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Entropy production delusion

It is common in knowledgeable circles to talk about the development of civilization in terms of entropy discussion. The term 'entropy...

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Peninulsa Link dilemma

The Peninsula Link is a freeway being constructed to bypass Frankston, a suburb of Melbourne, to improve the flow of traffic down to the attractive holiday regions in the Mornington Peninsula. The works have been carried out with promotion of the care being exercised to minimize social and environmental disruption. The promotion conveys the impression that the latest views on handling transportation problems have been taken into account.

This project is an example of the consequence of the myopia that clouds the thinking of authorities around the globe. It does not take into account:
  • the depletion of the global stock of oil will ensure that the number of vehicles using the Link will decline rapidly in the future as the fuel used becomes too expensive for most residents of Melbourne 
  • fuel cost will be only one factor in the amount of traffic falling short of expectations: the manufacture of vehicles will continue to decline due to economic contraction and declining availability of the wide range of materials used in their construction
  • the continuing requirement of road works on the Link for maintenance purposes will have to compete with many other projects as the declining availability of energy and materials hits home
It is most likely that later in this century many people will wonder what should be done about the 'white elephant' that the Link had become. Continuing to maintain it using some of the remaining natural resources will probably be judged to be not worthwhile, given the small amount of traffic.

Of course, The Peninsula Link dilemma will be only one a multitude of similar fiascos around the globe. The blame game should be interesting!

Denis Frith

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