Browsing Tag: history

    North Korea’s Tiny, Terrible Airline
    Articles, Blog

    North Korea’s Tiny, Terrible Airline

    August 24, 2019


    This video was made possible by CuriosityStream. Watch for free for 31-days by signing up at
    CuriosityStream.com/HAI and using the code, “HAI.” North Korea—it would be great as a reality
    show, but it’s less great as reality. As much as this country likes to pretend that
    the rest of the world is made up exclusively of brainwashed heathens living in hell-scape
    garbage fire countries, sometimes certain North Koreans, special enough to get a hall
    pass, need to get out, and sometimes other people go there to experience the dictator
    Disneyland. Now, there is a train to the DPRK from Russia
    and China, but honestly, what are trains good for… other than low-cost, long distance,
    time-efficient, economically stimulating, carbon minimal, socially egalitarian, death-reducing
    transport? Nothing, because they don’t have wings. That’s why North Korea has its own extra
    special, tiny, terrible, airline… and here’s some boring history, made possible by my declining
    audience retention statistics. Back in the 50’s, the USSR was North Korea’s
    sugar daddy, and so the airline was first established to fly to the eastern bit of the
    Soviet Union so that people could connect onto Aeroflot services to Moscow. In the early days, they flew exclusively Soviet
    planes, which sometimes didn’t crash, and mostly focused on flights to the USSR and
    later China. Eventually, though, they got some big boy
    Ilyushin Il-62 and Tupolev Tu-154’s, which, surprisingly, are not the names of toaster
    models but rather planes that could fly all the way to Eastern Europe. That meant they could finally fly the crucial
    non-stop route of Pyongyang to Moscow. They also eventually added some flights going
    all the way to some of the other Soviet united places like East Germany and Bulgaria. But then the USSR became USS not, North Korea
    and Russia’s relationship diminished, and Air Koryo started flying to some definitively
    non-Soviet places. As recently as 2010, they were flying to far
    flung destinations like Zurich, Budapest, and Prague, but then, the DPRK’s flag carrier
    ran into two major issues. One was that they were added to the prestigious,
    “Airlines Banned in the EU” list meaning that, for the most part, they could no longer
    fly through, to, or from most of Europe and two was that, especially in the past decade,
    a whole host of sanctions were imposed on North Korea by both individual nations and
    the United Nations. These sanctions, preventing all UN member
    states from conducting almost all types of trade with North Korea, mean that there’s
    barely any economic activity with the country so there’s little reason for people to travel
    there. Nowadays, Air Koryo is more modest in size
    compared to its former glory. They fly to just five destinations—Vladivostok,
    Shenyang, Beijing, Shanghai, and they just recently started a new route to Macau in August,
    2019 to allow the small number of North Korean elites to get to this gambling hub for some
    good old fashioned sinning. Since this longest flight is only three hours
    long, they don’t have to deal with some of the complications that would arise from
    their crew liking some of their layover cities a little too much since they don’t have
    to have any overnight layovers. They do, however, have plenty of complications
    arising from operating from one of the most sanctioned countries on earth. These sanctions have long prevented them from
    purchasing Boeing or Airbus planes so they bought Soviet or Russian built planes, but
    then North Korea accidentally pressed the big red, “sanction me more,” button. On November 28, 2017, North Korea launched
    a ballistic missile that landed uncomfortably close to Japan and, in response, the UN dropped
    the mother of all sanction packages outlined in this bad boy document—UN Resolution 2397. This resolution resolved, among other things,
    that all UN members states would, “prohibit the direct or indirect supply, sale or transfer
    to the DPRK, of all transportation vehicles.” It clarifies that this includes everything
    between HS codes 86 and 89, which are codes used by customs organizations, and if you
    pull up HS codes 86 through 89, you’ll see that that includes, among other things, locomotives,
    tractors, tanks, baby carriages, buoys, and aircraft. Therefore, since that’s a United Nations
    sanction, that means that North Korea can’t buy aircraft from, let me pull up my map,
    ummm, these countries. They could always buy from, like, Kosovo. They’re not a UN member. I wonder how their aircraft manufacturing
    industry is… not that Kosovo is a country… or not a country… or part of a country…
    or not part of a country… just forget I ever mentioned Kosovo. Anyway, what this all means is that Air Koryo
    can only operate aircraft it had pre-2017 and those were almost all old Russian, Ukrainian,
    or Soviet planes. UN Resolution 2397 specifically allows the
    DPRK to buy spare parts for their passenger planes, presumably to be sure they don’t
    fall out of the sky, so that’s not an issue, but many of their planes are old, and only
    getting older, that’s how time works, so their lack of plane buying ability certainly
    is becoming more and more of a problem. While plenty of countries regularly violate
    the sanctions in secret (*cough* Russia,) it would certainly raise some questions if
    North Korea just suddenly started flying around a shiny new Russian jet, I’d imagine. UN Resolution 2270 also bans all sales of
    aviation fuel to the DPRK, but it specifically includes an exemption for fuel used for passenger,
    commercial flights. It does, however, warn its members to only
    sell the exact amount an aircraft needs to get from, in the example of Russia, Vladivostok,
    to Pyongyang, and back to Vladivostok—no more that could sneakily make its way into
    a military jet, you know, somehow. Perhaps the craziest bit about Air Koryo,
    though, is that you can book a flight on their website, just like any other airline—it’s
    scarily easy. The reception when you get there—well, that
    might be less than warm. Of course, on their rickety Russian jets,
    Air Koryo lets you experience aviation’s past but, if you want to see what flying will
    be like in the future, you should watch, “Into the Skies”— a new episode of the Curiosity
    Stream original series, “Speed.” This covers how aircraft design will change
    to cope with a time not far off when 10 billion passengers will fly each year. This is just one of more than 2,400 titles
    that you can watch on Desktop, Smart TV, iOS, Android, Apple TV, Roku, Chromecast, and more
    platforms through Curiosity Stream. They’re the perfect site for anyone who
    likes being entertained and educated simultaneously. What’s best, for HAI viewers, you can watch
    any of these more than 2,400 titles for free for 31-days by signing up at CuriosityStream.com/HAI
    and using the code, “HAI.”

    Human Evolution: Crash Course Big History #6
    Articles, Blog

    Human Evolution: Crash Course Big History #6

    August 23, 2019


    Hi, I’m John Green. Welcome to Crash Course
    Big History Project where today we’re going to talk about the Planet of the Apes films. – What’s
    that? Apparently, those were not documentaries. But there was an evolutionary process that
    saw primates move out of East Africa and transform the earth into an actual planet of the apes…but
    the apes are us. And then we made the movie and then some prequels
    and some sequels and some reboots and now sequels to the reboots. Man, I can’t wait until I get to see the 2018
    reboot of this episode of Crash Course Big History I hear they get James Franco to play
    me. [Theme Music] So we’re about halfway through our series
    and after five episodes involving no humans whatsoever today we are finally gonna get
    some people. Mr. Green, Mr. Green! Why are we already at
    humanity, I mean if we’re covering 13.8 billion years shouldn’t humanity come in like, the
    last two seconds of the last episode? I mean humans are totally insignificant compared
    to the vastness of the universe, like we should be checking in on how Jupiter’s doing. Fair point, Me From the Past; Jupiter by the
    way, still giant and gassy. There’s two reasons why we focus a little
    more on humanity in Big History; the selfish reason is that we care about humans in Big
    History because we are humans. We are naturally curious to figure out where we belong in the huge
    sequence of events beginning with the big bang. Secondly, humans represent a really weird
    change in the universe. I mean, so far as we know, we are one of the most complex things
    in the cosmos. Whether you measure complexity in terms of
    biological and cultural building blocks or networks or connections, I mean, we’re kind
    of amazing! Now I realize that many of our viewers will be offended by our human-centric
    bias, but humans are amazing. I mean, we invented the internet and we invented animated GIF
    and we invented Dr. Who and then we invented Tumblr, a place where all of these things
    can come together! So 65 million years ago, catastrophe wiped
    out the dinosaurs and we saw the adaptive radiation of a tiny shrew-like ancestor of
    humans that would look more at home like, next to a hamster wheel than in your family
    album. Let’s set the stage in the Thought Bubble. So the slow waltz of plate tectonics continued
    to pull Eurasia and the Americas apart expanding the Atlantic Ocean, primates colonized the Americas,
    and separated by the vast Atlantic, continued their separate evolution into the new world monkeys —
    which is not a band name, although it should be. Then around 45 million years ago, Australia
    split from Antarctica and while mammals out-competed most marsupials in the Americas (except animals
    like possums), Australia saw an adaptive radiation of marsupials. This, of course, meant that
    later, one-hundred thousand years ago when the Americas were having their share of mammoths
    and saber-tooth tigers, Australia was having a spell of gigantic kangaroos, marsupial lions,
    and wombats the size of hippos. Then, somewhere around forty million years
    ago, India, which had been floating around the southern oceans as an island, smashed
    into the Eurasian continent with such force that it created the world’s tallest mountain
    range, the Himalayas. Meanwhile, in Africa, Primates continued to
    evolve and twenty-five to thirty million years ago, the line of the apes diverged from theold-world
    monkeys and no, neither you, nor a chimp, is a monkey, nor did we evolve from the monkeys that
    are around today – those are like our cousins. Moreover, we did not evolve from chimpanzees,
    the chimpanzee is a cousin as well, not an uncle. We are not more highly evolved than
    they are; Instead, our lines of descent split off from a common ancestor with chimpanzees
    about seven million years ago. Then chimpanzees further split into a separate species, the
    Bonobos. Knowing about this common ancestry tells us a lot about our shared traits with
    other primates. For instance, we all have fairly large brains,
    relative to our body mass, we have our eyes in the front of our heads from the days when
    we hung out in trees and depth perception was an excellent way of telling how far away
    the next tree branch was so as to prevent us from plummeting to our deaths, and we also
    have grasping hands, to make sure, you know, that you could hold onto the branch in question.
    Primates also have hierarchies, social orders whether male or female led, that determine who gets
    primary access to food, mates, and other benefits. Thanks Thought Bubble! So, our closest evolutionary
    cousins, the chimpanzees, can tell us a thing or two about shared behaviors. For one thing,
    while all primates have a hierarchy of alphas and betas, humans and chimps, who share 98.4%
    of their DNA, are the most prone to team up together and launch a revolution against the
    alpha male. We’re also both prone to ganging up, roaming our territory, and beating up
    unsuspecting foreigners of the same species, and not for direct survival reasons. Chimpanzees have been observed finding a lone
    chimp male from another group and kicking, hitting, and tearing off bits of his body
    and then leaving the helpless victim to die of his wounds, and humans definitely bear
    this stamp of our lowly origin, where indeed, the imperfect step-by-step process of evolution
    made us highly intelligent, but still, with prefrontal cortex’s too small, and adrenal
    glands maybe too big. Aggression and blood lust are definitely part
    of our shared heritage, and, looking at more recent human history, does that really surprise
    anyone? Contrast that behavior, for a moment, with the more peaceful Bonobos, who are female-led,
    and when a male in her group gets a bit pushy, the females are prone to gang up and teach
    him a lesson. When it comes to inter-group encounters in the wild, the male Bonobos seem
    tense around strangers at first, until usually, the females from each group cross over and just
    have sex with the newcomers, completely diffusing the tension. Talk about make love, not war
    – Bonobos are hippies. While our common ancestor with chimpanzees
    around seven million years ago was more suited to living in forests and seeking refuge from
    danger by climbing trees, climate change in East Africa made things colder and drier,
    and many forests were replaced by woodlands and wide-open savanna. Life in the savanna
    meant our ancestors needed to run from predators rather than climbing trees, so our line shifted
    away from the bow-legged stance reminiscent of chimpanzees, and developed bipedalism,
    where our locomotion came from legs that were straight and forward-facing. There’s still some debate about when bipedalism
    first began, but we know that by the first australopithecines around four million years
    ago, our evolutionary line was bipedal, this also freed up our hands. Australopithecines were not very tall, standing
    only just above a meter, or just above 3.5 feet, and had brains only a little bigger
    than modern chimpanzees. They were largely herbivores with teeth adapted for grinding
    tough fruits and leaves. Australopithecines may have communicated through gestures and
    primitive sounds, but their higher larynx meant that they couldn’t make the range of
    sounds required for complex language. There was probably a lot of pointing and grunting
    going on. Kinda like me, before 6 am. By 2.3 million years ago, homo habilis arrived
    on the scene. They weren’t much taller than australopithecines, but they had significantly
    larger brains – though still a lot smaller than later species. Excitingly, homo habilis
    is known to have hit flakes off of stones to use them for cutting. Now, lots of species
    use tools, for instance chimpanzees use sticks for fishing termites out of the ground, they
    use rock hammers and leaf sponges and branch levers and banana leaf umbrellas. A lot of
    these skills don’t seem to arise spontaneously, just because of the intelligence of individuals,
    but, like in the case of termite fishing, chimpanzees pass the information on by imitation
    – primate see, primate do. In a way, this social learning is sort of
    cultural, yet, succeeding generations of chimpanzees don’t accumulate information, tinker with
    it, and improve upon it, so that after 100 years, chimpanzees are owners of highly efficient
    and wealthy termite fishing corporations. Similarly, as impressive as homo habilis stone-working
    abilities are, we see very little sign of technological improvement over the thousands
    and thousands of years that habilis existed. Same goes for homo ergaster erectus, who was
    around 1.9 million years ago. Homo ergaster erectus had an even bigger brain,
    was taller, and they even seemed intelligent and adaptable enough to move into different
    environments across the old world. They may have even begun our first clumsy attempts
    at fire, which is vital for cooking meat and vegetables, opening up opportunities for more
    energy and even more brain growth. But still, there’s not much sign of technological
    improvement, their tools got the job done, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Yet 1.78 million years ago, we do see homo
    ergaster creating a wide new range of teardrop hand axes in Kenya. By one-point-five 1.5
    million years ago, these teardrop axes had rapidly become common, and had improved in
    quality and were shaped with a flat edge into multi-purpose picks, cleavers, and so forth. Archaeologists see this as the first possible
    sign of tinkering and improvement of technology that may have been transmitted by social learning. A
    faint glimmer of something new. Why is this important? Well, humans didn’t get to where we are
    because we’re super-geniuses. It’s not like invented the Xbox One out of the
    blue one day, it was an improvement upon the Xbox 360 which was an improvement upon earlier
    consoles, arcade machines, computers, and backward onto the dawn of video games.
    In the same way, we didn’t just invent our modern society by sudden inspiration, it’s
    the result of 250,000 years of tinkering and improvement. This is where accumulation matters
    – it’s called collective learning, the ability of a species to retain more information with
    one generation than is lost by the next. This is what has taken us, in a few thousand years,
    from stone tools to rocket engines to being able to have the Crash Course theme song as
    your ringtone. Progress! If there was collective learning in homo ergaster,
    it was very slow and very slight. This may have been due to limitations on communication,
    abstract thought, group size, or just plain brain power. But over the next two million
    years, things started to pick up. Homo antecessor, Homo Heidelbergensis and the Neanderthals
    developed the first systematically controlled use of fire in hearths, the first blade tools,
    the earliest wooden spears, the earliest use of composite tools, where stone was fastened
    to wood, all before homo sapiens were ever heard of, around 250,000 years ago. Neanderthals even moved into colder climates,
    where they were compelled to invent clothing, they used complex tool-manufacture to produce
    sharp points and scrapers and hand-axes and wood handles, and they improved their craft
    over time. While evolution by natural selection is a
    sort of learning mechanism that allows a species to adapt generation after generation, with
    a lot of trial and error, and death – collective learning allows for tinkering, adaptation,
    and improvement on a much faster scale with each generation and across generations without
    waiting for your genes to catch up. Anatomically similar homo sapiens have been
    around for about 250,000 years, and throughout that time, we’ve been expanding our toolkit
    from stone tools to shell fishing to trade and actual fishing, mining, and by 40,000
    years ago we had art, including cave images, decorative beads and other forms of jewelry,
    and even the world’s oldest known musical instruments – flutes carved from mammoth ivory
    and bird bones. All this stuff came about as a result of collective
    learning. As long as you have a population of potential innovators, who can keep dreaming
    up new ideas and remembering old ones and an opportunity for those old innovators to pass
    their ideas onto others, you’re likely to have some technological progress. These mechanisms are still working today – we’ve
    got over seven billion potential innovators on this planet, and almost instantaneous communication,
    allowing us to do so many marvelous things including teach you about Big History on the
    internet. So life for early humans was pretty good,
    like foraging didn’t require particularly long hours – the average work day for a forager
    was about 6.5 hours. When you compare that to an average of 9.5 hours for a peasant farmer
    in medieval Europe, or the average of nine hours for a typical office worker today, foraging
    seems downright leisurely. Quick aside: I work thirty minutes a day less
    than a peasant farmer in medieval Europe? That’s not progress! Stan, I want more time
    off! Stan just pointed out that I have a chair,
    something that peasant farmers in medieval Europe did not enjoy, and I want to say that
    I’m very grateful for my chair. Thank you for my chair, Stan. Anyway, a forager would go out, hunt or gather,
    come home, eat, spend time with the family, dance, sing, tell stories, and foragers were
    also always on the move, which made it less likely that they’d contaminate their water,
    or sit around waiting for a plague to develop. And with their constant walking and their
    varied diet, foragers were in many ways healthier than the peasants of ancient civilizations.
    There were also, in some ways, healthier than us, but we have antibiotics for now, so we
    live longer, for now. The classic view of foraging life is best
    described by Thomas Hobbes, who wrote: “No arts, no letters, no society, and which
    is worst of all continual fear and danger of violent death and the life of man, solitary,
    poor, nasty, brutish, and short.” Except, not really. I mean, life for the average
    person in twelfth century France was also a smidge nasty, brutish, and short, and the
    lack of wealth disparity in foraging cultures may imply greater equality between social
    rankings and even between the genders since female gatherers appear to be responsible
    for the majority of food collected, rather than the hunting males. And from that perspective,
    life was kind of ruined by the advent of agriculture and then, later, with states, as Jean-Jacques
    Rousseau said, “The first person, who having enclosed a plot
    of land, took it into his head to say, ‘this is mine’ and found people simple enough to
    believe him, was the true founder of civil society. What crimes, wars, murders, what
    miseries and horrors would the human race have spared, had someone pulled up the stakes
    or filled in the ditch and cried out to his fellow men: ‘do not listen to this imposter,
    you are lost if you forget that the fruits of the Earth belong to all, and the Earth to no one'” and thus summarizes one of the great debates
    in the world of political science. Man, Big History discusses everything! Now, it’s possible
    that neither Rousseau nor Hobbes was completely correct, and that, like, private property and agriculture
    didn’t create the glory days or end them. Like, as previous mentioned, all primates
    have a dominance hierarchy of some kind. Also, you don’t need a wealth disparity to drive
    human beings to hurt each other – like, surveys of excavated remains from the paleolithic
    indicate a murder rate that was possibly as high as ten percent. Now, those statistics
    are still disputed, but despite the relatively short work day, life in the paleolithic sounds
    a lot less appealing when you consider the high murder rate, and also, the occasional
    infanticide. That’s not even to mention the old or disabled people who, when they couldn’t
    keep up anymore, were abandoned to die in the wild. I can’t help but feel that I might
    not have thrived in the paleolithic what with my visual impairment and general lack of interest
    in hunting. Anyway, we call this the Hobbes vs. Rousseau
    debate, and it’s still unresolved. I mean, humans may have been corrupted in many ways
    by society, on the other hand, it’s possible a lot of the crimes and follies of human history
    may just be symptoms of our coping with the bad wiring left to us by evolution. You know, humans are a bit of an obsolete
    machine, we aren’t particularly well-suited to the many lifestyle changes that have happened
    in the past few thousand years – faster than our genes can keep pace with. But how you
    interpret the lives of early human foragers largely determines your view of history and
    also the fundamental nature of the human character. Ask yourself which side you sit on: Is humanity
    fundamentally good and corrupted by technology and modern social orders, or are we fundamentally
    flawed and in need of some sort of structure and authority? Or is there some kind of both/and way
    of addressing the question? Here at Crash Course, we don’t have answers, but we are grateful that
    you’re pondering these questions with us. In any case, collective learning was really
    good for our survival, but then, 74,000 years ago, disaster struck. A super-eruption at
    Mt. Toba on the island of Sumatra in present-day Indonesia clouded the skies with ash and cooled
    the climate. Plants and animals, a.k.a. food, died off and genetics studies showed that this
    reduced the human population to a few thousand people. So as a result of this, we aren’t
    exactly inbred, but there’s more genetic diversity between two of the major groups of chimpanzees
    in Africa than there is in all of humanity. So this small group heroically recovered and
    spread out of Africa 64,000 years ago, colonizing diverse environments and continuing to innovate.
    For 13.8 billion years since the beginning of the universe, complexity had been rising
    in a powerful crescendo, but in the space of a few millennia, collective learning was
    about to make things really bonkers. More on that next time.

    Articles

    Coal: Engine of Change

    August 23, 2019


    [piano & drums
    play in bright rhythm] (female (narrator))
    The Industrial Revolution was
    above all the story of coal and what people were able to do
    with that coal. Coal changed life tremendously. (Rowan Francis)
    Because when you think,
    up until 1698, all the physical work
    done in the world was done by man
    assisted by animals, then a little bit later,
    by windmills and waterwheels. That was all they had. (Mark Brownstein)
    Today, we have a lot of options, not just coal, but nuclear,
    natural gas, renewables. (Ed Steadman)
    There’s more coal
    being burned today than ever in the history
    of the world. (Michelle Nijhuis)
    Coal has been incredibly valuable to
    the society we know today. It’s also caused
    a lot of problems. (Stuart Hazeldine)
    If we want to maintain
    the earth habitable for humans, then we have to reduce our
    carbon emissions drastically. (Charles McConnell)
    China and India, with
    a huge demand for energy, that energy will be supplied
    by the most accessible, and the most affordable fuel
    that those societies have to access–
    and that’s going to be coal. (man) Funding provided by: The U.S. Department of Energy
    Office of Fossil Energy; The National Energy
    Technology Laboratory; Members of the Energy &
    Environmental Research Center’s Plains CO2 Reduction
    Partnership; and The members
    of Prairie Public. (female narrator)
    Our modern way of life
    did not happen overnight. We needed a lot of energy along
    the way, starting with coal. Developing nations are looking to attain the same quality
    of life, and that means the world will be consuming
    a lot more energy, everything from alternative
    energy to fossil fuels, including coal–our original
    source of concentrated energy! Looking back,
    historians can pinpoint where the seeds
    of modern life took root. An Industrial Revolution,
    that is a really profound
    technological shift which changes the way that
    people live, communicate, transport,
    produce things in the economy. Before we had had
    an Industrial Revolution, people lived in the countryside. They had very short
    life expectancies. They were very constrained
    with the amounts of energy that they had at their disposal. Everything basically
    comes from the sun. Direct solar energy in the form of eatable
    plants or forest products or some wind power and waterpower, and animals could work for them. They couldn’t really increase their level of income very much or their
    energy consumption very much. (narrator)
    In England, a growing population demanded more energy
    for household and industry at the hearth and at the forge. Wood was scarce,
    but they had coal. Coal was vital for Britain long before the Industrial
    Revolution, long before the mid-18th
    century, because all our woodland was
    depleted mainly for turning it into
    agricultural land. In this country, coal was
    important for blacksmiths, heating houses, and so on. (narrator)
    Britons began digging up the coal exposed on the surface and then followed the coal
    layers into the hillsides. By 1700, some of Britain’s
    coal mines had reached depths of hundreds of feet,
    and horse-powered water pumps ran night and day
    to control seepage. (narrator)
    One man, Thomas Newcomen, was looking for a cheaper way
    to pump water, but his invention
    needed better quality iron. Iron smelting required charcoal. Charcoal provided heat
    and the carbon needed to extract the iron
    from the ore. You could only make
    a little bit at a time, so iron products
    were very expensive. (narrator)
    Charcoal came from
    dwindling supplies of wood. By 1709, Abraham Darby was
    using coal as the source of both the carbon and heat
    in the smelting process. (Ed Steadman)
    Abraham Darby began using coke
    in place of charcoal. Coke is coal that’s been baked to remove tars
    and other impurities. He was able to make high-quality
    cast iron in larger batches, increasing the efficiency
    and reducing the cost. (narrator)
    Just 3 years later, in 1712,
    Darby made cast iron parts for Thomas Newcomen’s
    first commercial steam engine. The first major use of coal
    industrially was with the Newcomen
    steam engine. You heated water,
    filled a cylinder with steam, cooled the steam,
    created a vacuum, and the cylinder pulled down. They were used
    for pumping water out of mines. (narrator)
    The Newcomen steam engine was
    cheaper to run than horses. By 1760, more than
    a hundred steam engines were pumping the water out of mines
    across Great Britain using cylinders cast
    at Coalbrookdale. These new ways of using coal sparked
    the Industrial Revolution. The steam engine was
    a sea change in energy use. For the first time in history, humans are
    using energy from heat to power a machine, burning coal
    to make something move. It’s a completely new way
    of using energy. (narrator)
    Starting in the 1770s,
    James Watt made several improvements
    to Newcomen’s steam engine. James Watt increased the
    efficiency of steam engines hugely from Thomas Newcomen’s engine. He doubled the power
    of steam engines overnight– great for fuel economy, wouldn’t burn so much coal
    to do the same job. (narrator)
    Now more mine owners could afford to replace
    muscle power with machine. By 1790, the Industrial
    Revolution was gaining momentum. James Watt and his partner
    Matthew Boulton were producing
    coal-fired steam engines to pump water out of mines
    and even power a textile mill. The first Industrial Revolution
    centered around coal and what people were able to do
    with that coal, which was the steam engine,
    and also the innovation of how to use coal to produce
    cheap metals. (Gavin Weightman) By the
    19th century, steam engines were driving a
    fair ol’ bit of industry but water mills, windmills, were still quite common and so were
    animals. So gradually steam took over. It took over more gradually than
    people realize because it was expensive. One of the great things about the Boulton
    and Watt steam engine was, it used much less coal, it was
    more efficient than the others. (narrator)
    Demand for more steam engines meant demand
    for more iron and more coke. As coke was produced,
    waste gas was generated. Over time,
    technology made this flammable
    coal gas a source of light. Well, Britain in the early
    1800s, before gas lighting came along,
    was a very dark place indeed. The big breakthrough,
    of course, was coal gas in the early 1800s, and it
    suddenly lit up the streets. Gas lighting brought about
    a revolutionary change really in nighttime in Britain. (narrator)
    Coal gas began to light up
    streets and factories. The first gas companies were
    established in London in 1807 and in Baltimore, Maryland,
    in 1816. Beyond Baltimore, few Americans
    had experience with coal at the beginning of the 1800s. That would soon change
    in urban homes. (Sean Adams) Right around the
    time of the War of 1812, what we start to see is a bit of
    a transition in home heating from open fireplaces to stoves. At first, these stoves
    would’ve burned wood, but then as firewood became
    more and more scarce, they started to burn coal. That was a period in which
    you had major fuel shortages, and it was because the country was running out of firewood
    for American cities. And so it’s at that time that
    you see entrepreneurs begin shipping their coal to American
    consumers for home heating. Coal becomes the preferred home
    heating fuel because it was a lot cheaper and a lot more
    reliable than firewood. It’s really home heating
    that begins this long association
    of Americans with cheap, abundant, and
    available energy. (narrator)
    Demand for coal grew as more
    cities were lit with coal gas and more homes were heated
    with coal stoves. But demand would reach
    a whole new level once innovators on both sides
    of the Atlantic found a way to make
    the steam engine mobile. The railways were really
    the result of tens, even hundreds, of years
    of industrial development. So to get an engine on a track requires all sorts
    of technological advances– so you need the steam engine
    to work properly; you need a track that is
    properly laid and is stable; you need a way to connect the steam engine with coaches
    and so on. So they weren’t invented
    in one go. They were a whole process
    of development that finally came to fruition with the railways of
    the early 1830s in both the United States,
    in England, and also in several
    European countries. The railways grew
    incredibly fast. Within 20 years, there were 6,000 miles of railway
    in Great Britain. This same process happened in the United States. Again,
    within 20 years there were thousands of miles of railway. Railroads created the economies of the capitalist countries. It wasn’t a kind of coincidence
    that capitalism and rapid economic growth takes
    off as the railways take off. They were the engines
    of economic growth. (narrator)
    The growth of railways
    required more coal for making iron
    and powering the locomotives. And every bit of that coal
    was dug by hand– in America, by men and boys; in Britain,
    by entire families. The man of the house would
    actually take what they call a pitch or
    a stall in a working pit. And he would be responsible for getting all of the coal
    out of there, hacking away with the pickax. The wife, or what they’d called
    the hurrier, she’d actually be dragging the coal out,
    sometimes on a railed trolley, and you’d have the younger
    members of the family might be helping to load the coal once
    the father’s hacked it out or to open and close
    the air doors. So they’d be working
    as discreet family groups. There was no
    sort of safety regimes. Ventilation had to rely on
    natural air currents, so as your colliery got larger, you’d end up with a buildup of
    gases such as carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, methane,
    which is an explosive gas. It was really hell on Earth. Hell under Earth you could say,
    I suppose, really. (narrator)
    Coal was becoming the dominant
    energy source in Great Britain. By the 1840s, British miners
    were digging half of the world’s
    coal production. While coal-fired steam
    powered industry in Britain, the fledging industry in America developed using
    the resources at hand. Textile mills in
    the first factory town, Lowell, Massachusetts,
    developed around running water. The whole reason that Lowell is
    here is the water power system. The Merrimack River in the space of about a mile and a half
    drops about 32 feet. And that drop is
    what powers these mills. Lowell is one of the
    most important cities in the American Industrial
    Revolution. It’s really the first
    large-scale industrial city built solely for the purpose
    of producing cloth and producing profit
    for the mill owners. This is really where
    industrial America begins. They noticed as they were
    building more and more factories, they were
    starting to run out of water. The mill owners,
    they need some kind of backup source of power,
    and they turned to steam. (narrator)
    In 1849, George Corliss
    of Providence, Rhode Island, patented refinements to
    the coal-powered steam engine. It was especially suited
    for the textile industry. (David Byers) Now, that steam
    power is interesting because once you can put a steam engine
    in there fairly cheaply, well, now you can put a factory
    anywhere you want. And factories begin to grow up
    right along the coast where they had easy access to both the coal coming in
    to run the steam engines but also to be able to ship out
    their textiles. And so what coal does is,
    it essentially allows industrial production to be
    both concentrated, and it liberates it from sources of energy like
    water, wood, and wind. (narrator)
    Demand for coal was growing. By the 1860s and into the 1870s,
    most Americans living in northern cities
    would’ve been burning coal. Once people become dependent
    on the pretty steady and efficient heat that coal
    provides, what they found was any disruption
    in that supply seemed chaotic. (narrator)
    Much of that coal had been
    coming from Pennsylvania, but that was changing, too, as the steam engine on wheels
    covered more ground. (Sean Adams) What we start to
    see is the emergence of essentially a national grid
    of coal production, linked together by railroads
    to the point where, if you were in Chicago and you were a
    consumer in 1880s and 1890s, you could burn coal from
    any number of sources. What this meant for American
    coal consumers were relatively low coal prices. Railroads had an impact on
    so many things: first and foremost, railroads
    literally shrunk time and space. The cost of shipping goods declined dramatically
    because of railroads. Railroads created
    an environment that encouraged technological
    and organizational innovation. (narrator)
    While the railroads were building the delivery network
    for goods and energy, coal was providing energy and raw materials
    for infrastructure. Millions of tons of coal were pouring into Pittsburgh–
    the reason was steel. (Ron Baraff) Iron is
    a wonderful metal. You can build a number of things out
    of it, but it’s very brittle. Steel, on the other hand, is
    very malleable. You can make
    whatever you want out of it, and it maintains its integrity. Steel is not a naturally
    occurring element. It needs to be made by man. So you have to make iron first. To make iron, you need coke,
    iron ore, and limestone. We sit on the Pittsburgh Seam, which is one of the richest
    coal seams in the world. You have rivers
    for transportation. You have the Pittsburgh Seam
    providing coal and coke. Then you’ve got iron ore
    in this region. You’ve got limestone
    in this region, and you also had
    an immense amount of capital. You couple that
    with all the raw materials, you’ve got everything you need
    for successful industry. (narrator)
    Ovens ran night and day making coke from the coal
    of the Pittsburgh Seam. Thousands of railcars
    transported the coke to iron smelters
    and steel mills. Scottish-born Andrew Carnegie
    was the driving force behind the Pittsburgh steel industry
    from 1874 to 1901. They are producing
    structural steel. Plate from this mill went
    into Panama Canal locks, all the skyscrapers, numerous
    structures all over this country that allowed America to move
    into the 20th century. (narrator)
    Like steel and textile mills,
    coal mining itself was undergoing changes
    as industrialization demanded more and more energy. There’s more technology applied
    to coal mines in the period after
    the Civil War– more sophisticated
    steam engines, more sophisticated notions
    of ventilation. They’re making it more of a kind
    of factory type of operation. By the 1880s and 1890s,
    you would have had miners that did one or two jobs, so it would’ve mirrored
    the kind of division of labor that was occurring up at the
    surface in American factories. There’s also
    a greater application
    of technology to mining so that by the 20th century, it’s still
    a very dangerous workspace, but it would become much more
    technologically advanced. (narrator)
    More and more cities were taking advantage
    of easy access to coal. By the late 1800s,
    nearly every city had its own coal gas
    manufacturing plant. These were pretty much
    one gas plant at a time for each city or each
    urban area, because they couldn’t distribute
    their gas very far. It was quite, I think, an honor
    to have one, because it was showing
    some advancement of the city. (narrator)
    Although coal gas
    was originally used only for street lighting,
    technology now brought coal gas
    into urban homes too. (David Nakles)
    The gas manufacturers tried
    to find other markets. In particular, they found lighting and cooking in homes
    to be of value. Both business and homes,
    in fact, saw that value. The market and the ability
    to get the gas from the plant to the end users, was how town gas set the stage
    for natural gas. (narrator)
    Better than candles and more
    convenient than the coal stove, coal gas contained toxic gases that could be a problem
    inside the home. (David Nakles)
    Town gas is actually a mixture of carbon monoxide,
    hydrogen, and methane. And it also contains some
    amounts of carbon dioxide, hydrogen sulfide, hydrogen
    cyanide, and nitrogen. New technology developments come
    with a cost and a benefit. I mean, if you think about it,
    town gas brought safer streets because
    they were lit. It brought quality of life
    improvements to homes for cooking
    and lighting. And it brought jobs
    to the local community. At the same time, it did cause
    odors, it did result in these discharges to
    the waterways–things that the public would react to
    and file nuisance suits. The industry was being
    regulated, through the states and localities based on these
    nuisance complaints. There really weren’t federal
    environmental regulations. (narrator)
    Nuisance suits spurred research. What had been waste became
    the source of valuable products. (David Nakles)
    The major by-products,
    called coal tars, were used as substitutes
    for paints, to make water-repellent
    felt roof, they were used for waterproofing ship bottoms,
    to waterproof fabrics. And they were used
    to pave roads. The British found out that
    certain components of tar, in particular something like a
    compound called aniline, could be used to make dye. And the tar became a really
    valuable by-product and actually became the
    beginning of an industry, essentially, in the 1880s. It has provided numerous types
    of chemicals to make things from drugs to disinfectants to perfumes to explosives. Creosote is,
    in fact, a fraction of coal tar. Creosote is used extensively for electric poles
    and railroad ties. There are still
    wood treaters today that treat their wood
    using some creosote. (narrator)
    Even as Carnegie was building
    his steel empire, another transformation related
    to coal was already underway, a new energy carrier–
    electricity! When electricity first came out,
    people went hey, this is cool. What do we use it for? The first use of electricity was
    for light. (Gavin Weightman) The little
    incandescent electric bulb. It was invented more or less
    simultaneously by Joseph Swan here and Edison
    in America, and eventually they had a joint company called Ediswan. This little lamp has
    a little filament in it which needs an enormous amount
    of power to make it glow, and if you’ve got lots of them,
    you need much more power. (narrator)
    Right from the start, electricity came
    from the energy in coal. In a very real sense,
    electricity as an energy carrier comes right out of steam engine
    technology. Edison was burning coal
    to make steam to spin the magnets
    that generated electricity for his first demonstrations of
    electric street lighting in New York and London in 1882. Other innovators applied the
    technology of electrification to other uses, just as
    the original water-pumping steam engine was modified to run
    textile mills and locomotives. (narrator)
    Electric motors spread faster
    than electric lighting. Electric motors first started just as a demonstration powering
    small trains. As people saw that, they recognized the potential of using electricity. Elevators were created because
    you’d use an electric motor to move something
    from one floor to another. The subways were some of the
    first uses of electric motors. Paris had subways run
    by electric motors. (Gavin Weightman) The biggest
    impact of electricity in the early days was the
    electrification of the trams, because a lot of the cities at
    the end of the 19th century had horse-drawn trams on rails
    as streetcars. And when these were electrified
    at the turn of the 20th century, they were much more efficient,
    much cleaner. That was probably the first mass
    experience of electricity. Electric motors came in in America much more rapidly
    than in Britain. In factories, you had a series
    of fan belts run off of a central rod,
    which was steam-driven, which drove all the machinery. This had to be replaced,
    so there was a big investment in getting in
    electric machinery. (narrator)
    Because of the high cost, demand for electricity
    grew slowly. By 1900 in the United States, energy markets were really
    dominated by the fossil fuels. The American industrial economy,
    the large cities would have been utterly
    dependent to the point where a shortage of coal would have
    been devastating for a city. You really start to see that dependency on fossil fuel that characterizes
    American society really throughout the 20th century
    and into the 21st century. (Darran Cowd) When you think
    about coal, certainly, from about 1850
    through to 1950, there’s nothing you could do
    that didn’t involve coal. If you wanted to go on holiday,
    it powered the train. If you wanted to have a hot
    bath, it heated your water. If you wanted to flush your
    toilet, that fresh water would have been pumped by steam engine
    at your local waterworks. Baking– coal-fired ovens. Even when you look
    at the streets and lighting, gas lighting– all made from coal. so you
    couldn’t live without coal. (narrator)
    Coal was powering the economies of Britain, continental Europe,
    North America, Japan, and Australia as these
    coal-rich countries adopted the technologies of the
    Industrial Revolution. For the first time ever, coal supplied half the energy consumed on Earth. (narrator)
    Coal use continued to grow. But as new demands
    for energy arose, oil took on a larger role. An internal combustion engine is just a progression of the
    steam engine. In the early days, almost all
    automobiles were handmade. They were built in small shops. It made them very expensive
    and very hard to get. (narrator)
    In October 1908,
    the first Model T rolled off Henry Ford’s
    assembly line into a world of coal-fired steam locomotives, electric streetcars,
    and horse-drawn wagons. With innovations to his
    assembly line in 1912, Ford made an affordable product
    aimed at the masses. The energy market expanded as
    demand for petroleum took off. (Roy Beard)
    The internal combustion engine’s
    main impact is in transportation;
    it suddenly made point A to point B
    a lot closer than it was. The internal combustion engine
    even made it into the airplane. (narrator)
    The affordable
    gasoline-powered automobile was so successful that by 1930,
    demand for oil had tripled. At the same time,
    technological advancements were making electricity more useful
    and more available. Demand for coal increased. Initially, electricity was
    entirely for the upper classes. If you generate electricity on
    the small scale, it’s very
    expensive. Over time, we figured out that
    it’s a lot more cost-effective to make power in bulk
    in one place and effectively ship the
    electrons around to lots of different people at their
    homes and at their businesses. So over time,
    you would get a city that would have
    its own small grid, and then those cities were
    all connected to one another. If you look at the way domestic
    appliances came in, the first really popular thing
    was the electric iron. They would unplug
    the ceiling light bulb and plug the iron
    into the ceiling socket. You didn’t necessarily have
    a power socket. It came in
    in bits and pieces like that. Once electricity had become
    widespread with the grid built, then electricity began to become
    relatively inexpensive, and nearly all of it in Britain was produced by power stations
    running on coal. So coal was absolutely vital. (narrator)
    In America, local resources like oil and massive
    hydroelectric projects began meeting some demand. But coal-fired power plants
    generated half the electricity for the country’s industry,
    businesses, and homes. (narrator)
    As electricity was competing
    with coal gas technology for in-home lighting,
    a new primary energy source began replacing
    coal gas across America. High-pressure pipelines
    installed during World War II made long-distance transport
    of natural gas possible. (David Nakles) A network
    of pipelines provided that natural gas all around
    the country. And when the gas plants would
    finally be displaced depended on how far it was from
    the natural gas. So in effect, it moved
    from West to the East. As natural gas got
    piped to those areas, the manufactured gas,
    or town gas, was displaced. (narrator)
    Natural gas
    contained more energy and burned cleaner than the gas
    manufactured from coal. (David Nakles)
    You had to actually use less
    to get as much energy. And so in effect, as this higher
    value of gas became available, it made the manufactured gas
    less desirable. (narrator) In just 50 years, global consumption of coal had more than doubled. But in
    the face of growing demand, technical innovations brought large-scale hydroelectric,
    oil, and natural gas into the energy marketplace. If we look at home heating after
    World War II, what we really see is the rise
    in gas heat, a rise in people having
    oil furnaces in their house. That represents a major break
    with the long tradition of the old-fashioned hearth,
    but also the industrial hearth. (narrator)
    Industry was also adapting
    to energy diversity; railroads were moving to hybrid
    technology–diesel electric. (Roy Beard)
    Steam-powered required carrying
    vast amounts of coal or wood. With the advent of electric
    motors, we had something that was much more efficient,
    much smaller. In diesel locomotives, the
    diesel fuel runs the generator that runs the electric motor
    that is used for the propulsion of the
    locomotive. (Christian Wolmars)
    Steam technology was both quite expensive, quite dirty. It took about 50, 60 years,
    but really by, say, the end of the 1960s,
    there were very few. (Ed Steadman) The railroads
    weren’t fueled by coal anymore, but they still carried coal for industrial boilers
    and electricity generation. But I think our awareness of
    coal as an energy source really began to fade as we
    adopted these other fuels. Coal became a hidden fuel, a forgotten fuel in our society. (narrator)
    Plentiful energy,
    consumer choice, and rising standard of living
    were bringing new perspectives to
    the industrialized world. In 1969, cameras on the
    Apollo 11 moon landing mission brought home images
    of our finite planet. In the United States, we use
    these energy sources, we developed this technology;
    we developed our economy. And then we started
    to really develop an environmental
    consciousness as well. We started to look at what are
    the environmental effects of this rapidly developing economy and technology system. We started to say hey look,
    there are negative consequences. We don’t want
    to give up our energy, but yet we need to do it
    in a cleaner way. And that was really a pivotal
    moment in our culture. We had Earth Day, which was
    April 1970, and the U.S. EPA was created. With that creation, there became
    an entire rash of regulations, federal regulations like the
    Clean Air Act of 1970, the Clean Water Act of 1972, the Resource Conservation
    Recovery Act of 1976. (narrator)
    Coal was essential for
    industrial furnaces and nearly half of the U.S.
    electricity generation. But those major stationary
    industrial chimneys were a big part
    of America’s air pollution. The initial concern, of course,
    was about acid rain. So the control of the sulfur
    dioxide emissions has been something that
    utilities have been addressing,
    for now decades. The standards have been getting
    tighter and tighter, plus environmental regulations
    have been changing concerning the solid
    particulates. There’s been a lot more
    research and development of the equipment
    that’s necessary to add to a power plant
    for capturing that. Then you add
    something like mercury. Those challenges have been
    repeatedly met and often at less cost than was
    estimated at the outset. (narrator)
    With technical innovation, the black smoke from burning
    coal was replaced by the white
    of condensing steam from the furnace chimneys
    and water cooling towers. Surface mining had taken on a
    larger share of coal production as new coal fields were
    developed after World War II. They too were coming under
    new federal regulations. Before the 1970s, some mining
    companies reclaimed the land, but most did not; there was
    no standard. The Surface Mining Control
    and Reclamation Act of 1977 set standards
    for mine drainage and cleanup. Mine reclamation is both the
    process of reclaiming the land after
    you’ve extracted the coal, and there’s also
    final mine reclamation when you go back and clear out
    every bit of evidence that mining ever occurred
    on the site. It’s a very carefully thought
    out and orchestrated process of filling the hole where
    you’ve removed the dirt and then the coal. So you put back the subsoil
    and then you return the topsoil into the same location
    as topsoil. Today we use technologies
    like GPS systems on individual pieces
    of earth-moving equipment, so that we can return it to darn near exactly the same
    topography it was before. As technology has changed,
    so has our knowledge of how to accomplish
    a safe environment. We’ve learned about how
    to control roofs, the roof-bolting systems
    have improved, the use of the mapping
    underground using GPS and lasers has enabled
    mines to plan to stay away from stuff where there could be
    crumbly roofs and so on and go where the coal
    really is. On the surface, the safety
    techniques more resemble what you find
    at a construction site. It’s all about heavy equipment
    and being sure which direction vehicles are
    running and the normal things. (narrator)
    Other regulations addressed
    environmental concerns at industrial sites
    that were no longer in use. Town gas sites were
    a special challenge addressed with the Superfund Act of 1980. It was the one act that would
    apply to gas plants– not their operation,
    but the fact that they left historical
    impacts to a site. And so it was
    the Superfund process that originally highlighted
    manufactured gas plants as being sites of interest
    for remediation. Very few of these plants presented imminent hazards;
    remediations were required. They were usually done
    in a voluntary action by the company
    working with the state. And they wanted
    to put these properties back into productive service. And typically, what you found is that there were these
    solid residuals– the ashes and the clinkers
    and the tars– and they typically would have
    to be removed and disposed of off-site. You would do groundwater
    treatments and remediations, and in the end, most
    of these sites have been able to be put back either
    into industrial service; for residential use as well. (narrator)
    As the nation began
    to clean up the environment, the United States was hit
    by a shortage of energy. You cannot have an economy
    functioning without energy. Energy is required to make the
    wheels go round in the economy. But, the relationships have
    changed over time. With the Industrial Revolution, the energy requirements
    increased a lot. (Ed Steadman) Energy security,
    as we learned in the ’73 oil crisis,
    is very, very important. There are many geopolitical
    conflicts, really based on energy
    or lack of energy. (narrator)
    In the 1970s, domestic oil
    production was declining, and natural gas was
    in short supply. Both resulted
    in high fuel prices. Industry and policymakers
    began to reconsider how we use
    these feedstock fuels. (Ed Steadman) We had large,
    secured, domestic supplies of both coal and uranium. In 1978, the U.S. Congress passed the Industrial
    Fuel Use Act. This law was aimed at ensuring
    the flow of electricity. (narrator)
    The federal law said
    that new power plants had to use coal or alternate
    fuel to generate electricity. They wanted to save oil and gas
    for more important uses. (Ed Steadman) Then the accident
    at Three Mile Island took nuclear power off the
    table. So with few locations left for
    hydro, that left coal as the only practical choice
    for new power plants. (narrator)
    By the time the Fuel Use Act
    was repealed in 1987, a fleet of modern electricity
    generation plants complete
    with air pollution controls was under construction
    in the United States. These are the coal-fired plants that provide much
    of our electricity today. And the amount of coal used for
    making electricity continued to grow, even as the
    share of generation from natural gas and nuclear
    energy increased. As all those other energy sources developed,
    coal didn’t go away. There’s more coal being burned
    today than any time in history. (narrator)
    In just 40 years, global energy
    demand had grown by 3-1/2 times. By 1990, the fully
    industrialized countries, 1/5 of the world’s population, were using
    half the energy on Earth. (Astrid Kander)
    We are also living
    in a globalized world where many countries are
    catching up with us now. They want to have
    all the things that we have. So they actually expand
    their energy consumption a lot. China is one of the really
    rapidly growing economies. You can say that what took a
    very long time in Europe to do happens in a very short period
    of time now in China. They use a lot of coal. Mainly for electricity
    production but also for heating purposes and
    industries and so on. (narrator)
    For rapidly emerging economies, providing energy is
    a top priority. The single biggest issue is
    access to energy. These are countries
    that don’t have the infrastructure that we have
    here in our country, and so many of the people
    in those countries live in energy poverty. (narrator)
    Energy wealth from fossil fuels
    drove the Industrial Revolution. Now, rapidly emerging nations
    are using their domestic energy resources
    to build their economies. (Julio Friedmann) The largest
    coal reserves in the world are in Russia, the United
    States, China, and India. Not surprisingly, those are the countries that burn
    the most coal. There are lots of advantages
    to the burning of coal. It has a very high energy
    density, meaning you get a lot of energy
    out of it. You can make a lot of power
    with coal. It’s easy to transport,
    it’s safe, it’s stable, and it’s cheap. This is why the modern world
    has been built on coal. (Charles McConnell) China
    and India, with close to 2.5 billion people, with a huge
    demand for energy, that energy will be supplied by
    the most accessible and the most affordable fuel
    that those societies have to access, and that’s
    going to be coal. It will be, for the foreseeable
    future, over the next 50 to 100 years. (narrator)
    In the past, burning more coal has led to environmental
    consequences that were solved with
    technological improvements. People still have this picture
    in their mind of a Dickensian coal plant belching pollution
    into the air. We have done a very good job in
    the developed countries of managing pollutants like sulfur,
    like nitrogen, like mercury, like ash,
    like particulates. The United States has
    successfully reduced criteria pollutants from power
    generation by roughly 90%. Now, we face the next challenge,
    which is carbon. That one will be much, much
    harder. (Ed Steadman) Any fuel that came
    from living matter– coal, oil, natural gas,
    or even wood– they all contain carbon. When you burn that fuel, you get energy, water,
    and carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide emissions are
    a global problem. What happens
    anywhere in the world affects everybody else
    in the world, because we all share
    the same atmosphere. (narrator)
    Humans have burned
    a lot of fossil fuel, especially coal, since the
    Industrial Revolution began. (Astrid Kander)
    Europe’s carbon emissions,
    of course, increased a lot when they started to combust
    coal on a big scale. So their carbon emissions continue to increase also with
    oil consumption. So it increased up until roughly
    the 1970s. But, after that, there has been
    actually a decline in carbon emissions in Europe. (Ed Steadman) The United States has also seen a leveling off
    of CO2 emissions as manufacturing declined and
    because we have retrofitted some coal-fired power plants
    to burn natural gas. In countries like China
    and India, as those countries’ economies
    develop, they need more electricity. They are turning to the exact
    same place we turned in the 1800s in the Industrial
    Revolution. They are turning to coal. That’s because coal is readily
    available, it’s cheap, the technologies are there. 75% of China’s electricity is
    from coal. 70% of India’s electricity is
    from coal. Clearly the increase into the
    future of carbon emission is going to come from developing
    economies, like India, like China, like
    Southeast Asia. A quarter of that population
    doesn’t have electricity. They have the right to have
    electricity. So it’s tough for us to ask them
    to clean up something where they haven’t even got the minimum standards
    we regard as normal. (narrator) Demand for energy
    globally is expected to increase by more than 50%
    over the next 40 years. (Charles McConnell) Today, over
    75% of the world’s energy comes from
    fossil fuel. Over the next 40 years, there will continue to be 75% of the world’s energy supplied by fossil fuels. That says that there’ll be a tremendous amount of renewable
    energy deployed, certainly, but that fossil
    energy will continue to be the dominant
    force. Is CO2 a contributor to
    greenhouse gases? I believe that it is. Should it be mitigated?
    Certainly. We need to have
    good coal technologies that bring economic benefit and bring a sustainable
    footprint for the future. Those are the
    kinds of technologies that are going to make the biggest difference in this
    world’s environmental footprint. We’ve seen amazing technological
    innovations in other parts of the economy that have really reshaped what
    we know is possible. There are going to be
    innovations ahead of us that none of us can yet foresee. We don’t want to compromise
    on our ability to access energy or
    to use energy, but what we also want
    to make sure is that we’re doing it in a clean, low-carbon, environmentally
    responsible way. (narrator)
    Today, coal is used mainly
    for electricity generation around the world
    and in the United States. We need to focus on electricity because electricity is the main
    thing that we make with energy. 40% of our energy use is used
    to make electricity, and transportation is actually a significantly smaller portion
    of our energy use. (narrator)
    What technologies might help
    America and the world have enough electricity
    without CO2 emissions? (Julio Friedmann) Wind energy is
    a very good resource where the wind blows a lot. The cost of wind energy in many
    places is now competitive for power generation with any
    other clean energy supply. It is domestic and secure,
    and the fuel costs are zero. (narrator)
    The most recent statistics indicate that wind provides 6% of the U.S. electricity supply and 4%
    of the world’s electricity. With technology and how it’s
    evolved, we can get electricity just by
    putting photovoltaic panels on the roofs
    of people’s homes. That requires a different kind
    of distribution grid, one that’s able to take power
    as well as deliver it. (narrator)
    The most recent statistics indicate that solar provides about 1%
    of the electricity supply both in the United States
    and globally. The challenge with solar and with wind is, they are
    intermittent. When the wind isn’t blowing,
    when the sun is down, you don’t have that power. And the intermittency can be
    quite dramatic. You can lose 80% of your solar
    in just a matter of minutes. It can come back in a matter
    of minutes too, but that creates challenges
    to the grid. That intermittency means that
    you have to back those energy systems up
    with other kinds of energy, often nuclear, gas,
    coal. (Maggie Koerth-Baker)
    The way that our grid is set up is that we are forced
    to basically make almost exactly the same amount of electricity
    as we use at any given moment. You have to have an almost
    perfect balance between electric supply and
    electric demand, and if that gets out of whack
    by even fractions of a percent, you’re going to get blackouts. (Ed Steadman) So for every
    kilowatt of intermittent power that we have on the grid,
    we need a backup system. You’re doubling
    your capital cost, because you have
    a backup system. That really is a big problem. (Michelle Nijhuis) There’s a lot
    of potential in solar and wind. We are, in fact, investing less
    worldwide in energy research in developing more efficient,
    more powerful solar and wind technologies than we
    were in the 1980s. We’re also behind in improving
    the transmission systems and our storage systems so that
    we can use those technologies as baseload power as 24/7
    sources of electricity as we use coal today. (Ed Steadman) Electricity
    storage, to me, is the Holy Grail. If we had good storage systems, if we had battery systems
    that they’re working on, that’s really going to make a
    huge impact on our energy needs. But right now, the technologies
    are inadequate– batteries are inadequate. What it means is you
    have to start changing the way the grid works,
    so that we can move towards that future where the
    intermittent sources aren’t going to affect the grid
    in a negative way. The good news is that it’s
    a combination of new energy technologies and
    new information technologies sophisticated enough
    to enable us to manage these new electricity
    flows that are opening up all sorts of possibilities
    for a smarter, cheaper, more reliable electric system
    and one that’s cleaner. Infrastructure change on the
    scale that we’re talking about is a slow process, and without
    that infrastructure change, we can’t just shut off
    the fossil fuels and expect to have all of the
    services from electricity that we rely on right now, because we just don’t have
    the tools to do that. (narrator)
    Right now only 1/3rd
    of our domestic electricity comes from carbon-free
    energy sources, but most of that is
    nuclear energy. The rest, nearly 2/3rds,
    comes from fossil fuels, mostly coal and natural gas. In the meantime, the climate
    problem– the emissions problem– is
    serious enough that we need to deploy these clean coal technologies
    that we already have. And we need to start putting
    them on commercial-scale coal plants and using them to keep carbon
    out of the atmosphere, because we’re not there yet with
    renewables. Clean coal technology means that
    you are using coal without putting pollutants
    into the atmosphere. We capture essentially
    everything. Carbon capture and storage is an
    important part of clean coal. It’s just one of the many things we have to do to have
    low-carbon energy. (Juho Lipponen) Carbon capture
    and storage is a group of technologies and
    techniques that enables the capturing of CO2 from
    various sources, the transport of that CO2, then
    the final storage of that CO2 in deep geological formations
    underground. The capturing of CO2 can be done
    from power station flue gases, various flue gas streams in the
    steel and cement industries as well the chemical industry or
    natural gas production industry. (narrator)
    CO2 capture technology has been keeping carbon dioxide
    out of the air for years at the Great Plains Synfuels
    Plant in Beulah, North Dakota. (Dale Johnson)
    DGC was born during the time when natural gas was scarce in
    the late ’70s, early ’80s. And it was really an idea
    that was generated by a number of gas companies. They saw a real win-win
    situation, where this region had,
    virtually, hundreds of years of coal
    available, a shortage of natural gas and a
    technology like gasification, that could convert lignite coal
    to natural gas efficiently and provide that energy to the
    customers for home heating, for energy generation,
    those sorts of things. The coal reacts with oxygen and
    steam to generate a raw gas. From there,
    that raw gas is separated into liquid products
    and gas products. We’re able to separate CO2 through what we call
    the Rectisol process. And that generates 95% CO2 and
    very little other contaminants. We compress that CO2,
    pipe it to Canada where they’re using it
    for enhanced oil recovery. We surpassed 30 million
    metric tons of CO2 that was sequestered
    in the oil fields in Canada. (narrator)
    Because of the nearly pure
    CO2 stream, CO2 capture works well at
    the coal gasification plant. Not so with traditional
    power plants where the CO2 makes up less than 15% of the emissions. They need
    a different separation process to remove the CO2
    from the exhaust, which is mostly nitrogen. What we need to do is separate the carbon dioxide out
    from the rest. So we don’t want to put all that
    nitrogen underground. That’s why you need
    the separation step, which is expensive, but it makes
    the transport and injection of carbon dioxide much, much
    more efficient. This technology is key for the hundreds of existing
    power plants that currently make 1/3rd of
    the electricity in the U.S. and more than 70% of the
    electricity in China and India. (narrator)
    Even with the low CO2 content
    in the exhaust, carbon capture has
    become a reality at the Boundary Dam power plant
    in Saskatchewan. (Mike Monea)
    Our government wants to reduce
    its greenhouse gas footprint. We had to answer the question
    ourselves: does coal remain in our fleet, as a fuel
    supply to generate power? Can we keep coal in our mix? Or do we start looking at
    abandoning our mines and moving perhaps to
    natural gas? So it to me is a very important
    project. It’s a very low-emission plant;
    it’s the world’s first plant to demonstrate the cost
    of capturing carbon. What’s really going to be
    significant for us is to have the actual economics of this
    plant show us at SaskPower that we can capture carbon
    in the future and reduce greenhouse gas
    emissions. I think it’s significant for
    other countries or companies to also see this data, so they
    can make their own decision. This model can be really
    transferable around the world. (narrator)
    What does the commercial success of carbon capture at
    the Boundary Dam power station mean to coal and to electricity
    generation? (Juho Lipponen)
    Carbon capture and storage will
    have a strong role globally only if both the United States
    and China truly embrace the use of this technology. They are the
    two biggest economies, the two biggest CO2 emitters, and they really have an enormous
    stake in getting CCS right. We have the technology to do it, but right now
    it’s very expensive. So there’s always
    this give and take between the cost of energy
    and how clean the energy is. To clean it up takes money. And as energy prices go up, there’s a negative effect
    on our society of that as well. What we need is, we need to
    spend some money. There’s investment tax credits
    and production tax credits for wind and solar and other
    kinds of clean energy. We need to open up the markets to make policies that support
    clean energy of all kinds. We want to finance wind plants,
    we want to finance solar plants, and we want to finance clean
    fossil plants, and clean means near-zero
    emissions–period. And if we don’t do that, we’re
    placing our planet at risk. In the United States,
    1/3 of the plants will probably just shut down, 1/3 of the plants are viable
    for retrofit, and 1/3 of the plants
    are on the bubble. But some of the plants
    will be retrofit, and that will be good
    for America. It’s our responsibility to use
    our resources in a wise manner. We have tremendous reserves
    of coal. It’s a perfect fuel for
    baseload electrical generation. To take that off the table
    is irresponsible. Let’s do that science and
    engineering it takes to use that coal in an environmentally
    responsible manner. (Stuart Hazeldine)
    The move has to come from the older
    industrial nations: the United States, Europe,
    Australia. They can develop the technology, make that technology
    established, and then the developing nations will pick that up and make that
    much cheaper. But we have to make
    the first moves. [guitar & piano play softly] (narrator)
    Through time and waves
    of technological change, we have learned
    that energy is critical for economy and quality of life. The world now uses 20 times
    the energy it did in 1800, and life has improved
    dramatically in the postindustrial world. Coal laid the foundation and continues to play
    a critical role. Does coal likely have a future?
    I think it does. Coal is so abundant in
    the United States. There’s so much of it,
    we’d be foolish to not try to utilize it
    in some way. But it’s finding a smart way
    to use it that I think is
    the real challenge. That, in fact, is part
    of the purpose of carbon capture and storage
    that the world can carry on using coal and add on
    a few percent only to the cost of using that fuel,
    but make that fuel environmentally clean enough
    that we can carry on using that for the next
    40 or 50 years. It buys us time to develop new,
    even better methods of capturing carbon and new,
    even better methods of generating
    zero-carbon electricity. (Michelle Nijhuis) We’re not
    talking about either/or. Either clean coal, advanced
    coal, or renewables. We’re talking about “ands,”
    where we have to use every clean energy source
    that we know of in order to solve our carbon
    problem while also providing billions
    of people on earth with something that looks like
    a modern life. As the world’s population grows, that’s becoming increasingly
    difficult. And the strains on
    the environment are becoming more intense. So in order for our children
    and grandchildren to have
    the same quality of life, we need to continue to
    develop those technologies that will allow us to use coal, yet spare the environment
    the negative of consequences. [piano plays softly] (man) Funding provided by: The U.S. Department of Energy
    Office of Fossil Energy; The National Energy
    Technology Laboratory; Members of the Energy &
    Environmental Research Center’s Plains CO2 Reduction
    Partnership; and The members
    of Prairie Public.

    C&O Canal vs. B&O RR:  Railroads of America 3
    Articles, Blog

    C&O Canal vs. B&O RR: Railroads of America 3

    August 23, 2019


    As American settlement move west of the
    Appalachians in the early 1800s, a growing need arose for transportation
    to the east. Port cities in the East realized that
    the key to prosperity lay in tapping into this western trade.
    The success of the Erie Canal led to a race for each city to secure its own
    route to the interior. In Maryland, this became the competition
    between the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal and the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. The first settlers arrived in this area,
    there were no roads. Railroads had not been invented. So they had to use the rivers, the way the
    Native Americans had done. And here in the east, none of the eastern
    rivers are really navigable. But they had no choice, so for nearly a hundred years of the original
    occupancy of the area the early settlers tried to make the rivers navigable. mean the best place to start is to go
    back to the early 1820s Mike the situation on the eastern
    seaboard at that time you had essentially 3 major port cities New York Philadelphia and Baltimore that we’re all in a rather intense
    competition with each other now each one of the city’s a course had
    its own little limited hinterlands that did business
    with but all three cities we’re in
    competition with each other for the trader the Great West what was then the
    frontier the Great Lakes Ohio river system the Mississippi River
    system and all three the city’s were devising means to reach that area long distance anywhere from 300 to 500
    miles from the port and again in the early 1820s basically the only
    way to get there was by road on now roads in the early 1820s obviously we’re pretty primitive mud bog
    in the spring snowed over iced over in the winter there really all year round harm it took as much jus three weeks in those days to reach from
    Baltimore to the Ohio River by wagon you are hauling freight from
    Baltimore to the Ohio River in this kinda situation Baltimore have a
    couple a real advantages New Yorker course was a growing city in
    probably the dominant said even in those days Baltimore was very ambitious very
    aggressive was growing fast probably growing faster
    than either of those two other cities because it had two major advantages to
    those cities didn’t when you had to go by road to the
    interior 300 to 500 miles ok you depended on your road system you
    wanted the distance to be a short as possible on the road to be as good as
    possible Baltimore was located further inland you look at a map and you see how these
    three cities lineup you see that new yorkers a good bit further east philadelphia is kind of in the middle
    and then you come to Baltimore good bed West Baltimore was as much as 200 miles
    closer to the Ohio River than its two rivals particularly York number two it had a very good road
    system to get there yet had kind Turnpike’s radiating in all directions
    at a Baltimore and to get to the Ohio River in eighteen
    18 the federal government built the
    National Road from Cumberland Maryland to the Ohio River at at Wheeling
    National Road knows days was probably the equivalent of an interstate highway
    now it was a well-built well engineered hard surface Monroe so in that kinda
    situation Baltimore had a wonderful advantage and its merchants and its bankers were
    looking forward to a wonderful future and after maybe 75 years old company’s form to make the rivers
    navigable at least in this area the idea was born today artificial
    waterways where you control the depth you control the flow control when you go
    up and down by the mean two locks so Lee canal hero began actually began lay here the great Eureka nailed in 1825 construction
    on a canal here in a bit of a well I did not begin until 1828 well so everything was fine for
    Baltimore until 1825 1825 New York State completed the Eureka
    now gave the city of New York were actually
    a water level route from New York City to Buffalo on Lake
    Erie and the Buffalo that tapped into the
    entire Great Lakes system and the mississippi system eerie canal was the first long-distance canal in the
    united states that had been canals around in europe for many years before but this was the
    first major long-distance canal built in the
    United States and it created a transportation
    revolution now I think nowadays we work on these
    hoc analysis something very Queen 10 antiquated and why did these people never bother
    with these canals but even now in theory carrying freight by water is the
    cheapest and most efficient way you can do it his people have the right idea in those
    days and the Erie Canal certainly proved the
    freight rate they said from Buffalo to New York before the Erie Canal was built
    was about a hundred dollars to turn after they open the Erie Canal it went
    down to ten to twelve dollars to town it made that much different so here was
    Baltimore all of a sudden it’s wonderful road system was obsolete and its advantage to being as much as
    200 miles closer to the Ohio River than New York and Philadelphia really didn’t
    make that much difference anymore because the only way that it could get
    there was by road the canal liplock have been used in
    Europe for centuries aboard remember the lock and the more
    gates were closed behind cells were then be open allowing water
    to fill the lock to the upper level with the upper gate then open the BART
    to continue upstream the reverse procedure would lower the
    barge although minor variations in improvements could be made the basic technology was well-known won the Baltimore also Georgetown had
    was a departure fee to get worse from there was nothing like what New York had
    on the Eureka now New York you went up the hudson river at
    Albany a beautiful level open waterway and then at Albany
    the Erie Canal began on its way to Buffalo one across the Mohawk Valley through
    upstate New York which is almost level itself is absolutely
    beautiful territory going west from Baltimore in also going
    west from georgetown you started with rough chop the Piedmont country and then
    it got worse you got to the Blue Ridge Mountains and
    then you got to the alleghenies and how are you gonna build a practical can now
    over the alleghenies for the minimum elevation about twenty six hundred feet its merit fact when they did actually
    plan a canal later on section to get over the mountains had to
    have 246 walks uniform I’ll tunnel at the
    summit and even then nobody was sure where they were going to get their water
    and the some other the mountain until the people in Baltimore very
    quickly so canals not gonna work well what else was there roads for obsolete in a canal was
    impractical if not totally impossible they’re pretty much on up against the
    wall they didn’t know what to do by a very happy coincidence the same
    year the Erie Canal opened in 1925 there was another event over in Great Britain the opening up the Stockton and
    Darlington Railway T to our fourth 1828 was a great day in Washington DC because President John Quincy Adams spay the
    first eight ball over start the great C&O Canal just beat Ohio
    Canal proper the greatest canal in the world
    because serve the new nation they wanted to make a canal it would be the end we are the world over in
    Baltimore the merchants so that deep water port
    became ill or because they felt that they would lose much to their deep water
    trade to the Twin Cities over Alexandria Virginia
    in Georgetown DC the idea had been to possibly day a canal from Baltimore
    across Maryland to connect with just bigger like a nail
    somewhere around where the could talk to mountain
    range dip down to the river engineering surveys prove that it would be
    impossible because between Baltimore and what is today for
    iraq Maryland there’s an 800-foot hi Ridge call
    partridge there was no way to get a canal over
    that ridge so the idea that direct canal to connect
    with the Chesapeake and Ohio from Baltimore to poor RockMelt was impossible so the Baltimore
    merchants out of fear losing trade started that
    very same day july the fourth 1828 non hurled on tried putting a railroad bus we had the
    birth all the nation’s first railroad the
    Baltimore Ohio for in the last surviving son are the
    Declaration of Independence Charles Carroll Carrollton laid the first stone on the
    Borough High railroad remember that when the Baltimore and
    Ohio Railroad was formed in 1827 a longer story I wrote in the world and
    in fact the only common carrier public railroad in the world Stockton
    and Darlington was 25 miles long there was really nothing more than a glorified English mind tramway crude locomotives crude cars are you score to the still being used
    inclined plane still in addition to their steam locomotives these guys in Baltimore working to build 380 miles and they were gonna build
    through terrain that no railroad had ever been built through before summer the most hostile terrain
    in the world the Allegheny Mountains nor a rodin never faced anything like
    that they had no idea how to lay out their
    railroad they had no idea what kinda curves what kind of grades would work they had no real idea what kinda
    locomotives they were going to use her if they were going to use locomotives
    are if they were going to use horses they didn’t know what kinda car designs
    they were going to use they didn’t know what all this was gonna
    cost and they didn’t know where the money was
    going to come from rather than this they have no problems at all you have to give these guys a real
    credit the B&O Railroad at the time was
    probably the riskiest and most daring project this country has
    ever seen in fact probably the that the world has
    ever seen everything that had to be done on the
    piano had to be invented adapted more learned the hard way and salata
    learning the hard way Co one of the first major obstacles the
    Baltimore and Ohio Railroad had overcome was Quinn’s falls near Baltimore they
    chose across it on a massive stone arch bridge you see behind me this bridge was named
    the Carrollton fired a in honor of Charles Carroll it
    was typical overly construction on the BNL hollow built to last for centuries such
    bridges use up precious time and capital over
    the next seven years the railroaders rebuild to reduce a
    sharp errors in the original alignment making much of this expensive
    construction useless the B&O initially experimented with
    three different designed to trap their preferred design his granite blocks late and an strap by
    andrea was fastened to the top of these locks with iron pans to provide a running
    service for the wheels it was hoped that this would prove to be
    a permanent heavy-duty track structure other track
    was laid with scrap iron rail fastened to win
    stringers supported by either square granite blocks a wooden ties he’s proved to be poor choices as cars
    and locomotives got heavier the strap Iron Rail couldn’t stand up
    for the load you know soon realized he would have to replace its track withdrawal the IronKey rail similar to
    modern day where were trapped in may have 1830 after less than two
    years construction to be you know opened its
    first 13 miles attract from Baltimore to Ellicott mills this was the first regularly scheduled
    railroad service in the United States although still powered by horses
    provided to be a No but what if its first resources a
    revenue this credit people in Ellicott Mills was completed the following year there was one of the earliest permanent
    buildings on the road there the greatest obstacle the building
    either a canal a railroad west from Baltimore was part spring
    Ridge running north and south across Central Maryland could be a No not thinking that steam
    power couple trains upgrade chose to cross the ridge using a series
    of or inclined planes forces we use initially support rains up
    to the top for the intention eventually replacing
    them with steam powered winches & cables this never happened in December 1834 a special train should of the new steam
    locomotive by running up to planes on the west side of the ridge
    stopping and starting on the grades obviously piano had underestimated the
    capabilities a steam-powered by 1838 a new route was open over the
    ridge in the planes were abandoned this stone arch is virtually all that remains
    to them first three years ago structure and went
    very well and in fact it’s estimated that in 1830 the second year construction there
    were over three thousand workers employed in
    digging a canal and as the Canal was dug worst early
    they open that first two areas like Great Falls and
    eventually I’ll to Seneca and and upon a rock reporter
    rocks they ran into a dilemma because coming over Baltimore was a new mode of transportation the Baltimore
    Ohio Railroad there wasn’t room enough there to go around the could talk in
    Mountain that the narrow support Iraq’s for both to bill so construction %uh both just be
    like an animal Raja railroad withhold the corner of Maryland when they wanted
    litigation as to just want which one had the right away afternoon later two years the litigation
    a judge ruled that the canal caught me actually had a right
    away to the river because it had taken all the rights all the all the Paul
    McCartney he also ruled then that the Baltimore
    high road and just big know how I can now would be built together from point a rockstar preferred it was
    about twelve mile than they were at Harpers Ferry who the railroad decided to build a bridge in Warrenton Virginia so
    they would not have to fight for the right away in the
    you know what western Virginia miss and they reach Cumberland in 1842 while it was an accomplishment but here
    we were fourteen years after now wonderful ceremony offers playing
    playing at the first stone your teen years have gone by and they were only halfway to their
    objective and the worst problems lie ahead because Cumberland was right at the base
    of the Allegheny the worst in the mail great you to Cumberland they hit the
    jackpot what because playing behind Cumberland were but two minutes call feels and
    beginning in the mid 1840s Cole begin to flow East from Cumberland and the flow of coal grew in girllll and it became really the life support of
    the B&O became the bread and butter Rubiano from
    then on afterwards whatever success the B&O and even after it had expanded into a major trunk line system in the east the
    B&O is supported by Cole not only from western Maryland but is it
    grew West Virginia cool and incidentally to be in all got to Cumberland in 1842
    they beat the C&O Canal by eight years C&O Canal had problems have
    a tone in a lot more problems they had financial problems they had
    construction problems they had sickness problems kara was a
    terrible thing and those days in the C&O Canal periodically would
    simply have to stop construction because Apple waves ok fever and cholera that swept through the workers has the rare I began to seriously
    compete for heavy freight with the canal the
    deficiencies of the original construction became obvious sharp Kors needed to be straightened
    hiring strap railways outmoded and wooden bridges word up to the task
    in 1850 the B&O install the First Avenue type
    have iron truss bridge designed by the you know master Road
    when Obama he became be a no standard bridge for
    the next twenty years mom undresses like this one allowed to
    be a note to carry increasingly heavy loads to the end of the 19th century mid-eighteen seven days the canal boat cap is big NO look at all the
    money that the cannot come it was making and they
    thought they like to have a little more that the strike send really that was the
    beginning of the end solved peco the canal where he ran a
    poll rally to continue to operate but it never again had the large amount of boats 530 were in use in the early 1870s some other labor problems were worked
    out born in 1889 me that year a huge flood hit the valley that devastated the canal me completely
    wiped out he thought your call to Johnstown ploy that it was not the Johnstown Flood it just
    so happened that that was the same day he saw the historic Jones tells word May 31st 1889 the waters here Nash agree East not west who add forums particularly also badly that probably
    never would have all and off they went into receivership me me more high road hook the situation
    over they were afraid that a rival railroad
    would take the canal a receivership bill rare all the towpath it would
    parallel the B&O through worst heard be no trade the moral high
    officials decided that they would take over the canal me would operate the canal know that
    they told the judge that they it would make money so the early 1890s can re-open under the direction other arch
    competitor to the ball high road they actually operated then to the separate business through 1924
    when again a for the damage did enough that it
    never reopened as a transportation waterway more high road actually help I’ll in
    operated through 1938 when the united states government
    took title to the old canal think the most important thing to
    remember about the canal here although was very short it was the canal here a little opened up this country the
    was not railroads it was not roads for Connells much some
    way or the other I can tell because their period was so
    short a really forgotten drop in our history
    so I think if you really read the basic
    history from say 1785 until 1850 the basic motor transportation with
    Barca now by artificial waterway and I think that
    is what we should remember about gonna No in 1828 it wasn’t clear whether the
    railroad for the canal would be victorious but
    OPEC canals were mature technology and railroads we’re just beginning to
    develop as mara technology rapidly advanced the canal lost any hope not successfully
    competing this there

    Fairfax 275 Celebration – Fairfax Station Railroad Museum
    Articles, Blog

    Fairfax 275 Celebration – Fairfax Station Railroad Museum

    August 22, 2019


    Fairfax Station Museum is
    celebrating its 30th Anniversary in conjunction
    with the 275th Anniversary of Fairfax County. Fairfax
    Station goes back a 150 years and was a very
    important element in the development of the county
    and for the people who lived here, and for the
    village that grew up around this station, it was a very
    important way of life. St. Mary’s Hospital was an
    emergency field hospital, Clara Barton was here among
    a few volunteers who assisted federal soldiers
    in that effort. So, very significant things took
    place here over time. We have a variety of
    activities and displays and events, special programs
    for visitors of all ages, from young to old. So, take
    a step back in time, visit the Fairfax Station
    Railroad Museum and learn about the important role
    that it played in the history of Northern
    Virginia.

    Why Iceland Imports Ice
    Articles, Blog

    Why Iceland Imports Ice

    August 22, 2019


    This video was made possible by Squarespace. Build your beautiful website with Squarespace
    for 10% off at squarespace.com/HAI. Chances are that somewhere on the internet
    you’ve heard the “fact” that Iceland was named Iceland by its viking settlers to
    stop their enemies from coming to the island. Well, that fact is about as wrong as pineapple
    on pizza. The truth is that the first norse settler
    of the island was feeling a little bummed out upon arrival since his daughter and livestock
    died en route so he just stayed for the winter before returning to Norway and, since the
    particular area he stayed in happened to be icy he figured all of the island was icy and
    therefore called it Iceland. Of course that’d be as absurd as, you know,
    seeing that the sidewalk was flat and deciding the whole earth must be flat, or something. Iceland is cold and has plenty of snow and
    ice during the winter but as a whole, the country is fairly green. Still, for such a northern and wintery country
    the idea that it imports ice is pretty absurd. Nonetheless that is reality but Iceland’s
    ice importation has a surprisingly rational explanation. Now, taking ice from one place and selling
    it in another is nothing new. El Chapo was great at it but as it turns out,
    centuries ago people’s refrigerators didn’t have ice dispensers. For the majority of history people just dealt
    with having warm drinks like cave-people but when the 19th century rolled around that all
    changed. An entrepreneur named Frederic Tudor started
    taking ice from cold places like Maine and selling it in hot places like Cuba. Genius, right? Only problem, ice melts. Frederic understood this and insulated his
    cargo with sawdust and, with enough ice, at least some of it would make it through the
    1,600 mile journey from Maine to Cuba. At first Frederick received a frosty reception
    from the hot place people as they were doubtful that they needed ice so Frederic channeled
    his inner drug dealer and gave them their first bit of ice for free to get them addicted. Soon, business was booming. Now, places like New York and DC get too cold
    in the winter for people to want ice but in the summer, they too get swelteringly hot
    so Frederic wanted to make a way to be able to sell ice in the mid-Atlantic summers. Really the only solution was to take a whole
    lot of ice, put it in an insulated building, and hope some of it lasts until summer and,
    crazily enough, that worked. Most of North America started to rely on ice
    so it was time for Frederick to take the ice trade intercontinental. The rest of the world also had hot places
    like India so Frederic Tudor set up a regular shipment of ice to Calcutta, India which became
    hugely popular with the rich English colonialists who were used to cooler temperatures. Amazingly, he had the process refined so well
    at that point that the ice from New England was selling in India for, adjusted for inflation,
    only $1 per pound. Soon after, ice from New England was shipped
    and sold in London, in Rio de Janeiro, in Cape Town, in Hong Kong, the New England ice
    even reached as far as Sydney, Australia where it sold for only $2 per pound. So, was it a coincidence that the climate
    starting rapidly warming only a century after the world’s elite started using ice shipped
    from the other side of the world by steamship all so they could have a chilled beverage? I’m not saying the ice trade singlehandedly
    caused climate change, but it certainly didn’t help. Of course, with time artificial refrigeration
    became cheap and widespread but not before making Frederic Tudor a very rich man. Iceland today, despite what some may think,
    is not some backwards heathen society that shuns the use of refrigerators. Its importation of ice has to do with something
    else—economics. You see, Iceland is a very expensive place. Like many isolated, northern counties, Iceland
    relies on imports for many things like oil, wood, wheat, and other food. It just doesn’t have the ability to produce
    these items domestically due to its geography but shipping to Iceland is also relatively
    cheap since its economy is export-driven. While fish is Iceland’s biggest export this
    is mostly shipped by plane but the country also has an enormous aluminum industry thanks
    to its low electricity cost. Aluminum, along with most everything else
    Iceland makes, is exported by ship which means that there’s demand for shipping from Iceland. That means that ships are already coming to
    Iceland to bring items elsewhere so its relatively inexpensive to fill those ships with other
    goods to bring to Iceland. At the same time, the average Icelander makes
    about $57,000 per year, it’s one of the highest income countries in the world, so
    that means making things in Iceland, in most cases, is expensive. If you go and check your handy dandy Icelandic
    schedule of tariffs, though, you see that water, ice, and snow have no import duty if
    imported from the European Economic Area. Therefore, Iceland imports ice from other
    less expensive countries in the EEZ such as Scotland and the only additional cost is the
    cheap shipping. While there are plenty of other countries
    that don’t charge import duties on ice, there are few that have the mix of high domestic
    labor costs and cheap inbound shipping that make it worth it for Iceland to import ice. That’s why Iceland’s grocery stores are
    stocked with this imported ice from hundreds or thousands of miles away as it ends up being
    about 40% less than Icelandic ice. If you want to sell a different kind of ice
    you definitely need a Squarespace website. You can build a fully functional online store
    within minutes using their website builder so you can put all your attention into building
    your ice cream empire. In fact, if you run any sort of business whether
    that be a brick and mortar store, a podcast, a youtube channel, or anything else you want
    to make a great first impression for your potential customers and Squarespace helps
    you do that because their beautiful designer templates make it easy to build a website
    that looks great. Best of all, you can start building your website
    for free at squarespace.com/HAI and then, when you’re ready to launch, that same link
    will get you 10% off.

    Is CHINA the new tiger of BANGLADESH? – KJ VIDS
    Articles, Blog

    Is CHINA the new tiger of BANGLADESH? – KJ VIDS

    August 21, 2019


    (curious music) – [Narrator] Bangladesh
    and China have maintained good relations for much of history. Today the two countries share a strong strategic relationship, with China playing a vital role
    mainly in terms of economic and infrastructure
    development of Bangladesh. However, things weren’t so
    good especially during the time when Bangladesh gained
    independence from Pakistan and the subsequent years
    until around the mid 1970s. I’m your host, Kasim. Welcome to another KJ Vid. In this video we will
    look at the relationship between China and Bangladesh. During Bangladesh’s War
    of Liberation in 1971, there was a outbreak of
    complex geopolitical rivalries. India had allied with Bangladesh
    due to their long-term conflicts with Pakistan, and
    more so because Bangladesh was actually a part of Pakistan after the end of the
    British empire since 1947. China had been allied with
    Pakistan for most of history, and the ties strengthened
    especially around the time of the Sino-Indian war in 1962. As a result China opposed
    Bangladesh’s independence and vetoed their UN membership until 1974. It was only after the military
    coup in Bangladesh in 1975 that relations between
    Bangladesh and China started to improve. Prime Minister of Bangladesh
    since their independence, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman had
    close ties with India, and only months after
    the military takeover, China eventually recognised
    Bangladesh as an independent state as diplomatic
    relations were secured. This dramatic transformation
    was fascinating, but it did not come as a
    surprise as the military rule led by President Ziaur
    Rahman distanced Bangladesh from India and the Soviets, which can possibly be
    regarded as one of the most significant reasons for
    their improved relationships. Ziaur Rahman helped
    restore free market economy in Bangladesh and made
    a visit to China in 1977 which is regarded as a crucial
    step in laying groundwork for bilateral cooperation, which was followed by
    Chinese visits to Bangladesh in the late 1970s. Since then, state visits
    between the two countries have been regular most of
    which have resulted in positive discussions and signings
    of agreements on political, economic, and security issues. Bangladesh and China have
    a very strong relationship that ranges from the
    spheres of the economy, politics, development,
    to defence and security. Today, Bangladesh considers China an “all-weather friend
    and a trusted ally”. In the 2010 visit to Bangladesh by then Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping, he stated that Sino-Bangladesh
    relations would remain strong regardless of any change in the domestic or international situation. Bangladesh Prime Minister
    Sheikh Hasina on the other hand reiterated the importance
    of the country’s bilateral relations with China
    considering them a major ally of the highest significance. One of the most important
    aspects of the Sino-Bangla bilateral relations is
    the economic cooperation. China are by far the largest
    trading partner of Bangladesh with the latest World Bank
    figures revealing that Chinese exports to Bangladesh to be worth over 10 billion dollars in 2015. On the other hand Bangladesh is China’s third
    largest trade partner. Majority of Bangladesh’s
    imports from China consist of raw materials
    for clothing and textile. However, the balance of
    trade between the countries is significant with
    Bangladesh having a deficit of approximately nine billion dollars. Reduction in trade deficit
    has been a primary concern for Bangladesh over the years, and following negotiations China
    agreed to provide duty-free access to around 5,000
    Bangladeshi products to the Chinese market under the
    Asia Pacific Trade Agreement which has so far resulted
    in a slight decline in the ratio of trade deficit. Talks have been in
    progress for several years about Bangladesh seeking a
    zero-tariff access of 99 percent items including Ready-made
    garments products in order to improve balance of trade. China’s meteoric rise in becoming
    the second largest economy in the world only behind the United States by toppling Japan was possible largely due to its diversified economy, while having 14 FTA’s with developed as well as developing
    countries around the globe. However there are some
    challenges of the FTA, mainly with regard to
    China’s ‘Made in China 2015’ industrial policy plan. There are significant restrictions
    on investing in China, and also preference is given
    to state-owned enterprises that control 38 percent of
    industrial assets in China, skewing competition in the
    market in favour of those. Also another concern for foreign investors is the ‘Chinese ways’ of
    implementation and enforcement of laws and regulations which
    tend to be ambiguous and lax. A major geopolitical
    challenge concerning the FTA would come from the
    United States and India, especially with India also having a strong
    alliance with Bangladesh. Chances are that India may
    take the Chinese assertion in its backyard as a means
    of increasing influence in India’s sphere, while the
    United States may consider an FTA as a geo strategic
    obstacle in containing China at the Bay of Bengal and
    the Indian Ocean region. However, if Bangladesh
    wants to achieve a fairly unrestricted access to Chinese markets it needs to keep pushing further
    on the negotiation table, while asserting to their
    other major allies, India and the United
    States that the actions are for their own best interests mainly in terms of economic development. The recent trade war
    instigated by Donald Trump with his protectionist approach, with Chinese retaliations following by, has had impacts in the
    Bangladeshi economy. There has been a rise in
    steel prices, mainly rods, in the domestic market
    threatening both the major public infrastructure projects
    and the real estate market due to the US imposing
    tariff on 34 billion dollars worth of exports from China. While the latter imposed
    tariffs on American cotton, and while China plan on
    importing cotton from India, the prices had already
    increased by 10 to 12 percent. It must be noted that more
    than half of Bangladesh’s cotton imports are from India. Soaring cotton prices would
    significantly hurt Bangladesh’s economy as they would affect
    the ready made garment sector. Despite having strong economic ties there have been disagreements; a significant one is
    Bangladesh’s refusal of agreeing to China’s terms and
    conditions for the construction of the Sonadia deep-sea port in 2014. But generally, defence cooperation
    has been one of the major strengths in the bilateral relations between the two countries. China happens to be the
    only country that Bangladesh has signed a defence agreement
    with, which was done in 2002. Since then China had been the
    largest supplier of weapons and military equipment to Bangladesh, with latter being the
    second largest recipient of Chinese arms in the
    world between 2011 and 2015. Between 2013 and 2017, China
    has provided Bangladesh with 71 percent of all
    their arms purchases. Bangladesh also recently
    purchased their first submarine to add to their naval fleet
    causing concerns in India. The Bangladeshi armed forces
    have acquired large numbers of tanks, large-caliber artillery, armoured personnel carriers, small arms and light weapons, as Chinese arms are the
    Bangladeshi Army’s weapon of choice while the Navy use Chinese
    frigates with missiles, missile boats, torpedo boats among others. China has also been supplying fighter jets and training aircraft to the Bangladeshi Air Force since 1977. Very recently, China and Bangladesh made crucial developments
    in security cooperation. The bilateral relations
    between the two countries have been elevated to “Strategic Partnership of Cooperation”. The deal is aimed at intelligence sharing and counter-terrorism activities, although other important
    matters such as cyber crime, militancy, transnational
    crimes, narcotics, fire service, and visa issues were also discussed during the signing of
    this major agreement. Development cooperation
    is an integral part of the bilateral relations
    between China and Bangladesh. China has played a crucial role in the infrastructure
    development of Bangladesh over the years. It has assisted Bangladesh
    in building bridges, roads and railway tracks and power plants. The development assistance
    from China to Bangladesh and other developing countries
    mostly come as LOC’s. During a recent Bangladesh visit in 2016, President Xi Jingping
    promised 24 billion dollars in economic assistance to Bangladesh mainly as LOCs related to 24 projects. China assisted Bangladesh
    in the construction of six bridges commonly known as the “”China- Bangladesh
    Friendship” bridges. China also helped
    Bangladesh in constructing the Barapukuria coal-fired
    power plant located in Dinajpur in the
    North West of Bangladesh and was commissioned in 2006. During Jingpin’s visit
    to Bangladesh in 2016, the two countries signed
    agreements for two 1320 Megawatt coal-fired power plants. One in Payra, Patuakhali and the other in Banshkhali, Chittagong. Making China the largest energy partner to Bangladesh overtaking India. China has also provided economic
    assistance to Bangladesh in terms of free aid and token gifts. Two major agreements were signed in 2010 for establishing a fertiliser factory, and telecommunications
    network systems in Bangladesh that were to be set up with
    a 770 million dollar LOC from China with a two
    percent interest rate payable within 20 years. There had been discussions
    for several years on potential road and railway connections
    linking Chittagong with Kunming that would boost the economies
    of both the countries. However, that has not
    materialised as of yet. Currently China is developing
    a 750 acre industrial park in Chittagong which will take five years to become fully operational
    and it will largely be used by Chinese manufacturing firms. The good relations shared
    between China and Bangladesh have always been of mutual interests and both countries benefit from that. Although the growing relations
    between China and Bangladesh raise geopolitical tensions
    in the South Asia region and the Bay of Bengal, there
    should not be much doubt about China’s primary interest lies in the booming economy of Bangladesh, which has been ever so dependent on their bilateral trade relations. Bangladesh’s Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has recently said that there
    is nothing to be concerned about for India while not
    explicitly mentioning China or any other country, and
    that Bangladesh need funds for the sole purpose of development and that she would welcome any country that is willing to invest in the country. She also urged India to
    maintain cordial relationship with all its neighbours. Keeping close ties with
    Bangladesh will no doubt be hugely beneficial for China as
    the demand for oil and gas have risen largely owing
    to its growing industries, and having a strong geopolitical presence in the Bay of Bengal and
    the littoral countries could give them an advantage
    in terms of accessibility to various ports. On the other hand, as it stands, Bangladesh can only benefit
    from the cooperation with a major economic power
    as it has done so in terms of their diplomatic, economic,
    and security affairs. And would be keenly anticipating
    further developments in their bilateral cooperation. (curious music)

    Union Pacific Railroad Museum
    Articles, Blog

    Union Pacific Railroad Museum

    August 21, 2019


    It tells one of the most important stories
    in the history of our nation, the construction of the transcontinental railroad and the growth
    of the American West.>>Patricia: The Union Pacific Museum is one
    of the oldest corporate collections in the world, this facility tells the story of the
    Union Pacific from about 1862 to the present. It is here within these walls that you’ll
    learn of train robbers, explore replica train depots and be enveloped in several larger
    than life exhibits.>>Patricia: We have two floors of exhibits,
    thousands of photographs on display, all coming from the Union Pacific historical collection
    which is stored in this very building. You could spend hours inside the Union Pacific
    Railroad Museum soaking up the thousands of facts found throughout the displays. There
    are a few things you won’t want to miss though, like this amazing simulator.>>Patricia: We have a new exhibit called
    America Travels By Rail which is an interactive video experience that showcases the streamliner
    era of the Union Pacific’s passenger trains. You can ride on a locomotive simulator, sit
    in the engineer’s seat and run the controls. We also have a floor of historical collections
    documenting the progress of the Trans-Continental Railroad both from California in the west
    and Union Pacific in the east. This unique experience will take you on a
    trip back through time, period dress and even dinnerware as you truly become immersed into
    a history of rail travel unlike anything you see today. From huge maps to comfortable seats, the Union
    Pacific Railroad Museum in Council Bluffs, Iowa is just one of those places that will
    take you for a ride you won’t soon forget.>>Patricia: We have world class exhibits
    for no admission fee and we tell one of the most important stories in the development
    of the west.

    Remembering the history of the Denver and Rio Grande railroad
    Articles, Blog

    Remembering the history of the Denver and Rio Grande railroad

    August 20, 2019


    A A GROUNDBREAKING A GROUNDBREAKING THAT A GROUNDBREAKING THAT CHANGES A GROUNDBREAKING THAT CHANGES
    THE A GROUNDBREAKING THAT CHANGES
    THE MAP A GROUNDBREAKING THAT CHANGES
    THE MAP OF A GROUNDBREAKING THAT CHANGES
    THE MAP OF COLORADO. THE MAP OF COLORADO. THE MAP OF COLORADO.
    CONSTRUCTION THE MAP OF COLORADO.
    CONSTRUCTION ON THE MAP OF COLORADO.
    CONSTRUCTION ON A THE MAP OF COLORADO.
    CONSTRUCTION ON A RAILROAD CONSTRUCTION ON A RAILROAD CONSTRUCTION ON A RAILROAD
    UNLIKE CONSTRUCTION ON A RAILROAD
    UNLIKE ANY CONSTRUCTION ON A RAILROAD
    UNLIKE ANY OTHER. UNLIKE ANY OTHER. UNLIKE ANY OTHER.
    WE UNLIKE ANY OTHER.
    WE TAKE UNLIKE ANY OTHER.
    WE TAKE A UNLIKE ANY OTHER.
    WE TAKE A LOOK. WE TAKE A LOOK. WE TAKE A LOOK.
    >>WE TAKE A LOOK.
    >>ON WE TAKE A LOOK.
    >>ON THIS WE TAKE A LOOK.
    >>ON THIS DAY WE TAKE A LOOK.
    >>ON THIS DAY IN WE TAKE A LOOK.
    >>ON THIS DAY IN 1871 WE TAKE A LOOK.
    >>ON THIS DAY IN 1871 THIS>>ON THIS DAY IN 1871 THIS>>ON THIS DAY IN 1871 THIS
    GREAT>>ON THIS DAY IN 1871 THIS
    GREAT EVENT>>ON THIS DAY IN 1871 THIS
    GREAT EVENT HAPPENED>>ON THIS DAY IN 1871 THIS
    GREAT EVENT HAPPENED IN GREAT EVENT HAPPENED IN GREAT EVENT HAPPENED IN
    COLORADO GREAT EVENT HAPPENED IN
    COLORADO HISTORY. COLORADO HISTORY. COLORADO HISTORY.
    THIS COLORADO HISTORY.
    THIS GREAT COLORADO HISTORY.
    THIS GREAT EVENT COLORADO HISTORY.
    THIS GREAT EVENT IS COLORADO HISTORY.
    THIS GREAT EVENT IS THE THIS GREAT EVENT IS THE THIS GREAT EVENT IS THE
    BEGINNING THIS GREAT EVENT IS THE
    BEGINNING OF THIS GREAT EVENT IS THE
    BEGINNING OF CONSTRUCTION THIS GREAT EVENT IS THE
    BEGINNING OF CONSTRUCTION FOR BEGINNING OF CONSTRUCTION FOR BEGINNING OF CONSTRUCTION FOR
    THE BEGINNING OF CONSTRUCTION FOR
    THE DENVER BEGINNING OF CONSTRUCTION FOR
    THE DENVER AND BEGINNING OF CONSTRUCTION FOR
    THE DENVER AND RIO BEGINNING OF CONSTRUCTION FOR
    THE DENVER AND RIO GRANDE THE DENVER AND RIO GRANDE THE DENVER AND RIO GRANDE
    RAILROAD. RAILROAD. RAILROAD.
    >>RAILROAD.
    >>I RAILROAD.
    >>I AM RAILROAD.
    >>I AM DR. RAILROAD.
    >>I AM DR. COLORADO.>>I AM DR. COLORADO.>>I AM DR. COLORADO.
    >>>>I AM DR. COLORADO.
    >>Reporter:>>I AM DR. COLORADO.
    >>Reporter: IS>>I AM DR. COLORADO.
    >>Reporter: IS A>>I AM DR. COLORADO.
    >>Reporter: IS A RESIDENT>>Reporter: IS A RESIDENT>>Reporter: IS A RESIDENT
    EXPERT>>Reporter: IS A RESIDENT
    EXPERT ON>>Reporter: IS A RESIDENT
    EXPERT ON THE>>Reporter: IS A RESIDENT
    EXPERT ON THE ROAD. EXPERT ON THE ROAD. EXPERT ON THE ROAD.
    >>EXPERT ON THE ROAD.
    >>I EXPERT ON THE ROAD.
    >>I HAVE EXPERT ON THE ROAD.
    >>I HAVE BEEN EXPERT ON THE ROAD.
    >>I HAVE BEEN TEACHING EXPERT ON THE ROAD.
    >>I HAVE BEEN TEACHING OVER EXPERT ON THE ROAD.
    >>I HAVE BEEN TEACHING OVER 15>>I HAVE BEEN TEACHING OVER 15>>I HAVE BEEN TEACHING OVER 15
    YEARS>>I HAVE BEEN TEACHING OVER 15
    YEARS AND>>I HAVE BEEN TEACHING OVER 15
    YEARS AND THAT>>I HAVE BEEN TEACHING OVER 15
    YEARS AND THAT HELPS. YEARS AND THAT HELPS. YEARS AND THAT HELPS.
    >>YEARS AND THAT HELPS.
    >>Reporter: YEARS AND THAT HELPS.
    >>Reporter: 149 YEARS AND THAT HELPS.
    >>Reporter: 149 YEARS YEARS AND THAT HELPS.
    >>Reporter: 149 YEARS AGO,>>Reporter: 149 YEARS AGO,>>Reporter: 149 YEARS AGO,
    GENERAL>>Reporter: 149 YEARS AGO,
    GENERAL WILLIAM>>Reporter: 149 YEARS AGO,
    GENERAL WILLIAM PALMER>>Reporter: 149 YEARS AGO,
    GENERAL WILLIAM PALMER BUILT GENERAL WILLIAM PALMER BUILT GENERAL WILLIAM PALMER BUILT
    THE GENERAL WILLIAM PALMER BUILT
    THE DENVER GENERAL WILLIAM PALMER BUILT
    THE DENVER RIO GENERAL WILLIAM PALMER BUILT
    THE DENVER RIO GRANDE GENERAL WILLIAM PALMER BUILT
    THE DENVER RIO GRANDE ON GENERAL WILLIAM PALMER BUILT
    THE DENVER RIO GRANDE ON A THE DENVER RIO GRANDE ON A THE DENVER RIO GRANDE ON A
    UNIQUE THE DENVER RIO GRANDE ON A
    UNIQUE PREMISE. UNIQUE PREMISE. UNIQUE PREMISE.
    >>UNIQUE PREMISE.
    >>EVERY UNIQUE PREMISE.
    >>EVERY OTHER UNIQUE PREMISE.
    >>EVERY OTHER RAILROAD UNIQUE PREMISE.
    >>EVERY OTHER RAILROAD WAS>>EVERY OTHER RAILROAD WAS>>EVERY OTHER RAILROAD WAS
    GOING>>EVERY OTHER RAILROAD WAS
    GOING EAST>>EVERY OTHER RAILROAD WAS
    GOING EAST TO>>EVERY OTHER RAILROAD WAS
    GOING EAST TO WEST>>EVERY OTHER RAILROAD WAS
    GOING EAST TO WEST AND>>EVERY OTHER RAILROAD WAS
    GOING EAST TO WEST AND HE GOING EAST TO WEST AND HE GOING EAST TO WEST AND HE
    THOUGHT GOING EAST TO WEST AND HE
    THOUGHT SINCE GOING EAST TO WEST AND HE
    THOUGHT SINCE EVERYONE GOING EAST TO WEST AND HE
    THOUGHT SINCE EVERYONE IS GOING EAST TO WEST AND HE
    THOUGHT SINCE EVERYONE IS GOING THOUGHT SINCE EVERYONE IS GOING THOUGHT SINCE EVERYONE IS GOING
    THAT THOUGHT SINCE EVERYONE IS GOING
    THAT WAY, THOUGHT SINCE EVERYONE IS GOING
    THAT WAY, LET’S THOUGHT SINCE EVERYONE IS GOING
    THAT WAY, LET’S GO THOUGHT SINCE EVERYONE IS GOING
    THAT WAY, LET’S GO NORTH THOUGHT SINCE EVERYONE IS GOING
    THAT WAY, LET’S GO NORTH TO THAT WAY, LET’S GO NORTH TO THAT WAY, LET’S GO NORTH TO
    SOUTH. SOUTH. SOUTH.
    STARTING SOUTH.
    STARTING DENVER SOUTH.
    STARTING DENVER AND SOUTH.
    STARTING DENVER AND GO SOUTH.
    STARTING DENVER AND GO SOUTH. STARTING DENVER AND GO SOUTH. STARTING DENVER AND GO SOUTH.
    >>STARTING DENVER AND GO SOUTH.
    >>Reporter: STARTING DENVER AND GO SOUTH.
    >>Reporter: WITHOUT STARTING DENVER AND GO SOUTH.
    >>Reporter: WITHOUT A STARTING DENVER AND GO SOUTH.
    >>Reporter: WITHOUT A LAND->>Reporter: WITHOUT A LAND->>Reporter: WITHOUT A LAND-
    GRANT>>Reporter: WITHOUT A LAND-
    GRANT GENERAL>>Reporter: WITHOUT A LAND-
    GRANT GENERAL PALMER>>Reporter: WITHOUT A LAND-
    GRANT GENERAL PALMER HAD>>Reporter: WITHOUT A LAND-
    GRANT GENERAL PALMER HAD TO>>Reporter: WITHOUT A LAND-
    GRANT GENERAL PALMER HAD TO GET GRANT GENERAL PALMER HAD TO GET GRANT GENERAL PALMER HAD TO GET
    CREATIVE GRANT GENERAL PALMER HAD TO GET
    CREATIVE WITH GRANT GENERAL PALMER HAD TO GET
    CREATIVE WITH FUNDING. CREATIVE WITH FUNDING. CREATIVE WITH FUNDING.
    >>CREATIVE WITH FUNDING.
    >>HIS CREATIVE WITH FUNDING.
    >>HIS EFFORTS CREATIVE WITH FUNDING.
    >>HIS EFFORTS HELP CREATIVE WITH FUNDING.
    >>HIS EFFORTS HELP SHAPE CREATIVE WITH FUNDING.
    >>HIS EFFORTS HELP SHAPE THE>>HIS EFFORTS HELP SHAPE THE>>HIS EFFORTS HELP SHAPE THE
    COLORADO>>HIS EFFORTS HELP SHAPE THE
    COLORADO WE>>HIS EFFORTS HELP SHAPE THE
    COLORADO WE KNOW>>HIS EFFORTS HELP SHAPE THE
    COLORADO WE KNOW TODAY. COLORADO WE KNOW TODAY. COLORADO WE KNOW TODAY.
    >>COLORADO WE KNOW TODAY.
    >>HE COLORADO WE KNOW TODAY.
    >>HE WOULD COLORADO WE KNOW TODAY.
    >>HE WOULD APPROACH COLORADO WE KNOW TODAY.
    >>HE WOULD APPROACH A COLORADO WE KNOW TODAY.
    >>HE WOULD APPROACH A TOWN COLORADO WE KNOW TODAY.
    >>HE WOULD APPROACH A TOWN AND>>HE WOULD APPROACH A TOWN AND>>HE WOULD APPROACH A TOWN AND
    SAY>>HE WOULD APPROACH A TOWN AND
    SAY WE>>HE WOULD APPROACH A TOWN AND
    SAY WE WILL>>HE WOULD APPROACH A TOWN AND
    SAY WE WILL BUILD>>HE WOULD APPROACH A TOWN AND
    SAY WE WILL BUILD THE>>HE WOULD APPROACH A TOWN AND
    SAY WE WILL BUILD THE RAILROAD SAY WE WILL BUILD THE RAILROAD SAY WE WILL BUILD THE RAILROAD
    IN SAY WE WILL BUILD THE RAILROAD
    IN YOUR SAY WE WILL BUILD THE RAILROAD
    IN YOUR TOWN SAY WE WILL BUILD THE RAILROAD
    IN YOUR TOWN AND SAY WE WILL BUILD THE RAILROAD
    IN YOUR TOWN AND IF SAY WE WILL BUILD THE RAILROAD
    IN YOUR TOWN AND IF THE SAY WE WILL BUILD THE RAILROAD
    IN YOUR TOWN AND IF THE TOWN IN YOUR TOWN AND IF THE TOWN IN YOUR TOWN AND IF THE TOWN
    DIDN’T IN YOUR TOWN AND IF THE TOWN
    DIDN’T GIVE IN YOUR TOWN AND IF THE TOWN
    DIDN’T GIVE HIM IN YOUR TOWN AND IF THE TOWN
    DIDN’T GIVE HIM A IN YOUR TOWN AND IF THE TOWN
    DIDN’T GIVE HIM A RIGHT-OF-WAY DIDN’T GIVE HIM A RIGHT-OF-WAY DIDN’T GIVE HIM A RIGHT-OF-WAY
    HE DIDN’T GIVE HIM A RIGHT-OF-WAY
    HE WOULD DIDN’T GIVE HIM A RIGHT-OF-WAY
    HE WOULD BUILD DIDN’T GIVE HIM A RIGHT-OF-WAY
    HE WOULD BUILD A DIDN’T GIVE HIM A RIGHT-OF-WAY
    HE WOULD BUILD A NEW DIDN’T GIVE HIM A RIGHT-OF-WAY
    HE WOULD BUILD A NEW DEPOT DIDN’T GIVE HIM A RIGHT-OF-WAY
    HE WOULD BUILD A NEW DEPOT A HE WOULD BUILD A NEW DEPOT A HE WOULD BUILD A NEW DEPOT A
    MILE HE WOULD BUILD A NEW DEPOT A
    MILE OUTSIDE HE WOULD BUILD A NEW DEPOT A
    MILE OUTSIDE OF HE WOULD BUILD A NEW DEPOT A
    MILE OUTSIDE OF TOWN. MILE OUTSIDE OF TOWN. MILE OUTSIDE OF TOWN.
    >>MILE OUTSIDE OF TOWN.
    >>Reporter: MILE OUTSIDE OF TOWN.
    >>Reporter: 11 MILE OUTSIDE OF TOWN.
    >>Reporter: 11 REFUSE MILE OUTSIDE OF TOWN.
    >>Reporter: 11 REFUSE TO MILE OUTSIDE OF TOWN.
    >>Reporter: 11 REFUSE TO HIM>>Reporter: 11 REFUSE TO HIM>>Reporter: 11 REFUSE TO HIM
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    HE WENT TO DURANGO.>>Reporter: 11 REFUSE TO HIM
    HE WENT TO DURANGO. INSTEAD>>Reporter: 11 REFUSE TO HIM
    HE WENT TO DURANGO. INSTEAD OF HE WENT TO DURANGO. INSTEAD OF HE WENT TO DURANGO. INSTEAD OF
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    BUILDING THE COLORADO HE WENT TO DURANGO. INSTEAD OF
    BUILDING THE COLORADO CITY, HE WENT TO DURANGO. INSTEAD OF
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    FOUNDED BUILDING THE COLORADO CITY, HE
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    FOUNDED COLORADO SPRINGS. FOUNDED COLORADO SPRINGS. FOUNDED COLORADO SPRINGS.
    >>FOUNDED COLORADO SPRINGS.
    >>GENERAL FOUNDED COLORADO SPRINGS.
    >>GENERAL PALMER

    WWII Prisoner Escapes Through Toilet
    Articles, Blog

    WWII Prisoner Escapes Through Toilet

    August 20, 2019


    The date is March, 1943, and in a prisoner
    of war camp inside occupied Poland, Royal Canadian Air Force pilot William Ash approaches
    the camp’s toilet facilities. A single POW leans against the latrine’s doorway,
    casually keeping watch on the rest of the camp. The POW nods at Ash as he approaches and allows
    him to enter the small, squat latrine. Inside are two rows of toilets, built in the
    classic Roman style- nine boxed-in seats ring the sides of the room and consist of nothing
    more than concrete boxes with no dividers between them. The wooden seats lead down to a large concrete
    pit underneath where hundreds of prisoners relieve themselves into every day. A small hole leads to a huge sewage pit which
    is drained every week into the waiting truck of a local farmer who uses the camp’s waste
    to fertilize his fields. As Ash enters the building he spots two men
    seated at the far seats, who return his nod of greeting. One of them stands and lifts the seat he was
    just sitting on, revealing a hole in the concrete that is just barely large enough for a man
    to squeeze through. The stench of human waste wafts up from below,
    powerful enough to make the men’s eyes tear up as they fight the urge to vomit, yet powering
    through the horrid assault on their nostrils, the men climb down into the hole one by one. As they land a few inches of waste water splash
    urine and feces all over the men, but they ignore it as they turn their attention to
    the task at hand. The men remove a panel that’s been made to
    look like a false wall and reveal a small chamber beyond which has been carved from
    the frozen soil itself. Using candles made of boot strings and margarine
    held in a tin dish, the men join three others who are already waiting there and strip down
    to their underwear. One man sits at a bellows made of old leather
    kit bags, and as he works it he pushes air through a pipe made of old cans into the tunnel
    which the crew has been digging for weeks now. Two men now move down into that tunnel while
    the remainder stay behind to handle the soil that the diggers displace in their dig. The entire crew is split up into shifts, with
    some men taking turns digging while others man the bellows, dispose of the dirt, or stands
    watch above. Disposal of the dirt is accomplished by pushing
    the dirt through the sump directly under the toilets above and into the huge sewage pit
    beyond. Once a week Polish farmer Franciszek Lewandowski
    arrives at the camp and pumps the sewage out for use on his farm, yet Lewandowski has begun
    to notice more and more dirt in the waste water. Before he has a chance to complain to the
    Nazi guards though another prisoner, Josef Bryks, a young Czechoslovakian, informs Lewandowski
    of the escape plan. The Polish farmer is no fan of the Nazis,
    especially after their invasion and occupation of his home, and keeps the plan a secret,
    doing his part to aid the would-be escapees by dutifully carting away the soil. As the digging team finishes its work for
    the day, the third team enters the tunnel and begins the job of shoring up the tunnel
    walls and ceiling. The tunneling work, carried out with nothing
    more than cut-out aluminum cans, is dangerous work, and the tunnel is under constant threat
    of collapse. Each day that the tunnel extends further and
    deeper the men require just a little bit more courage to enter the dark tunnel, not knowing
    if that’s the day the tunnel will collapse and trap them with little to no hope of rescue. It is the job of the third team then to enter
    and shore up the sides and ceiling as best they can, using wooden boards taken from their
    barracks and even their bed frames themselves. The boards make for a rudimentary shoring,
    but help add a bit of safety to the entire endeavor. As they shore up the freshly dug length of
    tunnel, the men also extend the air pipe which brings in oxygen to the tunneling crew. They use powdered milk cans for the job, cutting
    them so that they fit end to end. The air they pump is from the latrine itself,
    and fetid with the stench of human waste- but it brings life-saving oxygen as the men
    dig deeper and further into the earth. To expedite the process of digging, the men
    have developed an ingenious system to move freshly dug earth to the latrine sump for
    disposal. Two lengths of rope extend down the tunnel,
    and at one end is an empty sack. The diggers fill the sack with dirt and then
    give the rope a sharp tug, which causes the man at the halfway point to begin hauling
    on the rope to bring the dirt out of the tunnel. Once it reaches the midway point, that man
    attaches it to the second rope who’s end he has with him, and then gives that rope a sharp
    tug. The men at the entrance then drag the sack
    from the halfway point all the way to the entrance of the tunnel, where the dirt is
    emptied into the latrine sump. The system is rudimentary, and nowhere near
    as sophisticated as the homemade railroad tracks and trolleys that the men at the Stalag
    Luft 3 prison complex would use to escape and serve as inspiration for the film, The
    Great Escape. Yet the process saves countless hours of labor
    as it takes a half hour to squeeze down the two foot by two foot tunnel each day. In early March of 1943, the team digging at
    the end of the tunnel begin to dig directly upwards. By their calculations they have dug several
    hundred feet past the perimeter fencing, a task which required them to not just dig out
    from their starting point, but down into the rocky soil to a depth of over a dozen feet
    in order to avoid the seismic sensors that the Germans have installed to detect digging. Once well out of the fence, the tunnel begins
    to angle upwards again and now the men are digging straight up. One of them takes a long stick and pushes
    it into the ceiling above, feeling resistance for two feet before the stick gives way to
    the topside- the tunnel is finished, and to avoid detection the last two feet of the tunnel
    will be dug up on the day of their escape. Now the men prepare for their breakout. While the dig teams were working for weeks
    on the tunnel, Brysk, the young Czech, has been helping secure fake papers for the escapees. To do this he managed to talk his way into
    being part of a detail that is taken every week under guard to a produce store in town. There the prisoner detail buys a few luxuries
    for the POWs such as chocolates, cigarettes, and the sort- they pay for this from the meager
    wages paid to them by the German government under its obligations to pay POWs for their
    labor via the Geneva Convention. At the store a young Polish girl, Stefania
    Maludzinska, works behind the counter, and it isn’t long before she’s swooning at Bryks’
    charms. She has been helping to smuggle letters to
    Bryks’ family members for months, but now the escapees need her help in far more dangerous
    work. Stefania has friends who work at town hall,
    and she has them steal official German forms that will serve as a template for the forged
    identity papers needed by the escapees. The identity papers will ID the escapees as
    Polish citizens after their escape, allowing them to bypass security checkpoints and hide
    their identities as POWs. Yet for the papers to look legitimate there
    is one more thing that is needed: a photograph of each of the escapees to adorn their fake
    papers. To get these photographs, Stefania takes the
    biggest risk of her life and helps secure a small camera and film from a Polish laborer
    who used to be a teacher before the German invasion. Now he is forced to do hard labor and work
    rebuilding the same roads the Germans themselves bombed in the invasion, and helping the prisoners
    escape will be his small measure of revenge against the Nazis. The camera and the film is smuggled into the
    camp via a seventeen year old boy who routinely brings in a shipment of the prisoner’s daily
    allowance of bread, all hidden safely amongst the loafs. After the prisoners take their photos the
    film is then smuggled out through the same young teenage boy, who develops the photos
    himself in a makeshift photo lab inside his parents’ tiny apartment. All of these brave Polish civilians assisting
    the escapees are taking huge risks, and discovery of their involvement would certainly lead
    to a quick execution. The date for the breakout is set to be March
    5th, as those amongst the prisoners with meteorological knowledge estimate that this will be the next
    moonless night. In order to have the best chance of escape,
    the men must move under the cover of deepest darkness, and with no moon in the sky they
    stand a good chance of being unseen by the perimeter sentries. The men decide that immediately after the
    five pm roll call, a group of them will head straight to the tunnel and wall themselves
    in, until after lock-up at nine pm when the rest of the group will sneak out of their
    bunks and make their way into the tunnel. A mathematician amongst them calculates that
    the tunnel will be able to support up to thirty three men for six hours before the oxygen
    runs out and the men asphyxiate- the figures and the math both are rough, but it’s the
    best the men have to go on. At five PM on March 5th, the guards line up
    the POWs and conduct their daily count. Satisfied that all men are accounted for,
    they are left alone for recreation time. Eight hundred men move to the recreation ground
    where a rugby match has been staged in order to help cover the escape attempt. The men plotting their escape conceal clean
    clothes under coats, their pockets stuffed with a concoction termed “the mixture”,
    a high energy food made by the prisoners. In each of their pockets are also their identification
    papers, a map of the region, and a homemade compass. Overhead gray clouds build up and cold gusts
    of wind force the German guards to seek what shelter they can inside their guard towers. The men head to the latrine in pairs, and
    once inside ditch their overcoats and make their way into the filth below. As the night goes on the men are relieved
    to discover that the calculations for oxygen supply were correct, and at last nine pm rolls
    around along with the final group to enter the escape tunnel. The men break through the last two feet of
    dirt at the end of the tunnel and crawl out into freedom, grateful to leave the smelly,
    stinking tunnel behind at last. The men break up into groups and head in different
    directions so as not to draw attention to themselves, posing as travelers. Unfortunately within the end of the week,
    all thirty six escapees would be recaptured by the Germans, with many sent off to new
    prison camps. Though the escape ultimately failed, it proved
    to be one of the most daring and smelliest escapes of World War II, inspiring many heroic
    attempts by other Allied soldiers throughout the rest of the conflict. Think you could’ve stomached digging through
    a giant sewer to get to safety? Let us know in the comments! And as always if you enjoyed this video don’t
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