I don’t have solar panels on my roof. I punched a courtyard through my old terrace house, to minimise the distance to any window. I figured solar panels would only corrode and fail before their economic and embodied energy break-even dates anyway. Better to brace yourself for rising energy costs, by learning to live with less now, than expect industry to be the source of cures, for the problems, that industry causes.
I grant, nuclear fusion might take the world’s population, to seven trillion, powering cars with no drivers (a scenario Audi paid architects BIG to imagine). A more likely scenario, is humanity will endure a gradual decline. Let’s aim to bow out with grace, using our minds and computers to minimise waste, smart tools like bikes for frugal transport, and maybe sophisticated modern wind ships, to bring us new bikes from Taiwan, until that last day, when countries like Australia are forced to relearn how to make Malvern Stars.
This glum train of thought was triggered by a post on cycle-chic yesterday, that really drove home to me, the direction the world is now heading. It appears one of the little guys pictured (let’s assume his name is Andreas) has been taken out of school, and given a job delivering toys with a blue BULLITT cargo bike, adapted so he can reach the ground through the cargo tray with his feet. Are the Danes really so concerned about a technologically bereft low energy future, that they can condone this? I guess though, that Andreas is a tough little cookie. He sure fills a big pair of shoes.
The BULLITT cargo bike is a great example of the simple technology that will spare us going back to the stone age, when kids like Andreas would have been sent out to collect debts, using clubs, and in contraptions like the one pictured right. Though we don’t hope for much for our children, we hope the industrial era will at least leave them with the know-how to make their own bikes.