We’re growing up watching new technologies aid and abet our way in the world. With them those in first world countries wouldn’t break a sweat doing an honest day’s work. And littered by the wayside are countless of technologies that grew, were favoured and then tossed. Such is the Darwinist view of our aids.
One technology nearing the chopping block is the internal combustion engine. Think vehicles. These devices allow people to travel vast distances with almost no effort. This convenience has often been credited with making the greatest advance in our standard of living. Affordable mobility for goods, services and people. But at a very observable and measurable cost to the environment. So great a cost that most European countries and India are banning their sales starting as early as the next decade. With vehicles consuming over 19 million barrels of oil per day (4.2e19J/a) the loss of the engines would drastically change energy consumption.
But will people simply walk away from this convenient technology? Not likely. The infrastructure investment and the convenience are too great for most. So bring on the electric vehicle. On the same road network. Using the same tires. And powered by electricity generated from burning fossil fuels in industrial plants. And the number of cars is expected to double from the current 1billion. It does lend credence to the question as to whether our technologies aid us or enslave us.