US HIGH SPEED RAIL ASSOCIATION

21st Century Transportation for America

SUSTAINABILITY

 
Climate change is a clear and present danger to the United States. It's time for serious, comprehensive action to reduce carbon to solve climate change!

 
 
"The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration officially lists extreme weather events as one of several phenomena occurring more frequently because of climate change."

Carbon pollution from burning fossil fuels like coal, oil, and natural gas is driving climate disruption and warming our planet. It’s simple: the more carbon pollution in the air, the more the sun’s energy gets trapped as heat. Which means things keep getting hotter. In fact, the world has already gotten nearly 1°C warmer since 1880.

Warmer temperatures have real consequences for all of us—not just for polar bears. Sea levels around the world have risen nearly 20cm since 1901, swallowing entire islands and creeping closer to populated areas of great coastal cities like New York, Miami, Melbourne, Venice, Dakar, Guayaquil, and Chittagong. Plus, extreme weather events like torrential rain, floods, heat waves, and drought are becoming more frequent and intense.

"Climate change is real. Industry must now lead." -Jeff Immelt - CEO, General Electric

"We recognize that greenhouse gas emissions are one of the factors affecting climate change." -Rex Tillerson - Secretary of State; Former CEO, Exxon

"Our biggest problem is waking up to the truth of our situation, and responding in a thoughtful, wise, effective, sustained way. That's what we've got to do. And we're not doing that." -Jerry Brown - Governor of California

"We believe climate change is an urgent issue that demands global action. We remain committed to doing our part." -Satya Nadella - CEO, Microsoft

"Climate change is real." -Elon Musk - CEO, Tesla and SpaceX

"Stopping climate change is something we can only do as a global community, and we have to act together before it's too late." -Mark Zuckerberg - CEO, Facebook

 
 
 
INACTION IS NO LONGER AN OPTION. The massive costs of doing nothing are adding up to way more than the solutions cost. Now is the time for serious action to solve this menace wrecking the planet.

TOP 5 MOST EXPENSIVE STORMS TO HIT THE UNITED STATES ($319 Billion total)
-Hurricane Katrina (2005) cost $160 Billion
-Hurricane Sandy (2012) cost $70 Billion
-Hurricane Ike (2008) cost $34 Billion
-Hurricane Wilma (2005) cost $29 Billion
-Hurricane Andrew (1992) cost $26.5 Billion

2 New ones that will top the list: Hurricane Harvey that recently hit Houston is estimated to cost $180 Billion; while Hurricane Irma, roaring through the Southeast after hitting Florida, is expected to be one of the most expensive storms ever!

Hurricane Harvey displaced more than one million people, resulted in at least 44 deaths and damaged 185,000 homes in Houston alone.

The two hurricanes set new records — Harvey dumped a record 51.9 inches of rain in one area of Texas, while Irma set records for both size and intensity of Atlantic hurricanes. Their landfall marked the first time two storms of Category-4 strength struck the US in the same year.  Harvey | Irma

It is now a moral imperative to quickly solve climate change. People are dying by the thousands! Millions of people's lives are being destroyed. Cities and infrastructure is being wrecked.

Solving climate change is now the most important mission of humanity, far more serious and deadly than terrorism We must now act on a grand scale to solve climate change, and save lives! We must rapidly change our transportation and energy systems to cut the carbon output causing this.

THE #1 SOLUTION:

A national high speed rail system is the large-scale, fast way to reduce carbon from our transportation and energy sectors, and is the centerpiece of a sustainable America. With trains powered by electricity generated 100% by renewables, this can cut the nation's energy consumption and carbon output by 70% - as fast as it can be constructed!  No other solution can scale up as fast.

Clean, Green, Oil-Free, Safe Transportation
 
 
 
TRAINS ARE THE MOST SUSTAINABLE & GREEN FORM OF TRANSPORTATION

Electric high speed rail is the most energy efficient of all trains. A national high speed rail system is the centerpiece of a sustainable America, and will significantly reduce congestion and our dependence on cars and oil, while cutting our carbon emissions by epic proportions. The entire system can be powered by clean, safe renewable energy including wind, solar, geothermal, and ocean/tidal. Clean electric trains are a major form of daily transportation in numerous countries, and are the single most powerful transportation choice that can solve serious mobility, energy, environmental, economic, health, and social problems simultaneously - on a global scale.

A 2006 study by the Center for Clean Air Policy and the Center for Neighborhood Technology concluded that building a high-speed rail system across the US could result in 29 million fewer car trips and 500,000 fewer plane flights each year, saving 6 billion pounds of carbon dioxide emissions - the equivalent of removing a million cars from the road annually.


The #1 solution is readily available, and can be built quickly!

 
 
We are still putting 110 million tons of global warming pollution into the atmosphere EVERY DAY fueling climate change, and still funding the expansion
of these polluting systems!

 
As we get serious about solving climate change, we must evaluate every project, every investment, and every system as to their role in either causing or solving climate change. Right now, America is still investing hundreds of billions of dollars every year building more roads, subsidizing cars, expanding airports, subsidizing aviation, oil industry subsidies, and more that all make climate change worse. The first step is to halt our contribution funding more damage!

All our public investments need to go 100% towards systems and technologies that solve climate change and reduce carbon. High speed rail is the largest scale technology that can transform America the fastest to non-carbon transportation.


 
THE 2 BIG SOLUTIONS TO CLIMATE CHANGE

 
 
 
On our present path, climate change poses grave, potentially even existential threat to the U.S. as soon as the second half of this century. At the same time, it is possible to prevent the worst of the harm with fast, assertive action.

Although the issue is sometimes described as remote, there are many relevant, newsworthy developments each week, and often many in a single day. These include the results of new studies, the setting of new climate-related records (temperature, precipitation, water, and ice levels), climate-related extreme weather events, innovations in renewable energy, as well as policy and political stories.

The relevance of climate change to events like Hurricane Harvey is clear in multiple respects:  (1) warmer ocean temperatures lead to stronger winds;  (2) warmer air leads to more rain (and therefore flooding); and  (3) higher sea levels worsen storm surges.

Given the importance of the issue and the abundance of source material, one would expect major media to report on it multiple times each week, if not daily.  More 

 
 
 
AL GORE:
"The next generation would be justified in looking back at us and asking:
-What were you thinking?
-Couldn't you hear what the scientists were saying?
-Couldn't you hear what Mother Nature was screaming at you?"

"It is RIGHT to save humanity!
It is WRONG to pollute this earth!
It is RIGHT to give hope to the future generations!"

 
 
 
 
 
 
"It’s more than an absence of leadership. There’s harm being done by denying the problem."
-Eric Buermann, former general counsel to the Republican Party of Florida

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
It’s time to hold our elected officials responsible if they stand in the way!

 
POPE FRANCIS, THE VATICAN:
"Climate change is a global problem with serious implications, environmental, social, economic, political, and for the distribution of goods; it represents one of the principal challenges facing humanity in our day."

"The climate is a common good, belonging to all and meant for all."

"Each community can take from the bounty of the earth whatever it needs for subsistence, but it also has the duty to protect the earth and to ensure its fruitfulness for coming generations."

"Intergenerational solidarity is not optional, but rather a basic question of justice, since the world we have received also belongs to those who will follow us."

"Everything is related, and we human beings are united as brothers and sisters on a
wonderful pilgrimage, woven together by the love God has for each of his creatures
and which also unites us in fond affection with brother sun, sister moon, brother river
and mother earth."

"We have to realize that a true ecological approach always becomes a social approach;
it must integrate questions of justice in debates on the environment, so as to hear
both the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor."

"The earth herself, burdened and laid waste, is among the most abandoned and maltreated of our poor. The earth, our home, is beginning to look more and more like an immense pile of filth. Never have we so hurt and mistreated our common home as we have in the last two hundred years."

"If present trends continue, this century may well witness extraordinary climate change
and an unprecedented destruction of ecosystems, with serious consequences for all
of us."

"Reducing greenhouse gases requires honesty, courage and responsibility, above all on
the part of those countries which are more powerful and pollute the most."

"Young people demand change. They wonder how anyone can claim to be building a
better future without thinking of the environmental crisis and the sufferings of the
excluded."

"Obstructionist attitudes, even on the part of believers, can range from denial of the
problem to indifference, nonchalant resignation or blind confidence in technical
solutions. We require a new and universal solidarity."

"There is an urgent need to develop policies so that, in the next few years, the
emission of carbon dioxide and other highly polluting gases can be drastically
reduced."  More

 
 
"The Defense Department already is observing the impacts of climate change in shocks and stressors to vulnerable nations and communities, including in the United States, the Arctic, the Middle East, Africa, Asia and South America."

 
"We have money to fight climate change. It's just that we're spending it on defense."

 
"Stopping one fighter plane program would save enough to build wind farms to power 320,000 homes. We need to drastically reassess our priorities."  Story

"Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children." -GOP President Eisenhower

Climate change is the greatest national security threat, recently pointed out by Senator Bernie Sanders. "CIA analysts and our nation’s military strategists are rightfully naming climate change as a contributor to refugee flows, the spread of disease, and conflicts over basic resources like food and water. Our nation’s defense officials know global warming's destructive forces could undermine fragile governments in unstable regions of the world where extremist ideologies can take root." -Kenneth Pennington, The Guardian

Global security is already showing widespread troubles from climate change. In 2014 alone, 17.5 million people were displaced by climate-related disasters, far exceeding any other global or national security threat. Yet, we're spending 28 times as much on military security than climate security.  Institute of Policy Studies | Guardian

"DoD recognizes the reality of climate change and the significant risk it poses to U.S. interests globally. The National Security Strategy, issued in February 2015, is clear that climate change is an urgent and growing threat to our national security, contributing to increased natural disasters, refugee flows, and conflicts over basic resources such as food and water. These impacts are already occurring, and the scope, scale, and intensity of these impacts are projected to increase over time."
-U.S. Department of Defense Report on Security Implications of Climate Change

 
 
 
 
"Our biggest problem is waking up to the truth of our situation, and responding in a thoughtful, wise, effective, sustained way. That's what we've got to do. And we're
not doing that." -Governor Jerry Brown, 2017

 
It is now a moral imperative to quickly solve climate change. People are dying by the thousands! Millions of people's lives are being destroyed. Solving climate change is clearly the most important mission of humanity, far more serious and deadly than terrorism.

 
"Hurricane Katrina (2005) was the costliest natural disaster, as well as one of the five deadliest hurricanes in the history of the United States. At least 1,245 people died" -Wikipedia

"As many as 10,000 people perished in the Chicago heat wave of 1988."

"The record heatwave in Europe in 2003 took a toll of 70,000 human lives, and the record heat in Russia in 2010 took another 56,000. The heat wave in India and Pakistan in 2015 claimed several thousand more."

"Typhoon Haiyan became in November 2013 the strongest tropical cyclone ever to make landfall. All told, 10,000 perished in its wake."

"The record Atlantic hurricane season in 2005, fueled by unusually warm Atlantic Ocean temperatures, saw an unprecedented 28 named storms and a record four category 5 monster storms. Among them was Katrina, which destroyed much of New Orleans when it made landfall. Nearly 4,000 lives had been taken by the time that season ended."

"By 2030, it is estimated, climate change will cause as many as 700,000 additional deaths a year worldwide." -The Madhouse Effect

 
TRAINS ARE THE MOST SUSTAINABLE & GREEN FORM OF TRANSPORTATION

Clean, Green, Oil-Free, Fast, Efficient Transportation
Electric high speed rail is the most energy efficient of all trains.  A national high speed rail system is the centerpiece of a sustainable America, and will significantly reduce congestion and our dependence on cars and oil, while cutting our carbon emissions by epic proportions.  The entire system can be powered by clean, safe renewable energy including wind, solar, geothermal, and ocean/tidal.  Clean electric trains are a major form of daily transportation in numerous countries, and are the single most powerful transportation choice that can solve serious mobility, energy, environmental, economic, health, and social problems simultaneously - on a global scale.

A 2006 study by the Center for Clean Air Policy and the Center for Neighborhood Technology concluded that building a high-speed rail system across the US could result in 29 million fewer car trips and 500,000 fewer plane flights each year, saving 6 billion pounds of carbon dioxide emissions - the equivalent of removing a million cars from the road annually.


The #1 solution is readily available, and can be built quickly...

 
 
 
Watch the powerful movie "Disruption"

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
RECOMMENDED BOOKS

 
"A 2010 study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences surveyed 1,372 climate researchers and found that 97-98% of the climate researchers most actively publishing in the field support the tenets of anthropogenic climate change outlined by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change."

 
 
 
 
The #1 solution delivers high capacity, long-term sustainable mobility...

Sustainable and Green
Not Sustainable or Green
 
"Tokyo's electric trains get 6,600 miles to the gallon."  -USA Today, March 4, 2008

                        CNN:  How green is high speed rail?


    Urgency of Reducing Oil Consumption


"Grid-connected traction offers the only realistic option for significantly reducing oil use in transportation over the next 10 years."  -Anthony Perl

 
Sustainable and Green
Not Sustainable or Green
 
A National HSR system is the centerpiece of a sustainable America
 

            Renewable Energy
    Green, Electric Transportation
   Walkable Urbanism

 
Sustainable transportation for America: 3-tiered electric rail network
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Comparison of vehicles used in standard, domestic commercial service
 
 
 
 
                       Europe Opens Solar Train
China Opens Solar Train
Click image for video & story
Click image for story
 
 
"Building a new system of high speed rail in America will be faster, cheaper, and easier than building more freeways or adding to an already over-burdened aviation system - and everybody stands to benefit."  President Obama, April 16, 2009

 
"Those who have the privilege to know have the duty to act" -Albert Einstein

 
Incredible energy efficiency of high speed trains. (Chart source: www.uic.org)
 
 
External costs lowest with rail. (Chart source: www.uic.org)
 
 
Click image to read report
 
 
Check out Sustainability and the California HSR Project

Analysis of the sustainability benefits of the new state wide rail project:  HSR Sustainability Info
New California Government Climate Change Information Website:  Climate Change Facts  

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Calling out the media: We are "tired of seeing the media orchestrate splashy Jello-wrestling matches, under the guise of providing "balance," by weighing the US National Academies, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and "well over 95 percent of scientists who actually work on climate change" against a "denialist"" -Closing the Window on Climate Change

 
 
 
"The world we have created today as a result of our thinking thus far has problems
which cannot be solved by thinking the way we thought when we created them."
-Albert Einstein

 
jobs | economic recovery | mobility | safety | energy security | climate solution

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