@Tom re: why
This project is a 650 billion dollar project, and is still racking up costs.
Also, as stated in the article the fares are nearly double to that of the alternatives in order to recoup costs, and thus most people are priced out of this option.
I don't see the US ever taking on this kind of expenditure due to the cost, lack of public support, and our state system, which would undoubtedly fail to build consensus on cost, construction and issues of eminent domain.
While, I think China's investment in this kind of infrastructure is awesome, and will pay future dividends, I also see a country scrambling to channel a massive surplus of unskilled males into a construction industry in decline.
Their day of economic reckoning is just around the corner, which is why they're trying to stir nationalism and are battling Japan over those tiny islands.
Anyhow, you can only build and finance ghost cities and infrastructure for so long.
Thanks Jon. But what do you see as viable solutions in terms of powering industrial society into the future, as far as the US is concerned ?
That question assumes solutions exist. Folk of various shades of green darker than mainstream techno-fix enviros say they don't. Consider, among the deep ecology crowd, Derrick Jensen who claims civilization itself can't be maintained.
Or consider, among the peak oil and/or 'peak everything' crowd, folk such as Richard Heinberg, who say civilization might not be doomed, though industrial civilization probably is. (A solutions-oriented strain of this camp is the Transition Movement which includes Rob Hopkins.)
You can dismiss such folk as whack-jobs. Or you can include their views to have a broader spectrum of ideas about the future. In the latter case, I'd be interested in where your views fit along the continuum where anarcho-primitivism is at one extreme and uber-optimisitic sci-fi and techo-triumphalism is at the other extreme.