It’s pretty depressing when I talk to people, and every time we get onto the subject of things like driving, people have no interest or just don’t know anything about climate change, or at worst don’t care at all. “It’s someone else’s problem right? It doesn’t effect me.”
I understand that, but I find it hard to not care. Maybe it would be better if I acted like I didn’t, or at least not talk about it as much as I do. Not everyone knows what Tesla is, they aren’t going to buy a Nissan Leaf, even the BMW i8 isn’t going to change their opinion on hybrid cars. Maybe the best way environmentalists like me can hope to make a difference, is just by letting things go bad. If we don’t do anything, and we just leave it to the scientists and car manufacturers to keep working behind the scenes, in the meantime the general public will continue to use up our fuel resources. Before long they’ll have no choice but to make an effort to change their ways.
Will it be too late by that point? Is it already too late to reverse the damage that’s been done to our atmosphere? I don’t know, but what I do know is that every day that we continue as we are, the job is getting progressively more challenging.
Perhaps the recent reduction in oil prices can be a blessing in disguise. Maybe it’ll help to deplete the oil faster and put us on the right track quicker, albeit while doing more damage in the process.
Simply put, we should probably stop ramming the facts down peoples throats and instead just quietly do our bit and hope for the best going forward. It’s like the I’m a Mac, I’m a PC ads. By annoying your potential customers, you’re probably not getting the desired effect from your advertising. You’ve got to allow people to catch up on their own terms, however painfully slow that feels to us as technology fans and environmentalists.
The answer to this question is almost certainly no in most cases. Often cars are the best option for when you need to carry people and things around. Then there is also the problem for people who live out in rural areas where the battery life of a segway and it’s range on one charge just aren’t feasable for daily living.
So with that said, is there a place for these more friendly forms of transportation? Of course. There are plenty of advantages to these bikes / scooters for people who live within a short distance of a town or city centre. They also serve a use even if you would just like a mode of transport to go biking or having some fun with at forest off road trails. The segway XT is designed especially for this purpose, as are many motor equipped mountain bikes.
I also think these modes of transport will suit people who currently use bus services to get from A to B in their town / city. If you live within a mile or so of your work for example this would be a great solution to many people, eliminating various car ownership costs, not to mention lower the chance of being caught in traffic jams.
Obviously the cost is a great advantage but another advantage for me personally in the bike is that there’s no lessons required to use it as long as you know how to ride a bike, plus unlike a segway, the costs are significantly less and you’re far more likely to go unnoticed. As much as I like segways, it’s hardly true of a two wheeled scooter which you lean around to steer.
While many people will say it doesn’t eliminate the problem to the environment due to the fact that it uses electricity, which is produced mostly by burning fossil fuels and therefore still adding to the problem. However, although this is true, unlike greenhouse gas emissions which can’t ever be a good thing, electricity will be generated in environmentally friendly ways in the future more so than at present which is a great thing. I welcome wholehearedly the building of more off-shore wind farms and of course solar power, not to mention water. I see both these sources as being a great opportunity for everyone to save generate their own power in the years to come. I hope we will start to see more rooftop mounted wind turbines and solar panels as time goes on.
So essentially what I’m saying is that I think bikes, segways and especially electric motor assisted bikes are among the many solutions that will be the future of personal transportation. Well, at least until something else gets invented.