CATS: Diesel-electric versus pure electric train operations – pros and cons

Number 10 in the Clean Air Technologies Series. When it comes to powering a locomotive, electricity wins hands down, or does it? Before going any farther, a brief review of 20th century U.S. transportation history is in order. I was born in the age of the diesel loco. Steam as locomotive propulsion power, although reaching a zenith right around … Read more

Electricity use, air pollution and the robotics revolution

A segment of the Jan. 13, 2013 installment of the CBS 60 Minutes television program covered robotics. Given that I have now had plenty of time to digest what I have watched, my take is, robots, with their ranks apparently increasing, I can only imagine the effect on the electric grid supply and the environment. The presumption, of … Read more

Pain at the pump: Top off that tank, kiss gas (and money) goodbye

In America a half-century ago, transportation ate up approximately 10 percent of household income. Those days and times are gone for good, but, then again … At any rate, according to renowned architect, a founding member of Congress for the New Urbanism and book author Peter Calthorpe in “The New Transit Town: Best Practices in Transit-Oriented … Read more

CATS: Emission recovery systems the latest craze and all the rage?

Number eight in the Clean Air Technologies Series. Think how many fugitive vapors or emissions there are in the world. What if they could all be captured and put to good use? In “Device converts manure gases into clean and useful energy,” discussed was how methane, a biogas emitted naturally from manure and, how with the … Read more

California high-speed rail looks to renewable resources for electricity supply

In “Trains prove their worth in helping improve air,” I offered, “In the final analysis if the growth in passenger train ridership is to continue, then additional service will be necessary. ….Electrified California high-speed rail service, on the other hand, expected to break ground later this year, when built and operational, will provide a viable alternative to meet … Read more

CATS: A solar array for every home? Why not?

Number six in the Clean Air Technologies Series. Every winter in America, it seems someone loses power to the home. Now add to this that about half this nation’s electricity production alone is via the burning of coal. In putting two-and-two together doesn’t it make sense that when such extreme conditions become present, losing power … Read more

CARS: Contaminated-Air-Remediation Strategies

There are all kinds of ways to make air cleaner – everything from the simple to the substantial and from the subliminal to the sensational. From an earlier post – “Air pollution: The enormity of it all,” I listed various pollution sources. Repeating those here, these are: Agricultural Commercial (Business) Construction (and Demolition) Energy Production … Read more

Want a smaller carbon footprint? Think ‘inside’ the box

A little more than a month into this air quality discussion and noticeably lacking has been power generation. In this regard, change starts today. And what better place is there to begin than in my own home? I can think of none. It is helpful to understand the geography and meteorology of California’s San Joaquin Valley; the place I … Read more