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PZ Myers hung out with 5 people. <a class='ot-hashtag' href=''>#hangoutsonair</a>Esteleth Squidly, Michael Busch, Erik Abretske, Michael Boys, and Steve Watson
Earth Day: Atheism+Environmentalism
PZ Myers and 5 others participated
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High speed rail requires a high population density to sustain them financially AFIK.  Doable in the populous east perhaps, the spacious middle states and places like Canada and Australia, not so much.
If you have a high population density, it is very hard for the trains to get up to speed.
A point that I would make is that religion is often rooted in social ills such as poverty and inequality, and that as such it might even be better to approach things from the opposite end, and tackle those issues first.
Fair point Alan.  I wish I could find the article I read on it, I might well be misremembering.
+Fossil Fishy : To give an already-current example: the Shinkansen covers a distance comparable to LA <-> Seattle.

High-speed rail proposals for Canada have focused on the Quebec City - Windsor corridor, where the population density is high enough to make it worthwhile.  Covers just about 50% of the Canadian population, and ties nicely into US destinations.

Similarly, Australian proposals are for Melbourne <-> Canberra <-> Sydney <-> Brisbane, where high-speed rail lines would be short enough to be comparable in terms of travel time to air travel.  Again, this covers about 50% of the population of the country.

Plans I have seen for a US-spanning network relied on individual links that were less than 1100 km or so in length, for similar reasons.  The lines would be widely different in traffic - New York to DC is already very high, with Acela as limited as it is right now.  Denver to Kansas City would be lower traffic, but was still proposed as worthwhile. Montana, Wyoming, and the Dakotas were left out - although in one layout there was an option on extending the line from Minneapolis north to Winnipeg via Fargo (it's not clear to me that there is enough of a market there).  And longer trips would still sometimes be worthwhile to do by rail: how would a 12-hour overnight sleeper car from LA to DC compare to 5 hours in a coach-class airplane seat with a couple of hours in the airport on each end?

The idea is not to replace air and road traffic entirely, but to transfer over as much traffic as possible to clean electric rail.  Europe and Japan have both done well in this regard.
I voted "no". But the "yes" people are ahead. Yes, this poll needs to be Pharyngulated.
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