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Old 01-23-2009, 01:42 PM
Location: Prepperland
13,119 posts, read 9,208,003 times
Reputation: 8988


Originally Posted by NewMexicanRepublican View Post
Two words: Population Density.

The rest is just chatter.
Population density on what scale?

People per acre:
Hong Kong - 25
Mexico City - 47
Sao Paulo - 41
New York City - 40

The USA is roughly 3.79 million square miles.
Est. 306 million people in America
306 / 3.79
81/ sq.mile

United States - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
As of 2003, there were 759 automobiles per 1,000 Americans (232 million autos), compared to 472 per 1,000 inhabitants of the European Union. About 40% of personal vehicles are vans, SUVs, or light trucks. The average American adult (accounting for all drivers and nondrivers) spends 55 minutes driving every day, traveling 29 miles (47 km). The U.S. intercity passenger rail system is relatively weak. Only 9% of total U.S. work trips use mass transit, compared to 38.8% in Europe.

Problem: Oil imports - 70%, traffic congestion, air pollution, destruction of arable land and excessive resource consumption.

The solution is not to cater to the automobile culture (going extinct) but to develop toward the rail based mass transit model. Consolidate from sprawl into clusters, villages, towns, and cities, and expand / recover arable land.

The 'Burbs are going to become harder to justify as their costs rise.

I suspect that Americans will have to mimic the old village concept popular in many parts of the world. Farmers would live together, in small villages, and commute to their nearby fields. Due to commuting, the spacing of villages and access to arable land will establish limits to growth. Thus we find a patchwork of small villages in many parts of the world, where people have sustained themselves for hundreds if not thousands of years.

Out of curiosity, I randomly opened Google Earth to Germany, and zoomed into a tiny village, Bibersfeld. Surrounding the village were neat rectangles of fields. And there were other small villages in the distance, generally following the pattern.

For America to cut all its oil imports would require reducing the automobiles (or fuel consumption) by 70%. That would put America at half the vehicle / population figure for Europe. So future development will have to shift to consolidation of population, and establishment of high efficiency transportation corridors (rail).

Of course, such a plan would require intelligence and foresight beyond short term profits and "making money".

I am pessimistic that the "status quo" will change in a timely fashion, as to avoid the economic chaos rapidly approaching. However, afterward, it may naturally develop in that fashion.

New Growth Industry in 2020s - grind up old suburbs and turn them into Terra preta.

Terra preta - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Terra preta ("dark earth" in Portuguese) refers to expanses of very dark, fertile anthropogenic soils found in the Amazon Basin. It owes its name to its very high charcoal content. It is also known as "Amazonian dark earth" or "Indian black earth".

Terra preta is characterized by the presence of low-temperature charcoal in high concentrations; of high quantities of pottery shards; of organic matter such as plant residues, animal feces, fish and animal bones and other material; and of nutrients such as nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), calcium (Ca), zinc (Zn), manganese (Mn). It also shows high levels of microorganic activities and other specific characteristics within its particular ecosystem. It is less prone to leaching than surrounding soils.

Terra preta soils are of pre-Columbian nature and were created by man between ca. 5000 BC–1450 AD. The soil's depth can reach 2 meters (6 feet). Thousands of years after its creation it is reputedly known as self-regenerating at the rate of 1 centimeter per year by the local farmers, and they seek it out for use and for sale as valuable compost.

"Dirt Farming" in the 21 st century !
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Old 01-23-2009, 02:17 PM
Location: Prepperland
13,119 posts, read 9,208,003 times
Reputation: 8988
(Source: Wikipedia)
Population Density figures
ENGLAND: 1,015/sq mi
INDIA: 904/sq mi
GERMANY: 596/sq mi
SWITZERLAND: 479.8/sq mi
CHINA: 363/sq mi
FRANCE: 297/sq mi
PORTUGAL: 295/sq mi
USA: 81/ sq mi
RUSSIA: 21.5/sq mi

PARIS: 64,620 /sq mi
NEW YORK CITY: 27,147/sq mi
MOSCOW: 25,086.1/sq mi
Saint Petersburg (Rus): 19,927.4/sq mi
LISBON: 16,493/sq mi
HONG KONG: 16,469/sq mi
LONDON: 12,331/sq mi
VIENNA: 10,388.4/sq mi
TORONTO: 10,287.4/sq mi
BERLIN: 9,946 /sq mi
LOS ANGELES: 8,205/sq mi

The population density is not always the best measure for deciding on the feasibility or economics for mass transit.

Prosperity is based on production, trade and transportation of surplus goods and services.

The laws of Physics favor electrified rail for land transportation - lowest coefficient of rolling resistance - minimal use of surface area - less impact on environment - less consumption of energy and resources.

Nations that did not have "cheap and plentiful oil" emphasized electrified rail transportation.

Nations that did not have efficient and widespread transportation networks did not prosper as much as nations that did.

In other words, regardless of population density, the quality of life suffers where transportation is impeded, expensive, unavailable, or limited.

All modes of transport dependent upon petroleum being cheap and plentiful are unsustainable.

Before petroleum's rise, there were boats and railroads.
After petroleum's demise, there will be boats and electric railroads.
Plan accordingly.
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Old 02-07-2009, 01:56 PM
Location: Prepperland
13,119 posts, read 9,208,003 times
Reputation: 8988
232 million automobiles that rely upon imported oil for 70% of the time, means that in the event that oil imports are stopped, 70% of your mileage is gone - if you can still afford a car.

In 2007 consumption rates
1 million barrels of oil = one hour U.S. consumption
1 billion barrels of oil = one month U.S. consumption
1 trillion barrels of oil = one human lifetime ...

In one year, 12 billion barrels of oil are consumed. 70% of that is 8.4 billion.
At $50 / barrel, we export $420 Billion / year.
At $75 / barrel , we export $630 Billion / year.
At $100 / barrel, we export $840 Billion / year.
At $125 / barrel, we export $1050 Billion / year.

At what point does someone catch on that exporting billions and trillions per year is not wise. Is it not more cost effective spending the money, here, on electric rail based mass transit?

Estimated U.S. population: 305,604,913 (2009)
At $125 / barrel, it costs $3435.80 per capita to satisfy demand.
That's $286 per month per person...

If we could take that same sum of $1050 billion, and use it to build electric urban rail, we might recover from our oil addiction.
At $10 million / mile at-grade track, with half that exported money, we could build ...
(1050 T / 2) divided by $10 M
52,500 miles of urban streetcar track.

(in 1907, the U.S. had 34,404 miles of urban streetcar track and approx. 60,000 streetcars.)

In two years, we exported enough wealth to build and equip our major and minor cities with electric urban rail transportation.

Don't ever say we can't afford rail mass transit. We can't afford NOT to build it. We can't afford to subsidize oil consuming automobiles, nor bail out "Big Auto".

BTW - what if the BHO "Economic Stimulus" program was entirely used to fund electric rail mass transit?

+ Long term jobs in rail construction, maintenance, operation
+ Long term contracts for rolling stock
+ Long term reduction in oil imports
+ Long term reduction in air pollution
+ Long term lifespan for rails and cars
+ Long term reduction in energy consumption
+ Long term elimination of traffic jams and highway congestion

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