Slow is Better

The New York Times reports yesterday that shipping companies are cutting the speed of their vessels: “Slow Trip Across Sea Aids Profit and Environment

Technically a cargo ship going at 12 knots doesn’t “aid” the environment- it just destroys it slightly less quickly.  Nevertheless in spite of the hype, slower speeds are important.  Particularly if you are unlucky enough to be in the way.  Whether you are a pilot whale in the North Atlantic or a 12 year old boy walking to school.

The only problem is- if cargo ships are going half the speed, it obviously takes twice as long if you choose to ride on one to get across the ocean.  Slow is the point- I suppose- of taking a boat rather than a plane.   However, at $110/ night as a passenger aboard, that’s one costly crossing.  That leaves (blech) cruise ships.   Let’s have real heavens-to-betsy-gosh-darn travel choice!  Regular transatlantic airship service.  Or at least some nice sailing ships.

Apparently  the US and UK postal services didn’t get the slow memo though.   Last  year, the USPS eliminated the choice to send overseas mail by surface, requiring air freight.    And Royal Mail is trading in their cute little red cargo bikes for diesel vans.  More carbon emissions.  More danger on the roads. (This culture is going) Top Gear in the wrong direction.

Oh well I’m glad that some industry is making more profit by going slow- they can afford to cough up their part of the $2.2 trillion in damage every year  that they are inflicting on our planet’s environment.  She ain’t gonna keep givin it up forever you know.

2 responses to “Slow is Better

  1. Sad that we have to put a price tag on nature to get people to pay attention, but if the result is accountability and reform, I suppose I’m all for it.

    On a positive note, the link about David Kirkwood and his son Archie made my day. The article spun it as an embarrassment for Archie, but think of the values he is passing on to his son. Walking to school should be considered a birthright, and it’s the responsibility of us adults to provide safe routes for our children. Good for Mr. Kirkwood for taking action to protect his family and improve his community. Very inspiring. I hope to see more of this type of creative, direct action.

    Oh, but what a shame about those beautiful Pashley cargo bikes… (drool… ) At least they will be put to good use and now a handful of people in Africa will be less oil dependent.

  2. I love the story about Archie as well.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1166703/Anxious-father-DRIVES-son-walks-school–warned-faces-arrest.html

    It’s great because it upends the narrative that the media loves to perpetuate- that drivers are the majority and they are all happy with the status quo. The truth is that many many drivers are disgusted with car culture, and if you have the guts to stand up for your child’s health and safety in this culture you’ll face arrest.

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