Yesterday I cited positively some discussions in favor of sprawl. There’s another side to the story, though, which I touched on in a discussion last week of global warming. In defending sprawl and car culture, John Tierney eloquently defends sprawl in terms of land use, but sort of waves his hands when it comes to air pollution and resource consumption. He dismisses those problems by saying that technology will rescue us. That answer, though, is inadequate. Sprawl make work well for America right now, but the American suburban lifestyle cannot scale given today’s technology. We can’t produce enough fossil fuels on a day to day basis to enable everyone in the world (or even a much larger percentage of the world) to use as much energy per capita as Americans do. One of the reasons oil prices are going up is increased demand for oil — if people in more countries could afford cars, houses in the suburbs, and long commutes, oil prices would go up even more, in turn, making our sprawlophilic lifestyle significantly more expensive. I’m not an economist, but it sure seems like these problems should have been addressed in the article.