News & Blogs Major but Little-Known Supporter of Climate Denial: Freight Railroads (1 Viewer)

Hobo richard

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For nearly 30 years, America’s four biggest rail companies—which move the majority of the country’s coal—have spent millions to deny climate science and block climate policy.

The Atlantic, Dec 13, 2019

In the fight against climate change, the nation’s freight railroads have painted themselves as heroes. Rail is the “the most environmentally friendly way” to move cargo over land, says the Association of American Railroads, the industry’s trade group. The industry’s four biggest companies agree: “Railroads are essential to moving [climate] objectives forward,” says CSX Transportation, the largest railroad east of the Mississippi.

Yet for almost 30 years, the biggest players in the freight-rail industry have waged a campaign to discredit climate science and oppose almost any federal climate policy, reveals new research analyzed by The Atlantic.
The four largest American freight railroads—BNSF Railway, Norfolk Southern, Union Pacific, and CSX—have sat at the center of the climate-denial movement nearly since it began, documents and studies show. These four companies have joined or funded groups that attacked individual scientists, cast doubt on scientific consensus, and rejected reports from major scientific institutions, including the United Nations–led Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Their effort has cost at least tens of millions of dollars and outlasted individual leaders and coalitions.

It continues to this day. The four companies are members of a powerful pro-coal trade association that in 2014 called climate change a “hypothesis” and argued that carbon dioxide—the air pollutant that causes global warming—was as much as 400 times more beneficial to humanity than it was harmful.

“We can now identify railroads as an integral component of opposition to climate action,” Robert Brulle, an author of the new research and a professor of sociology and environmental science at Drexel University, told me. “There’s no doubt in my mind about that.”
 
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DoctorZ

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While I'm not against scientists studying the environment, I am definitely against the Climate Change movement and see it as one of the biggest threats to our personal freedoms. I also believe the climate change supporters are basing their findings on a false premise.

I would prefer NOT to get into a debate on this though, as I've recently been banned from another online Forum because of my views on the issue.
 

Brodiesel710

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While I'm not against scientists studying the environment, I am definitely against the Climate Change movement and see it as one of the biggest threats to our personal freedoms. I also believe the climate change supporters are basing their findings on a false premise.

I would prefer NOT to get into a debate on this though, as I've recently been banned from another online Forum because of my views on the issue.
Well you have already said too much, a topic that could ban you is a topic I want to hear about. I would love to hear your stance on the climate change movement, as I sometimes question the premise of these findings as well.
 

DoctorZ

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Well you have already said too much, a topic that could ban you is a topic I want to hear about. I would love to hear your stance on the climate change movement, as I sometimes question the premise of these findings as well.
I would think I have a little more 1st Amendment Rights on this Board than on the American Meteorological Society's Forum, where you have to be a member of the AMS to access it (yes I'm a member).

In a nut shell I challenged them on Climate Change publicly in their forum asking "What standard they are using" to determine that our climate is really changing as opposed to natural fluctuations, man-made or not?

In order to be completely accurate in their conclusions they would have to have climate data for the entire span the Earth has been around, which is not possible.

The other issue they really had a problem with is I come from a "young earth" special Creation point of view which they say is NOT science, but religion. I then pointed out that their "Theory of Evolution" is also a "Belief System" and like a religion unto itself. I said that as soon as they start talking about the earth as "millions of years old" it skews the science off. Creationists believe the Earth to only be 10,000 years old max, and also believe in the Flood of Noah, which caused the Ice Age, of which there has only been one of.

If you subscribe to the Creation (fact) theory, then any climate warming could be attributed to our planet returning to it's pre-Flood state which was tropical world-wide. This is not a bad thing.

Finally I said that Global Warming was an issue being used by Governments to oppress the masses and take away our personal freedoms. (Surprisingly other members on the AMS Forum agreed with this statement.)

That is where I got "Censored."
 

highwayman

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I think it is just one small part. Just scratching the surface & finger pointing. Climate change & global warming is about consumption & greed. We must greedily consume goods & excess first as individuals that leads to the economics involved in supporting our desire for more (at all costs). corporate greed, corruption & lobbying should be no surprise to anyone in this day in age. The fundamental & root causes start & end with each one of us human beings. I think the climate deniers will all eventually be nonentities as we race to the precipice. Survival is & will be our most important topic again. Maybe not in our lifetime but these big picture discussions must get sorted out if we plan to evolve & survive as a species. We live in a world of global trade and there are inherent costs associated with such cultures. Its long been known that airplanes then trucking burns the most fuel, ocean shipping second and the best freight moved per gallon of fuel is moved by rail. Energy from coal is cheap & yes, railroads move it but the gig will eventually be up. Imagine if clean energy were required & punishable by death. It kinda is but we do not recognize that its us as humans eventually will eventually die off. First we deny. Next we will fight. Most likely there will be suffering. Eventually humans will not survive.
Energy efficiency in transport - Wikipedia - https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Energy_efficiency_in_transport

As civilization grows further away from agricultural societies to industrial societies & moves from rural to urban areas we further perpetuate this inevitable outcome.

Goods & commodities are exploited for profit all across the globe. We are all responsible for dealing with global warming not just some big bad railroad, walmart or amazon. Sure those are easy impersonal targets where the greediest movers & shakers pervert capitalism at the highest levels. Capitalism kills! It requires profit & encourages competition while needing a steady supply of raw materials, energy, human capital and eventually the logistics part of the equation that is mentioned here. Every purchase that we make effects our common habitat and jeopardizes our species. Who wants to accept & acknowledge such an idea? Few of us, that is for sure. We want to blame arbitrary governments, industries or corporations. We should be adjusting our desires out of desperation instead of still seeking to find the culprit. We are all the culprits & we are culpable. Mining, Manufacturing, Distribution only creates the supply of that which the market demands. we are the market, you & I & the rest of them.

I trust that the law of supply & demand could itself right the damages of past wrongs if we could ever adjust our desires. Natural commodities that are truly important to our survival like habitat from a healthy atmosphere and water & food should be most important to us as individuals that is shared by the majority of humanity but it isn't. We want cheap big screen TVs with 2 day shipping. We want $1 burgers. We seek excess to create more waste & pollution instead of utilizing that which is local. Capitalism requires profit at all costs. It will cause endless wars with unknown enemies while stockpiling a growing & competing military industrial complex. Our priorities as humans need to shift & I fear that only out of desperation & extinction will we finally grasp the gravity of what sacrifices we all need to make in our daily lives to ensure our species survives.

The doomsday clock edges closer to midnight. it won'y really matter if human life ends within days/months/years of nuclear war or decades from the effects of global warming or other slow moving extinction causing crisis. For the here & now, especially to many of us who travel by freight train here at STP, we need railroads moving to travel. We need the $1 burger to eat etc. Many of the worlds poorest, contribute to the problem the least yet will suffer the worst of the consequences.

 
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Brodiesel710

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I would think I have a little more 1st Amendment Rights on this Board than on the American Meteorological Society's Forum, where you have to be a member of the AMS to access it (yes I'm a member).

In a nut shell I challenged them on Climate Change publicly in their forum asking "What standard they are using" to determine that our climate is really changing as opposed to natural fluctuations, man-made or not?

In order to be completely accurate in their conclusions they would have to have climate data for the entire span the Earth has been around, which is not possible.

The other issue they really had a problem with is I come from a "young earth" special Creation point of view which they say is NOT science, but religion. I then pointed out that their "Theory of Evolution" is also a "Belief System" and like a religion unto itself. I said that as soon as they start talking about the earth as "millions of years old" it skews the science off. Creationists believe the Earth to only be 10,000 years old max, and also believe in the Flood of Noah, which caused the Ice Age, of which there has only been one of.

If you subscribe to the Creation (fact) theory, then any climate warming could be attributed to our planet returning to it's pre-Flood state which was tropical world-wide. This is not a bad thing.

Finally I said that Global Warming was an issue being used by Governments to oppress the masses and take away our personal freedoms. (Surprisingly other members on the AMS Forum agreed with this statement.)

That is where I got "Censored."
I'd love to participate more in this type of discussion but my depth of knowledge is shallow and mostly speculation. BUT, as a diesel mechanic by trade, a skill which brings me a lot of joy, I imagine our world with millions and millions of internal combustion engines constantly running. From the smallest little Onan RV generator to largest Wartsila diesel powering container ships, there is no area of our globe which is immune to this technology. These engines are pumping pollutants into our environment around the clock. Oxides of nitrogen, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, particulate matter, raw fuel, and a variety of other heavy carbons. A lot of this literally ends up on the ground, while the rest floats off into the atmosphere. I can't help but think this does harm our planet in more ways than one. Not to mention all the additional lubricant, oil, coolant, and fluids constantly leaking into the environment as well. But do I really care about this? No. Am I going to do anything about it besides occasionally ride my bike? Probably not, but I do think about it often enough to write this.
 

DoctorZ

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Highwayman says, "I trust that the law of supply & demand could itself right the damages of past wrongs if we could ever adjust our desires," then goes on to say Capitalism is bad. The law of supply & demand is a form of Capitalism. Capitalism by itself isn't bad, it's the Governments in charge of the money supply that are bad.

As for the rest, I personally believe that our planet will run out of natural resources long before any sort of climate change does us in. There is only so much iron, gold, nickel, and oil left. Fracking is destroying our fresh water supply. Countries will go to nuclear war over the last of this planets natural resources before we ever have to worry about Climate Change.

If we could only harness Nuclear Fusion, we would solve our energy supply needs and air pollution would be a thing of the past.
 

Brodiesel710

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Highwayman says, "I trust that the law of supply & demand could itself right the damages of past wrongs if we could ever adjust our desires," then goes on to say Capitalism is bad. The law of supply & demand is a form of Capitalism. Capitalism by itself isn't bad, it's the Governments in charge of the money supply that are bad.

As for the rest, I personally believe that our planet will run out of natural resources long before any sort of climate change does us in. There is only so much iron, gold, nickel, and oil left. Fracking is destroying our fresh water supply. Countries will go to nuclear war over the last of this planets natural resources before we ever have to worry about Climate Change.

If we could only harness Nuclear Fusion, we would solve our energy supply needs and air pollution would be a thing of the past.
By definition, I'm a capitalist. And I agree, I don't think it's bad. Whats "bad", beyond government (since they don't have a lot of $$ anymore) I think is an individuals love of that money and the desire to acquire it for the purpose of gaining leverage within a popular economic status.
 
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DoctorZ

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Well then beware of the Bildeburgers, Rockfellers, members of the Majestic 12, and the Tri-Lateral Commission.

With that said in the last 50+ years or so only three of our Presidents have NOT been a member of the Tri-Lateral Commission: Ronald Regan, Barak Obama, and Donald Trump.
 

highwayman

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I think is an individuals love of that money and the desire to acquire it for the purpose of gaining leverage within a popular economic status.
Is that not greed? When we see the rise of global capitalism and throw away society of self destructive consumerism? Capitalism sounds evil to me. I have obviouslly tried to exist outside of it for 5 years of living in intentional poverty while rarely handling currency. Recently I returned to earning an income while helping in destroying the planet. I have yet to find any suitable alternatives to capitalism. So I say Capitalsim is "Evil". Its obviously complicated as many of us are conflicted.

Most likely those of us who participate on the lower rungs of economics are mere pawns in much larger forces at work. How many of us here at STP work on wall street, or run hedge funds or are in banking. I doubt anyone here on our site are investing in markets or speculating. I bet most of us simply draw a wage that qualifies us as the working poor. We are the means of production; their manual & skilled labor. Maybe we survive long enough to start a business ourselves to perpetuate the cycle. We say we will create jobs, give people meaning & purpose but first & foremost we must profit to survive. Most likely the planned intentions and expected outcomes were built out of good intentions but with profit in mind. Just as the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

Sure politicians are easy scapegoats but are they not supposed to be by, for & of the people? Are those we elect not simply yes men of the will of the people. There most certainly are elites that participate at the highest levels of policy, politics & commerce that subscribe to "profit at all cost" mentalities. Most of us are so busy fighting over the scraps of the excesses of capitalism that we cannot afford to think about our human impacts when much larger systemic causes are so clear & evident.


When air, water, food & habitat are again the most important commodities then all other frivolous markets will fade away. Will that be within enough time to use available technology to right wrongs and repair our damages; I don't know. In times of catastrophe like world war we have come together, we rationed commodities and worked towards common goals to help humanity. Perhaps we can do it again, perhaps technology will be the key as mentioned before.
 
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DoctorZ

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As things are currently, you have two choices in Government: Capitalism or Socialism. I don't vote for either as I'm an Idealist. However, most aren't willing to choose an Independent party and vote for them, they go with either Republican or Democrat. Given a choice between those two, I'll take the Capitalism over the Socialism because at least with Capitalism I still have my personal freedoms.
 

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Like @Brodiesel710 my depth of knowledge is also shallow but I wanna chime in on what I do know a little about. Railroads might be climate change deniers and I'm sure they back the coal industry as they transport a lot of it but in practice itself, trains are roughly 4 times more efficient than tractor trailer transportation which as far as I know is the only other alternative to move freight on an intercontinental scale.

Locomotives are hybrids, relying way more on their electric traction motors than their diesel usage. It would require roughly two completely loaded tractor trailers to haul the same freight capacity that one railcar can carry. So a train of say 115 railcars would take upwards of 230 individual diesel truck and trailer rigs to transport an equal amount of cargo cross country. That's a lot of fucking diesel exhausted into our atmosphere!

Keep in mind there's only about 5 online locomotives dragging those 230 tractor trailer loads. If it's pick your poison, I'm taking the 5 hybrid locomotives mostly operating by electric traction motors over 230 diesel trucks running solely on diesel. Then factor in everybody's favorite PSR trains that are now hauling probably sometimes close to 200 railcars by maybe adding on another 2 cut in helper locomotives?

400 diesel trucks or 7 hybrid locomotives? I'm not a very smart man but I'm pretty sure railroads are by leaps and bounds more efficient in the grand scheme of things. Add to that good train handling techniques to maximize fuel efficiency such as dynamic braking stops as opposed to stretch braking stops.

Old school locomotive engineers stretch brake like a motherfucker. Anyone hired post 1997 tend to use more dynamic braking to stop their trains. So as these oldheads retire the fuel efficiency of trains will improve even further to probably put trains somewhere in the ballpark of 5-6 times more efficient than over the road truck transport figures.

To be more specific- Stretch braking is a method where the engineer puts a minimum set of air (7lbs) into the railcar brakes and then throttles up on the locomotive. This stretches the train out and begins to heat up the brake shoes so that when the engineer is ready to stop he or she will squeeze off another 3 lbs making it a 10 lb set or air to the train brakes. On flat land this will typically bring most any train to a stop unless the engineer is in notch 8 but you wouldn't really do that, you'd start to feather off the throttle down to 7, 6, 5, 4 etc. Until the train comes to a stop. This results in very little slack action, makes for a very smooth ride and gives the engineer the ability to literally stop on a dime. This also drastically reduces slack action once the engineer begins pulling forward again after being stopped.

Dynamic braking uses no train brakes, but instead reverses the polarity on the traction motors (sort of like downshifting). Traction motors are located at each axle on the locomotives. So when you start to apply amperage against the traction motors this causes the free rolling cars behind the locomotives to begin bunching up against the resistance caused by the locomotives at the head end. This makes for a lot of slack action and drastically reduces the engineers ability to stop on a dime. It also creates severe slack action when the train begins to pull forward again after being stopped. All the cars are kind of loosy goosy rather than stretched tight.

When you smell brakes cooking and you're feeling minimal slack, your train is probably being ran by an oldhead. Getting kind of off topic here but yeah..
 

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I lost brain cells reading this. All the scientists of the world are in cahoots and the only people who know the truth are the ones who got it from a Facebook group run by an essential oil/bible salesman.

Interesting subject tho, people forget about trains a lot. Putting money into disinformation campaigns to sway people based on psychology instead of evidence is an oldie but a goodie. Think tank here, focus group there and you end up with a bunch of uninformed ideologue edgelords doing your work for you. Used to be people who said that cigarettes don't really cause cancer, it was all a government conspiracy to strip our freedums for no apparent reason. They're probably mostly freaked over the potential loss of business from coal becoming increasingly antiquated.

Someone should jump on their trains for a free ride. If only such people existed.
 

highwayman

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My argument is based around the idea that by limiting waste we will have a healthier planet & citizenry. Yeah it seems I loose much of the audience when I state "capitalism' as the root cause. Perhaps the Green New Deal or other initiatives that give incentive to profit while solving such macro problems. But do we not pervert & half ass everything that we try as groups without the individual commitment and solidarity of the people.

Common sense & history dictates that we would all benefit from everyone consuming less. lets forget about the acidification of the oceans, the rising temperature, droughts/fires/weather etc. Instead of fighting over if we are in a natural warming cycle that has existed prior to human life on earth. Instead of simply awaiting th eeventual cooling period which will be just as dire regardless if it is a cooling caused by the so called hypothetical global warming or not. We will need to evolve with the habitat either way. Why then do we continue to kill that habitat unless we all subconsciously are nihilists that have already surrendered. Can we clean up that which we have polluted post the industrial revolution? If we are not capable of consuming less then how will we ever be able to come together to repair that which is broken?

This would involve shipping less, harvesting/extracting less, manufacturing less, using less, maybe procreating less and perhaps working less. We as human beings are so self destructive in our pursuit of wealth, stability & security. We always seem to miss the mark & get left in a constant cycle of destruction. We have competitive societies that seek "more" almost as the global religion. Our throw away culture actually thinks that we can destroy earth & just acquire a suitable alternative planet to transfer our species to. Ridiculous! Its the same old imperialist thinking. Find new resources, enslave & or kill off the indigenous then strip away what is valuable, when all is exploited then simply abandon it polluted and in turmoil.

 
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Coywolf

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Not going to get into the whole climate change denial/only 2 government system weeds, as much as I fucking, REALLY, want to....

If we could transition our country away from personally owned commuter vehicles into an infastructure more base on affordable passenger rail, and eliminate most tractor trailers with more rail freight, that would benefit the environment GREATLY. It would greatly help people with lower incomes, and provide tons of jobs to maintain the systems. Also, I just want see more damn trains 😁
 

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While I'm not against scientists studying the environment, I am definitely against the Climate Change movement and see it as one of the biggest threats to our personal freedoms. I also believe the climate change supporters are basing their findings on a false premise.


So climate change aside, do you not think that humans are fucking up the planet with our self-centered lifeways? What about habitat loss and massive species die-off? Do you think we should be making drastic moves to curb those issues? Or is that a threat to our personal freedom too? At what point should we not be allowing the value of individual freedom to trump the health and safety of others?

(that last question is for all libertarian/individualist anarchisty types.. it's something that I wonder about a lot)
 

WyldLyfe

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Sorry to inform you guys but global warming is a hoax, right now Australia is burning the fires have been deliberately lit, iv been hanging out with aboriginal people who work with the land closely they say these fires r done by man too. They plan to do this stuff to move people off the land and into "smart cities" eventually overtime, our prime minister cut fire funding before these fires broke out drastically, they are planning on building a super fast railway system across the country from nsw to qld apparently, this hasn't been announced yet, to begin with and there goal is to do this stuff globally only allowing people in cities travelling to them via train and ppl off land.. Agenda 21 / 2030,

an they also wanna do a carbon tax.
 
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