10-4
DOES  MOBILITY HAVE A FUTURE? JOHN URRY Dept of Sociology, Lancaster University [email_address]
<ul><li>Thomas Cook declared in 1854 as Marx was working on  Capital  in the British Museum: </li></ul><ul><li>‘ To remain...
New high carbon systems <ul><li>The development of electric power and national grids so ensuring that more or less every h...
Mobilities <ul><li>The  corporeal  travel of people for work, leisure, family life, pleasure, migration and escape, organi...
Fast travel <ul><li>the growth of automobility throughout the world increasingly in the world’s two most populous societie...
Transport and ‘global heating’ <ul><li>Carbon use within transport accounts for 14% of total carbon dioxide emissions  </l...
‘ Mobile’ social practices <ul><li>asylum, refugee and homeless travel and migration  </li></ul><ul><li>business and profe...
 
12-3
<ul><li>Davis and Monk argue:  </li></ul><ul><li>On a planet where more than 2 billion people subsist on two dollars or le...
Oil and energy systems <ul><li>Rifkin argues: ‘Like Rome, the industrial nations have now created a vast and complex techn...
<ul><li>Thomas Homer-Dixon  </li></ul><ul><li>‘ I think the kind of crisis we might see would be a result of systems that ...
Perpetual Motion (Le Corbusier) <ul><li>hypermobility,  </li></ul><ul><li>patterns of mobile lives based on new communicat...
 
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John Urry - Does Mobility have a future?

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Department of Sociology/CRESI seminar 29 April 2010.

n examination of whether and to what degree the increasingly mobile twentieth century may not continue into the foreseeable future. Is mass movement a historically contingent period of human history?

John Urry is Distinguished Professor of Sociology at Lancaster University and is Author/editor of Mobilities(2007), Aeromobilities (2009), After the Car (2009), Mobile Lives (2010), Mobile Methods (2011), Climate Change and Society (2011).

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John Urry - Does Mobility have a future?

  1. 1. 10-4
  2. 2. DOES MOBILITY HAVE A FUTURE? JOHN URRY Dept of Sociology, Lancaster University [email_address]
  3. 3. <ul><li>Thomas Cook declared in 1854 as Marx was working on Capital in the British Museum: </li></ul><ul><li>‘ To remain stationary in these times of change, when all the world is on the move, would be a crime. Hurrah for the Trip – the cheap, cheap Trip’ </li></ul><ul><li>  W. H. Auden: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Dark was that day when Diesel </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>conceived his grim engine that </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>begot you, vile invention... </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>metallic monstrosity, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>bale and bane of our Culture, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>chief woe of our Commonweal </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Ivan Illich: </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Yet only a ceiling on energy use can lead to social relations that are characterized by high levels of equity’ </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul>
  4. 4. New high carbon systems <ul><li>The development of electric power and national grids so ensuring that more or less every home in the global north is lit, heated and populated with electric-based consumer goods (resting especially on coal and gas) </li></ul><ul><li>The spreading of the steel-and-petroleum car (now over 650m cars worldwide) and associated roads and a widely distributed, or sprawling, infrastructure linking most places of residence, work and leisure </li></ul><ul><li>The development of suburban housing distant from places of work and which has to be commuted to by car/bus and can be filled with household consumption goods powered by electricity </li></ul><ul><li>The emergence of various electricity-based technologies, stand alone telephones, computers, laptops, networked computers, mobile phones, blackberries and so on, that network colleagues, friends and families who can now be more geographically dispersed </li></ul><ul><li>The proliferation of many specialized leisure sites, supermarkets, fast food, national parks, sports stadia, theme parks, most necessitating travel from home and neighbourhood especially by car and new systems of air travel (also normally involving the long distance movements of objects and water) </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul>
  5. 5. Mobilities <ul><li>The corporeal travel of people for work, leisure, family life, pleasure, migration and escape, organised in terms of contrasting time-space patterns ranging from daily commuting to once-in-a-lifetime exile </li></ul><ul><li>The physical movement of objects include food and water to producers, consumers and retailers; as well as the sending and receiving of presents and souvenirs </li></ul><ul><li>The imaginative travel effected through the images of places and peoples appearing on and moving across multiple print and visual media and which then construct and reconstruct visions of place, travel and consumption </li></ul><ul><li>Virtual travel often in real time transcending geographical and social distance and forming and reforming multiple communities at-a-distance </li></ul><ul><li>The communicative travel through person-to-person messages via personal messages, postcards, texts, letters, telegraph, telephone, fax and mobile </li></ul>
  6. 6. Fast travel <ul><li>the growth of automobility throughout the world increasingly in the world’s two most populous societies of China and India. </li></ul><ul><li>the rapid growth of cheap air travel based on new budget business models. </li></ul><ul><li>a significant resurgence of rail transport especially of high speed trains across Europe and Japan </li></ul><ul><li>new kinds of globally significant themed leisure environments that have to be visited from afar </li></ul><ul><li>increased ‘miles’ both flown and travelling on the world’s 90,000 ships by manufactured goods, components and foodstuffs. </li></ul><ul><li>much greater distances travelled by work colleagues, members of leisure organisations, families and friends in order to sustain patterns of everyday life that are ‘at-a-distance’ </li></ul><ul><li>carbon use within transport accounts for 14% of total greenhouse emissions -second fastest growing source of such emissions and expected to double by 2050 </li></ul>
  7. 7. Transport and ‘global heating’ <ul><li>Carbon use within transport accounts for 14% of total carbon dioxide emissions </li></ul><ul><li>Second fastest growing source of greenhouse emissions, with growth of car and lorry travel, the rapid growth of air travel, long distance leisure travel, and the increased ‘miles’ flown by manufactured goods, foodstuffs and friends </li></ul><ul><li>In 1800 people in the US travelled 50 metres a day – they now travel 50 kilometres a day </li></ul><ul><li>World citizens move 23 billion kilometres; by 2050 with business as usual that will have increased to 106 billion </li></ul>
  8. 8. ‘ Mobile’ social practices <ul><li>asylum, refugee and homeless travel and migration </li></ul><ul><li>business and professional travel </li></ul><ul><li>discovery travel of students, au pairs and other young people on their ‘overseas experience’, where this constitutes a ‘rite of passage’ and involving going overseas to civilizational centres </li></ul><ul><li>medical travel to spas, hospitals, dentists, opticians and so on </li></ul><ul><li>military mobility of armies, tanks, helicopters, aircraft, rockets, spyplanes, satellites and so on which have many spinoffs into civilian uses </li></ul><ul><li>post-employment travel and the forming of transnational lifestyles within retirement </li></ul><ul><li>‘ trailing travel’ of children, partners, other relatives and domestic servants </li></ul><ul><li>travel and migration across the key nodes within a given diaspora such as that of overseas Chinese </li></ul><ul><li>travel of service workers around the world and especially to global cities including the contemporary flows of slaves (estimated at 27m) </li></ul><ul><li>tourist travel to visit places and events and in relationship to various senses especially through the ‘tourist gaze’ </li></ul><ul><li>visiting friends and relatives but where those friendship networks may also be on the move </li></ul><ul><li>work-related travel including commuting which is itself increasingly varied and complex </li></ul>
  9. 10. 12-3
  10. 11. <ul><li>Davis and Monk argue: </li></ul><ul><li>On a planet where more than 2 billion people subsist on two dollars or less a day, these dreamworlds enflame desires – for infinite consumption, total social exclusion and physical security, and architectural monumentality – that are clearly incompatible with the ecological and moral survival of humanity (2007: xv). </li></ul>
  11. 12. Oil and energy systems <ul><li>Rifkin argues: ‘Like Rome, the industrial nations have now created a vast and complex technological and institutional infrastructure to sequester and harness energy’ (2002: 62). </li></ul><ul><li>The US possesses 5% of the world’s population - consumes a quarter of the world’s energy and accounts for almost a quarter of global carbon emissions </li></ul><ul><li>Rifkin claims that the oil age is ‘winding down as fast as it revved up’ (2002: 174). </li></ul><ul><li>Kunstler: ‘At peak and just beyond, there is massive potential for system failures of all kinds, social, economic, and political. Peak is quite literally a tipping point. Beyond peak, things unravel and the center does not hold. Beyond peak, all bets are off about civilization’s future’ </li></ul>
  12. 13. <ul><li>Thomas Homer-Dixon </li></ul><ul><li>‘ I think the kind of crisis we might see would be a result of systems that are kind of stressed to the max already … societies face crisis when they’re hit by multiple shocks simultaneously or they’re affected by multiple stresses simultaneously’ </li></ul>
  13. 14. Perpetual Motion (Le Corbusier) <ul><li>hypermobility, </li></ul><ul><li>patterns of mobile lives based on new communication and transportation practices continue to develop on an extreme scale. </li></ul><ul><li>resource shortages and effects of climate change turn out to be much less significant at least for those in the rich North whose movement gets more extensive, frequent and part of their very ‘persona’. </li></ul><ul><li>people are ‘always on’, with messages and individual media streamed continuously to miniature intelligent devices especially when ‘on the move’ which they are much of the day and night. </li></ul><ul><li>average citizens are travelling four to five hours a day, </li></ul><ul><li>regular special trips into at least inner space ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wa2DUe2vJew (accessed 16.12.2008)). </li></ul><ul><li>devices connect consumers directly with global wireless networks </li></ul>

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