The Internet really is an amazing place. It is hard for me to imagine what life would be like right now if there was no Internet. There are very few people who do not have some interaction with the Internet every single day. If you’re like me, you check your email several times a day. Thank goodness for my smartphone that lets me keep up with my email even when I’m not at home. It seems like so long ago when cellphones were something that only wealthy people had and the Internet was just text on a computer terminal with no world wide web. That was 30 years ago!
In some ways, we have really advanced during the last 30 years. In 1980, you either used payphones to call home when you were on the road, or you waited until you got home to speak to your family. I carry a smartphone that lets me watch the latest episode of the new Hawaii Five-O, look at a current weather radar picture for my area, look at a representation of the Earth with all of the clouds and weather patterns, access GPS powered maps to tell me where I am, help me find where I parked my car, send text messages to my wife to find out if I need to pick up anything at the store, and the list goes on and on. That’s quite an advancement for communication technology in 30 years.
Now, consider the things we do today that have not changed in the last 30 years, or more. Our primary mode of transportation is still the automobile. We are driving around in the same type of transportation that has been used for more than 100 years. We still pump liquid fuel into the fuel tanks of our cars and that fuel primarily comes from refined crude oil. Except for changing the formula of the fuel, adding some ethanol, and driving cars that have computer brains, we are basically doing the same thing for transportation that we have done for decades. It seems odd to me that we have advanced so far with our communication technology and, at the same time, we’re stuck in the last century in terms of transportation technology.
Unfortunately, I doubt our transportation technology will change dramatically in my lifetime. The vast majority of this world’s population is satisfied with paying ever-increasing amounts of money to continue using our out-dated form of transportation. At least there is one group happy with the way things are. I have to wonder if the oil companies will ever run out of space to store all the cash they continue to rake in.
I don’t have much sympathy for the people interviewed on the news complaining about the high price of gasoline. If everyone would realize that our oil-based economy is unsustainable, we would transition to a more advanced transportation technology.