Season 11 - Teleportation

Episode 3 - Is it ecological and can it be deployed on a large scale?

It’s one of the great lessons of adulthood: certain dreams, certain legends, must remain in the realm of the imagination. Deep down, no one wants a bearded man in a bright red outfit to come into our homes to leave presents for the children. No more than we’d want spirits sneaking under our toddlers' pillows to swap their teeth for a few coins. Or worse, that ghosts play tricks on us, or vampires stalk the corridors after dark. It’s just the same for teleportation.

Despite the fantasy of moving anywhere instantly, there’s probably nothing desirable about this technology. You just need to look at its deployability and ecological dimension to see that. First off, if this technology arrived tomorrow, how would its operation be organised? Without a doubt, it would first be operated by a huge private company, or by public or parapublic organisations. You can imagine places resembling airports which would be organised around large teleportation zones, with very specific destinations. “Travellers bound for Sydney will be teleported within seconds. Three, two, one… molecular disassembly!” A flash of light illuminates the room or a powerful sound booms against the walls, then a voice announces your arrival in one piece on the other side of the world. “Welcome to Sydney and G’day Mates.

Impressive, right? But how much would it cost to travel like this? How much would you have to pay to save the 24 hours for a flight between Paris and French Polynesia? How much would a business need to charge to make it profitable? After all, it would have to have developed or bought such technology, tested it for years and implemented huge communication campaigns to convince people to let themselves be broken down and then recomposed. Looking at people’s reactions to 5G, it’s difficult to believe that humans would allow themselves to be teleported without being sure they’re not molecularly stored in a government data centre. Not to mention the obvious risks of death involved in such a means of transport. Finally, the entity owning the teleporters has to install them in enough countries for it to make commercial sense. Because, contrary to science fiction, teleportation would likely require a machine to disassemble its passengers at the point of origin, and another to reassemble at the point of arrival. It’s impossible to quantify the cost of the research necessary to create these machines, their construction and their deployment, but it would be staggering. Finally, it would be necessary to pay thousands, perhaps even tens of thousands of people to operate the whole thing: top-flight physicists, brilliant engineers, ultra-sophisticated technicians, security personnel, maintenance personnel, control of teleport titles and so on. As an economic model, it’s not total madness.

That's a lot of constraints, right? But the champions of instant transport are fastening their seat belts, because it’s far from over yet. First of all, there’s the regulatory aspect. Undoubtedly, it would take years for global governments to authorise the deployment of such technology on their soil. Worse, in terms of international relations, teleportation would probably strike fear into the heart’s of most world leaders. Monitoring borders, the sky, the sea and space is one thing. But assuming that a foreign company or organisation can teleport anything and anyone to its soil is quite another. This would give rise to endless multilateral discussions, then to uncertain and temporary agreements on the subject. Never a permanent operating authorisation. Finally, teleportation players would quickly become the target of lobbies as powerful as those of aviation and fossil fuels. Very recent history proves that aircraft manufacturers, airlines and oil giants don’t intend to be buried so quickly. They lead a fierce fight against everything that calls their existence into question: ecology, the survival of the planet, and the voice of a generation determined to save the future of its children. Teleportation would surely be the victim of violent direct attacks, but also the more insidious ones, and the kind inflicted in the corridors of the European Parliament.

Moreover, even if it’s difficult to imagine teleporters running on diesel, nothing suggests that teleportation would be ecological. Patricia Pérennes explained in a previous newsletter that what requires so much energy from planes is overcoming the natural law of gravity. So imagine the tremendous amount of energy required to combat the fundamental law of particle organisation. Not to mention reassembling the same particles to reform humans, which is unimaginable in terms of power. Even if this energy were provided by renewable sources, it’s likely that humanity won’t produce enough of it to this day. And then, why would we choose to use this precious green energy for that? What purpose would it serve? Do we need to go to India or Argentina in a second? Do we need to go there at all? And then, where would we build these large teleportation zones? In the place of train stations or airports? That’s unlikely because these financially accessible modes of transport would not disappear. Maybe they could go into towns? But that’s unlikely, as real estate is under intense pressure and people are already struggling to find housing. What about rural areas or on arable land? That’s impossible to imagine, as many have worked tirelessly to protect them from any kind of destruction. The honest answer is, there’s really nowhere for them to go.

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