It seems that a world without air travel might actually be possible. Since the volcano in Iceland erupted over a week ago, we’ve had five days now in the UK and in much of northern Europe without air travel.
It must be upsetting for those people who are stranded abroad and cannot get home. There are fruit and vegetable importers who are going to suffer badly and European football may be kicked into touch. Overall though, it seems very much like business as usual. Imagine a world without air transport! If the only people abroad had got there by sea or overland, they’d all be coming home the same way, so no problem. To go from a world with air travel to one without would obviously impact hundreds of thousands of jobs and millions of livelihoods, but suppose it had to happen because of the end of oil?! In the UK we’d look to grow more of our own fruit, so we’d be creating more jobs there. Importers would switch to refridgerated transport and may have to restrict the range of fruit that could be imported.
Footall? I think the death of air travel would be the best thing to happen to football. We’d go back to local teams with local people playing across the UK and perhaps abroad shorthaul. Silly salaries would drop to more sensible levels and the people would get their game back.
Holidays abroad would only be possible for those prepared to engage in many days of leisurely sea travel. The dawn of the second age of ocean-going liners! How exciting that would be!
Is this really possible? Could this be what the future holds when oil runs out? Nah…not possible. The volcano will eventually stop belching out smoke and then, even if oil runs out, we’ll find the means to engineer the high-octane liquids we need to keep the aircraft aloft.
In the meantime, hasn’t it been an wonderful experience to have several days with no con-trails in the sky? I bet the good people of Hounslow and several other conurbations close to UK airports have been astonished to find that, by default, the sky is noiseless!