The backs of my hands are covered with freckles from the decades they spent at 10 o’ clock and 2 o’ clock on the steering wheels of cars in very sunny places. When I was in California last month visiting family and friends, they got even more fried, as I covered over 800 miles in my little red Kia rental. My carbon footprint was more like a carbon stomp all over the southern part of the state… I admit it.
One of the problems, as you know, is that Americans don’t have the luxurious, efficient and environmentally friendly public transport options the French do. They’ll never kick their driving habit till they do. I can get to the south of France (about 410 miles) in the TGV bullet train in half the time it would take me to drive from San Diego to San Francisco (about 460 miles), a drive I’ve made a lot in my day. And then you factor in the comfort and the fact that you can stay on the ground (which I’d much prefer to do). I say yes to trains.
You may have heard that Obama wants you to have nice fast trains in the States too. Here’s the map of the administration’s vision for high-speed rail. That San Diego-to-San Francisco leg is very appealing to me.
But they’re not built yet. Obama has some pretty ideas, but his performance is less than stellar in other areas. Not attending the racism conference, not prosecuting the torturers (although Holder is now considering prosecuting those in the Bush administration who OKd the torture, but like the trains, it hasn’t happened yet), leaving Bush’s domestic spying program in place, pouring money into the hands of the greedy bastards who got us into this economic mess, and refusing to entertain the notion that putting band-aids on the free market system might not be the answer. To name a few.
He’s looking like kind of a pussy, in fact. Let’s hope he finds the balls he’s apparently misplaced.