blackadder’s cunning transportation plan

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So, multi-millionaire and supercar-fleet-owning Rowan Atkinson is struggling with the problem that cars, including his own recently purchased electric vehicle (EV), pollute the atmosphere and contribute to climate change. No s**t, Sherlock. His feeling is that he has been duped by the ‘green’ claims of the manufacturers and offers the heartfelt advice that we should all hold fire on going down that particular energy-efficient path.

Having just been without my own twenty-year-old car for over seven weeks, I found he made some valid points about short relatively trivial journeys and specifically the wastage caused by people ‘keeping-up-with-the-Jones’ and changing their cars unnecessarily often, which leads to enormous carbon footprints and greenhouse emissions in the building of new cars and the large-scale production of batteries. Furthermore, he came to the conclusions that the industry should cut-back on current car manufacture and how we must not scrap the older ones prematurely. So far so obvious. Factor in designing new ones smaller and lighter, enhancing public transport provision, car-sharing and expanding the provision and safety for pedestrians and cyclists and Bob’s your uncle. However…

Notwithstanding the facts that Captain Elon needs us to keep his spaceships afloat and the geo-capitalist world has now run out of emerging/developing economies and depends solely on our own continued personal consumption, my car-free ‘journey’ was made entirely possible by several crucial factors: I don’t need to be at a desk twenty miles away by 9.00am; I live five minutes stroll from a great train station and a perfectly adequate bus-stop; I’m young/fit enough to cycle everywhere with little no fear of roaring juggernauts; appointments could be made to suit me and, when I really really needed a car, all my generous pals had got one! In short, my horizons are intentionally limited and I am privileged.

Mr Atkinson, living in his urban-centric public-transport-provisioned heaven is too. Many, often in the fracking north, living in terraced or tiered housing and those holed-up in distanced, relatively isolated rural communities do not have such options. Their only regionally-unequal choices without a fossil-fueled car, are to stay put, learn to enjoy their own company, avoid getting ill at all costs and save-up the pennies for the inevitable taxi fare.