October 11, 2007
We usually avoid candidate politics here because we're organized as a 501(c)(3) and can't take positions on candidates.
But we can provide a neutral forum, and I'm going to try to do that with this post. I was struck by a post over on the Daily Score about Barak Obama's energy and climate plan.
So I'm going to throw it open here. Anyone is welcome to comment, linking to and describing any presidential candidate's (from any party) transportation or energy policy.
And please do stay on topic. I don't want to hear about Hillary's health plan, or anyone's tax policy, unless it has direct bearing on transportation.
Have at it :-)
October 11, 2007 11:52 AM
Garlynn -- undergroundscience.blogspot.com Says:
Yes, Obama seems to have immediately taken the lead with this proposal.
I'd like to see one of the candidates, or all of them ideally, get behind a national high speed rail system, however. That would make a nice centerpiece for this otherwise-great collection of good ideas.
October 12, 2007 6:38 PM
I don't believe anything that any candidate of the major parties says.
October 15, 2007 12:36 AM
I'm with Al.
I don't believe anyone of them either. They're all full of...
On another note, the real movers aren't the politicians. I'm sure they disagree or would want us to believe otherwise. But as long as America maintains an entrepreneurial spirit and even a little bit of freedom, the politicians will be a minor concern in economic activity and technological progress.
The real things to watch in the coming years will be; BNSF, UP, CSX, Norfolk Southern, Florida East Coast (FEC), Amtrak, Talgo, Bombardier, Siemens, PRT, Toyota, GE, GM, Ford, Honda, Nissan, and especially - more than the all the above - watch out for the individual entrepreneurs working to make changes in the world and industry. Those are the people to watch... we could vote another Bush in and it wouldn't matter much in the overall picture of change and progress. Really, it never has.
...and yeah, I can cite historical events that backup what I've just said... but I'm just commenting, and not writing a novel. :)
October 15, 2007 7:11 PM
Steve Karolyi Says:
Is entrepreneurial spirit, and technological progress, responsible for the standard of living we enjoy?
I would posit that our standard of living is more dependent on cheap and abundant energy, i.e. fossil fuels. After all, one definition of energy is the ability to do work, and each and every one of us has had the equivalent of 100 slaves working for us. (How far can you push a 3000 pound car?) Remove that cheap and abundant energy from the equation and no amount of technological progress or entrepreneurial spirit will allow us to maintain the standard of living we Americans enjoy.
The sooner we as a society wean ourselves from the private automobile the better. If we don’t do so voluntarily, diminishing petroleum production will force us all to find other ways to get our increasingly corpulent bodies to Wal-mart.
And to suggest that election of Bush and his band of crony capitalists hasn’t had a deep and lasting effect on our nation and the world is absurd. Try telling that to our children and grandchildren who will be picking up the bill for the failed policies of those politicians.
October 15, 2007 9:01 PM
The Whale Oil Crisis showed us that a free market can correct from an unsustainable product. Is petroleum-based oil the only resource to keep the personal occupancy vehicle moving? No. It's the way that's cheap and easy for now. The market will change. Hatred of cars does not negate their usefulness.
Be realistic, petroleum is not the problem. Lack of mobility is.
October 16, 2007 7:24 AM
Ross Williams Says:
Is petroleum-based oil the only resource to keep the personal occupancy vehicle moving? No.
I agree, but the question of cost is still a part of this discussion. Is there any alternative that is even close to the same cost as $5 gallon gasoline? How about at $10? $25? The problem is that as gasoline prices increase its likely the other energy sources will increase as well. And none of them have an established, ubiquitous distribution system with the possible exception of electricity. And it lacks an inexpensive storage mechanism.
The market will change.
But one way the market may change is to make mobility more expensive and proximity to work and services more valuable. But I agree, that is not necessarily inevitable, which is what some of the "peak oil" folks seem to think.