The captains of industry of olden times are dead indeed. But you can't blame today's investors for not investing in and building the nations infrastructure to meet peak oil. But if THEY do build it, we will pay a hell of a lot more to ride it.
They won't invest in something to help build the nations infrastructure without proof they will profit. A study like that now might show a break even deal. BUT, and its a big but so in caps, when peak oil really smacks us, and that is soon. We will have no other readily available method of transportation. $3 gas will seem like a wonderful dream.
All of bushes jive ass time-wasting hydrogen program is a stalling tactic, to extract enormous profits for his oil pals. Hydrogen from NATURAL GAS WILL BOOST THE PRICE SO HIGH THAT WE WON'T BE ABLE TO HEAT YOUR HOMES. (Emphasis) Hydrogen from for profit nuclear is suicide or homicide if done by todays nuclear patently unsafe nuke industry.
Hydrogen from corporate owned, profit-centric, nuclear is an invitation to a disaster that takes the lake and property all the way to cleveland. Depending on the wind direction during the accident. F E et al have a heritage of not giving a damn about safety at the reactor. And their most recent attempt to lay waste to the Lake and land make that point yet again. Not their first greedy long term decision to neglect safety. Same with Fermi 1.
Back to rail,, If the city pays a ridiculous premium to a civil engineering firm for a study, the firm will simply read the city's/state's mind and the report will reflect the city leader(s) opionion(s). THEY WANT TO KEEP THEIR future contracts as paid yes men, ITS WHAT THEY DO (Engineering Firms)!!!! They would also mind-read a private company requesting such a study. (CAPS for emphasis).
I've seen them (outright LIE, time and time again in writing, to outright bulldoze wetlands. The city lets them know ahead of time that they want the wetland bulldozed. Jeep!! is a good example, and the nearby home builders supply.
The local firestation built on wetland soil is another example, they have spent about a million extra to haul out the wetland soil, and replace it with compactible backfill, and a ridiculous drainage system to continuously drain the water out so the foundation doesn't bust into several pieces. But an engineering firm said it was great soil for building, till the contractor couldn't get compaction, then ordered their own compaction testing.
Long story to make a point I guess, but engineering firms have become todays paid professional whores.
If they can intercept how the city/state wants the study to come out, thats how it will come out. But our biggest priority should be to get away from oil dependence, before we are really struck by peak oil. Already the pentagon and some of our leaders are talking about reinstating the draft to keep fresh troops moving into the war. Its a war for control of Iraqi oil. Since WW1, the U.S. and England have had a pact to control the governments and oil flow in the mideast because armies and navies and economies run on the stuff. We have to find something else to run on. Hopefully it won't be for-profit nuclear. In addition to corporate and shareholder mandated hatred of the very concept of safety, they own the regulators, via campaign contributions to both parties. Then there is the nuclear waste generated and the storage issues. The stuff needs to be stored for a quarter million years or so because they won't let it cook in the reactors long enough to be less radioactive. Once the power starts to weaken, they refuel. The ability to more fully deplete the fuel should be built into reactor design, and the profit people should never step foot in the reactor, nor have the ability to influence safety by pushing production, and shit-canning those who point out safety concerns.
With meaningful scrubbing of coal stacks we could make a difference, (Bush has delayed this for several years) but the Appalacian moutain range will be half flattened by 2050 at our projected rate of coal consumption, and bush has just mandated more mountain top removal nationwide with an administrative rule this week. No consent of congress required on administrative rules.
All the while bushie is ignoring the potential of solar and wind, geothermal, ingnoring all alternatives other than stinking corn ethanol. Biofuels mine the soil, like todays industrial farming for corn. Fuel shouldn't come at the expense of making nutritionally dead food, but that is what farming does today.
Other nations are building these infrastructures with the passion of a general mobilization during wartime. The U.S. has an executive branch and congress that are mostly oil men or bought by petro dollars.
We really need to push alternatives like solar and wind, with a greater emphasis than even Germany is putting on those alternatives. Today I read that a group had made an advance with nano silicon that would increase the U.V. used by photovoltaics by 60%. An amazing advance. It will stay in the lab till bush and republicans leave office. Industry didn't fund the research, government and academia did, and without a study.
Tesla is going to have a 50k electric car by 2050 that beats most race cars and recharges after 300 mile trips in one hour. They have a sports car that goes 160 mph now, and recharges in 3 hours.
We will all be plugging our cars in soon, because of peak oil, and because Americans don't want to live in fear anymore. Lets leave the mideast and let them slaughter each other, or find a way for them not to, and work very hard to make oil obsolete even for them.
We need nuclear that is fully depleted before taken away from the plant if thats possible in a new plant design, safer plant designs, safer fuel and fuel containment design, a regulatory body that has the tenure and authority of the supreme court, but less corruptible than the supreme court, and not made up of industry hacks.
Till all that is done, wind, solar, and safe nuclear (really unlikely with today's for profit motive involved, and operating in a monopoly ), we as a city/state/region need to be proactive. ( hate that word, lets change it to pre-emptive) We need to pre-empt peak oil and our grandchildren having to die for our oil, or die from its exhaust. Cleaning up coal should be a national priority. It has put so much mercury in N.Eastern lakes that the fish are inedible. Even the fish of the sea can only be eaten in moderation. The mercury makes mentally challenged children. Not a nice gift for mother and child.
We could spend a bulk of millions on a study on rail, but the study authors will only mimic our leaders thoughts. And unless specifically instructed to, they won't include the "cost" of sending our children to war, the added deaths caused by combustion engines, nor any mention of peak oil. And if they do, they will either minimize or maximize the data to reflect the opinion of the majority of council or mayor or whoever pays them the cash, or whoever will be hiring them for the next "study". I've seen too many studies.
When we mobilized for WW2, we didn't do a cost benefit analysis, and this current crisis caused by our oil dependence carries the same urgency. When in the hell will weget on board with wind and solar. No wonder First Solar and other companies don't want to relocate to Toledo. Has Toledo started any significant wind or solar programs? Where are the 1.5 megawatt wind turbines? Where are the new solar fields and rooftop solar units? Where is the research center to study these? And to study harnessing the power of the Maumee without slaughtering billions of fish as Bayshore Power Plant does now?
The sun falls on us every day, and the wind blows for free. Do we need a study to know that the energy from them will kill fewer of us? What cost consideration is more important than that? If private industry want to continue to stall and continue the status quo, as they have since Carter, then we have to act without them.
GM's very recent electric car's drive train had 12 moving parts, compared to thousands in a typical combustion engine and transmission. The car companies won't build an electric car because they won't have a gas engine and trans, so less profit, less maint on the car by 3orders of magnitude. The dealer networks will fold. So they are ignoring current battery technology that would give us a very fast car, with a 300 plus mile range, be large and safe, and recharge in under an hour. So much for the private sector taking care of our G.D. needs.
If you do a study on that, there is no rationale for private industry to pursue electric cars. So the study by industry would say , "Dont' build electric cars". So they are going to build plug in hybrids with a multi fuel combustion engine that will drive a generator which will replentish the batteries while driving. How completely inefficient!!!! They want cars to break down so they can sell more parts, for engines and transmissions. Thats more important to them than the war we are in, more important than the impact it has on America, more important than the lives that would be saved by eliminating internal combustion engines from the road. So to hell with them , we have to act as cities, counties, and states.
12 moving parts and they wouldn't break down.
We need to build the electric car and train/streetcare infrastructure with renewables and we need to do it now. We can have the American love affair with a better faster cleaner car, and a rail system that is clean and fast. Our, and your challenge with regard to making sure rail is used, is to make people feel safe while riding the rials, and to take away the built in delays to commuter rail travel that are now in place. For instance, people don't feel safe on mass transit, from other people. Make the operators of the trains or streetcars, make them cops. Take away the track priority over commuter rail that industrial freight now enjoys. Even if you have to build new tracks. Make sure commuter rail has preference at the rail intersections too.
There, I've given you a "study", and it didn't cost a dime. Toledo must realize that people are more important than industry. Here's to a city that reclaims the waterfront, including the proposed idiotic coke plant building site on the shore of Lake Erie.