I don’t buy this. The fundamental flaw in “studies” and projections like these, basically all of economic forecasting, is that they take one data set and extrapolate it over time. The problem is with these types of things is that no line continues on forever. Over a long enough period of time, they begin to resemble more of a wavy sine curve. In this case, rising energy costs, one that I can suggest with fair amount of certainty that no magic bullet exists and allows us to be fat, happy, and stupid with our organizational and lifestyle decisions, to maintain our sedentary lifestyle making us a country full of porkers.
VMTs have peaked two years ago. I believe we hit rock bottom at that point. The economics of our disastrous last fifty years are still lagging behind but I believe that we have seen the light. We are getting out of our cars, riding bikes, reconnecting with our surroundings and community. We have discovered that that glorious lifestyle of sitting in traffic and watching television was actually quite banal. We are humans and we have a fundamental need for social and physical activities and we are beginning to rediscover our human nature and the joys of life.
MSNBC jumps into the water and acknowledges that neighborhoods built before 1950 keep you fit and trim. It’s not an accident that it is quite a challenge to find a fat person in Europe. The world of the starchitect more closely resembles the future depicting in Wall-E than it does where we are actually going and that is back to great, human-scaled, fine-grained, locally oriented cities.
And, I look forward to the battle of ideas. We have facts on the ground…maybe we can get the insurance industry behind us because they have to insure the medical problems of an obese society 😉