An Australian Senate committee released its report Wednesday on the country's future oil supply. This report from the bipartisan Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport committee warns that the nation must act immediately to reduce its reliance on foreign oil.
Cycling is presented among the options in the report to reduce oil use. Cycling is seen as a “No Regrets” option by the Committee, meaning that even if the onset of Peak Oil occurs later than expected, the community benefits from numerous social, environmental and transport outcomes inherent to cycling.
Elliot Fishman of the Australia Cycling Promotion Fund highlights that “The Senate Inquiry made it clear that in addition to being an oil-free form of transport, cycling is an effective tool against our obesity and diabetes epidemics.”
While the report suggests various means to increase the supply of alternative fuels, many alternative fuels can have significant environmental issues in themselves. Fishman says “Unlike many of the supply side options provided to the Senate Committee, such as coal-to-liquids, cycling represents a zero emission form of transport. Our current policy environment requires us to propose responses to Peak Oil that are greenhouse sensitive. Bicycles have no exhaust pipe.”
Peak Oil may result in significant hardship for people around the world, but Cycling Promotion's Fishman believes that Australia's current drought shows that Australians can adapt. “We are on the verge of entering a petrol drought. As we approach the point at which less and less oil will be available year upon year, Australian’s will need to become fuel smart and adapt to a low oil lifestyle, just as we have done with water” says Fishman.
When I lived in Australia, I worked in the transport industry, and commuted by bike for a while. Rather scary place for bikes - a huge depot with trucks, trains, and forklifts. If the Howard government is pushing more people to ride bikes, it only means that they're figured out a way to tax them too. IndustryOutsider