As you may have guessed from past blog posts I like sitting up at the top in the front row of the big red double decker buses in London. From up there you get a really interesting view of the city. One thing you see are many, many near accidents with pedestrians. It seems that pedestrians aren’t aware of how close they get, often several times a day, to getting hit by buses. Often it is when they cross the street. They see the bus but decide that they still have time to cross. The thing is that while crossing they often seem to slow down, convinced that even going at a normal walking speed, and without looking at the bus again to see its progress, they will reach the other side in time. More often than not the bus has to slow down and the pedestrian never knows that he or she judged incorrectly but got away with it.
I remember when I was young I asked my dad why squirrels kept crossing the busy roads and getting hit and killed. He said that the problem was that the squirrels that had learnt their lessons were the ones that died so they couldn’t go and tell the other squirrels to not cross the roads with busy traffic.
Perhaps this is why we seem to lack a sense of urgency when it comes to sustainability issues. Perhaps it is this feeling that we will survive regardless, that we got away with this and that and we are still here. But at what cost, how close are we getting to that line. What is it that we don’t know?