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Two Billion Cars: Driving Toward Sustainability

by

Two Billion Cars: Driving Toward Sustainability Cover

ISBN13: 9780195376647
ISBN10: 0195376641
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: None
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Today there are over a billion vehicles in the world, and within twenty years, the number will double, 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, will matters only get worse? Or are there hopeful signs that effective, realistic solutions can be found?

Blending a concise history of cars and their impact on the world, 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 assign blame squarely where it belongs-on the auto-industry, short-sighted government policies, and consumers. They explore such solutions as getting beyond the gas-guzzler monoculture, re-inventing cars, searching for low-carbon fuels, and more. 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.

The authors conclude 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, 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. Updated with a new afterword that sheds light on the profound changes in the global economy in the last year, Two Billion Cars makes the case for why and how we need to transform transportation now more than ever.

"Authoritatively prescriptive."

--Tom Vanderbilt, Wilson Quarterly

"Provocative and pleasurable, far-seeing and refreshing, fact-based and yet a page-turner, global in scope but rooted in real places. The authors make a convincing case that smart consumers driving smart electric-drive cars can find the critical path to a safer planet."

--Robert Socolow, Princeton University

"In this insightful and persuasive book, Sperling and Gordon highlight one of the biggest environmental challenges of this century: two billion cars. They rightly contend that we cannot avert the worst of global warming without making our cars cleaner and petroleum-free. Luckily the authors also offer a roadmap for navigating this problem that is both visionary and achievable."

--Frances Beinecke, President, Natural Resources Defense Council

Review:

"This look at the global automobile industry explains how such a staggering number of autos came to be, and how we can sustain them all and the planet at the same time. The range of topics is wide; one of the most interesting chapters looks at the psychology of hybrid vehicle purchasers: 'at least for the early buyers... it's about the symbolism of "doing the right thing," even if the individual contribution is infinitesimally small.' The fortunes of fuel-sippers are also considered in relation to gas prices: in the year GM launched the Hummer brand and Toyota unveiled the Prius, gas prices at 'near historic lows' made the Hummer ubiquitous in cities and suburbs. Elsewhere, Sperling and Gordon examine the problem of China's car ownership explosion, but return repeatedly to the 'pioneering role' of California. Sperling and Gordon are upfront with their California ties(Sperling serves on the California Air Resources Board, Gordon has worked with the California Energy Commission, Gov. Schwarzenegger provides the foreword), and though they profile somegenuinely groundbreaking work, it can read more like public relations than objective reporting; further, some proposed solutions (personal 'carbon budgets') read like parodies of Left Coast eco-liberalism. Luckily, there's enough grounding global perspective to save the text from too much California dreaming. 15 b&w photos." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Synopsis:

At present, there are roughly a billion motor vehicles in the world. 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 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, transportation experts Daniel Sperling and Deborah Gordon provide a concise history of America's love affair with cars and an overview of the global oil and auto industries. America is still the leading emissions culprit, and what is especially worrying is that developing nations are becoming car-centric cultures as well. The authors explain how we arrived in this dangerous state, and also what we can do about it. Sperling and Gordon expose the roots of the problem-- the resistant auto-industry, dysfunctional oil markets, short-sighted government policies, and unmotivated consumers. They zero in on reforming our gas-guzzling culture, expanding the search for low-carbon fuels, environment-friendly innovations in transportation planning, and more. Promising advances in both transportation technology and fuel efficiency together with shifts in travel behavior, they suggest, offer us a realistic way out of our predicament.

Ironically, the authors contend that the two places with the most troublesome emissions problems--California and China-- are taking the lead in developing effective strategies that can help wean us from our reliance on conventional, petroleum-fueled cars. California's embrace of eco-friendly policies, which Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger discusses in the foreword, and China's willingness to confront the twin environmental and energy crises wrought by an exponential growth in cars, suggest that if they can develop ingenious and effective solutions, then there really is reason for hope.

About the Author

Daniel Sperling is Professor of Engineering and Environmental Science and Policy at the University of California, Davis, and Founding Director of UC-Davis's Institute of Transportation Studies. He also serves on the California Air Resources Board.

Deborah Gordon is a senior transportation policy consultant who has worked with the National Commission on Energy Policy, the California Energy Commission, International Council for Clean Transportation, and the Chinese government to develop fiscal policies for their burgeoning auto fleet. She earlier developed and directed transportation policy programs for the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and the Union of Concerned Scientists.

Table of Contents

Preface to the Paperback Edition

Foreword

Acknowledgments

1. Surviving Two Billion Cars

Transportation Trends: Headed in the Wrong Direction

Roadmap to Survival

Hard Work Ahead

2. Beyond the Gas-Guzzler Monoculture

Internal Combustion: From the Model T to Cars on Steroids

The Quest for a Better Engine: Electric Drive Technology

Beyond Cars: New Options for Personal Mobility

The Coming Transformations

3. Toward a Greener Detroit

The Making of the Detroit Mindset

The Jolt of Japanese Competition

Moving Detroit Toward Green

4. In Search of Low-Carbon Fuels

Petroleum Fuels in Transition

Alternative Fuels Past, Present, and Future

Steps Toward a Post-Petroleum World

5. Aligning Big Oil with the Public Interest

The Changing Oil Supply

Unconventional Oil: Savior or Disaster?

The Changing Oil Industry

Big Oil's Environmental Epiphany

Big Carrots and Big Sticks

6. The Motivated Consumer

The Car-Centric American

From Mean to Green: Shifting Consumer Identities

Aligning Incentives with Socially and Environmentally Responsible Behavior

7. California's Pioneering Role

From Smog and Sprawl to Environmental Leadership

Leadership in Climate and Air Quality Policy

Leadership in Clean Energy Technology

The Trendsetting California Consumer

California's Ripple Effect

8. Stimulating Chinese Innovation

China's Extreme Makeover

Toward an Enlightened Car Policy

Innovations That Might Spread From China

How the Rest of the World Can Help China Help Us All

9. Driving Toward Sustainability

Imagining Futurama III

Our Strategy for Getting There

Transforming Vehicles

Transforming Fuels

Transforming Consumer and Local Government Behavior

Realizing the Vision

Afterword

Foreword

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

lupabitch, December 28, 2008 (view all comments by lupabitch)
Worldwide, there are over one billion passenger vehicles--cars and light trucks--in use. As industrialization increases around the globe, the demand for independent transportation will increase. Unfortunately, so will the demand for oil--and the resulting pollution. While ideally we may want fewer cars on the road, the reality is that we're very possibly looking at two billion cars well before the end of the 21st century.

Daniel Sperling and Deborah Gordon tackle this potential future, and offer up a solid solution that allows for economic growth, but with sustainability prioritized. They begin by laying out what technologies have been developed, and are available, such as various electric vehicles and alternative fuels. They then explore the issues surrounding why these alternatives haven't been explored to their greatest potential. For some, it's a matter of political and industry roadblocks. For others, consumers are reluctant (whether justifiably or not) to approach new technologies. Still other potential solutions are in need of refinement before they're ready for the global market.

Rather than painting a completely pessimistic picture, the authors are careful to offer not only the success stories that have helped keep sustainable personal transportation from being a complete failure, but also leave us with realistic and attainable goals to work towards as individuals, as a society, and as part of a global network.

While the book is somewhat academic and occasionally tends to be dry, it is still quite accessible. Additionally, the research is impeccable; the endnotes offer a great deal of additional detail as well as resources for further research. This is a book suitable for the layperson as well as the expert.

As Portland and other cities face an increase in automobile traffic, straining resources as well as infrastructure, it is crucial that we educate ourselves on what options are available to us. "Two Billion Cars: Driving Toward Sustainability" is an excellent starting point for those just becoming aware of the problem of over-reliance on cars, as well as a thorough resource for activists wanting a solid foundation for their arguments. It may not match the ideals of a car-free society, but it's a good middle ground between that, and a future where cars and their pollution are left unchecked.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780195376647
Subtitle:
Driving Toward Sustainability
Author:
Sperling, Daniel
Foreword by:
Schwarzenegger, Arnold
Foreword:
Schwarzenegger, Arnold
Author:
null, Deborah
Author:
null, Arnold
Author:
Gordon, Deborah
Author:
Schwarzenegger, Arnold
Author:
null, Daniel
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
Subject:
Automobiles
Subject:
Motor vehicles
Subject:
Public Policy - Environmental Policy
Subject:
Development - Sustainable Development
Subject:
Automotive - General
Subject:
Motor fuels
Subject:
Automobiles -- Environmental aspects.
Subject:
Politics | American Politics | Science, Technology,
Subject:
Environmental Politics
Subject:
Politics | American Politics | Science, Technology, & Environmental Politics
Copyright:
Publication Date:
20090113
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
2 b/w line, 31 b/w halftones
Pages:
320
Dimensions:
6.5 x 9.3 x 1.3 in 1.281 lb

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Related Subjects

Business » General
Business » Manufacturing and Product Development
Science and Mathematics » Environmental Studies » Alternative Energy

Two Billion Cars: Driving Toward Sustainability Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$7.95 In Stock
Product details 320 pages Oxford University Press, USA - English 9780195376647 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "This look at the global automobile industry explains how such a staggering number of autos came to be, and how we can sustain them all and the planet at the same time. The range of topics is wide; one of the most interesting chapters looks at the psychology of hybrid vehicle purchasers: 'at least for the early buyers... it's about the symbolism of "doing the right thing," even if the individual contribution is infinitesimally small.' The fortunes of fuel-sippers are also considered in relation to gas prices: in the year GM launched the Hummer brand and Toyota unveiled the Prius, gas prices at 'near historic lows' made the Hummer ubiquitous in cities and suburbs. Elsewhere, Sperling and Gordon examine the problem of China's car ownership explosion, but return repeatedly to the 'pioneering role' of California. Sperling and Gordon are upfront with their California ties(Sperling serves on the California Air Resources Board, Gordon has worked with the California Energy Commission, Gov. Schwarzenegger provides the foreword), and though they profile somegenuinely groundbreaking work, it can read more like public relations than objective reporting; further, some proposed solutions (personal 'carbon budgets') read like parodies of Left Coast eco-liberalism. Luckily, there's enough grounding global perspective to save the text from too much California dreaming. 15 b&w photos." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Synopsis" by , At present, there are roughly a billion motor vehicles in the world. 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 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, transportation experts Daniel Sperling and Deborah Gordon provide a concise history of America's love affair with cars and an overview of the global oil and auto industries. America is still the leading emissions culprit, and what is especially worrying is that developing nations are becoming car-centric cultures as well. The authors explain how we arrived in this dangerous state, and also what we can do about it. Sperling and Gordon expose the roots of the problem-- the resistant auto-industry, dysfunctional oil markets, short-sighted government policies, and unmotivated consumers. They zero in on reforming our gas-guzzling culture, expanding the search for low-carbon fuels, environment-friendly innovations in transportation planning, and more. Promising advances in both transportation technology and fuel efficiency together with shifts in travel behavior, they suggest, offer us a realistic way out of our predicament.

Ironically, the authors contend that the two places with the most troublesome emissions problems--California and China-- are taking the lead in developing effective strategies that can help wean us from our reliance on conventional, petroleum-fueled cars. California's embrace of eco-friendly policies, which Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger discusses in the foreword, and China's willingness to confront the twin environmental and energy crises wrought by an exponential growth in cars, suggest that if they can develop ingenious and effective solutions, then there really is reason for hope.

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