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Baldock applauds optimistic worldview

Baldock applauds optimistic worldview

Media Statement
For immediate release
Monday, 22 November 2004

Baldock applauds optimistic worldview

"I applaud the organisers of the Towards Sustainable Land Transport Conference for opening with two speakers who were unashamedly positive and optimistic in their world outlook," United Future transport spokesman Larry Baldock said today.

"Both professors Peter Gordon and William Clark from the University of Los Angeles were self-confessed anti-Doomsday adherents."

"Professor Clark raised important issues relating to the decline in the rapid population growth experienced over the 20th Century and it's impact on many aspects of society should not be ignored especially in transport planning.

"This confirms what I have been saying for some time that the Green mantra that we cannot build our way out of road congestion is entirely false. What is needed in New Zealand is a intense period of infrastructural investment to catch up on our deficits.

"After that, the slowing rates of population growth will mean that transport networks will serve us for a long period, perhaps even into the next century. That will enable us to focus more of our investment on improvements in safety over the next 50 years which will prepare us for the ageing population.

"The second point made by Professor Clark was when he recalled concerns expressed prior to the invention of the car, that with an increased population, we would have to find ways of dealing with vast amounts of horse manure as populations depended on greater numbers of horses for mobility. It was technology that solved that problem, and"While we now have concerns about fuel emissions from automobiles, it is also very likely that it will be a new technological break-through that will address that concern ultimately.

"We should concentrate on reductions in pollution, but the fixation on greenhouse gas emissions is one that will distort comprehensive decision making and planning in my opinion, said Mr Baldock.

"The first speaker, Professor Peter Gordon, challenged the underlying premise in too many policy decisions regarding the actual effect of carbon dioxide climate change and concerns about declining fossil fuel availability.

"United Future welcomes the honest debate that will be stimulated by these two keynote presenters and look forward to a more balanced approach in Government policy as a result.


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