The view here is too little too late, not that high speed rail is a bad idea or waste of money. That was not my read at all.
Posted By: UtahFanSir
Date: Tuesday 4 June 2019, at 09:02 am
The Slate author is in a full-on panic mode over climate change, and believes other transportation options will have a greater impact on reducing emissions sooner. Slate is a left of center news source, according to Media Bias.
High-speed rail would have been great if it had been built back in the late 1970s, when then-California Gov. Jerry Brown first proposed it.
Meanwhile, the world has only a few short decades to tackle blossoming carbon emissions in time to keep global warming under so-called safe levels, defined as a rise of no more than 2 degrees Celsius. On the world’s current carbon emissions trajectory, we’ll use up our total carbon budget by 2042. Amtrak’s true high-speed rail line in the Northeast corridor, promising three-hour transits between Washington, D.C., and Boston (down from seven hours currently on the Acela), isn’t slated for completion until 2040. Time is not on our side.
Given the incredible pressure that global warming is inflicting, we can’t waste precious resources on high-speed rail. It’s impractical to hope that truly high-speed rail—the kind that will compete with air travel—will arrive in time to do much good.
Instead, limited public transportation funds should be prioritized for climate-friendly projects that will pay off more than high-speed rail in the same time frame. Some options for politicians: 1) Expand the use of upscale electric buses, 2) support self-driving vehicle technology, and 3) regulate airline emissions.
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