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I would also like to do that because various proposals that have taken up parts of the Productive Triangle--the proposal of Deutsche Bank chief economist Norbert Walter; or the proposal of the Thuringian prime minister, Joseph Duchac--show that the authors have not taken these conceptual cornerstones seriously enough, or have not sufficiently understood them.
These cornerstones are:
The core is the curved triangle with apexes in Paris, Berlin, and Vienna. The northern side runs from Paris through the steel region near Charleroi, through the Ruhr region to Braunschweig to Berlin. The southern side runs from Paris through the Metz-Nancy-Saarbrücken region through Stuttgart-Munich to Vienna. The eastern side of the triangle stretches from Vienna through Prague and Northern Bohemia through Dresden to Berlin.
The area of this triangle is approximately 320,000 square kilometers--almost exactly the area of Japan. Even now, by global standards, it has the greatest density of industrial infrastructure and the highest standard of education and culture. The most dense and productive areas of northern France, Belgium, and what was formerly West Germany are part of the Triangle, as are what was formerly East Germany, western Czechoslovakia, and northern Austria.
Today, almost 92 million human beings live in this core region, which gives an average population density of 288 humans per square kilometer. Also characteristic of this region is that half of these 92 million human beings live in the immediate commuter-belt around the ten large industrial areas of the region.
Important infrastructural corridors radiate out from this central Triangle in all directions. We can give as an example the axis Paris-Berlin-Warsaw, which branches a) to Ukraine (Kiev-Kharkov); b) to White Russia (Minsk and then to Moscow); and c) to Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia (through Leningrad). A further ``spiral arm'' stretches from the region of Chemnitz-Dresden-Prague through Wroclaw to the triangle of Katowice-Ostrav-Krakow and further to the Ukraine.
Another development arm reaches through all of Italy to Sicily and North Africa, and another, from Lille in France to Metz-Nancy to Strasbourg and from there to Lyon and Marseilles along the Mediterranean coast to Spain. From there, it can be continued through Barcelona to Tarifa across the Strait of Gibraltar to North Africa.
Corresponding spiral arms spread out in western and northern directions.
Altogether, the spiral arms encompass a region of 1.07 million square kilometers--three times the area of the center. The total region has a population equal to that of the United States, but in only one-seventh the area.
I would now like to make clear, using a concrete example, how important the question of a transportation network is, a fact that is always forgotten in the calculation of profitability and utilization of individual sections of the network. A firm in the vicinity of Regensburg was forced--since the Main-Danube canal is not finished, and the unit was too large for surface transportation--to send a boiler unit to be delivered to Ludwigshafen down the Danube, through the Strait of Gibraltar to Rotterdam, and from there up the Rhine to its destination. Freight costs were 500,000 deutschemarks [$295,000]; after completion of the canal, the freight costs will be less than one-tenth that.
Incidentally, the rapid development of the railway network in List's time, in a politically completely fragmented Germany, proves how the continually cited technical, juridical, or economic barriers that will supposedly hinder the buildup of a modern transportation system in Europe can very probably be overcome.
For the Productive Triangle, we propose the creation of a European Rapid Train Corporation that will construct and operate a completely new high-speed rail network. This network will then set the standards by which national rail corporations and transportation firms can orient themselves. If we go about the matter in that way--and not, as previously, by considering integration as strictly the closing of gaps between various national projects--then it will be possible to make development leaps in the practical realization of the high-speed network. Especially in Eastern Europe, there is the option to not first bring specific rail lines up to a standard that was attained in the 1980s in the West, but rather to immediately embark on the technologies of the next century. Concretely, that means immediate investments in magnetic levitation rail lines to achieve speeds of 180 mph or more, rather than construction of rail lines for 100 mph speeds.
In Eastern Europe, there is the option to not first bring old rail lines up to a standard that was attained in the 1980s in the West, but rather to immediately embark on the technologies of the next century. Concretely, that means immediate investments in magnetically levitated rail lines for AVERAGE speeds of 180 mph or more, rather than construction of rail lines for 100 mph speeds.
Therefore, we propose the following:
For passenger transportation, an attractive alternative to the still sharply increasing individual transportation can only be offered by general separation of freight and passenger transport and with new technologies such as mag-lev technology. Mag-lev transportation attains its importance not only because of higher final speed, which is of primary importance in the spiral arms of the Triangle, but primarily through its travel dynamics, which has a special importance for the shaping of the network in densely populated areas. We must consider, for example, that important stations there will lie on the average only 90 miles from one another, but often only 35 to 50 miles. If the number of transfers for individual passengers is kept small, that promotes not only rapid, but also dynamic travel. In this connection, it is interesting that the Transrapid 07 (Magnetically Levitated Train now being tested) covers a stretch of 100 miles more rapidly than the high-speed ``ICE'' train, even while making a stop at the halfway point.
Previously, the importance of mag-lev rail has been misunderstood, just as the importance of high-speed transportation generally was 25 years ago. The development of high-speed locomotives began in Japan with the Shinkansen that went into operation in 1964 on the Tokyo-Osaka line. In Europe, it was still another decade before this concept was seriously taken up, since there were doubts about its economic feasibility. The Shinkansen reaches a speed of 220 kmph, and covers the 513 km line in 169 minutes. Daily, 130 trains run, with 10-minute intervals maintained during rush hours. With $5.2 billion revenue and $2.2 billion in expenses per year, the Shinkansen is the most profitable rail operations in the world. In Japan, a mag-lev line from Tokyo to Osaka is already planned for the year 2000 that should reduce travel time by 75-90 minutes, reaching a speed of 500 kmph. It is certain that, with the new ``Mag-lev Shinkansen,'' today's 200 million travelers per year can be doubled.
As an example of how new mag-lev routes can even be sensibly tied to existing plans for the construction of the ICE network, we have proposed a mag-lev line from Berlin to Frankfurt, with connections to the new ICE north-south connection of Hamburg-Munich, a proposal that has already been taken up politically.
With regard to the transportation infrastructure of Europe's future, I would like to state in closing that, within the concentrated regions as we will find them in the core of the Productive Triangle, a transportation system can only be practically realized if it makes possible extremely high transportation flows, as we have proposed, through integration in ``transport pipelines'' on streets, rails, mag-lev lines, and, possibly, energy transport arteries.
That makes one thing clear: Without a renaissance of nuclear energy, it won't work! The momentary trend toward noble gas installations, with low investment costs but higher operational costs, will prove to be a national-economic boomerang in a few years.
The importance of the nuclear energy question goes far beyond this purely economic question. An example was established in the campaigns, fueled with conscious lies, against nuclear energy that even today frighten away major investments in great projects. If, however, industry cannot trust that political perspectives are stable enough that investments in long-term infrastructural projects--for example, nuclear power--do not become too risky, then that will be the death blow for every industrial area.
The renaissance for nuclear energy means also, however, that we must learn from the errors of the past. The decisive error with nuclear technology was that, although its special advantage of being universally applicable, which makes it independent of geographical conditions and occurrence of raw materials, was certainly constantly emphasized, the development of the technology did not do justice to that, and was too much limited to use in industrial states. From the standpoint of world energy supply, small, inherently safe units make sense, in which connection it should be considered that 25 years ago ``small'' units of around 500 megawatts were considered to be large power plants, even in the industrial nations.
The high temperature reactor in this connection is particularly suitable. This reactor type, however, primarily makes possible the introduction of nuclear energy into the heating market. Of course, in the Productive Triangle alone, there will be an additional need for nuclear plant capacities, merely in the electricity sector, of 135 GW(e) if we set as a target to secure 70% of the need for electricity through nuclear power--as France did in reaction to the oil crisis of the 1970s. But it is only through the incorporation of nuclear process-steam and process-heating will the universal character of nuclear technology become clear. Today, hardly any politician wants to hear anything about that; if, however, we wish to protect the responsibility of the Productive Triangle as the locomotive for the world economy, we must state this simple truth.
A further advantage of the high temperature reactor is that its prestressed concrete construction is possible without the complex knowhow for large reactor pressure containers. That means that countries of the Southern Hemisphere could build this reactor type within the foreseeable future. Ultimately, complete units can be build in centers of production in the Productive Triangle and then shipped to developing countries on pontoons. Because of the special fuel element construction, which uses no metal but rather ceramic material, the safety reserves of the reactor are large, and the demands on maintenance personnel reduced.
Without nuclear technology, no practical energy infrastructure can be realized in the Productive Triangle. Let me tell it like it is. At a time on Earth in which, every 11 seconds, a child dies who could be saved with food or medicine that costs a few dollars, it is immoral to give out millions of dollars for the ``decontamination'' of supposedly radioactive powdered milk, whose radioactivity is far below that of the fertilizer that day in and day out we spread on our fields.
These infrastructural measures are the basis for the construction of productive, mid-size industrial firms, whose central importance to the national economy will discussed further.
A massive expansion of investment goods export will accompany the realization of the Productive Triangle. This transformation of the investment areas will lead to a clear shift in the structure of employment, with 5% of those employed in the near future being involved in research and development. The service sector will decline in importance, while research and development will increase. Flexible, mid-size industrial firms will play the key role in this high-tech market, firms that can especially quickly adapt to, employ, and disseminate new technologies.
I have presented the elements of the fundamental structure of the Productive Triangle. To breathe life into this politically and economically is the greatest task that stands before us. Unfortunately, it must be said that a year has just been wasted in relative inactivity. May a stimulus go forth from this conference that will change the situation as quickly as possible.
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EIR Report: The Eurasian Silkroad -- Locomotive for Worldwide Economic Development, 1997. Special price: $50.00.
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