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Archive for the ‘Transportation’ Category

1. Technology chosen

2. Utilization

3. Settlement design

4. Population

These are multiplying principles, significant and complete.

The two largest uses of fossil fuels in every society, are for space heating and transportation.

Using transportation as an example. If we:

1. Construct and choose technology that doubles the average fuel mileage of vehicles (private, public and commercial) then we will cut fossil fuel consumption by 50%. That includes the component of availability of technologies, and the choice to actually use them. Right now, average mileage of private cars is around 25 mpg. My internal combustion Toyota Yaris gets around 41 mpg in practice. 50 mpg is not out of reach.

2. Choose cooperative transit. That includes ride-sharing, mass transit modalities (from vanpools to commuter trains and subways) and it includes piggy-backed long haul trucking and/or train hauled modular containers delivered in smaller configurations on the “last mile” for public safety concerns. The average number of passengers in vehicles currently is around 1.2 per trip. (I think it is less, even less than 1.1). 2.5 per trip is not out of the question.

3. We live in sprawl. We work far from where we live. The average commute currently is in the range of 16+ miles/trip, and takes an average of 26 minutes. That could be halved by full employment policies applied in each locale, and greenbelt zoning.

The cumulative effect of doubling mileage per gallon, doubling the number of passengers/freight per trip, halving the distance traveled commuting and freight, would result in a net savings of 87.5% of fossil fuel consumed.

It provides a distinct framework for approaching the problem. One component is important, but far far less effective than moderate efforts on all fronts.

The downside is that social trends also go the other way. As the economy improves people still buy SUV’s (which have the multiplying effect of making small vehicles  less safe on the real road – reduced visibility, more extreme damage in accidents between an SUV and a sub-compact made of light composites).

People still enjoy the luxury of privacy in their trips.

And, we still build communities in sprawl, and in this recession people are willing to drive further and further in their commute to land a job.

If we reduce average gas mileage from 25 to 23 mpg, decrease the average number per trip from 1.2 to 1.1, and increase the average commute from 16 mi to 18 mi, we will increase fossil fuel consumption by 33%.

Those small changes accumulating.

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It won’t come immediately, likely even soon.

There is still a downward drag on home values due to a still large inventory of unsold homes and many homes in foreclosure. There is still a bubble in business to business economy, money chasing after activity and profits. (Thats where the highest compensation is and that is what the investing world understands as “business”). Investors are still sitting on the sidelines as far as funding new enterprise, holding their cash until growth is a sure thing.

Structurally, the real world phenomena that Jeremy Rifkin outlined in the “End of Work” still exists, that the world just doesn’t require full employment anymore to meet social needs, or really anything close.

The enormous class differences that exist in the modern economy now fuel the bubble in business to business economy, and distract value addition to an “affluenza” economy.

And, society is only minimally addressing the real-world conundrum of high fossil fuel prices.

So, the downward pressures of sustained unemployment and slightly increasing foreclosure rates keep the economy stagnant. Banks are still exposed to a second or third downward wave of revaluations of mortgage debt (now partially transferred to the federal government, taxpayers). Most large banks have improved their financial health, largely due to their investment sides realizing consistent 45% return from the trough 15 months ago, so there are unlikely to be many large bank bankruptcies coming even as a result of the prospective additional mortgage write-offs.

But, what we have now is likely to remain the same for a couple years, assuming there is not a war in the middle east or a disastrous oil spill or something like it. (Have you noticed that the oil spill has really not had an enormous general economic affect, just localized to Texas, Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, Florida Gulf coast?)

What will change the economy and particularly theemployment situation is when baby boomers begin to retire in larger numbers than infusion of new employees. Those born in 1946 are 64 now. I’d give it another 5 years, before any significant affect of baby boom retirement is felt. (It is being felt profoundly in certain professions like education, in which baby boom teachers are retiring in droves.)

Waves of retirement conflict with the conventional wisdom on employment. That is that the conventional wisdom is that economic growth precedes decreases in unemployment. With retirements, unemployment will decrease before the economic restores. (There’s a countervailing pattern though resulting from Americans abysmal saving rate. That is that in order to retire MANY older people will have to work longer than anticipated and longer than desired.)

When unemployment begins to sag (2013-4 I expect, maybe slightly sooner), the general economy will revive as well. That is the time when inflation will likely reappear, as wages will increase dramatically, and if there is revived economic activity and more demand for oil, the consumption of fossil fuels will likely cause an astonishing increase in the price. Fossil fuels will likely remain an inelastic supply, meaning that for each unit increase in demand for fossil fuels, prices will increase more than proportionally to the long-term trend. The only remedy for that is reduced demand and/or options for replacement. Neither of those are occurring seriously, and given the length of time needed to make capital changes in the economy, it won’t happen before the next demand wave hits.

So, my “prediction” is economic stagnation for two to three years. (Who knows how that will affect politics. 2012?) At which point employment and breadth of purchasing power among young adults will improve, but it will be accompanied by inflationary pressures in the economy as a whole, and particularly in increases in the cost of oil.

There are many businesses exposed to oil price increases, most notably those with large space heating requirements and large transportation requirements. Trucking, large warehouses. (Space heating costs will be the more important component.)

For individuals, the space heating costs will also be the most pronounced and the most debilitating, especially in northern climates where economies are depressed currently, and fuel costs are a higher proportion of the costs of living in homes. (In a $500,000 1800 sq ft home, the costs of heating are 8% of total living costs currently. In a $200,000 1800 sq ft home, the costs of heating are 15% of total living costs.)

Transportation costs may be considered variable. People can drive relatively less. Space heating costs are fixed. People can accommodate keeping their thermostats 3 or even 5 degrees cooler than they would like, but to save half of the fuel consumed in a year requires reducing heating levels by 8 – 10 degrees. Not deaths, but discomfort.

Its coming. Its predictable. Even the timing is relatively predictable.

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The oil spill is big news. A gamut of “drill-baby-drill” advocates have oil on their faces.

Its real. The standards for offshore shelf drilling will increase dramatically throughout the globe, and particularly in the US.

To the extent that standards and costs then increase globally, including affects on drilling in on-shore but environmentally sensitive areas, the long-term supply for oil supply will change.

The existing fields will become more prominent, some more difficult to drill/recover land based fields will become more prominent.

But, most importantly, the need for conservation, especially in capital projects, will increase as the long-term cost of fossil fuels is likely to increase.

We won’t see it today or tomorrow. But anyone that is thinking of any building improvements or new construction can expect an additional 5% cost of oil from their estimates last week.

How come its not in the press? Its good that the New York Times is talking about the environmental impact, but why is it not suggesting the need for radical conservation efforts in building and transportation use for example?

There are three multiplying effects of consumption/enterprise/policy decisions:

1. Technology applied – Buildings that means air-sealing, insulation and if you get really tight – subsequent venting of toxins, water vapor, and heat exchange. For transportation that means the cheap availability of high mileage vehicles.

2. Utilization – Buildings – Energy usage increases with surface area. Stand-alone ranches are the worst. Any utilization of shared walls, or any strategy that reduces exposed surface area saves energy. Big city apartments consume less energy per square foot, than rural hip quaint stand alone homes.

Transportation – Ride sharing, mass transit, that yeild 2.5 average riders per trip, consume 1/2 of the energy as those that put 1.25 riders per trip (current average).

3. Settlement patterns – Not much affect on buildings, except noted as utilization savings. For transportation, regional economy and designing villages/towns/cities for full employment and regional sourcing of materials and labor, result in less transportation done to accomplish the same productive activities. If the distance of the average commute reduced from 18 to 9 miles, that would save an additional 50%.

The affects multiply. If average mileage descreases by 1/2, and average passengers per trip decrease by 1/2, and if average distance per trip increases by 2, then we will consume 8 times as much energy on transportation as currently.

On the other hand, if average mileage doubles, and average passengers per trip doubles, and if average distance per trip halves, we’ll consume 1/8 of current.

And, with our decisions and polices, we could see that 64 fold swing, literally that huge.

We’ve got to learn, not ignore.

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Every description of sustainability that I’ve heard includes some element of “live and let live”, translated into “live with a smaller ecological footprint”.

In the business world, if you look at annual reports of the largest publicly traded corporations, nearly all dedicate some portion of their reports to proving that they are good corporate citizens, that they walk lightly on the planet, or at least as lightly as is possible in their field. BP, Alcoa, GE, Google, Cisco.

As a new business school faculty, and somewhat as a new “scholar”, I’ve been struck by the hoped for congruence of sustainability and profitability, that the most profitable approach at delivering a good or service from concept to design to manufacture to delivery to service is to be the least wasteful (including the least wasteful to others and to nature).

At the same time, I observe that FEW organizations and few individuals accomplish or even seek simplicity, contentment with enough.

Our fixed costs of living are too high, and we continue at that. Some is beyond our control. The high cost of housing is a disaster for the young. In most locales, the prevailing salaries and wages paid don’t provide enough income to support mortgages required.

The bubble in housing prices remains. To those that own, increasing housing prices are their primary financial investment for retirement. They need housing prices to increase. The norm of highly leveraged mortgages remains, and leaves the S & L type banking world and securitized mortgage investment banking world still very vulnerable, more than vulnerable.

Food costs are still inflationary, prices also still buffered by a large component of their “value” resulting from speculative money chasing commodities in addition to functional money.

People at least can simplify their food needs. Even buying organic and fair trade, it is possible to spend really a small amount on food by using food staples that one prepares themselves, rather than packaged convenient foods. It is possible to garden, to sprout.

But, if you only shop at grocery stores, 90% of the shelfspace is dedicated to relatively highly processed, highly packaged, highly branded foods.

Transportation is an odd one. There are VERY FEW options for simple vehicles in the US. There is very little ride-sharing, and outside of a few metropolitan areas, very insufficient mass transit. Sprawl compels auto use. Verticle competition for eye lines in traffic motivates big auto use. For those with means, driving small vehicles is thought of as dangerous, not a virtue.

So, on cars, families with annual incomes of $50,000/year may spend $10,000/year on transportation, and $8,000 of that to own the vehicles (financing, insurance, taxes).

I’ve organized a few frugal economy discussions in my hometown. Everyone that comes believes in saving. But, going around a circle of 20 people at one occassion, when asked “what are you saving for?”, a quarter stated “for a better car”. OK, its a personal choice.

The tragedy though is that few entrepreneurs have formed proposals for businesses that succeed by achieving savings in miles driven. The transportation business models are still based on growth, growth of number of cars sold, growth in size and profit margins of cars sold.

Not “demand-side management”.

It is a business opportunity, but involves cultural shifts of common attitudes towards cars. For an innovative car rental operation, there is market opportunity for a “break-out”.

And, finally energy remains expensive. Even if the majority of the costs of housing and of transportation are ownership costs, the operating costs of gasoline and other fuels and energy sources, are very expensive.

The interesting characteristic of gasoline prices in particular, is that it is information that individuals confront daily (even walking). Changes in ownership costs of a vehicle is seen at most once a month in a car payment and as a fixed cost is understood as “there is nothing I can do about that”. But, operating costs are seen daily, and effects thinking if not behavior so much.

Simplifying happens by plan, by design,  not by reaction. High gasoline prices might stimulate a person to purchase an energy efficient car, a capital investment. Or, better yet, the recognition of high ownership costs of vehicles, might stimulate a person to car-share in a neighborhood perhaps. Or, by moderate capital investments in own’s home, significant energy savings (80%) are possible.

The art of a real sustainability advocate, a real simplicity advocate, is to structure paths by which the capital investments are possible.

Currently, to make energy improvements on a home requires funds that are nearly always subordinate to other mortgages, even though the energy mortgages actually generate the income to pay for them, while first and second mortgages are paid for relative to the ups and downs of market prices. Its an additional obstacle to the decision to adopt energy efficiency. (Tax credits can’t support it forever.)

Either homeowners take all of the risk and are entitled to all of the benefit, or innovative financial entrepreneurs can define mortgages or externally funded paths in which homeowners take only some of the risk, but then are entitled to only some of the benefit.

“Demand side management”.

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Many individuals have commented to me that when the cost of oil increases significantly, there will be difficult economic traumas, and accompanying changes in the way that people live, hopefully to a less energy squandering lifestyle with less CO2 emissions.

I would like to believe that, but I’ve observed that the relationship between operating costs (gasoline for example) and capital or ownership costs (car payments and insurance), make that less likely to occur by individuals’ decisions.

The two largest areas of energy consumption occur in the areas of space heating (including owned residential, rented residential, and commercial/industrial) and in transportation (including personal and commercial).

In housing, a relatively energy efficient home might spend $1.25/sq foot annually on heating and cooling, or $2250/year for an 1800 sq ft home (not small, not McMansion). A less energy efficient home might cost double that, $4500/year.

In an 1800 sq foot home that costs $200,000, the mortgage payments might be $1350/mo, insurance of $100/mo, real estate taxes of $250/mo, or a total of $1700/month ($20,400/year) of ownership costs, compared to $4,500/year of operating costs, 18% operating costs.

If fuel costs doubled, the percentage of operating costs would be 30.6%

Considering the decision to make energy related improvements, the value of an energy efficient home would increase as the operating costs make it a better value. The percentage improvement in home value is likely to be a material percentage of the value of the home.

In a more affluent market, that same home might cost $400,000, with mortgage payments and other ownership costs of $3400/mo ($40,800/year), with the same $4,500 of operating costs, representing 10% operating costs.

If the costs of fuel doubled, the percentage of operating costs would be 18%.

The message is that in upscale urban environments, where most people live and own property, the proportion of savings resulting from energy improvements is much less of a concern to homeowners’ decision-making process. Where energy driven home renovation makes sense for economic purposes, say to save $1000 or $2000 or $3000/year, but it is less important than other urban concerns.

Where there is some threat to the livelihood of someone that must keep up with the $40,800 of annual home ownership costs from an otherwise rational effort to realize a simpler national life, by choice, they will opt for policies that preserve their jobs in the rat race, more than policies that result in energy independence, and all the odd policy and lifestyle distortions that that entails.

That decision emphasis is especially prevalent where so many are in such high debt. If one owned their home outright, then the decision to renovate for energy improvements would be an easy rational one. The decision stands alone and makes sense. Where people are in great debt, the decision is then to increase their debt, increasing their anxiety and dependancy on high steady income in the rat race.

A similar logic applies to auto ownership.

If one owns a car that gets 30 mpg, and costs net $6,000 originally (cost – tradein), car payments are $150/mo, insurance $100/mo, taxes $40/mo. Total ownership costs are $300/mo. Operating costs at 1000 miles/mo are $85/mo, or 22% of total costs.

If the cost of fuel doubled, operating costs would be 36%.

If one owns a care that gets the same 30 mpg and costs $12,000 originally (cost – tradein), total ownership costs are $600/mo, with the same operating costs of $85, or 12.4% of total costs.

If the cost of fuel doubled, the percentage of operating costs would be 22%.

The proportion of operating costs do not affect those owners as much. They’ve already made their decision about what is important, the nice car.

Motivations of the affluent (tending to be urban and suburban rather than rural) are ironically less driven by fuel cost considerations, and more by fashion and/or regulation.

It was a sobering revelation to me, to understand that my pet logic (increased fuel costs motivating behavioral changes), didn’t apply as much as I had thought.

It is partially caused by our savings/debt problem that allows us to buy beyond our means.

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Amazing. In addition to being amazed at how much I spent personally on health care ($800/mo insurance, $200/mo deductibles and medicines), I was utterly surprised to discover that our family spends the third most expense on transportation. ($500/mo car payments, $150/mo insurance, $50/mo taxes, $100/mo gas, $50/mo repairs – $850/mo total). And, we have two inexpensive Toyotas (Corolla and Yaris).

More typical profiles of a two-car family (say one SUV and a Camry) are $1000+/mo for life.

“How can a poor man stand such times and live?”

$1000/mo isn’t a minimum necessity, but $500/mo likely is. Everyone outside of concentrated cities needs A functioning vehicle, insured, legal. That is a big nut, that in our parents’ generation was not a minimum necessity, but a choice.

In looking at the costs, the majority of transportation costs are the costs to own the vehicle. Borrowing $10,000 (four years of depreciation of value – cost less recurring trade-in value) costs $250/mo, excise taxes – $25/mo, insurance – $100/mo, maintenance/storage – $25/mo. A dependable new or late model car costs at least $400/mo to own, without driving a mile.

If the cost of driving and repairs due to use are $100 (1250 miles at 30 mpg at 2.50/gallon), then 80% of the costs of transportation are ownership costs. Only 20% are the cost of gasoline and repairs.

Even at $5.00 gas, that shift results in 33% use costs compared to 20%.

Sustainability is simplicity for individuals and live and let live socially.

There is a better way, a much better way. And, transportation is really the first area in my assessment of personal costs, that an alternative transportation model would make a material difference in the cost of living. (Correct that, energy efficiency in homes makes a material difference as well.)

My model is based on three multiplying factors in the quantity of emissions and also the number of miles (and the number of vehicles) needed to provide excellent origination to destination transportation services.

1. Improved technology and improved choice of technology used for purpose.

The measure of this is the average miles per gallon that vehicles realize. It is possible to double average gas consumption apples to apples. It is possible for a vehicle that gets 25 mpg (considered attractive currently) to be replaced by hybrid and plug-in hybrid vehicles with comparable power and features that realize 50 mpg.

A component of increasing the average, is to use smaller vehicles (with more electric component) to accomplish local needs. I don’t need to drive a truck to go grocery shopping. My Yaris works fine. (Better actually as it is easier to park.)

Improving technology does not decrease the average ownership costs per need, but does reduce emissions and does reduce the average operating costs incidentally.

Shoot for double, realizing a reduction of emissions by 50%.

2. Improving the utilization of vehicle trips. 70% of private auto usage is commuting. Ride-sharing can reduce emissions and miles by half of that. Innovative mass transit services can multiply that further. I’m appalled at the mediocrity of mass transit in western Massachusetts. And, to compound it, the funding governments and transportation “leadership” in transit authorities adopt the self-fulfilling logic of downward spiral of services. Until transportation authorities realize a level of service that functionally allows commuters to give up that extra vehicle, they won’t realize increase in ridership. But, once they confidently provide that level of service, they will reach economic viability.

Ride-sharing and mass transit (“utilization”) can realize another 50% multiplying improvement.

3. Social design and settlement

Currently, too many of us live in megalopolis’s. Sprawl. Average commutes are 24 mi currently. By emphasizing regional integrity, individuals can reduce that average commute distance to 12 mi, 1/2.

The policies that support coherent regionalization of economies rather than sprawl, also effect freight and other personal transportation needs.

If people only needed to transport one-half the distance, realizing another 50% improvement in emissions, and cost savings, the result in very broad strokes would be a total of 87.5% emissions savings, and 75% cost savings.

Rather than 1 person commuting 25 miles alone in a vehicle that gets 25 mpg, 2 persons commuting 12.5 miles in a vehicle that gets 50 mpg.

Simple, realizable (with work).

How to get there?

Proposal for an integrated transportation services company (please read “Natural Capitalism” by Amory Lovins and Paul Hawken, articulating a needed change in corporate mentality from product sales orientation to services orientation. IBM did it. General Motors could as well, “God forbid”, better that we capitalize and create something really new with more democratic features.)

1. Private exclusive ownership/leasing preferably of small energy-efficient neighborhood/local oriented vehicles. Preferably electric or plug-in hybrid, thereby realizing the energy efficiencies of the electric motor drive train, over very wasteful internal combustion. ($200/mo per vehicle including all maintenance)

2. Access to neighborhood sited fleets of vehicles (larger cars, vans, small trucks). The significance of access to a fleet is that the ownership costs of the vehicles are shared, and more of the expenditure on the transportation are operating costs. As vehicles must be owned in integers (0, 1, 2), and most owners don’t fully utilized the vehicles they own, they end up either paying more than they can afford for inefficiently utilized service, or do without.

The fleet allows them to pay for 1/2 a vehicle’s costs if they only need 6,000 miles/year of service. ($50/month subscription + for example, .25/mi including fuel (more likely some combination of time and mileage)

3. Commuting services focused on origination to central employer. This would eliminate the need for a second/third private vehicle.

4. Frequent commuting services along routes. If mass transit were available every 10 minutes, MANY would give up their second/third private vehicle. A local example is the route between Greenfield and Amherst, or Greenfied and Northampton, MA. A large number of residents commute between those locales, but mass transit provides only 6 trips daily.

5. Ride-sharing matchmaking

These services could be provided by an integrated entity, or by stand alone entities providing their sliver of transportation needs, comprising practical options to reduce miles and reduce auto ownership needs.

The interesting aspect of this proposal is that it is NOT as capital intensive as the more highlighted investments in technology. The majority of the savings in cost and emissions result from personal choices, cooperation, innovative enterprise, and rational public policy.

Fleets can be organized as cooperatives, with individuals contributing as capital their existing vehicles (only half needed for the fleets, the rest sold to capitalize other services). Car rental outlets can offer options that facilitate periodic vehicle use, inexpensively. (An innovative example is ZipCar, which basically runs a self-service car rental system. It applies the same logic of self-service as supermarkets, that had represented a shift from clerk service to customer self-service.)

Ride-sharing can be informal or formal. Leasing of small vehicles already exists.

There are obstacles. The business model for large auto manufacturers are of sale. Dealerships are restricted in the types of transactions that they can enter, and are protected from encroachment of other business models. Big business prefers to be the exclusive source for service, rather than cooperative or shared neighborly.

Like libraries cut into publishers’ profits, friendly sharing cuts into car manufacturers’. (Most car manufacturer profits are in the financing area anyway. Financing to dealers and financing to owners.)

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Synnergies

You don’t find many economists advocating for simplicity. Many prominent liberal economists (Robert Reich, Paul Krugman, Robert Kutner) support the values of simplicity, but note that “if everyone did it”, the economy would be forced to change. The economy is like a bicycle. It needs to spin to be stable enough to move forward, to provide any service.

In an economy that changes, the first experience is of some failures. People spending less makes the economy’s bicycle wheels spin more slowly.

Demand for products diminish relative to productive capacity to serve needs. Retailers, distributors, manufacturers, source commodities processors and growers, experience lower volume and revenues through their systems than can cover their fixed costs.

As application of sophisticated equipment, appended to information processing technology and software was a prominent means by which companies succeeded over the last couple decades, a large portion of their costs are fixed. (Formerly, the primary fixed costs that companies bore was for personnel, including pensions and benefits. In business at large, the primary fixed costs have shifted to equipment and technology. Ironically, equipment and technology are often more hungry than personnel, and even less flexible.) Revenues decrease from less volume itself from lower prices resulting from decreased demand relative to supply (inventories). The result is decreased operating profits.

The whole supply chain for automobiles is a case in point. While the auto industry was a primary economic driver in the US for the last 80 years, it is no longer. Aside from the effects of international competition, we just don’t need that many cars and trucks. Its NOT in the society’s interest to artificially stimulate the demand for a less necessary service.

As inventories sit on dealers’ lots, the price and terms that dealers must offer favor buyers. As volume of sales decrease, plants sit idle (fixed costs of financing, insurance, basic maintenance continues). Dealers lots and sales reps sit idle. (Fixed costs of facilities, inventory carrying charges, continue). The only beneficiary of decline in new car sales volume are repair shops, and they only marginally.

As the auto industry crashed (barely avoiding burning), the government stepped in to temporarily preserve any infrastructure remaining (parts manufacturers, financing institutions, dealerships, auto engineering of a wide variety of expertise, distribution companies).

But, as the business model that auto companies employed was itself inefficient, bloated, inattentive to the market, that cannot be repeated indefinitely. To avoid simply throwing away their enormous prior investments, stiffing banks and former employees, creating a cascade of bunkruptcies, society needs them to survive. To survive over the long-term they need to define a new business model.

In “Natural Capitalism”, Paul Hawken and Amory Lovins described a 21st century needed business transition from a goods-based commerce to a service based commerce. In many cases, the same terms are used to describe the demise of the American economy. Rather than skilled workers building cars (a good), they flip burgers at McDonalds (a service). But, that is not what Hawken and Lovins were referring to.

Using autos as an example, they were speaking of shifting from an business model that succeeded by making more numbers of cars, to a business model that succeeded by providing transportation services of which private cars could be a component, but not the determinant of success. Instead, the determinant of success of a transportation services company would be its ability to get members of a population from their origination to their desired destination as efficiently, flexibly and comfortably as possible. It might take a different portfolio of assets and services to accomplish that redefinition of their economic offering.

Its change. Laws that currently regulate existing norms of business relationships would need to change. Some existing regulation might be counter-productive, actually enforce economic inefficiency and inhibit personal frugality. In other cases, new regulation would be required to responsibly govern new potential norms of economic relations.

The business model based on services supports a vision of simplicity, in which individuals may consume only what they need, not a whole vehicle when they only need a vehicle for a few hours/week. But those enterprises are also vulnerable to business volume changes and therefore require a spinning economy to stay on its wheels (the bicycle metaphor).

It is a different vision of simplicity than the rustic, and the two conflict in some basic assumptions, though they share a Yankee value of efficiency and frugality.

In “Natural Capitalism”, Hawken and Lovins describe an economy that can and needs to scale down its consumption of materials. (Limited supply and limited waste disposal capacity.)

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