Quote: Originally Posted by whs
The tracks can disfigure the Landscape severely whilst under construction and where does the Energy come from to power the trains
I would say that roads disfigure landscapes just as much if not more. And yes, trains need energy too. But on a per passenger mile they are many times more effivient than cars or planes. And the cost argument I do not buy. That is only a matter of priorities. If a country like France can do it, the US could do it too.
Having WORKED and lived in France at times I can definitely say
1) They AREN'T always as "Eco Friendly" as people say they are
2) Good though the railways are these are only on the MAIN population centres -- If you live away from the larger conurbations public transport is also either NON EXISTENT or pretty poor.
3) In the cities public transport is GOOD and CHEAP -- but these people go on STRIKE at a drop of a hat so "relibaility of service" can't really be guranteed at all times.
4) France probably has the HIGHEST percentage of its Electricity generated by NUCLEAR POWER of any developed country on Earth.
Whatever the consequences of the current Oil accident in the Gulf of Mexico -- this is as NOTHING compared with serious accidents at Nuclear Power stations.
I KNOW that the equipment in use in France is of a MUCH higher order of magnitude in better quality than that used in the Old USSR (Chernobyl for example) -- but accidents are just that and could happen (to say nothing of determined sabotage etc).
Crude Oil at least is a NATURAL product and Nature can eventually deal with it. (Of course the current disaster needs to be cleaned up as quickly as possible).
PLUTONIUM (the version used for Atomic Power) is man made (it DOESN'T OCCUR IN NATURE) and it's half life of 24,000 years -- Any accident would render swathes of countryside around the powerstation uninhabitble for almost EVER and the radioactive dust can be carried for very long distances indeed.
Given the choice I'd rather take the risk with Oil - but of course we should be looking at SENSIBLE and PRACTICABLE alternatives. These will take A LONG TIME to implement and I agree we should be looking at them NOW.
However we aren't going back to a "Village" type existence where even travelling 30 KM would take a day whatever the "greenists" say -- so we are just going to have to accept this for the foreseeable future these accidents *may* happen -- we must minimize them as much as possible of course.
The fact that we have people all over the world communicating on this very Forum shows that we aren't going to stop people travelling whatever the consequences.