Monday, November 05, 2007

Toward a Full Accounting of GHG Transport Emissions

Accounting for greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) is no simple matter in urban transport. It is not as simple as the GHG emissions from the vehicles themselves. For example, there is the vehicle manufacturing process. There is also vehicle maintenance and the energy used to keep stations and administrative facilities open. There is simply no central source of information for such data, a situation that is a serious “GHG omission.”

Three decades ago, BART, the San Francisco area rapid transit system, published estimates of the full energy requirements for operating public transport and cars, including such factors as vehicle maintenance, right of way maintenance, and stations. Generally, the analysis found that the rail mode required 41 percent more energy than is consumed in traction (transportation), buses 37 percent and cars 22 percent. These factors may be old, but they may be the only ones available (and it is possible that they are still valid).

If we assume the BART factors, then the comparison of GHG emissions between transport modes in Australia is even more favorable for cars. The average car would emit 229 grams of GHG per passenger kilometer, compared to 212 grams for buses and 148 grams for Sydney’s rail system. Cars meeting the 2010 National Average Fuel Consumption target would be better than both buses and rail in Sydney at 137 grams per passenger kilometer. The best hybrids could better buses by two-thirds and rail by one-half.

All of which points out the needed for objective, comprehensive analysis.

The previous post on GHG emissions by mode("Public Transport Greenhouse Emissions Similar to Cars", Wednesday, October 31, 2007) does not include any adjustment for vehicle maintenance, right of way maintenance, and stations. Its calculations apply only to direct transportation.

Posted by Demographia

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Letter Published: Outrageous land prices

Sunday Telegraph 4 November 2007
It is astounding to learn that Landcom, an organisation set up by the New South Wales Government to offer affordable houses on the city fringe, is demanding up to an outrageous $380,000 for newly released housing lots in Helensburgh ("High-rise towers for the aged", Sunday Telegraph 28 October). Such prices cannot be justified as agricultural land sells for the equivalent of only $6000 per housing lot. Instead of releasing sufficient land to meet demand, Landcom’s role has deteriorated to hoarding land and making housing unaffordable for most people. Those seeking a home are forced to live packed in like chooks in battery cages or to move to another State. No wonder Sydney is now numbered among the world cities with the most unaffordable housing.

Tony Recsei
President Save Our Suburbs

Letters published - Power corrupts

North Shore Times 2 November 2007
Victoria Brookman (Labor candidate), the furore about Frank Sartor’s grab of Ku-ring-gai Council’s planning powers is no mere political beat-up (Times October 26). The community is objecting to the Department of Planning devising ever more despotic ways of forcing high-density into the community. There can be no doubt the residents overwhelmingly reject high-density, this was conclusively proved at the series of huge public meetings organised by Ku-ring-gai Council at Ravenswood School. What is more, imposed high-density is detrimental not only to the local community but also is indisputably bad for the public at large. This does not seem to concern the powers that be. Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

Tony Recsei
President Save Our Suburbs

Northside Courier 31 October 2007

Frank Sartor wants to take the planning powers of Ku-ring-gai Council in order to make it easier for his Department of Planning to force high-density into the local community. Over the last few years Council has bent over backwards to comply with his Department’s demands but it is never enough. Perhaps the councilors have at last discovered that it does not pay to cave in to bullies. They just hit you all the more. The community is now left with no alternative – stand up and fight. A determined campaign on all possible fronts by a united community of 100,000 people would make these would-be dictators think twice about any more despotic actions.

Tony Recsei
President Save Our Suburbs