walkitout (walkitout) wrote,


Over in the land of Anthony Perl, he keeps talking about the technological determinism thinking at ICC. They thought, well, cars are more flexible and planes are faster -- rail is both slower than planes and less flexible than cars, therefore, rail is toast, especially for passenger purposes. Obviously the ICC missed a few thing (turns out we don't actually want to build that many roads and/or we can't find space for them where they would need to go and/or can't afford it). One of the effects of the changes in mobility wrought by automobiles and planes was the frequent, short trip or vacation. In the world of rail, it made more sense to go away for the summer and set up housekeeping in a different place. But in the world of cars and planes, flying down the coast or even across the country or the ocean for a long weekend makes sense.

Over in the land of _No Impact Man_, our hero is attempting to resolve family conflict over the holiday travel that isn't happening. The flight to his wife's family in Palm Springs is out. She nixed the rail trips to Massachusetts initially. There were four of them planned initially, and our hero negotiated it down to two. Here's his summary:

"The good news is that in my desperation to keep everyone happy, and not get shouted at, I've come up with a plan that will, well, keep everyone -- meaning, my mother and sister -- happy. In fact, I think it's so brilliant that it's something I start recommending to anyone who asks about cutting emissions caused by travel. Here it is: cut your emissions by going half as often but staying twice as long...Instead of two three-day trips at Thanksgiving and Christmas, for example, take one weeklong trip for one holiday and stay home and relax for the other. The great news is that you get to save half your travel money, too. And half the stress -- who likes packing up and driving or flying?"

His mother and sister are not overjoyed about it, incidentally, and, as they put it, the train is going whether they are on it or not.

No Impact Man is a bit of a nut. I'm still shaking my head over the level of commitment that says no to a piece of pizza because of a paper plate. This is the guy who a few weeks earlier, was eating take out -- including take out coffees and teas -- every meal of the day. As were his wife and daughter. But hey. He got a book out of it, and I think there's a movie in the works.
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