Thursday, July 07, 2005

Coordinated Bombings in London (transit future)

Flipping on the local news this morning to get my weather check before biking to work was a bad idea. I learned about the bombings in London, nothing more.

I listened to talk radio channel 680 WRKO's hate-filled rhetoric this morning as I showered, just to hear what the right leaning side of the equation would say. It was the typical tough line thought, with a caller referring to the terrorists that were assumed to have planned the attacks as cowards. One reason they are cowards, she said, is because they wear towels on their heads. That's incisive.

They referred to religious zealotry, cultural wars, etc. The root of the problem is global inequality. "It's the economy, stupid."

I can not help but think that the attacks in London's Tube will have a detrimental effect on the future of public transportation in the US and elsewhere. I can easily envision the continued attack on rail systems. Amtrak's funding has been cut, and I can easily see attacks on continued "subsidies" for public transportation launched in the ensuing weeks. The anti-transit lobbies may wait a while for the smoke to clear.

I suppose this means more people will drive. Of course, that could be a bad thing according to the Mobility 2030 study published in mid 2004 by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development.

Imagine; the attack serves to raise doubts in the minds of British citizens about their support of the United States in Iraq. Debates rage, arguments in local pubs escalate, they distance themselves from the US. A few well timed attacks over the next few years weakens the G-8. They retreat to protectionist policies, protecting themselves with trade barriers and political battles.

Is this pessimistic? It could just be one of many predictions that are either wrong or right.

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