I’ve done many different things to try and get SCD.Com on the road, so to speak. One of these has been to go out and shoot photos I might be able to use for the site.
So, for example, I’ve spent time on the roof of my brother’s house, taking pictures of his solar panels, and I did a “photo session” with my sister Amanda’s Prius while my family and I — there’s four of us, including me, my wife, Christine, and my two small daughters, Alina & Kyra — were visiting her in July in beautiful, sun-drenched Santa Barbara.
More recently, I spent about two hours taking pictures of traffic, cars, gas stations, street signs, traffic lights and other assorted items in Aurora and Denver.
Most of us don’t spend long periods of time as a pedestrian at large, traffic-choked intersections. Nor do we spend hours standing on bridges above major Interstate highways such as I-25 — which balloons up to 10 lanes in places here in greater Denver.
Instead, we sail through massive intersections and on huge highways in the comparative quiet of our cars, which, of course, are precisely the things that make large intersections and bridges above major highways such unpleasant places to be.
Our car-choked world
The photo session I did of Denver traffic, cars, intersections and roads on a beautiful, and not-to-hot day in early August 2009 reminded me of just how unpleasant our car-choked world can be. Cars are loud — extremely loud, especially when you get hundreds of them streaming together in a single spot.
Unfortunately, the fumes they produce are also extremely unpleasant, not to mention toxic, though, of course, emissions from autos are much better than they were 30 years ago.
EVs would essentially eliminate the noxious air pollution that envelops our highways and byways.
But, as I did my time as a pedestrian sauntering around massive intersections and above huge highways, it occurred to me that while EVs would quiet the car-land places in which I was trolling for pictures for SCD.Com, they wouldn’t completely eliminate the noise, much of which is produced by car tires, and, to a lesser degree, wind noise.
Still, I wondered just how different an experience I would have had, had 75-percent, or more, of the cars, busses and trucks roaring by me and under me on the Hampden Avenue bridge above I-25 been EVs.
Perhaps, one day, I’ll get to find out. Though my wife told me the other day, “Not in your lifetime” (I think she was just tired of my boundless enthusiasm, one might even call it a border-line fixation on solar-charged EV-ing.)
I’m 43. I guess we’ll have to wait and see.
What will future intersections sound — and smell — like?
In the meantime, I’m thinking I ought to get back to the Hampden Ave bridge above I-25 with a video camera. That way, I can capture the sounds — but not the smells, there’s no way I know of to preserve the smell of a given moment in time for history – of the gas-powered automotive world before it goes electric.
Then, in the future, the sooner the better, I’ll be able to return to that same Hampden Ave bridge above I-25 — or maybe, if my wife’s right, and it doesn’t happen in my lifetime — one of my daughters can do it for me, and videotape the scene again.
The vehicles, or the means by which those vehicles are powered, cannot remain the same. Because one day — almost certainly within the lifetime of my future grandkids — there will be no more gas.
Then, I, or someone else, will be able to compare the car-world in which we now live – a very unpleasant one indeed if one is a pedestrian in a place like the Hampden Ave bridge above I-25, to the car-world of the future.
I’m pretty certain that the roads will remain for awhile.
But the vehicles, or the means by which those vehicles are powered, cannot remain the same. Because one day — almost certainly within the lifetime of my future grandkids — there will be no more gas.