New Year Open Thread
Happy 2014 everyone!
As those of you who follow me on Twitter know, I became a dad on New Year’s Eve. My son, Ian, has not yet taken a train trip but that’s only because there was no train from the hospital to my house. I am hopeful that the LA to SF bullet train is open by the time he graduates high school in 2032. Because that trip would be a completely awesome way to celebrate. (Though I assume we’ll take trips on the segments as they open. He won’t be a stranger to passenger rail.)
Both Ian and his mom are doing well. He came a couple of days early, which means I did not get a chance to write my 2014 year ahead post. I hope to have that up by the weekend. But I am also entering the wonderful world of sleep deprivation, so we’ll see how that goes.
On that note, if anyone wants to contribute guest posts for the blog, let me know, my email is my last name at gmail. I was hoping to produce more posts each month in 2014 but obviously I may be producing less, at least initially.
Finally, I am going to be completely self-indulgent for a moment. The reason I care about HSR at all is because we have to build things like it if we are going to have a better future for people like my son. The 20th century did a lot of damage to our planet, our economy, and our society, particularly in its oil dependence. We now know, without a doubt, that we cannot have prosperity or a livable environment without getting off of oil. High speed rail alone won’t solve the problems of oil dependence or carbon emissions. But it IS a big part of the solution and can help enable other solutions too, as it is part of the task of building a transportation system that does not rely on oil.
I support HSR, and write about it, because I know it’s one of the things we must have if we’re going to have a better future. And I can’t imagine sacrificing that future – his future – just because of concerns about present day costs and disruptions. Readers know I was never shy about fighting back against those who want to sacrifice our future so they can have a little more convenience today. I promise I won’t use my son as justification for why HSR must be built, at least not aside from this one single indulgent post. But he will be in my mind as I think about this project and continue to work to get it built.
OK, time to catch up on sleep.