Oil Sands Truth: Shut Down the Tar Sands

Transport Revolutions

Moving people and freight without oil

by Richard Gilbert and Anthony Perl

To be published by Earthscan in December 2007
(scroll down for an overview and for advance ordering information)

Richard Gilbert

Consultant on Urban Issues
focusing on transport, energy, waste management,
and urban governance

Web site: http://www.richardgilbert.ca

Anthony Perl

Professor of Political Science
Director, Urban Studies Program
Simon Fraser University


Transport Revolutions: Moving People and Freight without Oil sets out challenges to industrialized societies’ growing dependence on transport fuelled by low-priced oil. One challenge is the possible imminence of the peak in world oil production. This would be followed by gradually declining production during a period when world oil consumption is projected to increase substantially. The shortfall between expected demand and supply could result in extremely high oil prices. Another challenge is potentially catastrophic climate change caused at least in part by combustion of oil and other fossil fuels.

The high oil prices in particular could give rise to two or more revolutions in land transport during the first half of the 21st century. One would involve the replacement of internal combustion engines by electric motors. Another would involve widespread powering of these motors directly from the electric grid rather than from on-board fuel. Together, and with necessary organizational innovations, these transformations would allow considerable movement of people and freight by land in an era of severe energy constraints and concerns about carbon emissions.

Marine transport and aviation will be constrained by continued dependence on portable fuels. Movement by water can be assisted by wind, but there is no such relief for movement by air, which could require profound transformation to ensure commercial viability.

Before considering future transport we explore past transport revolutions, to gain insight into the nature and dynamics of profound change. We also examine current transport, with a focus on energy use and adverse impacts. We highlight some of transport’s determinants and analyse the politics and business of transport and how these could undergo major changes. We propose organizational and technical innovations that could ensure effective, secure movement of people and goods in ways that minimize environmental impacts and make the best use of renewable sources of energy.

We conclude that 2008 and 2009 could be pivotal years in preparing transport for the era of oil depletion, the many decades after about 2012 when world oil production could well decline gradually and unavoidably. In considering how to respond, we focus on what could be done in the U.S. and China by 2025. These are the most challenging cases among richer and poorer countries. Transport revolutions should be well under way by 2025, but far from complete.

Transport Revolutions could become essential reading for professionals in transport, energy, business, engineering, town planning, and local and national governments as well as students at many levels in transport, civil engineering, geography, town planning, environmental studies, public policy, and political science.

Introduction: Transport revolutions ahead · Chapter 1: Learning from past transport revolutions · Chapter 2: Transport today · Chapter 3: Transport and energy · Chapter 4: Transport’s adverse impacts · Chapter 5: The next transport revolutions · Chapter 6: Leading the way forward

Hardcover £45.00 (≈ US$90.00) · ISBN 978-1-84407-248-4 · Publication: December 2007 · Approximately 350 pages, 234 x 156 mm · 99 boxes, figures, and tables · 737 reference and other endnotes citing 701 sources · Fully indexed

Earthscan / James & James
8-12 Camden High Road, London NW1 0JH, UK
Tel: +44 (0)20 7387 8558 Fax: +44 (0)20 7387 8998
E-mail: earthinfo@earthscan.co.uk Web site: http://www.earthscan.co.uk/

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