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Unformatted text preview: t details, by automaker and
vehicle type, the greenhouse gas contributions from America's auto sector, for the first
time.”Carbon dioxide emissions from personal vehicles in the United States equaled 314
million metric tons in 2004. That much carbon could fill a coal train 55,000 miles long—
long enough to circle the Earth twice. Cars and trucks made by GM gave off 99 million metric
tons of carbon dioxide or 31 percent of the total; Ford vehicles emitted 80 million metric tons or 25
percent; and Daimler Chrysler vehicles emitted 51 million metric tons or 16 percent, according to
7|Page High Speed Rail Affirmative BDL 1AC 4/5
Climate change is the most serious environmental threat the world has ever faced
Mayer Hillman et al, Senior Fellow, Policy Institute in London, 2007
(The Suicidal Planet: how to prevent climate catastrophe, p. 11)
Climate change is the most serious environmental threat that the world has ever faced. The
dangers can hardly be exaggerated. Climate scientists predict that by the end of this century,
temperatures could rise 10 degrees F worldwide. But even if they rise by "just" 5 degrees F, major
parts of the earth's surface could become uninhabitable and many species on the planet could
be wiped out. Just within the next fifty years, there will be more heat waves, higher summer
temperatures, fewer cold winters, and rising sea levels. As a consequence, hundreds of millions of
people will be at serious risk from flooding, there will be a huge loss of life from excessively
hot weather, diseases from warmer regions will become established, some species and
habitats will be lost forever, and patterns of agriculture and business will have to change
radically. And then, before too long, the whole world may face the even greater dangers of longterm
and irreversible catastrophic changes as warming threatens the Greenland Ice shelf, the Gulf Stream,
and the West Antarctic ice sheet.
In light of these harms we present the following Plan: The United States federal government should substantially
increase its investment in a national high-speed rail network.
Contention 3 – Solvency
High speed rail would significantly reduce car usage, helping both the economy and the
Calthorpe, principal at the planning firm Calthorpe Associates, 2-27
(Peter, author of "Urbanism in the Age of Climate Change", February 27, 2012,
In a development future built around high-speed rail and enhanced local transit, average
vehicle miles traveled per household would be reduced 40 percent, the equivalent of taking
18.6 million cars off the road. New highway construction would be reduced by 4,700 lane
miles, saving around $400 billion. This type of development means less air pollution, fewer
respiratory diseases, less water consumption, efficient local infrastructure and lower
costs to local governments. California...
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This document was uploaded on 02/06/2014.
- Spring '14