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Monday Morning Flying Metal in Vienna

Stood at a street corner bus stop in Vienna at 7.30 am this morning and was moved to make this observation. In the space of three minutes waiting, approximately fifty cars raced by (I couldn’t count them all, they passed by too quickly). On average I computed roughly 1.2 occupants per car, most drivers completely focussed on driving, a few already looking a bit stressed and in a hurry. That’s 100 kilos of humanity per car.

My first car in 1975 was a bottle green first-generation VW Golf that weighed 840 kilos. Today’s Golf generation weighs around 1400 kilos (although they consume less fuel) on average. Most SUV’s and bigger cars weigh in at two tons or more.

If one takes an average modern car to weigh 1400 kilos, then we can assume that in three minutes, on just one street corner in Vienna, I was passed by 70 tons of rubber, metal and plastic complexes (marvels of engineering), carrying 5 tons of commuter following their workaday routines. What does this say about us as an intelligent species? We transport our meat, vegetables, oil and other traded goods more efficiently than this.

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