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Pitch

Sustainability is to continue. Current technology is proving to be self-destructive, possibly suicidal. Change is the only viable solution.


Description

Summary

To supplement and ultimately replace the US interstate highway system with linear motors.

There are many projects along a similar vein, too numerous to mention here, yet the ones I've seen differ from this one in the support for the existing crumbling infrastructure. This proposal requires an entirely new, energy efficient, fast, safe form of individual transportation infrastructure.

Opposition will be fierce. Oil companies, automobile manufacturers, airlines, insurance companies and many others will fight this proposal as any living entity would do when threatened. The US economy with the exception of the defense related industries would need to be reorganized.

Linear motors are well understood also referred to as mag/lev or magnetic-levitation, based on Coulomb's law. Several countries around the world have developed relatively short distance working models in the form of trains, proving large masses can be moved at high speeds.

Scaling down the vehicle for personal use while scaling up the distances and destinations available for the user. It would work something like this: Enter a vehicle at a terminus, select your destination, the network chooses the most efficient route, you sit back and enjoy the ride. Traveling at speeds automobiles are incapable of, in complete safety. Operating the vehicle intoxicated would result in arriving at the wrong destination. No more rush-hour traffic, no more speeding tickets, no more falling asleep at the wheel, no more driver error traffic fatalities.

 


Category of the action

Reducing consumption


What actions do you propose?

Political upheaval.


Who will take these actions?

Everyone must be educated.


Where will these actions be taken?

A successful revamping of the US transportation infrastructure should organically reproduce itself globally.


How much will emissions be reduced or sequestered vs. business as usual levels?

Unforeseeable. How much emissions would be reduced were we to replace cars, trucks and airlines?


What are other key benefits?

Can we stop climate change? No. We're in an interglacial, climate change is an ongoing process, global warming has occurred since the end of the last ice age.

Has human action accelerated warming? Obviously debatable, most convincing arguments suggest, "Yes."


What are the proposal’s costs?

Total cost of the US interstate system construction has been approximately $425 billion (2006 USD.) 

Estimated costs of maintaining the crumbling infrastructure $1-2 trillion.

Building 78,766 km linear motor system, less than $100 billion.


Time line

The US was able to produce the interstate within 35 years because of the political will to do so. There is no shortage of labor or technology to complete a linear motor system in half the time of the original system. The ground work has already been laid.

All that is missing is the political will. We're being sold "buggy whips" when what we want and need is "George Jetson's car."


Related proposals


References