01 May 2010

Energy: Hindsight Shaping Foresight

Imagine our hindsight 50 years hence. Here's a film clip shot circa 1954 that we view from the high ground of hindsight. This over-turned street car in flames signified the end of the street car era in the Twin Cities.

Are there alternate ways this street car demise story might have played out? A few If only scenarios came to mind:
  • If only the US had not been so singularly focused on promoting the exponential growth of the automobile.
  • If only city planners had the foresight to devise better ways for street cars to coexist with cars and pedestrians.
  • If only city planners had the foresight to save a few street cars for limited, alternate uses like tourist traffic or sightseeing.
  • If only city planners had the foresight to pave over the street car tracks rather than rip them out.
  • If only the city council had the foresight to vote to warehouse the street cars for re-use instead of burning them.
In June of 1954, the last of the street cars operated by the now defunct Twin City Lines (TCL) were unceremoniously burned and salvaged for scrap metal.

Fast Forward: April 2010, Oil Spill Disaster

Satellite images from NASA track the April 2010 oil spill disaster as the plume disperses and migrates toward the coast. The prognosis for the impact on fisheries and shore habitats is bleak.

In 10, 20 or 50 years, what will our If only scenarios for these images be?

There might be a silver lining. A silver lining like a race-to-the-moon commitment by the US Congress, and the President, to forging and championing a forward-thinking energy policy.
 Heed the lessons of hindsight. Commit to an energy policy with foresight.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for commenting.