If you haven’t played with Hans Rosling’s Gapminder World, do so when you have plenty of free-time. Rosling has a particular skill of using facts to show the world issues in a new & fascinating light.
This graph compares the impact of the pump price of gas to CO2 emissions per person in giving countries. With a few exceptions, the results are clear: The cheaper gasoline is at the pump, the higher per capita rates of CO2 emissions.
The interactive graph allows for visualizing the facts over time. For the United States, as gas prices rose from 2000-2006, there is a noticeable decline of CO2. In Saudi Arabia on the other hand, as prices dropped during that period, their emissions per person rose in conjunction.
These countries were quickly chosen in hopes of finding a good spread. Certainly, other factors are involved. For a country like the United States, that enjoys globally inexpensive prices, raising the true cost of a gallon of gas could go along way in reducing energy needs and emissions.
Despite common belief, the U.S. hasn’t had a federal gas-tax increase since 1993. Why isn’t this on the table?
If gas prices reflected more of the true cost, perhaps more people would follow the lead Mr. Lively.
If you have time, take a look at this Gapminder visualization and let us know what you discover.
Since starting this BLOG, I’ve talked to several people who have gone car-less or as a household have gone down to owning one car. It’s possible. They all discover so many options even without a car-share company in town.
Still, most of those people live in or near Traverse City.
Michigan Land Use Institute‘s staffer Jim Lively and his family are proving that people living in the outlying areas can do it as well. He parked his personal car , left it behind and got on the bus.
He now takes the BATA Empire Village Connector for his daily commute to MLUI’s downtown offices. As he explains in a recent BLOG post:
I live 22 miles from my office in Traverse City, where I need to be most every day. I have two girls still at home—both several years from driving age—who are very involved in a variety of after-school activities. And my wife works a couple of part-time jobs in Traverse City. That’s pretty much the profile of a two-car family.
But it’s working just fine. In fact, now that I’ve been successfully commuting for nine months without a car, I’m starting to brag about it.
Brag away Jim. You can read the entire piece, including the hidden benefits, at: I’m Out of the Car-Commuter Game
Makes me wonder:
Could the city capture some-form of a city income-tax to fund a BATA boom?
Could this alleviate the perceived need for another $10 million parking deck?
As always. Just asking. Waiting for answers.
A summary of the results of the recently completed BATA Survey are viewable at www.batasurvey.com