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Posted by Sarah Paulin
Sarah Paulin
Sarah Paulin is currently finishing her bachelor's degree at UCSD as a Writing m
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on Friday, 03 June 2011
in Clean Energy News

Summer Car Travel Expected to Level

Researchers in the transportation department are projecting a leveling trend and expecting to see it take effect this summer. Memorial day kicks off summer travel plans and though there will always be more people driving during the warmer months, it is thought that an overall plateau has been reached and record numbers will no longer be broken.  

LA_TrafficNational Geographic states that in wealthy countries such as the United States, Germany and Japan, “there are signs that driving has reached a kind of saturation point.” Stanford professors Adam Millard-Ball and Lee Schipper published a paper earlier in 2011 observing that there are more factors contributing to the reached “peak travel” other than the slowing economy and rising gas prices. Though AAA has reported that up to forty percent of vacation drivers will be limiting their regular habits due to increased gas prices.

Professor Schipper states, “There are only so many minutes and miles in a day that people will travel.” He reports that, “Time constraints, road congestion, aging populations, and taxes on vehicle ownership all appear to be combining to force a major shift in travel patterns.” Schipper adds, “Fuel economy is improving slowly, and travel isn't increasing. That's a lot different than the old past where in the [United States], fuel economy was getting worse because of larger and larger share of cars on the road wee SUVs, and travel was rising.”

Researchers, such as Aaron Brady, director of the global oil group at IHS Cambridge Energy Research Associates, remain cautious however that the emerging countries may spike in energy demands and push the standards higher once more. Brady says that there is a, “...very strong demand growth in the developing world – the Chinas, Indias, Brazils of the world. These countries are reaching a development stage where large portions of their population are able to afford vehicles for the first time.”

For the time-being in developed countries, this is the first occurrance since the mass production of the individual automobile, oil demand will not be increasing. This is an important trend to note, demonstrating the country's ability to cope without growth in an industry we perceive to have so much dependence on, both physically and economically. Traditionally the United States counts for up to twelve percent of the global oil consumption, the largest consuming nation in the world. Hope remains for the alternative fuel vehicles by allowing them a niche to grow into as petroleum dependence wanes.

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Sarah Paulin is currently finishing her bachelor's degree at UCSD as a Writing major, Environmental and Film studies minors. She plans on attending Chapman's MFA Screenwriting program in the fall. Currently, Sarah has had a number of fiction and nonfiction pieces published, as well as various blog entries. She has always had a deep passion for animals and the environment and hopes to bring awareness to the environmental perils that plague our Earth.

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1944: Camano Class Light Cargo Ship was laid down for the US Army as FS-289 at Wheeler Shipbuilding in Whitestone, NY.

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1945: Delivered to US Army.

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1950: Acquired by the US Navy on July 1, 1950 and placed in service as USNS New Bedford (T-AKL-17).

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1954: The movie, Mister Roberts, was made on the USNS New Bedford (T-AKL-17).

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1955 - 1963: Used as a cargo supply ship for the Texas Towers, a network of advanced radar stations located off the Eastern Seaboard. In 1957, Capt. Sixto Mangual was commander of the AKL-17 and in 1961 it was rechristened the USNS New Bedford. The New Bedford, sailing out of State Pier, was keeping vigil when Texas Tower No. 4 callapsed off the New Jersey coast during a January 1961 nor'easter.

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1963: Reclassified as Miscellaneous Unclassified (IX-308).

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1971: The New Bedford (IX-308) served as a Torpedo Test Firing Vessel in the Puget Sound area.

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1994: Ceremony in New Bedford.

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1995: The ship was struck from the Naval Register on April 4.

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2004: The Sea Bird's current disposition is a tuna long liner (fishing boat) out of San Diego, CA.

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2006: Design of the Tesla Turbine began on June 11, 2006. The Sea Bird was sold by Defense Reutilization and Marketing Service for commercial service.

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2007: The Sea Bird was drydocked for renovations.

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2008: The Sea Bird setting sail to Sea-Tac in Seattle, WA.

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2009 - 2010: The Sea Bird is currently docked at Seattle Sea-Tac.

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