I’m reading Edwin Black’s book “Internal Combustion: How Corporations and Governments addicted the world to oil and rerailed the alternatives”
Very interesting book. I’m currently reading the chapter about “The GM Conspiracy”. I can see the damage done to my own city by the front company National City Lines which was owned by GM whose Chevy Volt is a joke, and the E85 initiative just gives ADM more money since ethanol comes from corn. , Standard Oil the progenitor of Exxon-Mobil, Firestone, et al.
We had both tracked and trackless trolleys here in Rhode Island. All vestiges of that are gone now with the exception of the archives of the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority. They have photos of the old trolleys, the trackless trolleys etc. The common feature of both were that they were powered by electricity. Matter of fact big oil as well as big railroads and car manufacturers really did all they could to kill electric powered vehicles. And now RIPTA management screams bloody murder because costs are out of control due mostly to fuel, second to personnel.
The problem is that electro-motive is much more powerful than gasoline, diesel or coal. That’s right. They did tests between the first diesel-electrics and pure electric trains back then and the electrics outperformed the fossil fueled vehicles.
So today I was thinking about this and thought to myself, how about we bring back electric powered public transit. Oh you could still use the big 40 foot buses but why not use inductive power, bury the magnets in the roadway and go from there. Magnetic induction powers things like mag-lev trains, etc. In the cases of wheeled street vehicles the levitation component wouldn’t be necessary, just the power transfer. I’d love to see that used here as a pilot since RI is so small it’d be feasible. No tracks, no overhead catenary, just a roadway with buses humming silently down them. And of course with the DARPA Grand Challenge Urban scenario we’ll sooner than later see vehicles being driven by computer. That would pretty much solve most of RIPTA’s heavier expenses.
Granted, the outlays for this would be fairly high. But they’d pay dividends for years to come. The problem is that we don’t have any politicians who are truly visionary in Rhode Island.
And there are certainly people would argue that power generation pollutes but the scale on which it pollutes would be much smaller than having hundreds of diesel powered buses traveling the roadways.
Europe got the best deal since much of their public transit is light rail and that light rail is powered by electricity. Corporations don’t have such a stranglehold over Europe since there’s no notion of them having the same rights as a person. Corporations in the United States seem to hold that they have such rights.
So we need to do two things, first disabuse corporations from their thinking regarding rights by modifying the Constitution to exclude them from any rights granted within.
The second thing we need to do is lean on our politicians, or maybe this should be the first thing since that is how we get the Constitutional change going.