The End of the Roads

We have as much road capacity today as we will ever need.

In my efforts to get Portland, Oregon's Peak Oil Task Force, [which identifies problems and solutions related to dwindling oil supplies], into Vancouver, I've run up against hurdles from the business community as well as from the climate community. So I've been really interested in saying, "Okay, how do we collectively start to get past our differences and focus on the commonalities?"If we are investing in efforts on climate strategies that do nothing to address oil dependence, then we are really missing an opportunity to be strategic about how we use time and money. Energy security is important; emissions and climate change are important; but let's prioritize those strategies that address both. In terms of what we do immediately, we should be focusing on strategies that reduce both emissions and oil dependence.When you start to look at peak oil and climate change, it all comes down to how quickly they happen. Technology plays a big role, but it doesn't get us all the way. Part of what I am trying to do is to show the scale issues and the speed issues. It's the idea that the energy transition isn't just about technology; it isn't just about cultural transformation; it isn't just about the economy or anything else. It's about all of these things together, and how quickly they change.On the transportation side, I look at our history of investing in infrastructure. We spent (and are spending) billions and billions of dollars creating the interstate-highway system, and increasing the size of our airports and ports. There is this default assumption that we are going to keep growing those things bigger and bigger, off into whatever kind of future we imagine. I protest that sort of assumption-that everything we are doing is about getting bigger and bigger.Ultimately, sustainability means coming to terms with natural biophysical limits. So we have to get past this idea of planning around extrapolation of past trends. That the future may be different than the past is the first thing that we need to come to terms with. This is where the idea of peak roads comes in: If we can say to ourselves, "We have as much road capacity today as we will ever need," then we can start to ask what that means in terms of how we should actually start designing our cities. This shouldn't be thought of as a default "anti-roads" statement. But our numerical models show that we simply may not have enough fuel (and biofuel, and electric cars) to use more road capacity than what we have today.If we can start to grapple with the fact that we can actually get better instead of getting bigger, then we have started on the path towards sustainability. And I think until we can really wrap our heads around that we are fighting an uphill battle.

via David Leavitt / Twitter and RealTargetTori / Twitter

Last Friday, GOOD reported on an infuriating incident that went down at a Massachusetts Target.

A Target manager who's come to be known as "Target Tori," was harassed by Twitter troll David Leavitt for not selling him an $89 Oral-B Pro 5000 toothbrush for a penny.

He describes himself as a "multimedia journalist who has worked for CBS, AXS, Yahoo, and others."

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via David Leavitt / Twitter

Anyone who has ever worked in retail knows that the worst thing about the job, right after the pay, are the unreasonable cheapskates who "want to talk to your manager" to get some money off an item.

They think that throwing a tantrum will save them a few bucks and don't care if they completely embarrass themselves in the process. Sometimes that involves belittling the poor employee who's just trying to get through their day with an ounce of dignity.

Twitter is rallying around a gal named Tori who works at a Target in Massachusetts after she was tweet-shamed by irate chapekate, journalist, and Twitter troll, David Leavitt.

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via Haldean Brown / Flickr

In a typical work day, people who smoke take more breaks than those who do not. Every few hours they pop outside to have a smoke and usually take a coworker with them.

Don Bryden, Managing director at KCJ Training and Employment Solutions in Swindon, England, thinks that nonsmokers and smokers should be treated equally, so he's giving those who refrain from smoking four extra days to compensate.

Funny enough, Bryden is a smoker himself.

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