What Is Sustainable Transport?
This is a broad term that refers to any method of transportation that relies upon renewable and sustainable energy. It even refers to movements towards more sustainable transportation that may not have achieved that goal yet.
It is well known that conventional vehicles are one of the biggest contributors to air pollution, and they are also a big consumer of non-renewable fuel. In fact, about 95% of the world’s fuel consumption comes from transportation systems.
Additionally, non-sustainable transport has other socially negative impacts besides fuel consumption and pollution. Think of the impact of auto wrecks, inactivity, and time spent driving during long commutes. More sustainable methods of transportation can move towards reducing these negative impacts.
Truly Sustainable Transportation
Of course, really sustainable transportation would only include modes of transportation that rely upon renewable resources. This might include walking, bike riding, paddling a boat, or even riding a horse. If there were a solar powered car, that would also fall into this category.
The U.S. has made great strides towards developing diesel fuel out of methane produced from cow manure, but it still takes energy to produce that. Until we have solar powered cars, most truly sustainable transportation methods that we have today would throw our society back 150 years. Hopefully, this will change in the future.
Until we get those solar cars, perhaps a better choice would to emphasize a movement towards more better transportation that use non-renewable fuel more efficiently and pollute less. More public transportation might be one example of this. It reduces traffic, the chances of accidents, air pollution, and fuel consumption. It is also cheaper to share rides than drive long distances alone in a car.
There is some good on the horizon. Actually, the technology revolution that includes more Internet-enabled devices has made travel less necessary than ever before. Web conferences can replace meetings. A lot more people are able to telecommute from home too. Baby boomers, who tended to rely upon cars, are beginning to retire. The younger generation seems more willing to get on the bus!