The Motor Car is Not everything.
The arrival of the motor car was welcomed with an unquestioning enthusiasm. It gave a new freedom to a whole generation of people. But, in the rush to accommodate the motor car, we have created an unbalanced transport system with many drawbacks
- Firstly, car accidents are one of the world's biggest killers. It is the most common killer of young men in the UK.
- It contributes to global warming which is causing severe environmental damage.
- Congestion blights most city centres leading to an inefficient allocation of resources. Average speed of travel in London (7mph) [link] this is as slow now as it was in the nineteenth century when we used the horse and cart. So much for progress...
In the US, the rise in oil prices has come as a shock. For the first time higher prices are forcing many to consider public transport; this has equally been a shocking experience. The rise in demand for public transport has only highlighted how poor public transport is in the US; not surprising after years of underinvestment in favour of promoting the motor car.
Rather than rely on cars, we can make much greater use of public transport.
Energy can be provided by other means
There was a time we relied on the horse and cart, then came the steam engine. We did not run out of horses or coal, we just found better methods. There is no reason why we cannot find alternatives to petrol and oil. In fact, the alternatives are already there, they just need investment to help reduce their operating costs and make them as attractive as oil.
- Solar power
- Hydrogen energy
- Electricity from renewable resources such as wind, tidal energy.
Reducing the Power of OPEC Countries is no Bad Thing
At the moment, most western economies are dependent on importing from OPEC countries primarily in the middle east. (Supplies in the US and UK, already show signs of decline) Rising oil prices only increase the economic and political leverage of oil exporting countries. The sooner we can reduce our dependency on oil importing countries the better. It will also help to redistribute income throughout the world.
We are learning, perhaps too late that consumption of oil creates carbon emissions which are causing a destabilising impact on the environment. Perhaps most pressing is the issue of global warming. The consequences cannot be brushed off, as some would like to do; there is increasing evidence that global warming is promoting rogue weather patterns which will cause tremendous harm. Switching to renewable energy will reduce the excess carbon emissions which are causing so many problems.