The shape of things to come?

The ramifications of the eruption of Eyjafjallaj√∂kull continue to rumble on as people suddenly find themselves stranded and reminded that the Earth is actually quite a big place. Meanwhile it’s news that EU ministers co-ordinating a response has a video conference to discuss the response to the transport paralysis.

I find it interesting that the fact they had a video conference is news worthy. It implies that normally any time a bunch of European ministers need to discuss something they all de-camp and meet in a single physical locality. This is a measure of how far we have taken the ability to jet about for granted. While I’m sure there are good reasons to have conferences where close physicality to a mixture of people can result in useful side meetings I find it slightly disheartening that video-conferencing isn’t used more routinely. Having said that the European project does ferry it’s MEPs back and forth between two buildings every week so maybe I’m expecting too much. If Europe wants to take the lead on reducing the worlds carbon footprint it could do worse things than fixing up a few of it’s inefficiences.

The news will no doubt spend the next few days reporting on stories of weary travllers making it back to the shores of old Blighty showing appropriate displays of Dunkirk Spirit. While we celebrate the return of out fellow countrymen to the this green and pleasent land I wonder if we’ll take deeper stock of what the future without cheap and plentiful air travel will be like? Has anyone been in a supermarket the last few days and noticed the state of the fruit and veg section? This is the shape of things to come.