Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Mag-Lev Fantasy

From a discussion on Engadget about the pros and cons of taxing cars for miles driven via GPS device, someone said this:

Perhaps you should have worked harder during school? A gas tax/road tax w/e you call it is a great idea. It will help fund Mass Transit and push hydrogen technology development. Hybrids and Electrics are just stop gaps, we need hydrogen! Also the money can be used to fund Mag-Lev trains and bullet trains which the rest of the world has! And america was supposed to be no. 1 right?


First, you've got to love how 'Mass Transit' is apparently now a proper noun. But anyway, to the crux of the argument. Environmentalists love to dream about the promise of hydrogen cars and mag-lev trains. Such methods of transit are clean and utopian and will not hurt Mother Gaia, plus they're unstable technologies so if one or both of them should happen to explode in a hydrogen-magnetic kablooey and take a few thousand planet-killing carbon-emitters with it, well that's not a bug, it's a feature.

I'm always amused at people who jump on the Mag-Lev train bandwagon. Mag Lev trains, by the way, are futuristic trains that levitate by opposing magnetic force, so they can go very fast as they have no friction. Anyway, my point is a train is a train whether it's propelled by gas, electricity, magnets, or Mr. Fusion. And no one rides trains. Raise your hand if you ride a train anywhere more than about once a year. Unless you replaced every car on earth with a train that would arrive to your location within about 20 seconds and could take you anywhere you wanted to go, including to your friend "Digby"'s house out in Tooele, trains are never going to replace cars. Ever. Ever ever ever.

Ever.

1 comment:

Shannon said...

48 years old and never been on a train. Unless you count the animal train at the zoo. I can live without them. You're smart Christian.