|Evening rush-hour traffic in
Swiss Cottage, London, England.
|Freedom to travel! Berliners crossing the former wall, Spring 1990|
|Fallen trees in my local park after the Great Storm of 1987 and Winter Gales of January 1990.|
|Freedom of choice! Commuter Rail and heavy rush hour traffic on the Gardiner Expressway in Toronto, Canada.|
|Most references to "the environment" on this site refer to urban environments & air pollution caused by internal combustion engines. However of equal importance are issues which relate to the wider global (or "planet-wide") environment and for this solutions would include reducing the burning of fossil fuels and an urgent programme of re-afforestation (remembering to use the correct type of tree for the location) which would not just be undertaken in equatorial rainforests but everywhere globally - including Britain.|
Our planet is alive with people on the go. Whether the travel is for work, education, shopping or leisure, humankind is a species which cherishes the freedom to travel where and when the individual chooses.
This travel however is not without a cost: every day many hundreds are killed or injured on our roads; equally debilitating are the well documented problems which come from air pollution caused by our vehicles' propulsion systems. And then there is the question of the time wasted by congestion caused when too many people try to travel at the same time and place...
To reduce the accident rate pundits often suggest slower vehicle speeds, even though our safest roads are also our fastest and experience has shown that when speed limits are reduced previously safe (rural) roads can start having fatal accidents.
For pollution the problem is that there is too much money to be made exploiting finite 'natural resources' for anyone to seriously address the issues (for instance: we could switch land currently used to grow noxious substances - both 'legal' and 'illegal' - to growing crops which actually benefit people, eg: fuel and food). Tearing down the rainforest just to grow crops for liquid fuels represents a disaster of the worst possible magnitude. Apart from anything else the rainforests are our planets' lungs, without them we (mankind) might have some more fuel, but we effectively will be signing the death warrants (through asphyxiation) of just about every oxygen breathing living being on the planet. The present-day policies of reassigning crops destined for human consumption for conversion into liquid fuels (such as ethanol) is a perversion - even though the EU and US administrations seem to favour it; it is making food unavailable, unaffordable and creating starvation... and helping fulfill ancient warnings of a global famine which affect all people of every nation.
That leaves congestion. Much to our horror some people actually see solutions in limiting or curtailing our freedoms to travel (mostly Luddites or undemocratic wannabe politicians in the Pol Pot mould); while others suggest that new technologies (such as tele-commuting) will so reduce the need to travel that congestion will just fade away, perhaps, like the Cheshire Cat, leaving the big grin until last!
The reality is that there will always be a need to 'physically' travel and the ethos of these pages is about looking at solutions which neither compromise our freedoms to travel nor adhere to the current fashion for so called 'solutions' which in reality do nothing more than screw motorists - too many of which solely rely on the principle of extracting money from their wallets. In pursuance of these aims this site explores over 10 types of public transport alternatives - as well as issues such as parking, congestion charging, road safety, etc...
|Britain may be in what is called the "free" world but for better (or for worse) in summer 2007 it had as many as 4.2 million CCTV camera systems "watching" its people.
This equates to one for every 14 people - and more than the rest of Europe combined - and the tally is still increasing!
It is said that a fifth of all the CCTV camera systems globally are here in Britain.
The average person is reckoned to be caught on film as much as 300 times daily. But, who watches them, watching us??? And, as with ID cards how can we be sure that the data is not misused to our detriment?
Also related to the concept of Freedom To Travel is the importance of not having big brother keeping tabs on you; with electronic 'smartcards' poised to revolutionise road tolling and public transport fares & ticketing systems there is a need for a legal right for travellers to have the option of 'smartcard' tickets which - like paper tickets - do not record the holders' identity. Naturally these tickets should cost the same as any other ticket. One only has to look at the past 70 years of history - especially in Germany and Russia - to understand how countries with 'internal passports' (which is what 'smartcards' are destined to become) usually stifle personal freedom - and not just within their own borders.
In the English speaking world we are not (currently) required to carry our 'papers' at all times - (in Britain) we had them during WW2 and experience afterwards when the police used just checking your ID as a cop-out excuse for stopping and harassing innocent people (especially motorists) points to why we really are better off without them.
More and more we are discovering evidence that our global climate really is changing, unfortunately many so called 'environmentalists' see human activity and especially the private car as the major culprit... yet 900 years ago when the climate of Greenland changed (became colder) and it was no longer able to support farming nobody either blamed human activity or convened intergovernmental conferences that say much and do little (witness some real problems - such as destruction of the rainforests) - it was just a natural climatic change such as happens from time to time.
Whilst air pollution caused by the burning of finite fossil fuels is certainly exasperating the situation (and poisoning this planet so seriously that eventually it will cease to be able to support life 'as we know it') the real causes of present-day climatic changes (aka: global warming / cooling) include: that the sun itself has reversed its magnetic poles plus become hotter; our solar system is moving to a part of 'space' where the natural energies are different; increasing energies coming from the Central Sun in our Galaxy; the effects of a little known energy wave approaching this planet from deep in space and that the sun's reactions are both warming this planet and causing a significant increase in volcanic activity spewing out so called 'greenhouse gases' (mostly under the sea - so unseen) plus other reasons. Climatic changes of one sort or another are affecting most planets in our solar system! This planet will also soon be reversing its magnetic poles, and quite possibly its rotational direction and by means of a crustal slip its rotational axis too, but these topics and how I've come by this information are not for this web site to explore...
These pages are best viewed on 1024 x 768 screens. Unless otherwise stated all images are mine, and I retain copyright. In an effort to be kind to dial-up modem users and speed the time it takes them to load all images have been reduced to about 12k in file size - unfortunately this slightly affects their 'quality'. If you wish to use my images elsewhere please contact me in advance - as for most of them I can supply larger versions (video stills excepted).
Click animation to continue your journey through these pages.
Welcome to my website;.
Most recent update: 3rd May 2013.
The updated pages is/are: (links below open in new windows)
Railfanning London's Railways (london-railfan.info)
A Bus For London.
Click letterbox if you wish to send me an email.