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neroden

Amtrak needs to start relocating facilities.

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2 hours ago, neroden said:

Well, either that (relocating), or consider elevated platforms, similar to those of the Shinkansen and/or other HSR type trains. I know that's not the primary reason that those HSR trains have elevated platforms (mostly to optimize speed by eliminating sharp curves, at grade crossings, etc. as well as other "right of way" acquisition issues, etc.), but  I'd think it would also help with the "sea level" issue as well, while allowing the rail line to keep the coastal views, etc.

Edited by AutoTrDvr

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Interestingly, that article seems to indicate that Gardner and Amtrak management's current position is " we don't really want to talk about it. We don't have the means to plan anything. We will just bungle along like we do with everything else and hope that those around us that will be affected will solve everything" - or something along those lines.

Edited by jis

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Yeah, that's not much of a response, is it.

Amtrak was already developing a flood-safe backup location for CNOOC; they should really just turn that into the permanent location and develop *another* backup location.

The engineer training center should just be moved.

The tracks are a much harder problem, obviously.

Gardner could have given some sort of reasonable answer, like "We are considering the flood risk in all our actions, and attempting to relocate infrastructure as funding is available, but we could certainly use a lot more funding from Congress for this"... but he didn't.

 

If Amtrak doesn't have the means to plan anything, I volunteer to do all the planning for free.  I mean, seriously, planning *doesn't actually cost money directly*.  It costs executive attention and time.  Executing the plan costs money but planning doesn't.  I could probably have a plan for relocating the engineer training center within three months; just let me interview enough people to figure out the required specs.

Edited by neroden

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12 hours ago, neroden said:

Sigh. Global warming and rising sea levels are very real and the consequences are being seen NOW. As someone who (hopefully) will be alive for several more decades and will therefore see the real long term effects of this, I am pretty freaked out. :(

Edited by cpotisch

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On 12/20/2018 at 7:07 PM, cpotisch said:

Sigh. Global warming and rising sea levels are very real and the consequences are being seen NOW. As someone who (hopefully) will be alive for several more decades and will therefore see the real long term effects of this, I am pretty freaked out. :(

As they say in the Alt-Universe, "Fake News!"

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On 12/20/2018 at 5:07 PM, cpotisch said:

Sigh. Global warming and rising sea levels are very real and the consequences are being seen NOW. As someone who (hopefully) will be alive for several more decades and will therefore see the real long term effects of this, I am pretty freaked out. :(

It's a pretty interesting time to be alive, all right. I am sure you are doing what you can to lower your "carbon footprint," as I know I am.

I would like to live long enough to see how it turns out, but I don't expect it to be enjoyable.

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Sea level rise is an issue that needs to be addressed, but the sea level has been rising since the end of the Little Ice Age by about 0.8"/20mm per decade. This isn't going to be a huge issue anywhere outside of Bangladesh and some of the smaller island nations in the next decade. I think we can plan to accommodate a 2mm per year increase in sea level since we have been been doing so successfully for over a century. Look at the London Tidal Barrier.

  It appears that in the last 20 to 30 years that sea level rise has accelerated to around 1.2"/30mm per decade.  We can keep ahead of an increase of 1.5"/38mm per decade pretty easily. If it accelerates to 2"/50mm per decade it will be a bit tougher to deal with.

But given the utter incompetence of the predictions regarding the temperature impact of increasing CO2 levels over the past 40 years, it seems highly unlikely that this time the same groups will be right about how fast and how disastrous sea level rise problems will be. We have been 10 years from the global warming cataclysm for 40 years. Odd how the cataclysm keeps moving to the right...

Any areas that are currently close to problematic during storm surges should receive funding for weather defense engineering over the next 10 to 20 years. It isn't like it is going to rise more than a couple of inches every 10 years.

 

https://royalsociety.org/topics-policy/projects/climate-change-evidence-causes/question-14/

Edited by Ziv

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I expect my house in Florida, which is 45' above MSL will be around for a long time past the end of this century. I don't think Amtrak really needs to move much for the time being. I think Amtrak facilities will outlast Amtrak as we know it, without going under the sea. It does need to take some mitigating action in select locations, like has been done post-Sandy, but way short of moving facilities.

As usual the truth lies somewhere between the extreme positions on both sides. And we have heard from both extreme tending positions in this thread already. And each can quote a plethora of "experts" to support their position.

 

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31 minutes ago, jis said:

As usual the truth lies somewhere between the extreme positions on both sides. 

That’s pretty much how I see it.   

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Truth is what it is, and is not governed by any law of averages. (Unless you're asking for a truthful answer to "what's the average of numbers A, B, C, and D." :) ) Sometimes it's an outlier on a bell curve.

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Yup. And there is no way of knowing it for sure until it is upon us. Also a probability curve shape depends on what input was used to create the model.

 

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33 minutes ago, tricia said:

Truth is what it is, and is not governed by any law of averages. (Unless you're asking for a truthful answer to "what's the average of numbers A, B, C, and D." :) ) Sometimes it's an outlier on a bell curve.

Agreed.  It's also axiomatic that the actual truth is more likely to be discovered by someone who is not an extremist.  

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Just now, VTTrain said:

Agreed.  It's also axiomatic that the actual truth is more likely to be discovered by someone who is not an extremist.  

Historically, there have been many important exceptions to your "axiom." Truth is not always convenient, nor is it obligated to be found in the middle of the road. If you allow your thinking to be ruled by averages, you'll be wrong (or at least not exactly right) most of the time.

Sometimes an "extremist" is right. Especially if "extreme" is being defined, or asserted as a slur, by ideology or politics.

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37 minutes ago, tricia said:

Historically, there have been many important exceptions to your "axiom." Truth is not always convenient, nor is it obligated to be found in the middle of the road. If you allow your thinking to be ruled by averages, you'll be wrong (or at least not exactly right) most of the time.

Sometimes an "extremist" is right. Especially if "extreme" is being defined, or asserted as a slur, by ideology or politics.

Please go back and read what I have actually written, and not what you want me to have written.  I said, "the actual truth is more likely to be discovered by someone who is not an extremist."

Sure, there have been instances where an extremist is right.  But my statement is a true statement.

For the record, there are extremists on BOTH sides of this issue.

Edited by VTTrain

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38 minutes ago, VTTrain said:

I said, "the actual truth is more likely to be discovered by someone who is not an extremist." Sure, there have been instances where an extremist is right.  But my statement is a true statement. For the record, there are extremists on BOTH sides of this issue.

The two remaining sides to this issue are the US and the rest of the world.  One of these sides is busy researching and reacting to scientific evidence while the other side is busy ignoring and defunding anything that might contradict their ideology.

On 1/11/2019 at 6:17 PM, VTTrain said:

Please read what I have actually said and not what you WANT me to have said. 

&

38 minutes ago, VTTrain said:

Please go back and read what I have actually written, and not what you want me to have written.

Please go back and think of a new catch phrase.  Your posts are becoming awfully predictable at this point.

Edited by Devil's Advocate

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13 minutes ago, Devil's Advocate said:

The two remaining sides to this issue are the US and the rest of the world.  One of these sides is busy researching and reacting to scientific evidence while the other side is busy ignoring and defunding anything that might contradict their ideology.

That not at all what I was referring to.  I was referring to researchers themselves.  On both sides you have researchers that are taking an extreme position.  That is just a fact.  The consensus among non-extremists is that mankind is contributing to global warming.  Our models are limited in their ability to accurately predict long-term changes, but there is no question that we are contributing to that change and that this results in a warmer planet.  

To get us off of the subjective political discussion that you inserted, here are objective facts.  The United States is leading Europe in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.  Greenhouse gas emissions have fallen 12 percent from 2005 to 2016. By 2020, emissions are expected to fall between 15 percent and 17 percent compared with 2005 levels.  Compare that to the latest Eurostat report which shows that European carbon emissions have increased by 1.8%.  China saw its emissions increase by 3.4%.  I'd like to see the United States change its policies, but, personally, I'd rather have a hypocrite who is reducing carbon emissions than a hypocrite who is increasing carbon emissions.  It's definitely the lesser of two evils, though.

Edited by VTTrain

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17 minutes ago, VTTrain said:

That not at all what I was referring to.  I was referring to researchers themselves.  On both sides you have researchers that are taking an extreme position.  That is just a fact. 

If it's a fact then by all means present your undeniable evidence of such.  Otherwise it's just false equivalency masquerading as fact.

 

17 minutes ago, VTTrain said:

To get us off of the subjective political discussion that you inserted, here are objective facts.  The United States is leading Europe in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.  Greenhouse gas emissions have fallen 12 percent from 2005 to 2016. By 2020, emissions are expected to fall between 15 percent and 17 percent compared with 2005 levels.  Compare that to the latest Eurostat report which shows that European carbon emissions have increased by 1.8%.  China saw its emissions increase by 3.4%.  I'd like to see the United States change its policies, but, personally, I'd rather have a hypocrite who is reducing carbon emissions than a hypocrite who is increasing carbon emissions.  It's definitely the lesser of two evils, though.

Total greenhouse gas emissions are increasing around the world, including here in the US.  The time to avert catastrophe has already passed.  Now it's just a matter of severity and duration.

CarbonEmissions2018.thumb.jpg.4b295bd9d0fa0bc2115077d9ef1cefe1.jpg

Link 1: https://www.washingtonpost.com/energy-environment/2018/12/05/we-are-trouble-global-carbon-emissions-reached-new-record-high/

Link 2: https://wapo.st/2Fd4FM3?tid=ss_mail&utm_term=.00bc78570177

Edited by Devil's Advocate

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You seem to be arguing for the sake of arguing.  I agree with you that action needs to be taken to combat global warming.  I made that clear in my post.  

If you don't believe that there are extremists on both sides, that's fine.  I don't want to get into a debate on this matter.  We can just agree to disagree.

 

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54 minutes ago, Devil's Advocate said:

The two remaining sides to this issue are the US and the rest of the world.  One of these sides is busy researching and reacting to scientific evidence while the other side is busy ignoring and defunding anything that might contradict their ideology.

The ironic thing about this issue is that the US government is loudly saying they won't be a part of the treaty. But it is the only G-7 nation that is anywhere close to meeting the CO2 emission reductions that the treaty calls for.  And it wasn't mainly due to renewables, it is due to switching from coal to natural gas at many of our electrical generation plants. If we really wanted to reduce CO2 emissions, we ought to be building more nuclear power plants, as well as more wind generation. But switching to natural gas instead of coal is a pretty good first step.

" Between 2005 and 2017, U.S. carbon dioxide emissions fell by 12.4% on an absolute basis and by 19.9% on a per capita basis. "

https://www.forbes.com/sites/rrapier/2017/10/24/yes-the-u-s-leads-all-countries-in-reducing-carbon-emissions/#5327fb135355

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1 hour ago, Ziv said:

The ironic thing about this issue is that the US government is loudly saying they won't be a part of the treaty. But it is the only G-7 nation that is anywhere close to meeting the CO2 emission reductions that the treaty calls for.  And it wasn't mainly due to renewables, it is due to switching from coal to natural gas at many of our electrical generation plants. If we really wanted to reduce CO2 emissions, we ought to be building more nuclear power plants, as well as more wind generation. But switching to natural gas instead of coal is a pretty good first step. 

Once upon a time the US was on target to meeting our emissions goals but in 2018 we reversed course back toward higher emissions.  Commercial scale nuclear power plants cost more money and take longer to build than virtually any other form of commercially viable energy generation..  Not to mention that the need for safe and protected nuclear waste disposal will outlive our current estimates of global warming by millions of years.

From Link #2 above...

USCO2Emissions2018.thumb.jpg.4185b75240d6ed5dab0cf5d7ed829ac3.jpg

Edited by Devil's Advocate

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More gas, less coal. We are on the right path with that part of the equation. And we need to keep growing the wind and solar contribution.

But if we really want to reduce our CO2 emissions, nuclear power is the best form of base load out there. Nuclear power plants cost so much in part due to the lawfare used to try to keep them from opening. Waste disposal is a red herring. A single waste disposal site would be able to handle any radioactive waste generated but again, the anti-nuke groups have made it nearly impossible to achieve. If we really want to reduce our CO2 emissions, a strong and growing nuclear power industry would be a huge help. Natural gas would be cheaper, but it is still going to emit a lot of CO2. Renewables are great, but you really need a solid base load energy source.

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2 hours ago, VTTrain said:

You seem to be arguing for the sake of arguing.  I agree with you that action needs to be taken to combat global warming.  I made that clear in my post.  

If you don't believe that there are extremists on both sides, that's fine.  I don't want to get into a debate on this matter.  We can just agree to disagree.

 

The vast majority (within a few points of 100%) of scientists doing research on the subject agree that anthropogenic climate change is real, and is a serious problem. The voices of the tiny minority who disagree have been amplified (and in at least some cases funded) by corporations whose business plans rely on continued burning of fossil fuels, and by the ideologues they fund. Calling the vast majority of scientists "extremists" because they disagree with an extreme and knowingly dishonest position staked out by corporate shills is ludicrous.

Getting back to Amtrak: Tracks ending up under water as sea level rises might or might not be a problem. Extreme weather events, caused or exacerbated by changing climate, are certainly something Amtrak ought to be looking to prepare for. Just as the US military is doing. And just as large corporations with large stakes in this are doing--even corporations that are funding climate change denial.

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25 minutes ago, tricia said:

Calling the vast majority of scientists "extremists" because they disagree with an extreme and knowingly dishonest position staked out by corporate shills is ludicrous.

Okay, now I am reduced to begging.  Please read what I have I actually written - because it is not even close to what you think I wrote.  I challenge you to find a single instance of my saying the part of your quote that is in bold.  

What I actually said was that you have "extremists on both sides of the issue."  This was true when I said it, and it is true now.  Just about every anthropogenic climate change denier is an extremist by virtue of their failure to recognize overwhelming scientific consensus.  A small percentage of anthropogenic climate change believers are extremists.  They are the ones who are known for patently absurd claims and fear mongering.  So, it is true, therefore, that you have extremists on both sides of the issue.

The extremists on the "believer" side, when their absurd predictions and claims don't come true, give ammunition to the deniers, so this is not a trivial matter.  

Again, please don't read more into what I have said than what I actually say.  

Edited by VTTrain

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