> Zoned Out forcefully argues that the debate about transportation and land-use planning in the United States has been distorted by a myth. The myth that urban sprawl is the result of a free market. According to this myth, low-density, auto-dependent development dominates U.S. metropolitan areas because that is what Americans prefer. Jonathan Levine confronts the free market myth by pointing out that land development is already one of the most regulated sectors of the U.S. economy. Noting that local governments use their regulatory powers to lower densities, segregate different types of land uses, and mandate large roadways and parking lots, he argues that the design template for urban sprawl is written into the land-use regulations of thousands of municipalities nationwide.
... I love how the cliche environmentalists worldview is to reduce these problems to entirely the result personal choice. As if consumers chose petroleum as the most efficient and widespread fuel in the earth's crust, and the combustion engine, then decided they wanted highways and suburbs, etc. Instead of thousands of small choices over a century (or more) based on circumstance, central planning, present needs, etc - things largely out of their control. Combined with other biological human flaws like short term thinking and favouring political populism and emotion when voting/buying.
Not to mention, the widespread adoption of suburbs was not a product of market capitalism or consumerism... it was the result of government zoning and regulatory policy:
You may be convinced and have deep knowledge of the subject but it's far from common knowledge. Understanding of climate issues is very low and it's not entirely the result of ignorance or malice or compromise because someone loves having a big lawn.
I tried to educate myself on the subject, I love to read, but even I found it difficult to find good books on the subject, specifically books that were balanced and scientific instead of sounding like the ravings of an ideologue.
I've asked on HN for book recommendations on climate change multiple times and each time I've been pointed to websites with dry 150 page reports by non-profit organizations. It's far from easy to know better.
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