Photo credit: David Gossow, Willow Garage
The tyranny of distance is a term from an Australian history book that refers to the vast geographic gulf that separates humanity. It’s ironic that although the Internet brings us all together in some ways, we feel even more keenly the physical gaps that separate us from each other. A worker in the Philippines makes 100 times less money than a worker in New York City, primarily because of geography. I may live in a small apartment, simply because I need to be physically close to an urban centre to make a living.
Fossil fuel transport makes up an increasing portion of our CO2 output. In 2012, the US Environmental Protection Agency estimated that 28% of all anthropogenic (man made) CO2 output came from transport. Although it’s unlikely we’ll have anything like Star Trek transporters any time in the near future, there are some revolutionary ways we’re defeating the tyranny of distance. Strap in, and hold on to your hat as we explore three ways to leapfrog distance and reduce climate change.