Sunday, 18 April 2010


I don't know what Eyafjallajoekull means in Icelandic, but it looks to me like Eyefuljoker. And what a practcal joke it is playing! Its little digestive problems as it swallows a glacier offer humans one huge problem for which we have no immediate solution.

Taking a longer view, it shows how risky it is to depend so much on air transport. If we had not pampered the airlines by building airports for them at public expense and subsisizing aviation fuel, and had spent the savings on more high-speed trains across Europe, the problems would now be half as big.

Also, it is time to re-assess how much transport we really need. Now that people simply can't go, they are bound to realize that in many cases it doesn't matter. Those who suffer most are families with members on the other side of the world, but it was cheap flights that encouraged much of that emigration in the first place.

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