The last image on Shukman’s piece was hardly edifying: he got off the back seat of a pedicab cycled by a hippy, pointed to a taxi and asked viewers which of the two forms of transport they’d prefer in the future.
However, the rest of the piece pointed out why increased use of bicycles may not be just sensible in the future but an absolute necessity. He posited whether "pedal power would take over from petrol power."
Using two spoof news pieces of alternate futures, the ‘business as usual’ news headlines for 1st January 2106 said that Norfolk had at last been reclaimed by the sea and that Luton airport – presumably now a coastal airport – was celebrating the twentieth anniversary of cheap, eight-hour flights to Sydney.
The news headlines for a ‘greener’ 2106 said the last 21st century supermarket had closed its doors and everybody now shops locally and buys produce grown close to home. In this alternate future, there are no more cheapie airlines: there’s an EU-ban on all but emergency flights.
Shukman’s report can be read and viewed here:
Many respondents to the feedback section of the BBC website recommended cycling as one of the solutions to reducing an individual’s carbon impact.
Neville Cregan of Devon said: "None of us wants to ‘go back’ but many behaviour modifications do not take much effort, just a change of habits and culture, recycling being an example. As for cars, I don’t consider myself particularly righteous, but often its not much fun driving one, congestion, parking hassles and charges and rising fuel costs all combine to make me choose train and/or bicycle when possible."
John Allen of Leamington Spa said: "We need to follow the Scandinavian example – Denmark, Sweden and Norway have been leading a more sustainable way of life for decades. Recycling is commonplace and people are able to travel by bike instead of driving thanks to an extensive network of cycle lanes."