View From a Height
Commentary from the Mile High City
Sunday, December 21, 2003

Aviation Luddites

Ed Quillen, whom I actually like to read, has a piece in today's Denver Post explaining why flight's not such a good thing. Among his reasons:

  • Loss of train travel

  • Loss of air rights

  • Global Warming, of course

  • Long lines and invasive searches

  • War

OK, maybe "Luddite's" a little strong. But the real reason you don't have a train depot in Salida any more is the car, not the plane. And I say this as someone who likes trains.

And how often did anyone use the space 1000 ft.over his head, anyway? It's not as though I lost the right to build a 100-story skyscaper here on South Monaco.

As for global warming, the people think cow farts contribute to that, so a single, speculative study by a guy whose livelihood is tied to crying that the sky is falling isn't going to persuade me of anything.

And with regards to war, one can easily make the argument that air power has shortened war and made it more humane, using Iraq as a case-in-point. In any case, militaries will always use whatever tools they have at hand. I have no idea what blaming the plane for its use in war is even supposed to mean.

Finally, flight itself isn't the reason that the air transit system is an ongoing affront to human dignity. In any case, there's plenty of flight, in fact *most* flight, happens well below 30,000 ft. I've got a private pilot's license, and there's nothing quite like seeing the earth from 1,000 ft. Go celebrate. Take a flight in a C-172.

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