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Tourists are Killing the Planet

Re: Tourists are Killing the Planet

Unread postby Plantagenet » Sat 12 May 2018, 18:31:36

KaiserJeep wrote:
Mass transit may make sense in cities, it seems to me that LSVs or electric-assist bicycles and tricycles make more sense in the suburbs.


Yup.

In Europe they run buses to all points in the suburbs directly from the train stations and tram stations. You take a train just about anywhere and when it gets to your stop there will be 1-12+ buses lined up at the curb waiting to pick up the people from the train and take them out on the local bus routes.

The trick of it is timing the bus schedules so they exactly coordinate with the train and tram schedules, and the buses are all lined up waiting for passengers when the train pulls in.

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Re: Tourists are Killing the Planet

Unread postby Shaved Monkey » Sat 12 May 2018, 20:26:55

I agree tourists are loving places to death

When I started travelling the world 30 years ago ,the main travellers were Australians, Kiwis,English,Dutch,Germans,Scandinavians,Canadians and very few Americans(short holidays and lack of passports keeps most Americans at home).

Now it includes Russians,Chinese and Japanese.
1 in 10 tourists is Chinese today.
The sheer numbers are destroying popular places that have never had to deal with the added millions of people who want to be there.

In our town its mainly Domestic, then UK, German,French, Italian, Scandinavian,Irish and Canadian with a growing number of Chinese.
I enjoy the constant procession of new people,I would prefer less Australians as they come with boats to go fishing,prawning and crabbing and put massive pressure on the natural resources.
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Re: Tourists are Killing the Planet

Unread postby Tanada » Sun 13 May 2018, 08:03:08

The biggest problem I have with KJ's graph is the thing is laid out in BTU's instead of carbon cost. The whole point of this thread is we are cooking the planet and Jets are playing a huge role in that process. The electrified train and trolley in Paris or London or Berlin has a very low carbon footprint because they are using a lot of nuclear and renewable energy sources which in turn mean they have a tiny carbon footprint compared to say an 18 wheeler carrying a ton of cargo or heaven forbid a 747 carrying the same tone of cargo compared to an electrified unit train a hundred cars long running off French reactor power. When it comes to passengers you run into scheduling issues because we are used to having access to personal cars that let us travel whenever we want instead of following a scheduled form of transportation like the LTA of even the bus.

KJ even pointed out that the reason some of those light rail and bus systems do so poorly is they are government projects run by politicians who make lousy decisions, which is the exact problem with Amtrakk in the USA on the passenger rail side. Up until subsidized jet travel undercut them the passenger railroads in the USA were top of the line in efficient transport of people on regular fast schedules. First the politicians undercut them with massive subsidies to air travel, then they created Amtrakk and ConRail as direct competition to try and finish them off. Amtrakk finished off the passenger rail and ConRail came close to killing cargo rail but was so incredibly poorly run the cargo rail recovered and is now the main function in the continental USA.

The only possible way to make air travel carbon neutral is to substitute the fossil fuel with something like ammonia manufactured from water and air and electricity, not methane. Until that happens air travel will continue spewing millions of tons of CO2 high up in the atmosphere. At least when a car or truck spews CO2 it does it where there are plants on the ground that have a chance of absorbing some of the released gasses before they have much impact. A jet dumps its exhaust at 35,000 feet and it takes months or years for that CO2 to become mixed down to ground level. As this graph clearly shows Stratospheric CO2 levels as a dozen ppmv lower than Tropospheric, with rapid swing from one to the other beginning just above jet travel levels and over a height of about 5 km from one relative value to the other.
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Re: Tourists are Killing the Planet

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Sun 13 May 2018, 08:46:00

Actually Tanada, there are already electric planes, driven by battery power. Here's a video of a flight in the first to enter volume production, the Pipistrel 2-seater:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WiADDbeFanU
and
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Then there are electric airliners, already in design, not yet in production. I believe and hope that these will kill the High Speed Rail that California is presently obsessed with:
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...because railroads, as enamored of them as are both Asia and Europe, are obsolete technology. The railbeds themselves are terribly destructive, destroying hundreds of square miles of arable land with roadbed construction, and consuming enormous amounts of embedded energy for steel rails and fiber-cement cross ties. We already have the airports needed to support electric airliners.

Technology marches on. The transcontinental aircraft I believe will within a few decades be all-electric fanjets. Trans-ocean travel, if Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic succeeds, will be suborbital space planes, arcing through vacuum from continent to continent at multiples of the speed of sound.
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Re: Tourists are Killing the Planet

Unread postby Plantagenet » Sun 13 May 2018, 10:09:37

KaiserJeep wrote:railroads, as enamored of them as are both Asia and Europe, are obsolete technology.


Not really. Jets are great for long range travel, but for short and mid-range travel trains are superior to passenger jets. They are quieter, more comfortable (you can walk around and go to the bar or the dining car!) and more efficient, i.e. they deliver passengers faster to their destination.

You should go to Europe and see how modern train systems work. The high speed trains hit 200 km/hr and AND they take you directly from downtown to downtown. For instance, I took the Eurostar from Lille France to London, England last January. I stayed in a downtown hotel in Lille and spent the evening in Lille, had a great meal and finished with a beer in a outdoor bistro next to a ferris wheel covered in Christmas lights set up in a huge town square. In the morning I walked 10 minutes to the train station (no lengthy commute to the airport, no long security lines, no delays), got on the Eurostar train and popped out at St. Pancras in London (no commute into London from the airport). I walked to a tube station and Voila! I was in metro London and on my way. Total time for the trip from downtown Lille to downtown London, including walking to the train station in Lille....about and hour and a half.

Try doing that on a plane.

KaiserJeep wrote:
The railbeds themselves are terribly destructive, destroying hundreds of square miles of arable land with roadbed construction, and consuming enormous amounts of embedded energy for steel rails and fiber-cement cross ties. We already have the airports needed to support electric airliners.


??????

I hate to break it to you but highways and airports also destroy hundreds of square miles of arable land. The good news is that in many areas train right-of-ways already exist. All that is required is to modernize the existing track to accept high speed rail. (Yes I know California has chosen to build an entirely new track on a new route for their HSR project, but its California---what do you expect?).

KaiserJeep wrote:Technology marches on. The transcontinental aircraft I believe will within a few decades be all-electric fanjets.


There will have to some tremendous improvements in battery technology first. Electric batteries today are HEAVY, which greatly reduces their utility as a way to power passenger jets. It could happen, I guess.

KaiserJeep wrote: if Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic succeeds, will be suborbital space planes, arcing through vacuum from continent to continent at multiples of the speed of sound.


Perhaps. I hope you're right on this one.

Cheers!

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I just got a text from our competitors. They took the train and they're ALREADY in downtown Paris, meeting OUR clients!!! DARN!!!!
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Re: Tourists are Killing the Planet

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Sun 13 May 2018, 11:19:14

Plant, you didn't read my messages. Electric planes are in production today. Electric jetliners are in design today. Suborbital rocket space planes are in development today. Current battery technology is arlready good enough to fly, and still improving. Meanwhile, the composite-bodied jetliners with high efficiency engines are in production and will improve upon the 737 soon.

Meanwhile, trains for long distance travel are for sightseeing only, or for those terrified to fly. 19th century tech.

Get it? It is time for air travel and trains/buses only have a place in dense urban environments. However, the way we have implemented lightrail commuter trains here in the USA, they are the least efficient form of mass transit. We also have more suburbs than other countries, and therefore other solutions are needed.
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Re: Tourists are Killing the Planet

Unread postby onlooker » Sun 13 May 2018, 11:25:14

[Meanwhile, trains for long distance travel are for sightseeing only, or for those terrified to fly. 19th century tech.

I don't know just how many people opt for trains but personally a scenic ride on a quality train seems much more enjoyable than any airline ride :-D
The Orient Express perhaps
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Re: Tourists are Killing the Planet

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Sun 13 May 2018, 14:12:18

Yeah, I like it too. But I don't choose the train most times because vacation time is limited. But the wife and I have taken the train up the coast and into Canada. You do need a long lead time to book one of the bedrooms. The compartments that convert to beds (formerly called "Second Class") are just not comfortable.
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Re: Tourists are Killing the Planet

Unread postby onlooker » Sun 13 May 2018, 14:36:42

KaiserJeep wrote:Yeah, I like it too. But I don't choose the train most times because vacation time is limited. But the wife and I have taken the train up the coast and into Canada. You do need a long lead time to book one of the bedrooms. The compartments that convert to beds (formerly called "Second Class") are just not comfortable.

Was it Acela?
Because I have been meaning to take a cross country trip with my wife and this train company caught my eye
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Re: Tourists are Killing the Planet

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Sun 13 May 2018, 16:36:14

onlooker wrote:-snip-
Was it Acela?
Because I have been meaning to take a cross country trip with my wife and this train company caught my eye

No, it was the AMTRAK train called "The Coast Starlight", and we boarded here in San Jose and went North through the Columbia Valley to Seattle, which took two days and one night. Memorable scenery it was.

AMTRAK can be comfortable. For two adults, book a "Bedroom", two reasonable sized adult beds, a private bathroom and shower, and comfortable seating and nice windows to view the scenery. The accomodations I do NOT reccomend is the "Roomette", where one bed is narrow and cramped and claustrophobic, and the bathroom shared.

I have also experienced the Canadian train called "The Rocky Mountaineer" a few years back. The Canadian train is superior to AMTRAK in both comfort and service, rivaling (I am told) some of the European rail lines. I have a desire to ride the fabled Orient Express after the wife retires.

Decades ago, I did ride the predecessor to the Acela, which was the Metroliner, between Washington DC and NYC several times. AMTRAK's problems are primarily aging roadbeds, shared with heavy frieght trains. But it was practical to take the Metroliner in the morning, have a mid day business meeting in NYC, and return the same day, with food and alcohol served.
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Re: Tourists are Killing the Planet

Unread postby Tanada » Mon 14 May 2018, 10:53:48

Kaiser you are going all utopian again. If we keep refusing to use nuclear fission and we continue to have supply issues with fossil fuels where do you plan to get all the energy for these battery powered fan planes? It certainly won't be coming from renewables unless you splatter so many windmills and solar fields over the landscape that you consume several times as much land as the current rail right of ways use.

I will also believe in battery operated airliners when I see them. people have been paper designing starships since the 1950's but that doesn't mean I can buy a ticket to Vulcan, or even Luna City! Not to mention the fact that dozens of 'flying cars here soon' stories have been published since World War II. Some enterprising folks have even constructed vehicles that could fold up a wing set and drive like a truck on the road, but none of those attempts has been anywhere near a commercial success.

You also keep harping on how awful light rail is even in urban environments, but if you look at a well run system like the D.C. metro rail the story is very different than the ridiculous Austin Texas system at the top of your 'graph of stupid systems'.
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Re: Tourists are Killing the Planet

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Mon 14 May 2018, 11:57:41

Tanada, the High Speed Rail is the worst idea since the suburbs. The California system that someday connects the SF Bay and LA metro areas is a prime example. The system is being built in two phases, LA to SF, 520 miles is phase 1. The second phase connects SF to Sacramento and LA to Burbank, another 280 miles, for a total of a little more than 800 miles of roadbed.

Because the train is expected to travel up to 220mph, they are taking a right of way that is 1/2 mile wide, establishing security fencing, cameras, constructing improved roads on each side, and armed rapid response teams to prevent sabotage. 800 miles of track at 1/2 mile wide is 400 square miles of fertile Central Valley farmland (some of the most productive in the world) for this stupid train.

All so that one can take a 2 hour and 40 minute train ride from SF to LA, or vice-versa. When we today have jet shuttles departing every 1/2 hour that travel at 500+ mph and take about an hour from takeoff to landing. The airports already exist, no fertile farmland need be sacrificed.

Did you not note that electric planes are already in service? I will now add that 1/2 size airliner prototypes that are expected to reach 650mph are almost ready to fly, I have been reading about them in my IEEE pubs.

The high efficiency composite airframes and high efficiency fanjets that are intened to replace the 737 are in production, within a decade will take over the fleet, and are likely to be replaced within 2 decades by electric fanjets.

Did you forget that this is California? This state already reached the 2020 goal of 50% renewable energy in 2017, and had a few days where we had 90+% renewables powering our grid. By 2030 we will be at 100% renewable (or at least carbon-free) energy, I am confident. It is already the case that we have so much solar online that no new gas turbine peaking facilities are being built, in fact CALPINE has deconstructed one in the Bay region and shipped it to the Dallas/Ft. Worth area. No carbon need be emitted to power trains OR planes.

For the record, I'm a nuclear energy supporter. But realisticly, the silly Greenies hate those power plants the most.

I think that many people are blind to the facts about trains. The areas where they make economic sense are densely populated, a fair description of both Asia and Europe, but not the USA. Our population is more distributed, and has huge suburban areas, small towns, and medium sized towns where personal electric vehicles will replace ICE vehicles once fuel blows through $10/gallon on the way up. Trains, not so much.
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Re: Tourists are Killing the Planet

Unread postby Plantagenet » Mon 14 May 2018, 12:37:37

KaiserJeep wrote: High Speed Rail ...The California system that someday connects the SF Bay and LA metro areas is a prime example. The system is being built in two phases, LA to SF, 520 miles is phase 1. The second phase connects SF to Sacramento and LA to Burbank, another 280 miles, for a total of a little more than 800 miles of roadbed.

Because the train is expected to travel up to 220mph, they are taking a right of way that is 1/2 mile wide, establishing security fencing, cameras, constructing improved roads on each side, and armed rapid response teams to prevent sabotage. 800 miles of track at 1/2 mile wide is 400 square miles of fertile Central Valley farmland (some of the most productive in the world) for this stupid train.


Trains are neither smart nor stupid. They are simply machines. The problem in California isn't the low IQ of the train but the stupidity of the politicians and their political appointees who are running things and making poor decisions.

The politicians in California don't seem to have noticed that California is ALREADY criss crossed with railroad tracks and railway right-of-ways. It would've made a lot more sense (and been a lot simpler and cheaper) to upgrade one of the existing tracks to accomodate HSR instead of building an entirely new route.

But Californians politicians are stupid and they selected a stupid HSR design. And Californians have voted for the Ds to have total control over California. By creating what is basically now a "one party" state, there is no real opposition to the D politicians who have destroyed what was once the nations best public school system and turned it into the worst in the nation. The state is right on the Pacific Ocean and should have the best air quality in the world, but it has the worst air quality and worst traffic in the US. And now these same politicians are designing a HSR network? No wonder if it turns out to be the worst ever as well. This is the kind of things that happens when the "loyal opposition" lacks any power at all and a state is ruled by one party....that one party can go "off the rails" and force through some pretty stupid stuff, without any real chance of "derailing" it.

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Re: Tourists are Killing the Planet

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Mon 14 May 2018, 14:52:33

Tanada, you published a chart from Europe, judging by the passenger-km metric.

I understand the frustration, but like it or not, the population density and distribution in this rather large country of ours is different from most others. Likewise the legacy transport infrastructure we have is different, because it needs to be different.

But I firmly believe that the long range travel sector does now and will continue to belong to jets in this country. The short range, commuter trains, buses, etc. that we have are very inefficient, outside of densely populated urban areas that more closely resemble Europe and Asia. It's not a matter of technology or design, it is more a matter of poor choices by politicians at state and local levels, and a failure to recognize that the travel corredors do not include downtown areas in any city, and that mass transit is NOT going to re-vitalize a dying urban environment.

Something has to pop here in California, all our major cities - and Silicon Valley - are choked with cars and the air is a sickly yellow-brown. The sollution I like is telecommuting from home.
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Re: Tourists are Killing the Planet

Unread postby Outcast_Searcher » Mon 14 May 2018, 16:16:42

KaiserJeep wrote:Something has to pop here in California, all our major cities - and Silicon Valley - are choked with cars and the air is a sickly yellow-brown. The sollution I like is telecommuting from home.

It would be great, if that were practical for most people -- or supported by far more companies.

The problem is that, at least in the US, even for jobs such as in IT where telecommuting would make tremendous sense, companies have been trending back toward forcing people to come into central locations so they can "work together". For some companies, like HP, part of this seems to be an excuse to get rid of people. (If they aribitrarily make workers with a long tenure move thousands of miles by changing the mission of a data center, lots will leave.) For others, they had a badly supervised work at home program, and have management with little clue what people actually do in IT. Thus, when the work at home program doesn't work well for some indiciduals, it's easier to get rid of the program than force management to have more skills than, say, marketing. I'll give IBM as an example of that, personally witnessing various examples of those issues there.

I think that unless there is the right regulation or incentives, like tax credits -- you won't get companies to help much with telecommuting. And every time a suggestion is made to use government incentives to help solve a problem, even if it would greatly help society overall, you get the predictable cries of "foul" from those against government at every turn.
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Re: Tourists are Killing the Planet

Unread postby Newfie » Tue 15 May 2018, 06:45:32

Carnival Cruise Line has provided the media with its new Fleet Operations Center (FOC) in Miami, the largest and most advanced in the cruise industry.

The 35,000-square-foot facility is custom-designed for hands-on, around-the-clock monitoring and support of the line’s 26 cruise ships.

“The Carnival Cruise Line FOC is the first facility of its kind in South Florida and features a state-of-the-art tracking and data-analysis platform that enables real-time information sharing between Carnival ships and specialized shoreside teams designed to support fleet operations,” the cruise line said in a statement.

Read more here

http://gcaptain.com/carnival-cruise-lin ... -in-miami/
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Re: Tourists are Killing the Planet

Unread postby Tanada » Tue 22 May 2018, 08:30:00

Ibon wrote:I have mentioned in the past that humans do not handle abundance well since nature always historically set the limit and we never had any real cultural or biological mechanisms in place for self regulation of consumption in times of abundance. And once we achieved extended abundance during the fossil fuel age we have proven to be miserable at any significant type of self regulation.

And so we can see how consumption in modern civilization goes through this cycle where once you lift out of poverty you recklessly ramp up consumption. This happened in America in the 20th century, happening to China today.


Ibon I just heard about the Costa Rica astro tour in March 2019 and I was wondering if your resort is a part of it?
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Re: Tourists are Killing the Planet

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Tue 22 May 2018, 09:55:01

Mt. Totumas is not in Costa Rica, it's one country South in Panama.
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Re: Tourists are Killing the Planet

Unread postby Newfie » Tue 22 May 2018, 13:48:08

Just to loop back a bit to the discussion about trains above; it is really confused because folks don’t have a clear understanding of the various definitions and modes.

AMTRAK is really two distinct systems. There is the NE Corridor where AMTRAK actually owns and operates much of the infrastructure. The NEC is mostly business traffic and is in direct competition with short haul air. But in the rest of the country AMTRAK is just leading the track it runs on. This part is really a heavily subsidized heavy rail system for tourists, mostly.

Heavy rail commuter is basically old railroad ROW being used to haul commuters using traditional freight railroad type infrastructure. This and ANTRAK are regulated by the FRA which has strong hands on oversight and strict penalties.

Then ther is heavy COMMUTER rail such as DC Meteo and NYCT systems. These usually have a dedicated ROW,

Then there is light rail like trollies; think Portland and Houston. Typically they have shared ROW.

Then there are his systems. And some various hybrids.

Then there are people movers. Think Oreland or Chicago OHare systems.

These latter systems are TTA deflated, which is to say regulation is pushed off to a state or regional authority which is usually inept and often farms out significant oversight roles. If you don’t believe me star back about 20-25 years ago and look various safety and accident reports on the DC Metro which repeatedly call it to task for its lack of safety culture and numerous accidents.
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Re: Tourists are Killing the Planet

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Tue 22 May 2018, 14:34:57

I understand the role of traditional railroads in the transport of heavy freight. But we cannot replace personal cars with trains and buses of any design that consume more energy than the vehicles they replace. I have not seen anybody make an argument that I believe that American style distributed suburbs and secondary roads can be replaced with mass transit.

Most such arguments seem to start with an erroneous premise that in some other country with a different population density, other solutions work better. If you want to convince me that the actual measured energy consumption in the two charts I posted are somehow in error, then do so with valid arguments. Would you PLEASE address the USA conditions, and not China, Japan, or Europe.

No, I didn't investigate the numbers behind those charts in detail. But I had a personal interest in the Santa Clara VTA study that concluded in 2015, and I was severely disappointed and surprised that we continue to have trains and buses that are 100% powered by petroleum diesel fuels and (mostly) FF-derived grid energy in this high technology center. But they did do those numbers correctly, and they reached the correct answer. Which means that I have to move away from this unhealthy place.

Unfortunately, the choices I have are Wisconsin and Nantucket, both places where coal fuelled power plants reighn supreme. I might escape the worst of it in Wisconsin if I snuggle up to a nuclear plant that scares many people. But in Nantucket, I'll probably - judging by the stories in the local paper - have an uphill battle just to replace my 20+ year old oil burner with solar or wind power. I'll be a year round resident in Nantucket is the plan, and a tourist in Wisconsin.
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