Monday, July 21, 2014

What a Waste

An incredible visualization of the waste that is the automobile:

Just 2.6 percent of a car's life is spent driving. In a way that's good, since it means less fuel use and carbon put into the atmosphere. But the resources that went into making the car are largely wasted, not to mention the money we car owners spend on the vehicle, insurance, and space to put it. Clearly an argument for car-sharing, if not mass transit.

The graphic on the right is even more eye-opening, if that's possible. Only a tiny part of the energy created by the engine is used to move the car (person in the car) forward. Like the national electric grid, much of the energy is lost before it ever can be used.

And yet we drive and drive and can't think of a better way to carry out the lives we've built.

I just returned from a two-week driving trip. It's hard to imagine how it could have been done without a car, and so my mind focuses on that and doesn't think of all the ways life would be different if our whole environment wasn't built around personally owned transportation. Our not-so-smart monkey brains fall for confirmation bias and all the other ways we're wired wrong.


Posted by Jennifer Keesmaat, chief planner for the city of Toronto. Via Richard Florida. The graphic is from a McKinsey report called The Recipe for Tenfold Resource Productivity Improvement.

No comments: