Two Old Codgers

How the World strikes us

At the end of the 19th century the first motor car was introduced to our roads and was known as the horseless carriage. Now, some 120 years later there are 27 million households in the UK and between them they own over 30 million motor cars.

Bill and I have lived nearly all our lives in the village of Barrowford which has a population of a little more than six thousand. When we were kids, many of the streets of terraced houses rarely saw a motor car. Now some of those same streets are almost impassable with cars parked outside almost every house - on both sides of the road.

This is our village about eighty years ago.

Gisburn Road2

The picture below was taken at lunchtime on a normal weekday at the end of 2018

Gisburn Road Now
Can you envisage what it will be like in another eighty years or even ten? BUT before you say “They should do something about it!” Just think for a moment, if you were ‘They’, what would you do?

RTAs (Road Traffic Accidents)
August 17th 1896 was the first recorded case of a pedestrian killed by a motor car in the U K. As 44-year-old Bridget Driscoll crossed Dolphin Terrace in the grounds of the Crystal Palace in London, she was struck by a car that was being used to give demonstration rides. One witness described the car as travelling at “A reckless pace like a fire engine”. The car’s maximum speed had been limited to 4 miles per hour

The accident happened just a few weeks after Parliament had increased the speed limit for cars to 14 miles per hour from 2 miles per hour in towns and 4 miles per hour in the countryside. A verdict of accidental death was returned and the coroner remarked that he hoped “Hers would be the last death in this sort of accident”.

Today it is estimated that there are around 4,000 deaths per day around the world in motor vehicle accidents, and some 60 million people died in this manner during the 20th century. This is similar to the number of casualties produced by the Second World War.

Comment from John Nievaart
There are about 1.2 billion vehicles currently on the roads of the world today and A typical passenger vehicle emits about 4.6 tons of carbon dioxide per year. So if we multiply 1.2 billion vehicles by 4.6 tons of carbon dioxide that equals about 5 billion tons. If we add to that motor bikes, lawn mowers, small petrol powered engines and the huge power plants and factories across the world, it then wouldn’t be too much of a stretch of the imagination to call it 10 billion tons of carbon dioxide. Yes that’s right,
TEN BILLION TONS of carbon dioxide spewed into our atmosphere every year. Ignoring Climate Change is like ignoring the a red warning light on the dash of your car, proceed at your own peril. And no! I cannot imagine the traffic situation in ten let alone eighty years from now, I’m sure the only thing left surviving will be the vegetation unless we act swiftly; we need to bite the bullet now, and that’s if we haven’t already gone past the point of no return.

John Nievaart
John lives on King Island, a beautiful little island off the North West tip of Tasmania. It has a human population of about 1,500 and a wallaby population of about 500,000.

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