Fact-Checking the "PRT Boondoggle" Blog
A project of the PRT NewsCenter

Friday, October 16, 2009

About the anti-PRTeabagger

Editor's note: We continue beta-testing the change to one of the oldest editorial policies of "PRT is a Joke" IS A JOKE. For a limited time, The Name of the Minnesota anti-PRT propagandist will be shown -- although special formatting will be used.
Why does multi-cartoonist Kena Wei (Ken Avidor) insist on guilt by associating a TECHNOLOGY with disreputable/questionable people who happen to say they support it? Pure-form advocacy of any transportation technology, by anyone, does not determine how a government would use it in the real world. For example:

Light rail advocacy: "Light rail ONLY! PRT is a joke!"
PRT advocacy: "Light rail is old! PRT is the future!"
Reality: LRT and PRT working together

Advocacy outlines the stakes -- but does not decide -- public policy. If PRT doesn't work, if it's technically impossible as Ken Avidor has claimed, it wouldn't have any credibility in the transportation field. It would be prima facie a non-starter.

Scientists wouldn't keep trying to develop it, regulators wouldn't keep safety approving it, entities like the EU and Swedish Rail wouldn't be working on it, interests like World Wildlife Fund wouldn't endorse it, companies of all sizes (big ones like BAA, POSCO and Masdar) wouldn't keep investing in it, and firms like Arup and CH2M Hill wouldn't be trying to build it.

Politics is only relevant to policy that would implement PRT, not to the feasibility of the technology. You shouldn't oppose PRT because Dean Zimmermann is for it, any more than you should support PRT because the concept (as we know it today) was created by a liberal Democrat (the late Donn Fichter).

Ken Avidor does what he does because he hates PRT, and hopes cooties from Dean Zimmermann -- and Michele Bachmann and Mark Olson -- will taint it in the minds of a critical mass of people.


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