George Monbiot attracts a fair bit of ridicule from some quarters, mostly because he's nuts. His latest big idea seems to have inspired yet more ridicule, we should replace planes with airships.
The thing is though I've been thinking that it's time for airships to make a comeback as well. At the back of my head there was a feeling that the idea was insane and the fact that George Monbiot is on board doesn't exactly reassure me that I'm not.
Okay, his idea of bringing them back for passenger transport is very unlikely to happen because they are too slow and unpredictable, no one is going to be willing to spend two or three days crossing the Atlantic. However the potential for transporting large cargo to looks perfectly realistic to me. Some area of the world are simply inaccessible to large cargo planes, such as mountainous areas, jungles or the polar regions so there is a potential use there. Similarly sometimes transporting abnormal loads by road causes a great deal of inconvenience to traffic as the roads need to be closed and police escorts provided so why not simply lift the load with an airship?
Like I say, there is a vague tingling feeling that the idea is insane but it looks pretty good to me.
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