The affluent concept of Mechanised Transport as a 'right' in
rich, northern, countries is a relatively new and evolving
phenomena. Our ideas of a 'right' have been communicated by
numerous elected Governments who sold us on the idea that
our personal freedoms knew no boundaries. So we just kept
building roads. And everyone has a car - often two. The more
roads we build the more we fill them with cars.
The environmentalists tell us that the reason we fill our
roads with cars is because we keep building capacity. This
is half the truth. The other half of this sad reality is
that we keep consuming more and more transport because
Western Nations have become increasingly affluent. We have
more income and the cost of personal travel by car falls. So
we consume more of it and everyone is happy.
This is temporary. Such Western societies are like some
early daredevil with a pair of wings strapped to his arms.
He has jumped of a cliff and, for a moment, he thinks he can
fly. In reality he is falling. Which takes us neatly to Air
Transport. Never has a field of human transport grown so
rapidly yet needed curtailing so quickly. It is the biggest
growing contributor of Green House Gases (GHG) whilst the
high atmosphere nature of each flight means that the GHG
have 2 to 3 times the Global Warming effect of the same GHG
at street level.
Not only do we not externalise the Fossil Fuel Cost of our
Air Transport we actually subsidise it. The Fuel is not
subject to taxation like other forms of transport whilst the
Governments of Europe give the green flag to airport
expansions programs. There is no future in mass mechanised
transport. It will be rationed and taxed off the face of the
Earth. We either do it voluntarily or we wait for the cheap
oil to run out.
Post-Carbon Living suggest that its members give up flying for
good. If you can, walk. If not walk then cycle. If not cycle
then take a Bus or Train. Cars and Planes have no future.
Stay at home. Find work close to home. Shop close to home.
Live close to family & friends if that is important to you.
Western Societies are organised around the Car hence
everything is too far away. If everyone started using local
services then we create the new 'norm'. The market will
respond by providing local services.