Things are looking much better … in the distant future
3 January, 2009
I don’t find it a great shock that the EU is having to sue the British goverment over our air quality. We have afterall wished the ends but we have not by a long stretch wished the means. We remain wedded to the internal combustion engine, a crap piece of 19th century “technology” that is well past its sell by date yet is still capable of killing more than a million people a year across the globe on an annual basis. Our attempts in the UK at creating the kind of cycling culture seen in parts of the continent have been rudimentary at best and public transport though in some significant respects has improved still fails to tempt people out of the air conditioned private shells of their cars.
We also need to do more to invest in renewable energy and micro power generation but I have this feeling that the political response is lagging behind the scale of the environmental change to such an extent that Plan B will be inevitable in the not to distant future. This is not a problem unique to the UK but across all societies that have gotten themselves out of patronising TV documentaries about exploring the lives of the funny little people who live in forests.
In the future people will look back at our time and wonder at the primitiveness of our car culture in much the same way that people today view the feudalism of the middle ages. The internal combustion engine will be a museum piece rather than an everyday appliance and computers will be driving whichever clean technology we will be driven around in. As it’s going to be computer controlled the speeds will be able to be much greater. Faster, safer, cleaner will be the shape of our future transport system but how long it takes to arrive is entirely up to us although in fifty years they’ll think we were really backward back in the o’l naughties.