Transport Revolutions: Moving People and Freight Without Oil by Richard Gilbert | LibraryThing – overall, this is an excellent book, and one can’t but help be persuaded by the core thesis: that oil is peaking about right now, that transportation is going to have to change drastically as a result, that a move to electricity for power is the only realistic solution, and that to prevent massive turmoil, we need to begin making major changes now.
I don’t agree with everything in the book (I’m not sold on PRT or Personal Rapid Transit) but just about everything else is extremely well justified. I was already thinking along the same lines as the authors, and so the most enjoyable part of the book for me was the first chapter. It is a look back at five prior major transport revolutions, about which I knew almost nothing and is very fascinating. If you aren’t interested in reading the whole book I recommend reading the first chapter and then flipping through to find interesting graphs and reading as much of those parts as you wish.
The striking part of the end of the book is the realization of how much needs to change, right now. All that needs to be done can be done with existing technology, but government needs to make some huge moves in terms of cancelling many existing projects, increasing some taxes, and shifting huge sums of money to new projects. While change is happening today, it is not remotely on the scale suggested by the book as being necessary, and it is hard to imagine the public in the United States accepting of the need to increase the pace of change much more.