March 6, 2006

Public Transport and our Greenhouse Problem

Posted in Uncategorized at 12:07 pm by thelawthoughts

I read today, in my Economist of Jan 14-20, 2006 (p34), that Australia has the highest greenhouse emissions per head of any country in the world.

When you place this fact alongside the idea of free public transport, discussed in Sunday’s Age (I’d love to link but paid only), it is hard to come to any conclusion but that public transport in Melbourne should be free, or at least very heavily subsidised.

Joshua Gans has his usual thoughtful and insightful post here, discussing toll roads and the proceeds of use of such roads, which could be used to fund free transport. I’m not au fait with the merits of that particular argument, however there must be a better way than the course we are pursuing.

We see driving our cars to work, play or in between as a right. In this we closely resemble the US, coincidentally, with China, one of the biggest emitters of greenhouse gas. It’s not a right, people, it is a privelege. The quicker we work out that we are killing our environment, and that economic growth is not a reason to ignore that fact, the better we will be. Europeans don’t see driving as a right. What is the result? Have you ever been on the Parisian underground? People look at you in awe if you mention the fact you are walking to your destination ten minutes away, rather than getting on the amazingly good train network.

Why are we building toll roads to Frankston? Why not run three times as many trains down there, for free?

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1 Comment »

  1. Do you have something against economic growth? Was it mean to you at school? Did it take the jam out of your dough nut? Just seems that a lot of your posts are very anti-growth. I’m just beginning to wonder if it’s personal…

    PS. I’ll do a post on this seeing as it’s topical.


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