A week ago I got to hear Peter Newman discuss his new hopeful book, The End of Automobile Dependence: How Cities are Moving Beyond Car-Based Planning. This is the final volume in a trilogy by Newman and Kenworthy on automobile dependence.
Newman makes the argument that for the first time in history the relationship between fossil fuels consumption has been decoupled from economic growth. For many decades, the two rose in tandem, but in recent years GDP has continued to rise, but coal/gas/petrol consumption has stayed steady. Newman is hopeful that this decoupling is a sign that countries no longer need to be dependent on fossil fuels for economic growth to occur. The drawing was inspired by statements made in the Q&A portion of the talk.