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Culture Change print magazine issues: 20  19  18  17  16  15  14  13  12  11  10  9  8  index

Pedal Power solutions to petroleum dependence and polluting vehicles: Arcata Library Bikes, Pedal Power Produce, and more!

CAOE - Committee Against Oil Exploration - stop offshore oil drilling to protect sensitive habitats and cut petroleum dependence.

Culture Change through music! The Depavers eco-rock!

Take our Pledge for Climate Protection and learn about the Global Warming Crisis Council.

SEI hometown action!
Arcata city council's proclamation against war on Iraq and Kyoto Protocol proclamation.

Overpopulation has become a reality.  Overpopulation Resources and News Tidbits

Sail Transport Network

Fact Sheets
Press Releases

Long Distance

 Fact Sheets 
[#1] [#2] [#3] [#4]

Fact Sheet #2 - compiled 1994; updated 1998
A Positive Alternative
Environmental Restoration and Economic Revival

Oil’s uses — asphalt, tires, plastics and pesticides — go beyond fuel requirements, so this dangerously strategic commodity can be reduced in use across the board by halting new roads and paving. Less asphalt production cuts refinery runs of all other petroleum products.

Rail system construction is less capital intensive, more labor intensive and creates more jobs per unit of investment than road building.

Under 100 human lives have been lost in AMTRAK accidents since its creation in 1971.

There are already 140,000 miles of existing railroad track in the U.S. Because a single track has the capacity of a 4-lane freeway, this network’s capacity far exceeds that of the existing 42,000 mile Interstate Highway System.

Car commuters use over 7,200 British thermal units (Btu)/passenger mile; rail commuters use as little as 1,146 Btu/passenger mile. Freight carried by truck uses nearly 1,900 Btu/ton-mile; freight carried by train uses less than 1/4 that amount — 443 Btu/ton-mile.

One fully occupied train car can remove as many as 100 passenger cars from the road during rush hour. While car traffic accommodates about 750 passengers per meter-width of lane per hour, surface rapid rail will carry 9,000. In locations without rail service, bicycles can carry 1,500 persons per meter-width of lane, at least twice as many as cars.

Bicycles are a highly efficient alternative to cars. Bicycles require only 22 calories per passenger kilometer, compared to rail at 549 calories per passenger kilometer and cars at a staggering 1,153 calories per passenger kilometer.

Electric rail emits the least reactive hydrocarbon and carbon monoxide of any motorized transportation mode; solar electric rail emits none (excluding production stage).

Light rail is more cost-effective than freeway construction. Estimates for urban freeway construction range as high as $1 billion per mile, while new light rail costs only $10 to $16 million per mile.

Light rail in cities competes favorably with the automobile in terms of speed. One study of average transportation speeds in cities worldwide found rail speeds averaging over 40 kilometers per hour, compared to average car speeds of 21 km/hour.

Due to time required to buy, maintain and pay to insure cars, etc., in addition to sitting in cars, the U.S. motorist actually averages only five miles per hour, according to cultural revolutionary/author Ivan Illich. Primitive walking cultures can provide for more efficient transportation at without the pollution, pavement and thralldom to corporate interests.

Use of rail encourages development to be more compact, generally in nodes around rail stops. This results in more efficient land use, preservation of farmland, a more cost-effective infrastructure, and conservation of energy.

Demand for space and real estate values go up around rail transit stops, for both residential and commercial development. Denser living saves energy and time while building community involvement.

Studies show that banning cars from city centers and increasing pedestrian access increase business revenues. This is the trend in Europe today, where more efficient use of energy and space clearly benefits economic health.

A 1990 USDA study for mitigating spotted-owl related job loss showed that U.S. Forest Service roads present a great opportunity for job-generating road closure.

A moratorium on new roads and parking lots can spark a renaissance in our now-decaying towns and cities by redirecting development and investment to existing urban centers. Employment would soar to refurbish old buildings, depaving areas for gardens and parks, and creating infrastructure for bicycling, walking, and rail trolley transit.

A moratorium on paving will preserve biodiversity by halting additional roads, development, clearcutting, and ensuing wildlife habitat fragmentation and stream erosion. A paving moratorium would automatically preserve historic and sacred sites that might be threatened by paving.

Not only would a paving moratorium will halt the spread of air and water pollution, the spread of human population would also be halted, limiting growth in population size. More roads = more people, according to some expert observers.

 Fact Sheets  [#1] [#2] [#3]


Articles of interest:
Anti-globalization protest grows, with tangible results.  WTO protests page

Tax fossil-fuel energy easily
by Peter Salonius

UK leader calls War on Terror "bogus"

Argentina bleeds toward healing by Raul Riutor

The oil industry has plans for you: blow-back by Jan Lundberg

It's not a war for oil? by Adam Khan

How to create a pedestrian mall by Michelle Wallar

The Cuban bike revolution

How GM destroyed the U.S. rail system excerpts from the film "Taken for a Ride".

"Iraqi oil not enough for US: Last days of America?"

Depaving the world by Richard Register

Roadkill: Driving animals to their graves by Mark Matthew Braunstein

The Hydrogen fuel cell technofix: Spencer Abraham's hydrogen dream.

Ancient Forest Protection in Northern California . Forest defenders climb trees to save them.

Daniel Quinn's thoughts on this website.

A case study in unsustainable development is the ongoing crisis in Palestine and Israel.

Renewable and alternative energy information.

Conserving energy at home (Calif. Title 24)



Culture Change/Sustainable Energy Institute mailing address: P.O. Box 3387 , Santa Cruz , California 95063 USA
  Telephone 1-215-243-3144 (and fax)

Culture Change (Trademarked) is published by Sustainable Energy Institute (formerly Fossil Fuels Policy Action), a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) California non-stock corporation. Contributions are tax-deductible.