Henry Ford built cars. Many cars. And these cars needed roads so roads were built. And these cars needed petrol so petrol was refined. Presently, the Earth has over 64 million kilometres of roads. Transportation uses energy; over a third of all energy consumed or about 1.7e20Joules annually. By design, roads stop natural processes; roadways have no vegetation, no natural capturing of solar energy by plants. Almost all fuel comes from non-renewable fossil fuels. We know Henry Ford’s world of cars is not sustainable.
We have learned much from the Covid pandemic. One important piece of knowledge is that we can undertake beneficial work, even when working remotely. We don’t need to commute every day to an office. At least we learned this is possible if we have competent managers.
We have also learned that there’s much to enjoy in our local environment. We don’t need to travel halfway around the globe for a vacation. Rather, simply spending an hour walking in a natural environment of woods and glades recharges our spirits.
From an overarching view, today’s service economy is replacing the production economy emphasized by Henry Ford. The Internet is the backbone of the service economy. As showcased during the pandemic, we don’t need ready, personal transportation for each of the 8 billion people on Earth. Isn’t it time to reduce the unnecessary energy spent on transportation? And return roads to nature?