- Date published:
10:20 am, April 13th, 2022 - 93 comments
Categories: climate change, Economy, public transport, sustainability, transport - Tags: just transition, oil crisis, what if...?
Firstly, something to sharpen our minds (or perhaps focus our hearts),
This is Zelensky's message to Europeans for an oil and gas embargo. Not pulling any punches: pic.twitter.com/muaKBZlZ3r
— Luke Johnson (@johnson) April 7, 2022
It is not however an invitation to turn this thread into a debate about the Russian war on Ukraine. I want to open a discussion about what we can do in New Zealand to shift our reliance off oil-based transport fuels. Because be it war, GFC, the climate emergency, peak oil, or our own damn ethics, we are extremely vulnerable not just for transport but because our whole economy is based on oil supply on demand.
The government’s temporary (3 months) fuel subsidy notwithstanding,
At what price point would you stop driving a car?
— Ryan (@ryan__jg) March 9, 2022
Drivers should prepare to pay up to $4 a litre for petrol, according to the Automobile Association. https://t.co/3BtMnub3PF
— RNZ (@radionz) March 11, 2022
Cost to travel 100km in…
NZ's most popular petrol vehicle: $21.60
NZ's most popular diesel vehicle: $17.54
NZ's most popular electric vehicle: $5.04
— Marc Daalder 😷 Wear a Mask (@marcdaalder) March 8, 2022
One key aspect of transitioning to a sustainable and resilient society is the ability to imagine a better future. We have plenty of stories about the end of the world presented to us, almost daily now. We have a few utopian scenarios, and we’re not short on what we think should happen. What we are short of is stories where things work out, and that tell us how we get there.
Taking that one simple current stressor – rising transport fuel costs – can we imagine how we might change for the better in New Zealand? What if increasing prices where the opportunity to shift off fossil fuels because we need to for climate mitigation (and fast)? What if we no longer needed so much petrol? What would society and our communities look like?
We can see the mini set-up in the three tweets at the start of the post. Two look at the stressor/problem that disrupts our security and appears to be a block to living good lives. The other looks at one solution we already know about (EVs and ebikes).
Julie Anne Genter goes further. In response to the AA piece, she pointed to what we could have done, but we still have the power and capacity to do now,
Imagine if we had invested in making public transport, walking, cycling, e-bikes a more viable form of transport. And brought in Clean Car policies 10 yrs ago. Global oil price wouldn’t as much if an issue. Still worth doing for the future!
The most obvious, easy to reach solutions are public transport and ride sharing, things we could be setting up and improving right now. But what if those happened in a broader, whole systems context, that included meeting the needs of people and transitioning to a low carbon society?
This seven minute video showcases a new city being created within the old city of Vienna. This is integrated urban design, providing housing, local facilities, and public transport and infrastructure, so that 80% percentage of movement around the city will be walking, cycling or public transport.
It’s not just replacing internal combustion engines, it’s changing how spaces function and our own behaviours. Working from home, having essential retail and services close by, making our neighbourhoods desirable places to spend time in, all are as important at reducing fossil fuel miles as public transport and alternative transport.
So what would less oil dependency look like in New Zealand?
Hattip Barry for the video.