The Labor and Liberal parties are like Coke & Pepsi. Some say there's a lot of difference between them, but in reality there's not. Not many people buy no-name cola. They buy the one with the good advertising campaign.
Speaking of advertising campaigns, I also note the flow of political donations over the past 10 years. If you look down the list, you'll see corporations like Hills Motorway Company directly paying campaign funds to State Labor's election campaign. You'll find the Liberal Party getting similar donation payments from car related corporations.
Governments (elected by the people) make more money from car use (petrol) than any other source. Governments therefore encourage the use of roads that are now choked to the point of mass inefficiency, environmental degradation, health damage and public supported insolvency.
'Your answer' to this situation is to ride 100kms on a road choked with cars, carcinogenic fumes and noise (with ear phones on) dodging road enraged drivers as they struggle to deal with a road system designed to force them to pay tolls for roads paid for by their taxes but the profits of which go to private share holders of banks.
The outcome of SBS insight program last night was that public transport is the only answer to increasing petrol costs and environmental issues. Unfortunately the mass voting public (who drive) have voted for governments with short term political agendas not long term infrastructure plans in mind. SBS Insight last night
Car drivers get us the government they deserve.
Around my local town of Fairfield, most new property development is in the form of small town-houses rather than the old quarter-acre block. Perfect for utility cyclists like myself! Train station 1km from home, 2 shopping/business districts both within 1km of my home, local church less than 3km from home and local TAFE 5km from home. There is no-where I can't get to on a combination of public transport and bicycle.
People ask me all the time why don't I get a car, and I ask them why don't they get a bicycle? With very few trips being more than 5km (30 minutes cycling) I save a packet on car purchase, maintenance, depreciation, petrol and gym membership.
There is no doubt that peak oil from conventional oil wells has peaked. As a consequence even though most of the world is still in recession oil prices are over US$80 per barrel. At this price there is some encouragement for unconventional oil sources but not much. However at US$120 per barrel there is a big boost to unconventional energy including oil shales and sands which are bigger supplies than conventional sources (I am not altogether happy about the environmental performance of oil shales and sands and greater controls encouraging cleaner innovations are required). Also deep offshore oil becomes much more attractive.
So oil supplies will not cease but will become more expensive say US$100 to US120 per barrel. There are some new technologies in the wings (some surprisingly simple and a number of which are driven by Australians) that will probably see significantly higher recoveries from older oil fields.
As a result of higher long term oil prices but with oil available at these prices - smaller cars, electric cars and demands for public transport particularly buses in the suburbs will grow. Suburbia's expansion will surely slow and high density will occur around train stations but the changes will be relatively slow but continuous. All in all, a better world for bicycle infrastructure investment.