Category Archives: Transport

environmental issues and stories around transport and cars

First World polluters could save Third World trees: deforestation proposal at Poznan

Plenty of hot air at the UN Climate Change Conference Poznan Poland

It’s less than a year until the major UN climate change meeting in Copenhagen – where the nations of the world are meant to settle on an agreement that will take us the next step on from the Kyoto Protocol. In the lead-up to Copenhagen, nations have been meeting at Poznan in Poland to prepare the ground.

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International Bicycle Film Festival rolls into town

Bicycle Film Festival 2008 logo

Fresh from its gig in Paris, the Bicycle Film Festival is about to start the Australian leg of its world tour. First stop Sydney this Friday and Saturday night, 14 and 15 November. Then onto Melbourne from 21 to 23 November.

Video: Have a sneak peek at ‘Perfect Circle’ – featuring Matthew Modine. (Many of the films in the festival are shorts.)

Audio: Listen to a clip from the Bicycle Film Festival movie – Perfect Circle.

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Bicycles v cars: Adam Spencer on city commuting

Adam Spencer cycling advocate and ABC presenter

You may know Adam Spencer as a presenter of ABC Radio in Sydney and from ABC TV. But did you know he cycles everywhere and hardly ever drives?

In the lead up to ‘Ride to Work Day’, Adam goes into bat for the bike. In fact, in this interview he says what he really thinks of the constant hoo-haa about building more roads and tunnels in our cities. And doing the traffic report when you don’t drive a car.

Audio: Listen to our interview with Adam Spencer on why the bike is better.

Video: Adam Spencer also has a gentle word about the price of petrol.

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The Cars That Ate China, Part 1 (how Western auto makers are scrambling to feed the beast)

Are cars killing China (and the world)?

At the recent Sydney Film Festival I saw a great new documentary called ‘The Cars That Ate China’. In this podcast the director Stefan Moore discusses the background to the film and we hear a clip with Joe White, China correspondent for the Wall Street Journal.

Joe takes us to the Beijing car show and explains how foreign car makers are piling into China to make a killing in the last big score in car manufacturing.

Audio: Listen to The Cars That Ate China interview and movie podcast – part 1, Joe White and the Beijing Car Show.

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The Cars That Ate China, Part 2 (why the Chinese have gone car mad)

Can China and the world cope with increasing cars?

Western marketing has moved into China in a big way. In this podcast we hear a clip from the film ‘The Cars That Ate China’ with Tom Doctoroff from J Walter Thompson Advertising. He explains how marketers have tapped into Chinese thinking. And specifically why the Chinese have gone so nuts about getting a car.

Audio: Listen to The Cars that Ate China movie podcast – part 2, Tom Doctoroff on Chinese consumer behaviour.

Photo: decade_null, Creative Commons, Flickr.

The Cars That Ate China, Part 3 (implications for the world’s environment)

Industrialisation and consumerism at warp speed – China’s economy is growing so rapidly and there are so many people in that country, we will need 4 planets of resources to cope with the demand. In this podcast we hear from James Kyng who wrote the book ‘China Shakes the World’. He introduces us to the implications for the world’s environment of China’s mad rush to prosperity.

Audio: Listen to The Cars That Ate China movie podcast – part 3, James Kyng on the implications for the world’s environment.

The Cars That Ate China – epilogue

China now has car hoons too. A new generation of hot rodding has grown up as China taken to the car. (Another interesting revelation from the film.) In this podcast we also hear some of the Chinese hip hop music that’s currently firing up Beijing’s young petrol heads.

Audio: Listen to the final bit of the interview with Stefan Moore, director of the film The Cars That Ate China.

The car lobby lobs back – on peak oil and the Fuelwatch ad

The car lobby is given the right of reply in this podcast. I speak with Alan Evans, President of the NRMA, Australia’s largest motoring body. He says the GetUp organisation need to get real. To build public transport to all parts of Sydney and into the country is simply not going to happen. That people are always going to have a need for mobility. And since most of the growth of the traffic in our cities is commercial operators, do we really want to see refrigerators being wheeled onto a train instead? Listen to the interview with Alan Evans from the NRMA – on cars, public transport, fuel price increases and peak oil.

FuelWatch ad: the future is f***ing expensive

This commercial takes the p**s out of the government’s FuelWatch scheme. Made by GetUp to make the point that we need long term planning for a sustainable transport system.

Watch the FuelWatch commercial.

Is peak oil more urgent than climate change?

In this interview I speak with Bruce Robinson, Convenor of the Australian Association for the Study of Peak Oil. (ASPO is a leading international group of concerned scientists on the issue.)

Bruce says governments should be informing people and preparing our economies now for peak oil, the inevitable declining rate of oil production.
Listen to the podcast interview with Bruce Robinson (from the Association for the Study of Peak Oil.)