Something I think is under-appreciated about car culture and the spatial challenges it embeds in cities is, the United States is not unique in this regard.

Among all other countries on earth, Germany may outdo the U.S. in its car-centered religion.

And yet.
When someone says that "we can't fix this in the USA" what I hear them say is either "This will cause me some inconvenience and so I oppose it" or "I've not spent much time thinking about how current land use forms are not permanent"
"but it will take too long to fix this" is also another version of "I actually liked it better when I could park right in front of the Embarcadero and now I have to walk four blocks"
man some places just really put the lie to our "land use never changes" rhetoric

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More from @mateosfo

12 Nov
the funny thing about the "cars vs. everything else in the world including the fate of humanity" debate is, you could solve it by banning cars but ALSO you could solve it by giving everyone a car.

geometric illiteracy is a real thing, folks.
since the Keepers of the Discourse have determined that "ban cars" is a non-starter, I'm gonna go with "free cars for literally everyone!!" as my new diabolical scheme
there are 280 million cars in the United States at the moment, I think if we can get it up to ~ 350 million we would "solve" the problem
Read 4 tweets
9 Nov
So, there's a really stupid item coming up in Berkeley whereby a bunch of folks who consider themselves climate activists are defending solar panels against the scourge of shadows from tall homes/apartments.

As a solar homeowner, it always seemed bogus to me. So, I did math. 🧵
(First, context: Folks who suddenly care so much about climate change/solar panels are very same folks who actively oppose addressing the number one source of climate pollution in Berkeley -- cars, which cause 60% of our carbon emissions. Related: They're also die-hard NIMBYs)
Anyway, the math.

My house in Berkeley has solar panels that generate ~ 6.3 megawatt hours (MWh) of clean power per year. But that's a) more power than I use per year, and b) largely generated when I don't need it. So, I still buy ~ 2.8 MWh from PG&E; they buy ~ 3 MWh from me.
Read 15 tweets
3 Nov
I missed this while I was in the desert, but ... we've reached the end of the USA.

Short thread about this news.

For decades, Republicans have been clear that their primary goal in taking over the Supreme Court was to end US environmental law.…
(the Taliban-wing of the GOP also savored the court because, for them, The Handmaid's Tale is a vision, not a parable)

But the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act have always been the main kills in Republican crosshairs.

Both Acts rest on an interpretation of the commerce clause.
Under this interpretation, since pollution doesn't honor state lines, it can be regulated by Federal law.

@benjaminwittes wrote about this many years ago (also, fascinating to see how utterly wrong Wittes was about civil and reproductive rights):…
Read 9 tweets
3 Nov
Good news!! Electric vehicles are now 11% of new car sales in California!!

Bad news!! 45% of new car sales in California are trucks/SUVs that get less than 27 mpg!!

One step forward, five steps back.

On the bright side, zero progress is at least visible in the ~ near-future.
I’ve gotten so cynical about “clean cars” that I’m actually excited about the date, sometime in the late 2030s, when we reach zero progress. at least we know the backsliding will probably end in (some of) our lifetimes.

thanks, car industry, for the dose of hope?
(lest ye get your hopes up, this is California we’re talking about. In the rest of the US it’s monster trucks all the way down. We will pump $30 trillion into inefficient, oil-burning vehicles before EVs hit 50% of sales.)
Read 5 tweets
2 Nov
Some folks got pissed at me about this tweet because San Francisco won't literally look like Atlantis.

It's true, the San Francisco Archipelago is still just a dystopian fantasy world invented by @burritojustice (see…)

But let's talk reality a sec.
By 2050 we are virtually certain to see around ~ 3 feet of sea level rise. Sounds fine, right? You've got a cool condo in the Castro, elevation 200 feet. No problem.

Must be nice. Here's 101 in Mill Valley with 3 feet of sea level rise. The red part is underwater: Image
Here's Larkspur/Corte Madera: Image
Read 10 tweets
6 Oct
California is the largest consumer of oil in the United States.

Penalizing the oil industry for oil spills is good, since they're not supposed to do that.

But, we can be assured they will always spill the oil, because ... they're the oil industry. That's what they do.
One thing that's interesting about the politics of oil spills is, everyone rushes to talk about how they're going to fine the oil industry, crack down etc.

But nobody talks about the fines in context. So, I shall do so!!

For perspective: Let's take British Petroleum.
BP paid the largest fine ever levied against an oil company for the Deepwater Horizon disaster. That fine: $60 billion.

Sounds like a lot of money, right?

Well, it's about a third of their *annual* revenue from the sale of gasoline. Yes, it packed a punch; but, they covered it.
Read 8 tweets

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