Travel is not a new thing at all. We all know that though, don’t we? In the prehistoric times man had to travel to find food and a cave to pass the night. This can only be merely associated with camping on today’s world. The prehistoric man would cover long distances walking or running, their only means of transport. Today, we would most likely drive near a forest or mountain, and then start walking.
Is this natural? I don’t think so.
I feel that any human development after Stonehenge, has entered somehow into a grey area of the natural cycle. We have reformatted landscapes, and earth minerals for our own uses, often destructive, and ambitions. These developments (too many to mention) have at some scale transformed our vision and way of doing things. The engine of travel, in the thousands of years of human history, has shifted from walking, animal use, the invention of the wheel, the invention of steam engine, to the invention of hybrid and electric engines. At the present the diesel and petrol engines are by far the most used form of transport in the World. These include, cars, motorcycles, ships, trains and aeroplanes. Without exception, all these forms of transport pollute. I don’t do figures, but these guys do. According to WWF footprint calculation I was exceeding this planets resources for my personal use 2.81 times and was producing roughly 13 tonnes of carbon per year. I thought I was good, one of the most sustainable and responsible ones!
I could not believe my eyes when I saw this:
I will not and don’t want to dispute the methodology behind this measurement, instead I would congratulate WWF for attempting to give a scale of the issue to the individual level. As surely with ourselves is where we need to start.
Going back to the engines of travel, we would agree in saying that any engine that has a soul pollutes considerably less then those that don’t, on today’s technology. I see, you are saying that you would get there faster! True, and you will have more time to do things. The way I see it, is that this argument has valid concerns on either side of it, and it would be unjust to point fingers. If I don’t travel, I would miss my chance of seeing and understanding this world, fulfilling my passion and make myself an open minded person.
If I didn’t do that, I will most likely be miserable and the world would have no meaning to me. If it stopped altogether I would probably not care less either. So, the dilemma is to travel or not to travel? Engines of travel can take you around the globe and outside it, if you dared, in record times nowadays. They will get even faster, but I think in relevance to travel is that driving on the ring road of a town, does not mean you been there. You have to get out of the car and spend a good proportion of time in this destination to build a relationship with the landscape and the social life. Our conscience should not feel bad about why we travel, but which mode of transport we choose to travel.
To get from A to B there always will be more than one option, and the one which is the most environmental friendly is most likely going to come at cost of time or money. Sharing an engine is always better than going solo, that includes piggybacking, that is why public transport makes more sense. However, getting from London to Australia, piggybacking might not be logically sane, but choosing an airline that doesn’t fly empty because it makes business sense, or that has a good environmental scheme to offset the flights carbon footprint, I mean really offset the carbon footprint of that flight can be the best thing you could do on your behalf for the environment.
This generation, will come up with a better form of transport before the end of this century. I only hope that it will not be too late. Preserving our home planet should be a core program in schools and all forms of educations.