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This look at the global automobile industry explains how such a staggering number of autos came to be, and how we can sustain them all and the planet at the same time. The range of topics is wide; one of the most interesting chapters looks at the psychology of hybrid vehicle purchasers: "at least for the early buyers... it's about the symbolism of 'doing the right thing,' even if the individual contribution is infinitesimally small." The fortunes of fuel-sippers are also considered in relation to gas prices: in the year GM launched the Hummer brand and Toyota unveiled the Prius, gas prices at "near historic lows" made the Hummer ubiquitous in cities and suburbs. Elsewhere, Sperling and Gordon examine the problem of China's car ownership explosion, but return repeatedly to the "pioneering role" of California. Sperling and Gordon are upfront with their California ties(Sperling serves on the California Air Resources Board, Gordon has worked with the California Energy Commission, Gov. Schwarzenegger provides the foreword), and though they profile somegenuinely groundbreaking work, it can read more like public relations than objective reporting; further, some proposed solutions (personal "carbon budgets") read like parodies of Left Coast eco-liberalism. Luckily, there's enough grounding global perspective to save the text from too much California dreaming. 15 b&w photos.
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ISBN-10:  0195376641
ISBN-13:  978-0195376647
Author:  Daniel Sperling
Genre:  Nonfiction
Publisher:  Oxford University Press, USA
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review by . January 27, 2009
This book's impact on you will vary depending on your level of familiarity with the topic in general. I think The End of Suburbia: Oil Depletion and the Collapse of the American Dream and The Party's Over: Oil, War and the Fate of Industrial Societies do a better job of making people (who may not otherwise) genuinely consider the implications of the oil-dependant lifestyle.     This book's attention to California and China makes perfect sense to me. Two of the biggest, most stagnant, …
review by . November 24, 2008
Ok, so there are currently about 1 billion cars on the planet and in 20 years there will be 2 billion cars. And you think its hard to find a parking space now?    The book lays out a very well researched and convincing argument that we must shift our current attitudes and move to much lower impact vehicles. Now.     I try to stay pretty current in regards to energy conservation, energy use, etc... I learned a lot in this book. For instance I have often heard …
Two Billion Cars: Driving Toward Sustainability
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