Monday, 15 March 2010

Driving forces

If you live in Marburg and you have a job of any kind or children or an interest in something outside horses you tend to be on the road a lot. You can't do a serious grocery shop in town. There is a corner store for emergencies and newspapers, an antique store, the post office, a pub and a hairdresser. That's a few necessities covered but for the rest you have to drive. Some of the drives are just a small round trip of twenty kilometres or so into Rosewood or Lowood, but most would involve at least 40 kilometres on the highway (to Ipswich) or the 100 kilometre roundtrip to Brisbane or Toowoomba.

I often wonder whether anyone would be able to live in rural areas when our fossil fuels run out. Electric cars aren't a great solution given limited range. I can't imagine rural areas having enough population to sustain hydrogen fueling stations. Maybe there will be some kind of special rural exemption in the future and only people living in the country will be able to buy fossil fuels. I can easily imagine some kind of post-fossil fuel hierarchy of need and regulation. Or the rural areas will simply empty out and the edges of Australia will become even more weighted with people.

Here's a marvellous photo I found on Picture Ipswich last week of the Warrego Highway: our lifeline and curse. This was taken in 1920 outside the pub at Haigslea which is the homestretch to Marburg. It has certainly stopped me complaining.

Copyright Rosewood Scrub Historical Society

And in my continuing series on how reading can change your life -- a link to New York Times columnist Verlyn Klinkenborg's article on how to adjust the side mirrors of your car to eliminate the blind spot. Here's the link to the pictorial version of what to do.

Try it. I did and it has made my life immeasurably easier. I hope it does the same for you.


Joe MN said...

For a minute, I thought that was a not-so recent picture of the Blythe driveway!

Blithe said...

The funniest thing is that our driveway was actually worse. It was like this plus steep and more rutted.