A story of two technologies – Part 3: With a keen eye on surface-travel’s future

An internal combustion engine is an internal combustion engine is an internal combustion engine. And like any working physical object it has limitations. Fact is, whether fueled by gasoline, kerosene, alcohol, ethanol, waste vegetable oil, natural gas (be it natural, renewable, compressed, liquefied) or even propane, these engines pollute. And as long as they are … Read more

Under the (car) hood – Part 2: Inroads made and then some

By the time the railroad had arrived on the scene, the seeds of what was known as the wagon road had already been firmly sowed. However advanced the state of the latter was, it had become patently obvious that this pathway for transport just didn’t measure up and something more resilient, more durable and way … Read more

Reflections on our rail past: Knowing where we’ve been could tell us where we’re going

Today’s biggest driver of air-pollutant emissions is transportation. And undergirding that is unabated population growth. At this juncture, prior to entering a brand new year and a whole new decade, global warming and climate change still remain top-of-mind concerns and for good reason. That the attention being paid to the duo appears to be getting … Read more

Will that be ‘renewable,’ ‘natural’ natural gas or neither?

Picture an operating dairy farm that is first rate in every way, including environmentally. Carrying this farther, now imagine that the electricity the farm uses to power such devices as automated cow-milking equipment and refrigeration units to keep the drawn milk chilled while in storage to name but two, well, that is farm-generated. If that … Read more

Should highways and/or roadways for buses/trucks and autos be separated?

I think trying to determine whether separate thoroughfares – be these primary or secondary vehicle-traveled ways – for buses and trucks apart from that for automobiles would make for an excellent case study. And, one of the locations where an old railroad corridor could serve as a proving ground is in Santa Cruz County, California, … Read more

California GHG in the plus column. Emissions-reduction steps state can take to get back on track

California has been a leader when it comes to climate-change-correction work, meaning efforts by the state to reduce annual greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions output have been working. But the most recent numbers tell a slightly different tale. This is reflected in the latest (2018) California GHG emissions inventory. Compared to annual Golden State GHG output … Read more

Is a net-zero-carbon atmosphere something worth pursuing?

Atmospheric carbon neutrality which is another way of saying “net-zero carbon emissions within the atmospheric medium,” at first blush sounds really awesome. But, is it really – all that awesome, that is? Before attempting to answer this question one way or the other, at the very least in order here is a review of carbon/carbon … Read more

EPA required to strengthen regulations in eight states to lower smog from fracked gas, oil extraction

The below Oct. 22, 2020 press release is from the Center for Biological Diversity. A federal court has approved an agreement between conservation groups and the Environmental Protection Agency requiring the agency to ensure reductions in asthma-causing smog from oil and fracked gas extraction across portions of eight states. Under the agreement, which was approved … Read more

The Paris Accord, of ship-and-shore air, and other nautical insights

Come this Nov. 30th it’ll be five years since the 190-plus countries’ interested representatives convened for the now historic 21st Conference of the Parties (COP-21) climate summit held in Paris, France. Then. When the conference ended on Dec. 12th – based on the agreed-upon, but-not-then-yet-ratified terms, not only among meeting attendees and agreement signatories but … Read more