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At present, there are roughly a billion cars in the world. Yet within twenty years, the number will double to 2 billion, largely a consequence of China's and India's explosive growth. Given that greenhouse gases are already creating havoc with our climate and that violent conflict in unstable oil-rich nations is on the rise, does this mean that matters will only get worse, or are there hopeful signs that effective, realistic solutions can be found?
In Two Billion Cars, through a concise history of America's love affair with cars and an overview of the global auto industry, leading transportation experts Daniel Sperling and Deborah Gordon explain how we arrived at this state, and what we can do about it. Sperling and Gordon outline the problem in full and assign blame squarely where it belongs - on the auto-industry, short-sighted government policies, and consumers. They consider the issue from all angles and take up such topics as getting beyond the gas-guzzler monoculture, breaking Detroit's hold on energy and climate policy, the search for low-carbon fuels, California's pioneering role, and more. But they are not Cassandras. Promising advances in both transportation technology and fuel efficiency together with shifts in traveler behavior, they suggest, offer us a way out of our predicament.
Ultimately, the authors contend that the two places that have the most troublesome emissions problems - California and China - are the most likely to become world leaders on these issues. Arnold Schwarzenegger's enlightened embrace of eco-friendly fuel policies, which he discusses in the foreword to Two Billion Cars, and China's forthright recognition that it needs far-reaching environmental and energy policies, suggest that if they can tackle the issue effectively and honestly, then there really is reason for hope.
It's well researched and readable. Geoff Ward, Western Daily Press Interesting and engaging. The Big Issue