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Environmental Columns from Halifax Magazine

The following is an excerpt from the April 2015 Halifax Magazine essay called “Time for a Revolution,” by Chris Benjamin.

Once upon a time the world waited breathlessly for someone to perfect the horseless carriage. But soon the gadgetry proved less significant than the infrastructure around it.

A German named Benz built what we now think of as the first car. But it was Henry Ford who came up with efficient means of production to make automobiles affordable for the masses.

And then you had the oilmen. These dollar-eyed dreamers had made fortunes supplying black gold for captains of industry. Now every man, woman and child would need the bubblin’ crude. They’d need places to buy gas. They’d need more and smoother roads.

Lo and behold these visionaries built a loose network of gas stations that eventually numbered in the hundreds of thousands worldwide. Starting with the Federal Aid Highway Act of 1921, they and several successive governments saw to the construction of a $400 billion US, 75,000-kilometre interstate highway system in the United States. In total there are more than six million kilometres of roads in the U.S.

These were staggering achievements that humble white collar creatives of my day. What’s stopping us from similar accomplishments more suited for modern challenges, especially staving off climate change?

Read the full essay.

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