Sundry information, thoughts and links to sort us out

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Beam me up. Please.

Gas prices are getting to be pretty absurd and really effecting almost everything we do nowadays. When we went home to Ohio last month, we drove and paid high prices at the pump, but we did so because the airline we had intended to fly went out of business due to rising fuel and operating costs. As more and more airlines begin downsizing, cutting flights, merging, or just shutting up shop, it is beginning to look like the way we travel is not only in jeopardy, but in desperate need of change.

On the plus side, it seems like everyone is becoming more aware and more eco-conscious because of the situation. A few weeks ago I heard a story on Marketplace where a guy was talking about ways to reduce the size of your carbon footprint. What had started him thinking about this was taking a family trip to Hawaii -- he figured out that, for the four of them to fly roundtrip, they used more gas than they use driving around town all year. My first reaction to this was: the plane would have flown to Hawaii with or without you, dude. But after that, I started thinking, too.

Transportation exists to move goods, services and people from one place to another in an expeditious manner. Since the invention of the internet, messages, information, and even some items (such as photos or video clips) are passing quickly and easily between people via email and file sharing and the like. But how can we move people and packages quickly from one place to another -- especially without using fuels?

Simple, transporters. Okay, okay, I know what you're thinking: transporters don't really work, they're fictional technology, and besides the process would kill you -- all that destructuring and restructuring of your personal atoms and stuff! But imagine how great it would be! Instantaneous travel. Easily send your mom her birthday gift. Store your genetic code in the pattern buffer to restore you from disease. (Okay, that probably really does work only on Star Trek!) Well, I still say, we've got smart people out there....somebody invent this before we ruin our pocketbooks and our planet all at the same time. Please.

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