Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Interesting contrast

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China really does seem to be investing for the future—lots of money going into green technology, and now, reported by Keith Bradsher in the NY Times, they are building 42 high-speed rail lines. (The US is working on one, which won’t be ready until 2014, two years after the Chinese complete their 42.) Of course, China has much more money to work with, while the US has pissed its money away in tax cuts and avoidable wars—plus we lavish money on the military, totally beyond the bounds of any reasonable cost/risk ratio.

The story:

The world’s largest human migration — the annual crush of Chinese traveling home to celebrate the Lunar New Year, which is this Sunday — is going a little faster this time thanks to a new high-speed rail line.

The Chinese bullet train, which has the world’s fastest average speed, connects Guangzhou, the southern coastal manufacturing center, to Wuhan, deep in the interior. In a little more than three hours, it travels 664 miles, comparable to the distance from Boston to southern Virginia. That is less time than Amtrak’s fastest train, the Acela, takes to go from Boston just to New York.

Even more impressive, the Guangzhou-to-Wuhan train is just one of 42 high-speed lines recently opened or set to open by 2012 in China. By comparison, the United States hopes to build its first high-speed rail line by 2014, an 84-mile route linking Tampa and Orlando, Fla.

Speaking at that site last month, President Obama warned that the United States was falling behind Asia and Europe in high-speed rail construction and other clean energy industries. “Other countries aren’t waiting,” he said. “They want those jobs. China wants those jobs. Germany wants those jobs. They are going after them hard, making the investments required.”

Indeed, the web of superfast trains promises to make China even more economically competitive, connecting this vast country — roughly the same size as the United States — as never before, much as the building of the Interstate highway system increased productivity and reduced costs in America a half-century ago.

As China upgrades and expands its rail system, it creates …

Continue reading. It really does seem as though the US’s "get up and go" has got up and went.

Written by LeisureGuy

12 February 2010 at 3:06 pm

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