If no one drove for a day

I’m thinking of the scene in the movie “The Day the Earth Stood Still” – the original (1951) “The Day the Earth Stood Still,” motion picture, a classic, with actress Patricia Neal and actor Michael Rennie, each of whom had leading (starring) roles – that shows a blackout of sorts: anything and everything electricity-driven is … Read more

Transportation on a roll: Getting better all the time

There is this old saw: “If it ain’t broke; don’t fix it.” All well and good if it can be determined unequivocally if some “thing” is working properly and therefore is not in need of fixing. To toot my own horn, that’s a pretty good analysis if I do say so myself. This is not … Read more

Port of Long Beach studies direct on-dock rail access at its Pier B terminal

Along with California’s San Joaquin Valley, the South Coast air basin is known notoriously for having the poorest quality air in the entire United States. A title like that no place wants. So, when an entity aspires to want to not just change but improve the environment in which it exists, operates, conducts business, it … Read more

Finding common ground re PM 2.5’s effect on health, not that simple, it seems

Particulate-matter pollution, a multi-dimensional air contaminant, is of particular concern, especially a finer version of it or that known as PM 2.5 or fine particulate matter less than 2.5 micrometers in diameter (about 1/30th the width of a typical human hair). That PM 2.5 is present in the air is on account of the incomplete … Read more

For air-pollution conversion device, the sky’s the limit

Researchers in Belgium have created a device which can convert polluted air into energy. That’s just one of the device’s capabilities. The other is its ability to make air pollution harmless. The catch: light from the sun is needed to facilitate both processes. “‘We use a small device with two rooms separated by a membrane’, … Read more

CATS: Energy from tree leaves. One company’s products spark excitement

Number 37 in the Clean Air Technologies Series. There are different methods by which energy can be captured and applied. Are you ready for this: How about an electricity-producing tree? Now, it is widely known that Thomas Alva Edison was one of the first to harness electricity and use it to create artificial light. He … Read more

In 2017, do as California is: Make air cleanup, job one – Part 3 (mobile sources 2/2)

Background California’s transportation system, which consists of highways and roads totaling more than 175,000 miles, is valued at around $1.5 trillion. The Golden State, moreover, has north of 500 transit agencies, 12 major ports and an 800-mile total high-speed rail system now under construction. There is more to the state transportation network, so much more. … Read more

Revisited: A changed climate: Can we at least agree on that?

From what I have learned, Scott Pruitt, the newly appointed Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator, publicly acknowledged that the Earth is getting or has gotten hotter; if not in those exact words, then something along these lines. What Pruitt at this point is not completely sure of, apparently, is how much of an influence on … Read more

Lower emissions diesel loco to head to Pacific Harbor Line for testing

Railroading is continually being improved upon. You can see it in the physical plant (infrastructure – rails, ties, roadbed, structures, signals, overhead catenary where in use), the rolling stock and equipment (motive power, rail cars – freight, passenger, maintenance of right-of-way) and in operations. To be clear, the basic operating premise has, over the years, … Read more

In 2017, do as California is: Make air cleanup, job one – Part 3 (mobile sources 1/2)

Getting right to it, consider that over 300 billion miles of travel are driven on California roadways annually – one-tenth of what is driven nationally (as of late). And that’s just driving. When you factor in all other modes – providing residents and visitors alike the means with which to move about whether by the … Read more