Monday, June 9, 2008

Fear of Not Flying

I've just finished listening to an NPR program, "On Point," the subject of which was the prospect of "the end of cheap airfare," or - to be more blunt - the end of air travel for most of us. Its host was incredulous that they could even be considering the possibility that Americans may have to start thinking about distances in making choices about where they live. He couldn't repeat enough that oil prices were forcing a reconsideration about everything we assume about life as we know it in America. The realization is dawning that we've based a civilization on a fleeting and temporary substance. It is yet to occur to many that what an oil civilization allowed us was the luxury of thoughtlessness. A national seminar is underway, but at the moment many of us are just starting to study, though the lesson started some time ago. And there is no curve.

1 comment:

prophet said...

Well pointed out. Maybe now we will start living where we live - including living with the consequences of how and where we live - instead of traveling in endless search for a place to live, for the moment, or in the future, one day. . . . a day that never seems to come.

In a way, our travelings have kept us from living. Really living. We seek; we travel; we consume; we remain unsatisfied.

Hmmmm: "luxury of thoughtlessness". Interesting juxtaposition. But do you really consider thoughtlessness a luxury?

I didn't think so.

Still, many undoubtedly do.

But I think I know what you mean by "thoughtlessness". A careless disregard of cost or consequence; a confidence that no bill will be presented or - if presented - that it won't amount to much. There's a cost, though, to our traveling - and I'm not just talking about the price of oil.