Stanislav Borisov / Researcher

UCLouvain / Space radiation, IT

The translation of this testimony was generated automatically by a translation program. Thanks for your understanding.

My domain of work has nothing to do with environmental studies/technologies etc, however I’m worried the degradation of the world we’re living in. And even more than the climate change, the chemical, mechanical, radioactive and electro-magnetic pollutions are my main concerns. The reason is very simple – it may have direct impact on my own health, and potentially at very short time scale, unlike climate change. It’s not something “for the next generations” etc, it’s now. FYI: in EU, premature deaths due to pollution amount to 0.5 millions of cases per year (or 10% of all the death). It looks to be rather poor performance seeing all the technologies that we have in hands.
The air pollution in EU is mainly due to road transport, because the majority of polluting industries are relocated over-seas, the majority of house-heating is on gas or electricity etc. So, my first choice – not to use car unless strictly necessary. In the ideal case ‘strictly necessary’ would be only for transportation of heavy, large objects, like furniture. Thus, in the ideal case the use of individual car could be extremely limited. But in the real life, due to scarce public transport offer sometimes or somewhere, you may need a car much more often. The main problem of the collective transport is frequency, particularly its absence in the night hours (night hours usually = after 20h, or on Sunday). The second – average speed that is determined by the effective length of the path due to zigzag routes, location of exchange nodes, time needed to change the lines etc. The third – pricing and trip flexibility: this is mainly an issue for the international trips on the railway, when the rates become crazy, that it maybe nearly cheaper to take a taxi. But in some countries like France, the tickets are very rigid and expansive for internal trips either.
However, another big part of the road transport is cargo. Why do we have so many trucks on the roads? Due to catastrophically inefficient railway management (with some exceptions, e.g.USA, Russia, Germany) and lack of political support for construction of this alternative infrastructure that requires up to x5 less energy for the same transport, has much lower land occupation, longer vehicle life, ideally lower price of service etc. But here I can do really nothing…