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Hoses of the Holy in the Parallel Universe

January 03, 2006

Nicotine addiction

I was listening to the radio yesterday and I heard plenty that reminded me of what it was like to be a smoker.

Smoking. You know it is bad for you, you know it wastes a fortune, and yet when you're starving and have to choose between food and cigarettes, cigarettes always win. The poorest, skankiest smoker always has enough money for smokes.

Western society also has an incontinence which parallels nicotine addiction.

They were talking about air travel.

Apparently the demand for air travel over the next twenty years is set to increase such that the additional pollution will offset any steps taken to reduce emissions during that time.

And there's the new super jumbo that's designed to make long-haul flights cheap enough for package-holidays on the other side of the world. The only snag is that it entails rebuilding most airport terminals so that it can fit.

It seems we all demand the ability to exercise our right to cheap foreign holidays.

They were saying that one of the arguments for going ahead with all this extra flying is that if we don't do it, the developing third world will. That's chimp-talk, isn't it?

Someone asked the question of why you can fly from Manchester to Heathrow for £1.99 but if you want to go by train it'll cost you over £100. That's because flying is massively subsidised. They want you to go by plane, whereas trains are old fashioned: as my colleague Andy once said, it's about time they bit the bullet with the railways and got rid of them completely.

The favoured way of discouraging flying is going to be taxation. So it comes down to the usual thing: flying is a Bad Thing unless you're rich. If you ask me though, that's just more chimp-talk.


  • *cough*I booked two flights over the weekend - one for the end of May, the other for July.*cough*

    I actually don't want to fly at all - I hate it, but my wife hates the idea of long journeys in the car, so I've bowed to the (temporarily) inevitable.

    But that £1.99 is a myth. Because even a £1 flight costs a lot more once you add in the taxes and tarrifs and supplements. And the £100 train journey takes you right into the middle of the city, whereas most flights take you somewhere on the outskirts, so you have to factor in travel to and from two airports, plus parking and other charges.

    We flew to France and hired a car last summer, instead of taking the tunnel and driving the whole way. The cost was exactly the same as driving, if we'd stopped for one night in a hotel, which we often do. And the time saved, I think, is small when you take into account having to turn up two hours early, and the inevitable faffing and waiting around.

    Which is why I hate flying, because it gives too many people too much opportunity to piss in your face. At least when you're driving you can pull of the road when you want and don't have to rub elbows with complete strangers

    By Blogger bot37363838, at 6:56 am  

  • You fly to see in-laws too, which to my mind is much more in the way of justification.

    I don't think they should ban flying. I just don't like the idea that when we're pissing away the dregs of fossil fuel they're responding to an increased demand (and you have to wonder how much of the demand isn't created by the ability to supply).

    They always talk about demand for things leading the way, but surely that's not the case anymore (just look at phones and all the other useless plastrickery), and maybe it just isn't true that the customer is always right.

    They started work on the super jumbo in 1993. I guess nobody even had a twinkling in the eye that the world would start to fuck up like this in those days.

    I imagine that the Super Jumbo is another APT (advanced passenger train), or concorde. Both nice ideas that were embarrassingly inappropriate by the time they became a reality.

    By Blogger SimonHolyHoses, at 7:16 am  

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