384 pages, 30 illustrations
In the nineteenth century, horse transportation consumed vast amounts of land for hay production, and the intense traffic and ankle-deep manure created miserable living conditions in urban centers. The introduction of the horseless carriage solved many of these problems but has created others. Today another revolution in transportation seems overdue. Transportation consumes two-thirds of the world's petroleum and has become the largest contributor to global environmental change. Most of this increase in scale can be attributed to the strong desire for personal mobility that comes with economic growth.
In "Transportation in a Climate-Constrained World", the authors present the first integrated assessment of the factors affecting greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from passenger transportation. They examine such topics as past and future travel demand; the influence of personal and business choices on passenger travel's climate impact; technologies and alternative fuels that may become available to mitigate GHG emissions from passenger transport; and, policies that would promote a more sustainable transportation system. And most important, taking into account all of these options, they consider how to achieve a sustainable transportation system in the next thirty to fifty years.
This book--not surprisingly, given the authors--provides an excellent technical review of the costs and benefits of alternative efficiency technologies and alternative fuels for light vehicles and commercial aircraft. More surprisingly, it contains an unusually insightful discussion of the evolution of travel and a valuable and dispassionate review of the policy options open to government to pursue further technological advancement of the two fleets. I've been doing this work for twenty years and this book showed me that I still have a lot to learn. --Stephen E. Plotkin, Center for Transportation Research, Argonne National Laboratory
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