hits the fan.

 

Actually, we DO have an alternative.

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Makes no sense that USA uses 25% of the world's resources.

That actually makes a lot of sense since the US output is around 22% of world production.

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That actually makes a lot of sense since the US output is around 22% of world production.

 

Do you think 4% of the world's population should be using 25% of the world's overall resources, not just oil? It's not right.

 

And hydrogen fuel cell technology is a bridge to nowhere, basically a false hope that has been sold for a while with no real results. Suburbanization is not a sustainable lifestyle, and it's just a matter of time because reality becomes a hard truth for hundreds of millions.

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That actually makes a lot of sense since the US output is around 22% of world production.

 

:lol:  :lol:

stop picking on slick - when he goes off on these death to personal transportation rants he's just too target-rich.

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The US consumption of oil peaked a few years ago (fuel economcy standards), all while production is up pretty radically domestically with the new shale oil plays.  The US now produces 7Mil BBls/Day of oil.  Add in Canadian heavy oil sands/tar and I think the doom and gloomers for oil use are on the wrong side of the equation.  There were articales written around 100 years ago that spoke about the US running out of oil, yet here we are.   

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Do you think 4% of the world's population should be using 25% of the world's overall resources, not just oil? It's not right.

When that 4% of the world's population is producing 22% of the world's GDP then, yeah, that's fair and proper. Sometime in the far future output % and population % will probably come somewhat into alignment, but for now the disparity in development between regions of the world is too great for that to be a useful metric.

I would like to know where the 25% stat comes from. I hope that's not a direct quote from Michael Moore.

Edited by august948

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August948 has already said it, but it bears repeating: the personal vehicle is never going away.  It may certainly switch off the internal combustion engine, but it'll just run on some alternative energy.  Maybe natural gas.  Maybe batteries charged overnight at home.  Maybe tiny econobox hybrids getting 100+ mpg (see Europe, Japan).  We're too wealthy of a society to go back, and we're only getting wealthier.  As is every other country on the planet (well, except North Korea), and they all start buying cars at about the same GDP/capita (so much for the conspiracy theory).

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When that 4% of the world's population is producing 22% of the world's GDP then, yeah, that's fair and proper. Sometime in the far future output % and population % will probably come somewhat into alignment, but for now the disparity in development between regions of the world is too great for that to be a useful metric.

I would like to know where the 25% stat comes from. I hope that's not a direct quote from Michael Moore.

 

So 22% of the world's resources that the US uses all come from the US? :blink:

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August948 has already said it, but it bears repeating: the personal vehicle is never going away.  It may certainly switch off the internal combustion engine, but it'll just run on some alternative energy.  Maybe natural gas.  Maybe batteries charged overnight at home.  Maybe tiny econobox hybrids getting 100+ mpg (see Europe, Japan).  We're too wealthy of a society to go back, and we're only getting wealthier.  As is every other country on the planet (well, except North Korea), and they all start buying cars at about the same GDP/capita (so much for the conspiracy theory).

 

Maybe 1% of us are getting wealthier, but last time I checked the wealth inequality gap is rising exponentially in this country, and the government has resorted to a sequester due to budget fallacies.

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Youre getting off topic a bit. Socioeconomic arguments are probably not best suited for this board. Though income disparities are a problem, that doesn't refute what august948 has said. 

 

And as for the US using 22 percent of the worlds materials... I say... So what? Its their problem to build the demand and build the infrastructure. In fact, they are: Have you missed the globilization movement for the last 2 decades?

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Slick - you always portray this as if people are being sold a way of life that they will someday come to their senses and realize how wrong they have been. I'd argue that personal transportation and the suburban lifestyle are desired by many people. The idea that it's not sustainable assumes static technology.

Cities will continue to sprawl because that's what many people want. The idea that a dramatic rise in oil prices will drive people from their cars is a fallacy because its just as likely to drive innovation to reduce the impact of the increased prices.

The minute someone delivers an electric car that provides a range that allows a full day of driving without requiring a recharge at a competitive price, or a comparable innovation, the whole game changes. I would argue that the probability that happens in the next twenty years is high.

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Slick - you always portray this as if people are being sold a way of life that they will someday come to their senses and realize how wrong they have been. I'd argue that personal transportation and the suburban lifestyle are desired by many people. The idea that it's not sustainable assumes static technology.

Cities will continue to sprawl because that's what many people want.

 

The people want it because of a systematic, methodical collusion between developers, General Motors, and the federal government. Sprawl didn't just show up out of thin air, it was all methodically planned out. The people that "want" it are just pawns in a much bigger game.

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I'm no fan of Urban Sprawl, or the suburbs but a better argument against urban sprawl, would be to use quality of life, financial strain on local governments, segregation, and overall urban community. In my opinion, these are better arguments against sprawl than the global oil market. 

 
Sprawl showed up, with the advent of the Automobile, so sure, you can say that there was collusion that GM wanted to make money on their product---- roads a pretty good way of doing that. Guess what, people wanted that, which is why the market flourished. The federal government never marched into real estate offices and forced people to move. The federal government never propogated white flight. The federal government didnt create the baby boomer generation. Sure it may have encouraged it, but that was the will of the people. 
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I'm no fan of Urban Sprawl, or the suburbs but a better argument against urban sprawl, would be to use quality of life, financial strain on local governments, segregation, and overall urban community. In my opinion, these are better arguments against sprawl than the global oil market. 

 
Sprawl showed up, with the advent of the Automobile, so sure, you can say that there was collusion that GM wanted to make money on their product---- roads a pretty good way of doing that. Guess what, people wanted that, which is why the market flourished. The federal government never marched into real estate offices and forced people to move. The federal government never propogated white flight. The federal government didnt create the baby boomer generation. Sure it may have encouraged it, but that was the will of the people. 

 

Yes but when there are such things like school funding bias towards subarbs and against urban environments, and cheaper housing in suburbs due to the subsidization of the federal government, general motors buying up streetcar lines and ripping the tracks out causing people to want to buy cars in the first place, you can't help but feel the sense of a thought out plan. The average joe is just a sucker in the bigger scheme of things.

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The people want it because of a systematic, methodical collusion between developers, General Motors, and the federal government. Sprawl didn't just show up out of thin air, it was all methodically planned out. The people that "want" it are just pawns in a much bigger game.

I would apply Occam's Razor in this scenario, but you didn't address the rest of my question. Your argument is based on the scarcity, expense, and environmental impact of fossil fuels. I don't see that as a constraint due to innovation.

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Yes but when there are such things like school funding bias towards subarbs and against urban environments, and cheaper housing in suburbs due to the subsidization of the federal government, general motors buying up streetcar lines and ripping the tracks out causing people to want to buy cars in the first place, you can't help but feel the sense of a thought out plan. The average joe is just a sucker in the bigger scheme of things.

You do realize that the streetcar networks were originally developed due to massive subsidies from electric companies and real estate developers though right?

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I would apply Occam's Razor in this scenario, but you didn't address the rest of my question. Your argument is based on the scarcity, expense, and environmental impact of fossil fuels. I don't see that as a constraint due to innovation.

 

What innovation? I'm yet to see any results beyond an expensive electric car with a 40 mile range and a hydrogen fuel cell theory that has yet to produce anything. We've already seen with air prices immediate effects of what fuel prices do. I think it would be best if we were taxed heavier like European nations and faced a $6-$8 per gallon price, to really see a change in the way of thinking in this country.

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What innovation? I'm yet to see any results beyond an expensive electric car with a 40 mile range and a hydrogen fuel cell theory that has yet to produce anything. We've already seen with air prices immediate effects of what fuel prices do. I think it would be best if we were taxed heavier like European nations and faced a $6-$8 per gallon price, to really see a change in the way of thinking in this country.

Check out the Nissan Leaf with a range of 120 miles and a price tag in the low 30ks. Innovation is coming because of self interest by car manufacturers. Look at the windfall Toyota has achieved from the Prius.

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If you're so bent on suburbia's death, the thing that probably will end happening is the socioeconomic structure prior to suburbs (which were first created by trains and streetcars): the center of town is where the wealthy live, followed by middle class, followed by the poor in the outskirts. In this case, the poor people would be living in the suburbs. 

 

At least that's what I remember from a history class.

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Yes but when there are such things like school funding bias towards subarbs and against urban environments, and cheaper housing in suburbs due to the subsidization of the federal government, general motors buying up streetcar lines and ripping the tracks out causing people to want to buy cars in the first place, you can't help but feel the sense of a thought out plan. The average joe is just a sucker in the bigger scheme of things.

 

 

I'll just leave this link here for you to read in regards to GM buying up streetcar lines... GM is not the sole reason for the deterioration of mass transit in the US. Even in cities with Strong Mass transit systems there exists vast and abundant suburbs. NYC, Chicago, and DC all have very large urban footprints. 

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_Motors_streetcar_conspiracy

 

School funding bias towards suburbs appears to be a byproduct relic of racism and segregation.  Cheaper housing in the suburbs is a product of land availability, population density and desireablity. Theres a reason a new home in Midtown costs $300,000 and a new home in Spring costs $150,000. Coincidentally you can probably buy an old home in the 3rd ward, for $80,000. The only federal subsidy that really comes into play for those three homes involves property tax deductible. 

 

Can local government do more to promote growth in the urban core? Sure! You won't hear any qualms from me about that. 

 

Regardless, youve changed your argument again.  First you were indicating that the global oil market will lead to the downfall of suburbia. I think we all here refuted that. Now your argument is, that some "evil conspiracy" to build more suburbs is at play. In my opinion, suburbs exist because of economic conditions and racial discrimination for the last century. Nearly every city in North America is experiencing a rebirth of their city core in the last decade. Perhaps the racial discrimination, or the economic advantages associated with the suburbs are reduced. I dont know...  

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You do realize that the streetcar networks were originally developed due to massive subsidies from electric companies and real estate developers though right?

 

The scale was not the same.

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If you're so bent on suburbia's death, the thing that probably will end happening is the socioeconomic structure prior to suburbs (which were first created by trains and streetcars): the center of town is where the wealthy live, followed by middle class, followed by the poor in the outskirts. In this case, the poor people would be living in the suburbs. 

 

At least that's what I remember from a history class.

 

To an extent this is happening in Houston. The inner loop property values are worth much, much more than suburban house prices, and there is a reason. Real estate value is based on location.

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I'll just leave this link here for you to read in regards to GM buying up streetcar lines... GM is not the sole reason for the deterioration of mass transit in the US. Even in cities with Strong Mass transit systems there exists vast and abundant suburbs. NYC, Chicago, and DC all have very large urban footprints. 

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_Motors_streetcar_conspiracy

 

School funding bias towards suburbs appears to be a byproduct relic of racism and segregation.  Cheaper housing in the suburbs is a product of land availability, population density and desireablity. Theres a reason a new home in Midtown costs $300,000 and a new home in Spring costs $150,000. Coincidentally you can probably buy an old home in the 3rd ward, for $80,000. The only federal subsidy that really comes into play for those three homes involves property tax deductible. 

 

Can local government do more to promote growth in the urban core? Sure! You won't hear any qualms from me about that. 

 

Regardless, youve changed your argument again.  First you were indicating that the global oil market will lead to the downfall of suburbia. I think we all here refuted that. Now your argument is, that some "evil conspiracy" to build more suburbs is at play. In my opinion, suburbs exist because of economic conditions and racial discrimination for the last century. Nearly every city in North America is experiencing a rebirth of their city core in the last decade. Perhaps the racial discrimination, or the economic advantages associated with the suburbs are reduced. I dont know...  

 

1. I have a link for you too, the PBS documentary Taken for a Ride, which explains in detail how GM was the main contributer to the death of the streetcars

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ob2bYUtxlxs

 

2. I didn't change my argument, the lack of oil will lead to price increases across the board and particularly be a harsh slap in the face to suburban lifestyle. And as far as the evil conspiracy, it happened after World War II, and it's over and done with for the most part, a few cities like Houston still insist and more and more sprawl but as you said it seems there has been a renewed focus on urban core as of late.

 

Good to debate with you.

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What innovation? I'm yet to see any results beyond an expensive electric car with a 40 mile range and a hydrogen fuel cell theory that has yet to produce anything. We've already seen with air prices immediate effects of what fuel prices do. I think it would be best if we were taxed heavier like European nations and faced a $6-$8 per gallon price, to really see a change in the way of thinking in this country.

 

Despite those prices, and heavy encouragement of mass transit, The amount of space consumed per person has more than doubled over the past 50 years in Europe. Sprawl has hit all the major cities of Europe as well. 

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To an extent this is happening in Houston. The inner loop property values are worth much, much more than suburban house prices, and there is a reason. Real estate value is based on location.

Absolutely, and that's why people move to the suburbs and will continue to do so.

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Slick - you always portray this as if people are being sold a way of life that they will someday come to their senses and realize how wrong they have been. I'd argue that personal transportation and the suburban lifestyle are desired by many people. The idea that it's not sustainable assumes static technology.

Cities will continue to sprawl because that's what many people want. The idea that a dramatic rise in oil prices will drive people from their cars is a fallacy because its just as likely to drive innovation to reduce the impact of the increased prices.

The minute someone delivers an electric car that provides a range that allows a full day of driving without requiring a recharge at a competitive price, or a comparable innovation, the whole game changes. I would argue that the probability that happens in the next twenty years is high.

 

exactly. peak oil isn't about running out of oil, it's about other resources becoming cheaper than oil per unit. that happens not just because oil will continue to go up in price as costs to produce go up, that happens as new technologies will emerge that will make it an irrelevant resource.

 

the USA peak oil is a perfect example. costs to produce a bbl of oil from USA got more expensive that shipping it in from other locations. it wasn't like they didn't know that oil existed in shale, or that hydraulic fracturing methods didn't exist 30 years ago, it just cost way too much.

 

here's a somewhat relevant article on the cost of gasoline in various countries:

http://www.bloomberg.com/slideshow/2013-02-13/highest-cheapest-gas-prices-by-country.html#slide1

 

an interesting note from the article above is gallons used per person per day. USA is over 1 gallon on average, china is .05 gallons. so if gas prices were to soar, it would still not impact China as greatly as it does/would us.

Edited by samagon
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What innovation? I'm yet to see any results beyond an expensive electric car with a 40 mile range and a hydrogen fuel cell theory that has yet to produce anything. We've already seen with air prices immediate effects of what fuel prices do. I think it would be best if we were taxed heavier like European nations and faced a $6-$8 per gallon price, to really see a change in the way of thinking in this country.

"What innovation?", said the farmer to Henry Ford. "I'm yet to see any results beyond an expensive horseless carriage with a 40 mile range and a gas tank."

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Slick - GM buying the streetcars is irrelevant to the argument because the rise of suburbia is what created the streetcars to begin with. We've gone through this before on another thread but the perfect example is the Heights. Developer creates suburb and builds streetcar to provide easy transit to that suburb. That all predates the streetcar conspiracy.

My point is that the same reasons that encouraged people to move to the Heights in the 20s exist and motivate people to move to the suburbs today and for all the talk about continued urbanization, there's been no consistent movement away from suburbanization.

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So 22% of the world's resources that the US uses all come from the US? :blink:

No, the US produces 22% of the world's GDP (the output). The resources that fuel that (the input) come from all over, though a lot comes directly from the US. If we could manage to use 25% of the world's resources and not produce anything at all we'd be kings indeed (for a while, at least).

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The people want it because of a systematic, methodical collusion between developers, General Motors, and the federal government. Sprawl didn't just show up out of thin air, it was all methodically planned out. The people that "want" it are just pawns in a much bigger game.

Wait a minute! You left out the military-industrial complex, Wall Street, the Federal Reserve, the Church (pick your favorite), the Bilderberg Group, the Illuminati, birthers, and aliens.

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So has anyone even watched the film? I feel the points have totally been ignored; instead of concern the answer is mostly disdain and we will do what we want to do.

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So has anyone even watched the film? I feel the points have totally been ignored; instead of concern the answer is mostly disdain and we will do what we want to do.

Is there a salient point that hasn't been discussed? I'm not sure watching a 10 year old film pushing a particular socioeconomic viewpoint is a worthwhile expenditure of time. I can tune into Fox News, CNN or MSNBC for that.

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I will watch it, I'm just not in a location where I can do so right now. As I mentioned earlier though, and maybe this is discussed in the film, the streetcars were a by-product of sprawl, so I'm not sure how you can argue that their elimination caused sprawl. I'm also curious to discuss some specific locations where sprawl has been curtailed, because I'm not aware of them.

Edited by livincinco

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I will watch it, I'm just not in a location where I can do so right now. As I mentioned earlier though, and maybe this is discussed in the film, the streetcars were a by-product of sprawl, so I'm not sure how you can argue that their elimination caused sprawl. I'm also curious to discuss some specific locations where sprawl has been curtailed, because I'm not aware of them.

 

The scale of distance the streetcars went can not be compared to freeways, for the most part. The only cities I can think of that had enormous networks were LA and San Francisco/Oakland. Also, another side effect of replacing streetcars with buses and expansion of freeways is the pollution. If you look at a picture of Los Angeles 100 years ago, it looks like a beautiful place. Now, it looks like smog.

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If you look at a picture of Los Angeles 100 years ago, it looks like a beautiful place. Now, it looks like smog.

You're comparing LA of today (pop 3.7 million in 2010 census) with LA of 1913 (pop 319k in 1910 census).

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The scale of distance the streetcars went can not be compared to freeways, for the most part. The only cities I can think of that had enormous networks were LA and San Francisco/Oakland. Also, another side effect of replacing streetcars with buses and expansion of freeways is the pollution. If you look at a picture of Los Angeles 100 years ago, it looks like a beautiful place. Now, it looks like smog.

Agreed, but my point is that the desire to escape the city to move to a suburban environment existed prior to the widespread adoption of the automobile and the "streetcar conspiracy". Earlier, you asserted that desire was created by GM and other conspirators. The scale certainly increased due to the automobile, but the desire was there previously.

Regarding LA, the problem with your point is that smog has decreased significantly in Los Angeles in the last 40 years in spite of population increases. It is measurably better today than it was then and that's primarily due to innovation in the emission systems of modern cars. The Economist ran a very convincing article a few years ago arguing that the most effective reduction of emissions would be to incentivize people in lesser developed countries get rid of older cars and replace them with new efficient ones because of how dramatic the improvements have been in the last forty years.

My point is simply that cars will continue to get more efficient and will not go away, primarily because car manufacturers have an extremely selfish interest in making sure that happens. They have absolutely no reason not to push in that direction as aggressively as possible.

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Agreed, but my point is that the desire to escape the city to move to a suburban environment existed prior to the widespread adoption of the automobile and the "streetcar conspiracy". Earlier, you asserted that desire was created by GM and other conspirators. The scale certainly increased due to the automobile, but the desire was there previously.

Regarding LA, the problem with your point is that smog has decreased significantly in Los Angeles in the last 40 years in spite of population increases. It is measurably better today than it was then and that's primarily due to innovation in the emission systems of modern cars. The Economist ran a very convincing article a few years ago arguing that the most effective reduction of emissions would be to incentivize people in lesser developed countries get rid of older cars and replace them with new efficient ones because of how dramatic the improvements have been in the last forty years.

My point is simply that cars will continue to get more efficient and will not go away, primarily because car manufacturers have an extremely selfish interest in making sure that happens. They have absolutely no reason not to push in that direction as aggressively as possible.

 

Have you ever seen the film Who Killed the Electric Car? Until very recently, car manufacturers sabatoged their own electric car plans.

 

And also about LA, I was comparing to before even 40 years ago. I saw a picture where it looked like Mount Fuji; I don't think it will ever look like that again.

Edited by Slick Vik

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Have you ever seen the film Who Killed the Electric Car? Until very recently, car manufacturers sabatoged their own electric car plans.

You really should spend a little less time in front of the tube and a little more in the real world. You won't be as susceptible to propaganda and one-sided storytelling that way.

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This is one of the funniest threads on HAIF in years. The ability of Slick to fling out various unrelated theories and suddenly conclude, "therefore, suburbs are doomed!", is hilarious! Keep it up, dude. I kinda would like to hear you explain why all these disparate events suddenly will make Houston fail, but whatever.

 

Next, will you tell us who was behind the 9/11 attacks?

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