Search This Blog

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The end of the road for motor mania [via New Scientist | Opinion]


Something unexpected is happening to our car-crazy culture. What are the forces driving us out of motoring?
IS THE west falling out of love with the car? For environmentalists it seems an impossible dream, but it is happening. While baby boomers and those with young families may stick with four wheels, a combination of our ageing societies and a new zeitgeist among the young seems to be breaking our 20th-century car addiction. Somewhere along the road, we reached "peak car" and are now cruising down the other side.
Peak car takes several forms. Sales of new cars have almost halved in the US, down from nearly 11 million in 1985 to about 5.5 million in 2009. We shouldn't take much notice of that, though. Cars last longer these days, and sales go up and down with the economy. But we have hit peak car ownership, too. And, more to the point, peak per-capita travel.
The phenomenon was first recognised in The Road... Less Traveled, a 2008 report by the Brookings Institution in Washington DC, but had been going on largely unnoticed for years.

0 comments:

Post a Comment