Jul 22

Add this to your “what if California is a country …” line at the next party

Written by DJ on Tuesday, July 22nd, 2008 at 5:14 pm
Filed under:-mini-posts, News | Tags:, , ,
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Wired recently reported some amazing statistics:

California alone uses more gasoline than any country in the world (except the US as a whole, of course). That means California’s 20 billion gallon gasoline and diesel habit is greater than China’s! (Or Russia’s. Or India’s. Or Brazil’s. Or Germany’s.)

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14 Responses to “Add this to your “what if California is a country …” line at the next party”

  1. Charles Liu Says:

    California is pretty much it’s own country. Was in LA recently, and caught on the radio a special “breast implant and tummy tuck combo” promotion…

  2. pug_ster Says:

    Don’t forget the increase of the CO2 emission thanks to those all-year around forest fires.

  3. JXie Says:

    Misleading stats. In tonnage CA consumes slightly more gasoline and diesel than China consumes gasoline. In case you wonder, if apple to apple (both g & d), CA’s total consumption is about 1/3 of China’s.

  4. FOARP Says:

    @Charles Liu : LOL!

    @DJ – Bloody hell! And would I be right in saying that most of that is wasted propelling 4x4s carrying one person to-and-from work everyday?

  5. FOARP Says:

    @JXie – That makes more sense . .

  6. totochi Says:

    China is not far behind and will probably overtake California this year. Also, Caliifornia’s GDP is about half of China’s GDP in 2007. Of course, that just means we Californians are pretty wasteful compared to China; it’s all the SUVs in SoCal freeways with only one passenger.

  7. Daniel Says:

    It’s all the SUV’s but I think a big issue with So Cal and many other places in the US is that they build their communities centering around the automobile. Especially after world war 2, when urban areas kept expanding but also all the highways and pretty much everywhere. There is public transportation of course but any of you that has live in the US know for sure that whether you carpool or not, the car is still dominant as the means to go places. I try explaining this before to a guy in France and he still has his own semi-stubborn views regarding the US and thinks that I live in a small town out of nowhere when that is not the case. There’s people that have their own ways of travel like bicycle or the bus but that is just them. They can not speak for a large number of people that use cars to take them places.

  8. Buxi Says:


    A lot of people (including myself) hope China doesn’t plan itself into the same trap, where mass transportation projects become unpopular because they simply aren’t convenient for people used to driving.

    China needs to build fewer “commuter” roads in developed areas, and more mass transit.

  9. Netizen Says:


    Mass transit is the way to go. Less pollution and create work too for construciton.

  10. BMY Says:

    addition to “China needs to build fewer “commuter” roads in developed areas”

    China need put much heavier tax on a private car in developed areas.

    I think the American car culture has big influence in China. I never understand why so many Chinese own cars while only use them few times a year. Many of my friends, who own cars , just live in the apartments with walking distance to their office, schools,shopping mall. How could we handle if every family owns a car.

  11. vadaga Says:

    Re: comments 8-9

    I strongly agree.

    Another idea that I had was that there needs to be more attention paid to real estate development and zoning in order to create a more reasonable amount of commuter traffic.

    To give an extreme example from Shanghai- right now Lujiazui (the central financial business district of Pudong) is totally full with office buildings. The subway there runs to capacity, with people packed in like sardines, and there are traffic jams in the Yanan tunnel from 7 AM to 10 AM for morning rush hour and 5:30 PM to 9 PM for evening rush hour.

    Yet, even though Lujiazui is already more or less packed out with people during the daytime already, right now at this very minute, there are three huge new office towers there which will come into use in the next few years that will add thousands of rush hour commuters to the area, but there is no corresponding upgrade in infrastructure being made.

    From a planning perspective, it just doesn’t make sense.

    Re: comment 10 above. In my experience, most people I know who have cars make a point to use them, even when it is more expensive and time-consuming than just taking a taxi. The only way that I can rationalize this is that they may feel that, having sunk the money into the car, they feel obligated to use them as much as possible to justify the purchase to themself. (once again this is talking about Shanghai, I am not sure about how this may vary in different places in China)

  12. deltaeco Says:

    The end of the world….. All Chinese drivers buy a SUV. 😉

  13. pug_ster Says:

    I guess the construction of mass transit haven’t caught up with the demand of the people within the cities. But they are working on it. Cities like Beijing is going to have 50% more subway stops by 2012.

  14. Buxi Says:


    Right, I think China has probably more mass transit projects than any other country on the planet. How many cities had subways 8 years ago? Just two, I think, Beijing and Shanghai. How many cities have subways now? At least 6? 10? The number of lines and stops are also exploding exponentially.

    But at the same time, a lot of city planning has gone into building roads and infrastructure for a car “culture”… and I hope they cut down on that.

    So it’s not so much criticism that the Chinese government is doing poorly on mass transit, just a hope/reminder that they continue to focus on this.


    Any hope of new residential developments in Pudong lessening the traffic flow across the Huangpu? Or is that naive… because new residents will just as often have to commute back into Shanghai proper? Would the maglev extension take away some of that pressure?

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