Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Allan Scott

Yesterday a man died who will continue to play a large role in my life, even as I have never met him.
Allan Scott, trucking magnate, was the man I wanted to make poor by the increasing use of rail freight in interstate transportation. While never doubting for a moment the man's motives and good nature, it must be observed that he presided over unprecedented expenditure on road infrastructure at a time when environmental science (and economics!) would contra-indicate.
Trucks cause by far the most damage to highways, and highways must be built extra strong to withstand the stress placed upon them by frighters. Had Scott been a rail magnate, not only would Australia be spending less on its highways (which is a good thing, given their length!) but our CO2 emissions would be significantly lower, too. Road freight causes a large percentage of our greenhouse gas emissions- rail freight causes much less, even on a tonne/km basis.

So while I mourn the man, I hope that his legacy is a Port Adelaide Premiership and a fantastic Spring Racing Carnival, rather than an enduring reliance on motor transportation for Australia's ever-increasing interstate freight needs.

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