"The Equator passes through South America" - I know that. Ecuador's named Ecuador for a reason. My point was that people get both of these (Africa/Europe & North/South America) wrong.
If you'd read the last link in my post above you'd not have posted the comment you just did.
"I assumed the equator was more or less at the upper edge of Africa/lower edge of Europe" - I've met Danes who thought along the same lines, so I'm not sure it's not a common mistake to make. Just as all of North America is north of the equator and all of South America is south of the equator; I guess it just seems more convenient that way.
On an unrelated note, nobody have explicitly mentioned the Gulf Stream or the North Atlantic Drift in the comments, so I figure I should point out the importance of this one when talking about the climate of Western Europe. I live in Jutland, more specifically quite close to the 56th parallel north - this is equivalent to the Southern parts of Hudson Bay or the Bering Sea, and we have a temperate climate.
"Generally speaking, people are much too fast to try to explain [...] things in terms of cultural differences."
This is an important point I might have underlined if I'd written the post today. I think it applies to a lot of stuff besides the desired mode of transport problem.
My main point in this context would probably be that if you want to compare political- or societal structures and decisions - which many people seem to want to do even though it's very hard - you need to know a lot of stuff. Additional information makes it harder to maintain a faulty model.
Incidentally on a related note I may be wrong, but I have the impression that a lot of people living in developed societies tend to assume that environmental constraints are often things that we can just work our way around, that they're just engineering problems, and so are often not important in the big scheme of things. I.e. 'developed societies are past those problems, and being past those problems is part of what makes a society developed', rather than developing. I think that's a potentially very problematic way to think about these things, and I think that that line of thinking may make you overlook important stuff.
Student of economics. Not going to write any more than that about myself at this point.
"To post to the Discussion area you must have at least 2 points." - I'd like to post something I've written, but I need two karma to do so.