Transportation today is safer, faster, and covers more distance than ever before, thanks to mechanization made possible by fossil fuels and the industrial revolution.
Travel is foundational to human culture. It has transformed immensely from the first beasts of burden and water vessels, to create an extremely important trade network across the globe. But the convenience delivered by these advancements was not without cost. The climate impact from planes, trains, and automobiles can no longer be a sunk-cost in the global economy. But to find a solution for reducing the impact of transportation systems requires an evaluation of the root causes. This paper will examine the growth of transportation over time, how each sector contributes to greenhouse gas emissions, and some of the solutions being developed to get back on course for a sustainable global economy.