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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Proposal for CA high speed rail flawed - why?

California does not need high speed rail. It is simply a big MASSIVE FED/ STATE Spending boondoogle which may temporarily put to work 10,000-20,000 highly paid union construction workers( most of the work will be done by digging/other earth mover equipment). After that rail system is completed and the jobs are drastically reduced, say the proposed line from LA to San Francisco, there will not be much demand for the service at normal free-market rail rates.
There is not much demand in CA for rail service anywhere in CA. Amtrak trains are little-used in CA, as is the Greyhound buses. CA folks are wedded to their cars and simply will not take the time, planning, and effort to take a bus or their autos to the rail station at union station in LA, have the cars kept there in a paid garage or fee parking lot, and hop on a train to Frisco. Unless it is deeply discounted at gov-subsidized rates. Therefore if the public is only beguiled into taking these high speed trains by subsided cheap rates then these rails will end up being public financial disasters and money-losing drains upon the taxpayers.
I know for a fact that the money-losing heavily subsidized Amtrak railways are rarely used here in LA/SoCal due to folks here being addicted to their cars. I have only used Amtrak 2-3 times in my 45 years here in los Angeles. Why? I like my auto as it is quick, convenient, and as long as gas is priced at under 3.00-3.50/gal it is reasonably priced transport to go anywhere in CA.
Only if gas prices shoot up to $4-5.00/gal, and even approach the rates paid by Europeans, and stay there for a long time you may see a dramatic shift in demand for Local, regional, and interstate rail service. LA has a halfway-decent network Of CITY METRO RAIL BUT MOST FOLK DO NOT USE THEM. THEY ARE ONLY USED BY POOR INNER CITY PPL/RECENT IMMIGRANTS, TEENS, AND BY A VERY FEW MIDDLE CLASS COMMUTERS. I live a 20 minite walk from the blue line metro station(long Beach to DTWN Los Angeles) but have only used it 10 times in my life(5 of those times my truck was in the shop).
I simply prefer the ease and convenience of getting into my pickup and swiftly traveling anywhere in SoCal, using the famous(and often jammed) SoCal freeway arteries, and being able to go directly to my destination. And i am not alone. Every SoCal household has 2-4 autos, perhaps one for every family member, and this fact means that CA rail service, at least from a SoCAL standpoint, will never be popular.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Beach parking lot being given back to the ocean in Ventura | L.A. NOW | Los Angeles Times

Beach parking lot being given back to the ocean in Ventura | L.A. NOW | Los Angeles Times

I am responding to an article posted in LA Times Sunday on the Pacific Ocean inundating/taking back beach/shoreline structures in the coastal city of Ventura, located 50 miles NW of LA. The writer is using this article to shill for the global warming alarmists/rising sea calamity doomsayers, which despite the collapse of the 'CAGW is all due to man-caused CO2 levels in the air calamity theory' are still out in force purveying their psuedo-science fallacies of the imminent global inundation of our cities by a 100 ft '2012/day after tomorrow' horrifying tsunami wall of water inundating New York & los Angeles:

Here's the problem. Folks in CA insist upon building parking structures, bikepaths, homes, highways right at waters edge. Highway 1/ PCH often winds along the coast at stones throw of CA coastal beaches/rocky headlands. Why? Because CA PPL want to enjoy California's world famous beaches/coastal scenic vistas from the vantage point of their cars, a lazy way to see the coasts. Same with building highways thru wilderness park/forests/ mt areas. It is for the PPL to tour the mts the lazy way, from their autos.
If natures erodes or washes away streets and other shoreside infrastructures built so close to the shoreline that is man's fault. Do not blame it on global warming/ rising sea level or other pseudo-science BS. Maybe we need to let the ocean take back the CA shore, bit by bit. If private multi-million $ beach /bluffside homes are threatened that is their problem: they will either protect their precious parcels with sand berms/seawalls/sandbags, or give up their parcels to the sea and nature.

The picture you see of deteriorated Ventura shoreside public infrastructures is partly due to the BK-broke status of CA state & municipal gov'ts. It takes huge amts of public $/public funding to shore up/maintain seaside recreational structures such as public parking, seawalls, piers, roads, ect. I see parts of Alamitos bay & belmont shore - Long beach's aquatic watersports/boating mecca- being eroded & neglected due in part to the dire fiscal straights of the Local/State gov'ts. Seawalls, roads, berms, pavement, BBQ pits, ect., are chipped, rutted w potholes, even revealing popped- out iron rods. The state public parks are little better; Bolsa Chica State Beach is kept withered and unirrigated in large parts, though it does receive basic minimal maintenance(bathrooms are regularly cleaned) from its reduced park service staff.

The picture reveals the stark nature of CAs' dire fiscal condition-the deterioration/neglect of public parks shoreside infrastructures , particulartly in the less well- off areas like Ventura.

I frequent the Long Beach and Huntington Beach coasts and if there was alarming global warming-caused rise in sea levels the 5000-5500 block of Ocean Ave & pennisula in East LB Alamitos Bay would be frequently flooded. Huntington beach seems to be seeing an increase in sand buildup/accretion and parts of the sandy beaches are now at least 1/4 mile wide. During heavy winter storms there is severe temporary erosion but the sands only shift and are redeposited further down the beach. Seal beach/Sunset beach residents have homes right along the beach a few ft above sea level and are sometimes buffeted by winter waves but have been there for 60-80 years and will still be there for another 60-80 years. The United Nations climate science organization and most reasonable sane scientists calculate the rise in sea level, in worst case, to be 2 feet by end of this century, or over nxt 100 yrs , which assumes unprovable assumptions about global climate change and relys on questionable computer models. Even granted this 2 ft rise that is no reason for hysteria.

BTW the global warming mongers are just as motivated by greed/profits via cap & trade and getting artificial high Gov-subsidized energy rates as are the fossel fuel companies.

Here is the most recent article printed by LA Times on supposed rising sea levels dooming CA coasts unless CA and US take step to deal with global warming. Much speculative soothsayer stuff here without scientific merit