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Here's a thought: Why don't we take all these useless car factories and re-tool them to make electric trains?

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue Mar 3rd, 2009 at 02:53:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, quite.

Also windmills, PVs, electric cars for use in city centres - even Boris is getting enthusiastic about this now - and etc.

Or we could pay people less to produce things which aren't selling. Fail.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Tue Mar 3rd, 2009 at 03:47:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The spending for retooling alone would be enough to reinflate the global economy. You'd pretty much have to through out all the machines and start over.

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Wed Mar 4th, 2009 at 10:00:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
While this might be a reasonable thing to do under specific conditions, I think that setting these conditions requires action by people, that are neither you, nor me, nor the involved corporations and trade unions, but those who can make a credible comittment for future buying of electric trains.

Der Amerikaner ist die Orchidee unter den Menschen
Volker Pispers
by Martin (weiser.mensch(at)googlemail.com) on Wed Mar 4th, 2009 at 05:41:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The personal automobile is going to go extinct within the next two and a half decade, when people begin to realise that 140 $ oil was not a one-time thing. There is only one viable alternative for overland bulk cargo and personnel transport (well, two if you count river barges as "overland").

There's gonna be a market, alright.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu Mar 5th, 2009 at 11:53:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Not so soon. Even 1000$ oil wouldn't stop people from driving. At least not in Europe - and at such a price some demand destruction elsewhere should occur.

And I doubt that the personal automobil is going extinct anyhow. You can use internal combustion machines with hydrogenium (synthesized e.g. from water with wind or nuclear energy), biodiesel, natural gas, ... and you can have cars based on compressed air and electric cars (again with plenty of possible renewable sources). I simply can't see the terrible energy scarcity, that would be required to end the car.

For sure people will drive less, and the average weight of the cars will be reduced. But that isn't the end of the car.

Der Amerikaner ist die Orchidee unter den Menschen
Volker Pispers

by Martin (weiser.mensch(at)googlemail.com) on Thu Mar 5th, 2009 at 12:17:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Prohibitive gasoline price levels for overland transportation in Denmark are about three times current gasoline prices (that's where the marginal cost of driving four people in a car exceeds the cost of four long-distance rail tickets).

Of course, your milage may vary (pun sorta intended) with your local gasoline tariff structure and rail ticket prices.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu Mar 5th, 2009 at 01:11:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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