Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Ah. I thought it would be "a lot more" than that. Your scenario sounds good. Getting rid of a significant fraction of inter-city trucks (along with gains in efficiency) would surely be a great help to the atmosphere and to our oil tab.

What about the capital investment necessary to electrify railroads and (presumably) add extra tracks and rolling stock? Is that within reach?

Meanwhile, the airlines keep flying. The more I think about this, the more it seems to me that grounding most of those jets will turn out to be the key to calming down the atmospheric changes which are now so scarily evident.

Right after 9/11/01, when all US air traffic was banned for a few days, the skies in our area underwent a drastic change, back to the puffy clouds we used to see when I was a child, and which I had almost forgotten.

Injecting all that exhaust right into the stratosphere is, upon serious reflection, clearly Not A Good Idea. I think people would be surprised by the changes we would see without all these jets.

Still, I have to admit that our fossil-fueled civilization was fun while it lasted. I was born in 1951. When I was six, my family traveled to Europe by passenger liner and then returned on a prop plane. The experience of those forms of transportation left me with a vivid perspective on the magic of the passenger jet. Flying around the planet like some gigantic insect on five mile high stilts will never be routine for me. It is sorcery, pure and simple.

On the other side entirely, I also have to admit that I feel more and more impatient for the next phase of our planet's existence. I am sick to death of watching us wreck the place.

Aside from any ideology or purity, I just want to see that stop, and soon.

by Ralph on Sun Jul 20th, 2008 at 09:04:28 PM EST
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