By Abiola Olaifa
At the beginning of the 20th century a remarkable breakthrough took place, when the carriage gave up the horse and new power system emerged with the carriage and freed the horse from the burden. After this revolution, there has been tremendous improvement to the way we transport ourselves and goods all around our planet and the world at large. Little did the world envision the rapid transformation at the time and that the changes to the mode of transportation will be immensely circumspect.
The world is constantly moving and we tend to move faster now than we have always done. Our lives tend to depend on our ability to transport from one part of the world to the other as quickly and efficient as we can. How fast, efficient and economical our mode of transportation is, clearly have direct impact on the way we live, feed and communicate.
The 20th century ushered in a giant leap in the world’s automotive technology, making it more convenient, safer and cheaper to transport. However these new modes of transportations have their problems, ranging from political, economical and environmental. The greatest of this problem is the petroleum fuel used to power the vehicles. Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) is now very expensive and also nearing its extinction.
On the 1st of January 2011, President Jonathan of Nigeria removed Nigeria’s petroleum subsidy, which is about the only way, so far that the Government of Nigeria has shown any support for the ordinary citizens of Nigeria to get cheaper PMS. This act has generated many evaluations, some in support and many more against the subsidy removal. Irrespective of everyone’s opinion on the subsidy removal, it is important that we all started making up our minds about how we transport ourselves around and try alternative modes of transportation that will cut down on our over-dependence on petroleum products as our means of transportation.
As we all know that majority of the cars in Nigeria and Africa of today are totally dependent on Petroleum fuels. We are doing the planet no good if we continue to use the car at the current rate. We all need to start looking at alternative modes of transportation, which is not overly reliant on Petroleum as we presently do.
We need to cut down on the use of petroleum based cars as our only means of transportation.
We need to use more buses, trains and start leaving our cars at home.
Let us start car sharing to work.
We need to use our bicycles more now.
Let’s go back to the Omolankes, Camels, Donkeys and Horses, especially in our rural communities.
Our companies and the governments need to introduce parking quotas and restrictions in our business and commercial areas, so as to encourage car sharing.
Let’s walk more now when we can, it’s the best form of transportation and also very healthy.
The cost of petroleum in the world over has gone up astronomically and until we started embracing ways of cutting down on our dependence on Petroleum fuels, we may not start to enjoy our already congested transportation lifestyles.
The united nation has announced that the world’s population has reached 7 Billion people at the tail end of 2011 and expects it to eventually stabilize at around 10 billion people. If the numbers do reach 10 billion people and the world’s economy keeps improving to the point that everyone owns cars, there would be around 6 billion cars or about 8 billion motor vehicles in the world. If everyone drove cars like the Americans that would drain the entire Middle East Oil supplies in just about 5 years.
New technological trends are emerging on a daily basis to cut down on the problems. The world is gradually moving away from Petroleum based mode of transportation and gradually embracing electric based cars, hybrid cars, sky tram, super bus, Autoway, superconducting MAGnetic LEVitation (MAGLEV) mode of transports and many more that are still emerging. These modes of transportation also tend to reduce the production of green house gases partly caused by petroleum motor fuel gas emissions.
It is estimated that there will be over 1.1 Billion motor vehicles in the world by 2020. If all these vehicles are lined up and drove past you at the rate of one vehicle per second, it will take £35 years for 1.1 billion vehicles to drive by. If they line up bumper-to-bumper (Acknowledging Wande Coal) for the drive-by, the line would extend 130 times around the world. That is how many vehicles we’ll have to supply with motor fuel by 2020 and that is how much atmospheric pollutant we will be having by the same year
Until we started to embrace alternative mode of transportations, not dependent on petroleum fuel, we may not achieve our drive to lead a cheaper and sustainable life we all dream of. Let’s bring out the bicycles, omolankes, camels and horses; this may just be the way forward.
As written by: Abiola Olaifa (firstname.lastname@example.org, www.abiolla.com )