Thursday, December 17, 2009

Another Sign of Contraction

To heck with the Petroleum Age. The overarching mood of contraction, reduction in complexity and desire for simpler times colors individual opinions. Mood makes markets - and colors the rationalizations we use to describe the times.

Case in point:

Roll up the pavement: Gravel is making a comeback
By Clarke Canfield
PORTLAND, Maine (AP) -- Ever since the invention of the automobile, paved roads have meant progress. Now some cash-strapped towns and counties are finding progress too expensive, and they are tearing up battered roads and putting down gravel...

..."It kind of looks like we're going a step back rather than a step forward," admitted Randy Stearns, who heads the road commission in Montcalm County, Mich., which this year turned more than 10 miles of pavement into gravel...

..."Do we really need to keep getting fancier? This is also about quality of life," said Richard Beal, a selectman in the town of Cranberry Isles, Maine, population 118, which got its first paved roads in 1960s but is considering ripping some of them up rather than spend the $500,000 or so he said is needed next year to fix them...

Next up - romaniticizing the slow travel of passenger trains, dirigibles and river transport.

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