De Rapid Transition Alliance blikte in januari 2019 terug op de explosie van de Eyjafjallajökull op 14 april 2010. De vulkanische as legde het Europese vliegverkeer dagenlang stil. Straalmotoren kunnen niet zo goed tegen deze vorm van fijn stof.
Anders dan waarmee de luchtvaartwereld altijd dreigt, bleek de wereld niet te vergaan. Men paste zich snel en soepel aan, al bleef het natuurlijk vervelend als je niet terug naar je eigen huis kon.
De Rapid Transition Alliance heeft er een lezenswaardig artikel over geschreven. Ik heb er hieronder een alinea uit overgenomen.
Stranded travellers, philosophers and poets filled the airwaves with reflections. Yes, it was inconvenient, they said, no one was prepared. But, supermarkets quickly substituted local produce for perishable, luxury horticultural goods normally flown in; delivery companies switched transport modes, business people took to video conferencing, and Norway’s prime minister, Jens Stoltenberg, stranded in New York, ran the Norwegian government from the United States from his new iPad. Suddenly the skies were peaceful and people found other ways to get from one place to another. They took trains, buses, taxis and, aided by social media, shared cars, rooms and experiences. They talked to each other and, travelling at a slower pace, found themselves enjoying the scenery and being more aware of the world they were passing through. Strikingly, given that flying was something many thought we couldn’t live without, the world did not come to a standstill. The sky didn’t fall, it just looked more peaceful. We heard more clearly, as Duffy wrote, “the birds sing in the Spring”. Almost everything simply carried on. Spare capacity in other transport modes was taken up, flexible communications allowed people to be present virtually where they couldn’t be physically, and supply and delivery chains adapted. The airlines suffered economically, but it revealed how few of the things we depend on for day-to-day life really relied on the airlines. Life would be different without them (or far fewer of them) but life would go on, as it had done for thousands of years.