Evolving transportation

Published 7:00 am Saturday, August 16, 2014

Driving is one of my favorite things to do. It’s a liberating experience, when traffic doesn’t get in the way.

It’s hard to imagine a time when the automobile was not commonplace in the world.

For most of mankind’s past, feet or an animal were the only modes of transportation.

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Then, more than 100 years ago in the late 1800s the automobile was invented, though the original bore little resemblance to what we use today.

Now, especially in rural areas such as Pearl River County, you essentially can’t do much without one.

The problem is our cars are at a stage where they need to evolve. Climate change or not, oil reserves will run out, and a renewable source of energy will be required. Or we will be forced to walk or ride horse-drawn carriages again.

Seeing as how our society has become dependent on speedy transportation, there is no doubt a new method of powering the modern car is right around the corner.

But what will happen with the millions of cars already on the road?

Surely they will be recycled somehow, either through engine replacement, or modification to allow current cars on the road to utilize the new power source. To me that would be the most economical way to move to evolve the automobile.

But I see a problem with some of the proposed fuel alternatives. Electric cars seem like a great idea, but require the creation of a certain amount of pollution in order to charge them. Power plants run off a fuel, and in Mississippi most of it is coal.

There are other methods being investigated, but it seems like the process is taking a bit too long. Even though it’s said there are enough oil reserves for several decades, the number of cars being made is increasing as other countries become industrialized. Those reserves may run out sooner than expected.