Planet Gore

Planes, Trains and Automobiles

Britblogger Guido Fawkes delights in blowing up the sacred symbols of establishment. Here he presents data that strongly suggest that one of the sacred cows of green environmentalism, mass public transport, symbolized by the train, is less “clean” in terms of emissions than the average car trip, particularly when the trains aren’t fully loaded. As Guido puts it:

Trains are heavy, get their energy inefficently down wires where much of the energy is lost and are fundamentally a nineteenth century point-to-point technology belonging to a slower era. Cars are light, fuel efficient, and a liberating, flexible form of transport suited to modern life. Greens hate them so much because they are ideologically opposed to capitalist modes of consumption.

I’m not sure if Professor Kemp also included the emissions involved in getting to and from the rail station in his calculation. Given that those additional trips will almost certainly utilize an internal combustion engine, taking the train rather than driving direct may be even more emissions-inefficient than Prof Kemp suggests.


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