A bit of an update on the old discussion

EIA predictions on oil price

Their vertical line is 2011. Now, in 2013, the Brent price is above their blue reference line, pretty much on their upper boundary prediction in red.

So 2030 looks like the end of jet aviation for the masses as we know it ($200/barrel threshold) and perhaps the same can be said for excess car use.

ULP (real petrol not E10) averaging about $1.52 in Sydney according to Govt, and with predicted oil up around 10% over the next year a gradual increase only to around $1.70 anticipated over the period.

Sadly no great change in our favour yet :-(

Perhaps there will be for our children :-)

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I don't think, save for a MASSIVE price shock, that oil prices will have much impact on motor vehicle use in Australia. The price inelasticity of demand for fuel here, and like all other good addictions, means that other sections of the household budget will take the hit rather than force a change in use. The grocery bill, private health insurance or other insurances would likely take the hit before car use did.

There is also a very real perception that there is no alternative, hence increasing the inelasticity of demand. Indeed apart from the NW rail line, we are not really improving public transport, rather we are further eroding its current capacity (ie middle south and south west train stations have their services decimated, even in major interchange and employment hubs like Kogarah). That and the big infrastucture spending on roads, roads and more roads like the WasteConnex over pretty much everything else leads to a psyche imprint in the populace that cars and roads are THE answer.

We even want to build more airports to increase capacity when a huge load at the moment is heavily trafficked short-haul eastern seaboard flights - a huge percentage of demand. Hello Very Fast Train network???

But why? Australia has some of the significantly lowest fuel costs in the world, coupled with some of the highest per capita incomes. Public and active transport is apparently for seemingly lesser countries. The 1950's thinking is well and truly alive!

But developments in bio-crude (check out Ten Dollars a Litre- ran on ABC a few weeks back) might mean that normal crude oil has a replacement.


No, I reckon the real threat to the private motor car is only in cities, and it will be strangulation by uber congestion that gets the private car before starvation gets it.


Pretty much, although I would say that discretionary car use for non-essential trips will be curbed at $3/litre.

As you say, congestion is our friend. I suppose we should continue to ask for road pricing as well as parking meters. Residential 'entitlement' to on-road parking should also be a target for us.

glimmer of hope that young adults are not into cars as much as they used to be, what with the internet and less need to drive to connect with friends, later marriages, less job security, etc, and maybe a greater awareness of the costs and environmental disbenefits of car use. All that left wing school education must be having some effect, surely?

Perhaps correct, in that the older Australian will keep the car regardless of necessary sacrifices, while the younger will do without in favour of spending on other things such as international travel.

I guess this means there's an opportunity to tighten the availability of on-street parking further, in favour of safe space for cycling. Another reason to promote a cultural shift, and to get non-thinkers out of Govt.

I can't see there ever really being social justice in a VFT project.  It costs twice as much as the probably underestimated NBN, and would only serve 3 cities and very few journeys.  ie to burden the country with the costs of an NBN scale project, the service has to be national.

ie if I run a country in the context of a fuel crisis I would want a full regional 200km/hr rail network, not a train serving 3 cities.  Massive cost if the regional population views their locations as untenable and there is an exodus to Melbourne and Sydney.   Such a network for the whole country, not just 1 route, would be possible with far less money than a VFT.

Sydney will never get a second airport, nor will it ever get a fast intercity train link. Why? Because Macquarie bank owns Sydney airport. Actually it is nothing against Macquarie bank, it is simply that Sydney airport is privately owned. Any new infrastructure in that regards would drastically reduce its profitability, and thus puts it's owner offside. To own such infrastructure, you need to be big, wealthy and powerful, just goes with the territory.

As for Bio Crude? Powering your car and home off agricultural land? Do you really think that it is ethical to price the worlds poor out of the food market just so you can power a luxury?

We made that mistake once of poor foreign policy with fossil crude, do we really want to do it again, but with food supply?

Jason, if you understood the technologies on offer, and where they have been deployed, you would realise the coalitions NBN would actually end up costing more than the Labors. The difference is the coalitions would be hidden through problems and continual upgrades and fixes. Labors is a full costing. Look at what's happening in England.

Bio crude is pi

Bio crude can be made by the parts of the food plant we don't eat.

But the big waste is crops for animals. Go vego!


Martin, it seems to me that eating dead animals is more of an entrenched social addiction than driving cars. I can't see people giving it up to fill the car's tank.

I can't see meat eating going down in a hurry, even if it's one of the worst carbon sins:

From Scientific American: "The FAO report found that current production levels of meat contribute between 14 and 22 percent of the 36 billion tons of "CO2-equivalent" greenhouse gases the world produces every year."

You wouldn't need to make fuel. Going veggo would reduce oil consumption greatly, so there'd be much more available for driving. 

On the plus side, stopping both driving and eating meat, would solve a lot of problems.


Sigh. But I still have a few problems left even having stopped both :-((



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