Sunday, August 08, 2010

Lazy Sunday # 131: Highway to the Future

I'm not sure I'm a climate change denier. If something's going on that might irreparably damage the planet, I'd sure like to get to the bottom of it and do my part to fix it.

But I'm certainly one of those guys who's hesitant to climb on the Anthropomorphic Global Warming bandwagon.

There are a lot of reasons for that which can be backed up by things I've read about how those campaigning for carbon taxes and green initiatives went about providing their empirical proof that such things were necessary. 

There's also all those mega-polluting private jets and limos that seem to be in such demand whenever environmentalists gather to make rules the rest of us are supposed to live by.

But mostly, it's the scare tactics.

Like the stories about rising ocean levels submerging cities and making whole countries disappear. If those campaigning to get me to turn down my air conditioning and ride a bicycle really believe those predictions are such an inconvenient truth -- how come they're not asking Al Gore why he just bought a massive chunk of beach front property?

I do understand that the apocalyptic approach is a sure fire attention getter. But I also know that most things we're instructed to fear don't usually turn out to be all that scary…

Are those Killer Bees here yet?

…and often, there's somebody already thinking way outside the box those scare tacticians are trying to get us into so we can only view the world the way that works best for them.

The first minute of what follows will probably strike you as hare-brained Science Fiction. An impossibly implausible solution to 3 or 4 of the problems supposedly coming down the pike. But three minutes after that, I'm predicting you'll be sensing our future might be way cooler than you ever imagined.

Enjoy your Sunday.

6 comments:

The Motorcycle Boy said...

The biggest question has gotta be:
How's the Mob gonna get in on this?!

I remember (fucking years ago) about roads made out of recycled plastics that would have an extreme life span - even in Canada - yet they were never used.

Makes one scratch their head when you read a sign on the Trans-Canada that states: 'The next four kilometers brought to you by the Canadian Government at a cost of $1,456,789,000'

I hope Obama makes this happen. He's the only leader (read: chance) this world has.

Clint Johnson said...

I look at the wear and tear that those road surfaces take and I have trouble seeing this as viable. Then add in the hit to efficiency the surface layer will take with every bit of rubber shed by tires, every bird dropping, dust storm and road kill. The job of keeping them clean would not be insignificant.

It isn't like there are cheap answers, all large scale power system are going to be in the tens of billions of dollars. What I would champion is putting those solar panels up where nothing gets between them and the sun- I want solar power satellites.

rick mcginnis said...

I hope Obama makes this happen. He's the only leader (read: chance) this world has.

I'm sorry, but the naivete in that statement is kind of painful to read. Especially when it's preceded by an idea ("The biggest question has gotta be: How's the Mob gonna get in on this?!") that's truly bracing in its grasp of the brute reality of the situation.

The smart glass road has a fantastic sci-fi lustre to it, for sure, but even a non-engineer can see so many problems, merely in the nature of the materials being proposed. I could see this being used for short stretches of urban roadway, but the idea that freeways and interstates will be replaced with highly manufactured panels requiring careful installation and maintenance seems a wild stretch, even if the cost of asphalt continues to rise.

The Motorcycle Boy said...

How'd you get my quote in italics, that's what I wanna know.

rick mcginnis said...

You can use some HTML tags, such as ...

It's right there under the comment box

The Motorcycle Boy said...

test, test - muthafucka.