Hi Andy. Interesting post. Peters' projetion is much more accurate than Mercator, but it distorts countries in a another way, making the equatorial countries look too tall and thin and the countries at the extremes of the latitudes, like Russia and New Zealand, too short and wide. But the big service to fairness that it performs is too show the true relative sizes of of countries, which suddenly makes Africa, particularly, look as huge as it really is.
I don't agree with all of your thoughts about buses. . . Yes, they are the way the world travels, mostly, and yes it would be interesting to come up with a world map based on journey times. But I think you're being unfair to trains. The problem with trains is they're too small, way too small, and still not fast enough. George Monbiot's book "Heat" about climate change, speculates on the possibility of a high-speed rail link from the UK to India. I thought that was extraordinary and let my imagination run with it for a bit: imagine a 24-hour train journey at 300kph in a train 10 metres wide and 10 metres high, on tracks 6 metres across. . . carrying maybe 5000 or 10,000 passengers.
It does sound far-fetched, but so would today's cheap air travel have sounded extremely far-fetched when our grandparents were young. I think we need to get building those big new railway tracks. Or we can kiss goodbye to world travel for most people in the next few decades. Which seems very unfair on the Indians, the Chinese and everyone else who is going to want to explore the world as the sea levels rise.
Discount flights with profits to development: www.northsouthtravel.co.uk
Richard to quote you..
"true relative sizes"
To quote myself,
"The World Compared to What"?
I am saying relative or compared to what, I am saying if you want to know something in life, it is compared to what, or relative to what? This is the map that is correct, or more correct, and a guide.
Richard to quote you again.
Referenced to buses, you said,
"Yes, they are the way the world travels, mostly, and yes it would be interesting to come up with a world map based on journey times."
The traveler in a country need to accept what is the "Rough" truth, not what they want to be true, or hope to be true. I just purchased a motorcycle, because it is the "Rough" truth that people can drive in Africa better than public transport.
The roads are better and safer here in West Africa than in Asia, Central America and South America comparable places relative to HDI development. Therefore, the highest and best form of transport is a car, which in some ways compared to what says Africa is safer than the other places I have traveled.
Richard you said,
“The problem with trains is they're too small, way too small, and still not fast enough.”
The trouble with trains to me is not speed, it is expense, PUBLIC people want cheap, not fast, and therefore the train does not compete. I was in Ghent Belgium and asked the Eurolines Bus system why they did not have buses inside the country, the man said,
“It would put the trains out of business.”
Trains are great when going to and from an Airport, and for sure they save hours of travel time in Europe, in America the train is a joke, Amtrak is slower than Greyhound and would be out of business except I think the Government give them money. The bus is 10 times more convenient than the train in the USA can is failing mainly because it just does not work cheap and fast, the car is winning.
The world must be accepted on the world’s terms, not what we hope to see. I see zero problems with the future of man. This animal adapts to any situation.
I had the two American Volunteers say to me, they would not know what they would have done without my advice, I said,
“You would have done very well.”
They do not see it, but people adapt, rumors of doomsday are everywhere and for sure the opinions of Africa are not true.
I think most South American travelers would come to Africa and think, this is too expensive, however the rooms are great, compare to what, compared to South America.
Africa is over-prices in a Bourgeoisie Colonial way and I hope this attitude dies quick, I think we need to see the public for what it is, they buy price. Give them a good value and they will buy it. The bourgeoisie attitudes, that are also adopted by the Rich and controlling African people is the problem with Africa, we need some backpacker here, not four wheel drive colonialist, or bourgeoisie. Africa is Africa, it is not Europe, not America, it is Africa, and it needs to be African. What works in on one continent should not be forced to work on another. What works, works.
China will probably win in Africa because they are realist, not hampered by dreams; get down to basic and live with the people real.
I hear what you say Andy, but the world is a very small place and we are right on the edge of making it uninhabitable. We've just had floods in England from the heaviest rain in 200 years and there are tens of thousands of people with no safe drinking water. And in China the floods have killed hundreds and made millions homeless. Yet they are still building coal-fired power stations at the rate of, I think 100 a year. And they have every right to make their lives better. I don't know what the answer is, and for sure travel isn't the only source of the problem – mostly it's just the way we live, consuming and consuming and pumping more carbon into the atmosphere. But we can't go on just letting the market and the "current financial year" dictate everything. I would like my children and grandchildren to experience the joys of travel as I did when I first left home and I worry that the world we're creating won't allow that. Nothing lasts forever, progress and good times aren't guaranteed and at every stage in human history people have looked back on the past with the knowledge that they with living in modern times. I just think people need to use their imagination more.
Hence, my idea about trains!