A simple football floating downward like a bubble upon the surface of a descending mountain stream could well demonstrate a very green way to transport people and goods without any practical use at all of fossil fuels like coal, oil or gas. The source of energy here would be gravity.
Once this floating football has traveled several miles down a mountain it could then be placed inside a tower (filled with water) as high as the same mountain from which originally descended from and so by this means ascend back up to the same great height it had been at previously.
An airlock compartment would have to be used to allow this football to enter the tall water tower at its base in order to make this circular journey of ascending and descending etc happen over and over again.
Now if instead of just a football floating up a water tower you had a much larger elevator which had the same ability to float upwards inside a water tower then it might (if it were designed well) carry goods or people up any structure such as a tall sky scrapper building.
For a return journey these same goods and people could simply slide downwards. A braking system that is presently now used in Toyota Prius cars could generate new green energy for the use in the Sky Scrapper or for the national grid if desired.
If transport users don’t actually mind going up and down every now and again every so often on their journeys then this could be a form of transportation (if adapted for train-carriages or car use) that might be a much cleaner and greener way to travel in the future.
Although it might actually seem to be a somewhat slower way to travel in this world of ours that now goes too fast today, this might be a good thing really? Because a journey that has pleasant views may count just as much as any destination at the end of that journey. It might also be an exciting cheap and green way as well to scale a mountain, see the countryside or travel across an ocean.
This reader's opinion was originally published in the letters page of the Irish Examiner print edition on 30 May 2019.