Eating is an agricultural act - Wendell Berry

Monday, March 26, 2007

cars - oh my god

swaminathan s anklesaria aiyar writes this interesting article on social costs of cars. this is his website with all his articles.
he quotes reports made by the center for science and environment. these are the folks which did the explosive pesticola story a couple of years ago.
The parking space occupied by cars is estimated by CSE at 11% of Delhi’s area,
as much as all its parks put together. That is a measure of the social cost.

total area of delhi (from wikipedia) is 1483 sq km
11% of that = 163 sq km = 163 million sq mt
average car is 4 mt long by 1.6 m wide (see here for maruti suzuki esteem dimensions) = 6.4 sq mt
total no. of cars = 25 million
see this article from cse again on delhi and pollution and cars.
if this is 17% of all cars in india, then we have 147 million cars in india.
at 1 liter fuel per day, we have an annual car fuel consumption across the country = 54 billion liters = 50 million MTs of fuel consumed at a very conservative estimate.

staggering numbers. this is just india.
the usa is at 10 times india's level at 500 million MTs of fuel per annum (i did the calculations from the numbers quoted there).
i am really scared now.
CSE’s efforts to raise the parking rate to Rs 120/day in Delhi were kayoed by the middle class and politicians.

this is the least that car users should fork out for the enormous burden that they are forcing the others to carry, not even costing the immense degradation they are causing.

scared still.

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