Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Horsepower

Pollution is a big topic these days. Look at pictures of smog in Peking for example. But it was worse earlier in history. Julius Caesar banned horse-cart traffic in Rome between dawn and dusk because of congestion, noise, accidents, and manure problems. In the 19th Century, especially with the introduction of railways, the number of horses needed sky-rocketed leading to similar problems in big cities. The stench of manure, urine, and the number of flies must have been horrendous! People had to be hired to sweep the cross walks to keep them clear for pedestrians! No wonder the car took over! But it still needed governments to build smooth roads and other infrastructure to enable the changeover to cars and trucks to take place. Nowadays we need another switchover from gasoline and diesel to electric, to prevent further pollution from damaging the atmosphere. After all, everyone needs clean air. It is a tragedy in some ways that vehicular emissions are invisible.....
At the present time in the US only 2.2% of cars sold are electric....
Old Horse-drawn Hay cutter, Sooke.

Old Horse Wagon, Revelstoke

Three Horse Power, and Donkey Pump for Oil, Alberta.

Horses, Penticton
P.S You can read more about 19th Century pollution here.

3 comments:

Filip Demuinck said...

I think you are right, everyone needs to contribute to clean air. It is only possible if all major governments support this cause. The States and China don't seem keen.

Greetings,
Filip

Alan Burnett said...

I suppose we could go back to using horse-driven vehicles but at the same time introduce a national network of horse toilets.

Pat MacKenzie said...

ZIt's funny that we never think of pollution affecting the long ago civilizations. They had it, it was just different from ours today. Things have to improve or there'll be nothing left to pollute. We're not very good caretakers of this beautiful earth, are we.