03 April 2007

Petroleum isn't the whole problem, or I'd totally be a train-riding hippie if only I had the time

So, who else out there regularly reads both Grist and Midwest High Speed Rail? I'm dying to meet you, at least internetly, because sometimes I feel so alone...

Anyway, from Midwest High Speed Rail:
350 mph. On a train. In France.

[Are you thinking what I'm thinking? Well, if you post it, then you said it first.]

"... And given how much oil airplanes burn, and how much coal and nuclear power we have in the United States, it makes a lot of sense to start using home-grown energy to power intercity travel instead of foreign oil.

"The barrier to high-speed rail isn't economic or technical. It's political. ..."

I would like to point out here in my Grand Illinois Trail Comma Random Other Transportation Slash Environmental Issues Blog that there is also a perfectly valid environmental barrier to consider. You say the words "coal" and "nuclear" (or shucks, even "ethanol") and whole bunches of people cry foul for whole bunches of reasons, and most people would admit that at least some of them are pretty good. Like, you know, terrorism.

(Okay, I hate to use a dirty trick to grab attention as much as anyone else does, but you have to admit it's an effective one. Oh, I lie--c'mon, who doesn't love a dirty trick every now and then?)

Anyway, I just can't believe the high-speed rail folks missed that one, but I'm too shy to tell it to their internet face.


At 04 April, 2007 09:24, Blogger Benjamin said...

In fairness, I think the folks over at MWHSRA were trying to say that there's no electricity shortage here (at least, there shouldn't be), and it's easier to control efficiency and emissions at one centralized plant than at a thousand individual tailpipes.

Also, there are a lot of us (particularly with, say, a degree in physics) who think the advantages of nuclear power far outweigh the disadvantages.

At 04 April, 2007 13:03, Blogger Jennifer said...

So, would you be willing to take your degree in physics and move next to an Exelon plant leaking tritium into the groundwater?

I'm just trying to point out there are other issues to consider here. I'm sick of everyone whining about foreign oil and high gas prices like it's the only thing wrong with the country.


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