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February 3, 2011 / Omar J. Peters

The City at $20 per Gallon

I recently finished reading “$20 Per Gallon: How the Inevitable Rise in the Price of Gasoline Will Change Our Lives for the Better.”  With the assumption that we’ve reached peak oil and no more of the lovely substance would be found to drive our global society, the author postulates how the world would change as the prices increases.

The book’s chapters are brilliantly broken up into price points (ex: Chapter $8, Chapter $12) and each one describes what will be the effects at that price. A few of the interesting changes that are coming for cities:

  • Las Vegas will be retired to rubble at $8/gallon (air travel will be too expensive to bring the droves of  gamblers needed to sustain hotels).
  • Cities’ major highways will begin to transform into transit-ways for buses, trolleys, light-rail at $10/gallon (gasoline cars too expensive to drive; transit resurgence).
  • The ‘burbs, box stores, parking-lots will be mostly left abandoned and cities will densify.
  • Smaller-scaled farms will surround our cities which will produce local goods year-round (by using hothouses).
  • Transportation will be via high-speed rail, electric cars, mass transit, walking/biking. No flying.
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