Putting into context air-pollution-statistical ‘estimates’

When it comes to polluted air, there is the abstract part: pollution-related illness and death. On Mar. 25, 2014, the World Health Organization (WHO) in the “7 million premature deaths annually linked to air pollution” news release states: “In new estimates released today, WHO reports that in 2012 around 7 million people died – one … Read more

Helping improve air, land, water the SLO Chamber way

Roughly midway between San Francisco and Los Angeles on California’s magnificent coast sits San Luis Obispo, a town as unassuming as it is picturesque. Nestled among golden oak-studded hills, the peaceful, little community is home to Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa (one of 21 up and down the state) as well as the prestigious California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly), consistently ranked … Read more

Pennsylvania’s proposed new air rules generating furor

Harmful pollution emissions should be on their way out, not up. In one state, Pennsylvania, as it pertains to proposed new smog rules that notion could quite possibly be turned upside down. “The Sierra Club, the American Lung Association, the Clean Air Council, and other groups say that under the new emission limits, the state’s biggest … Read more

Earth Day 2014: ‘Conserve’ is the word

Putting and keeping Earth on a sustainable track is the best medicine. In addition, it goes without saying, or should, that staying that course requires our help because, frankly, in this regard our planet cannot go it alone. To achieve that end will take work – heaping helpings of it, in fact. Fortunately, causes like … Read more

Gravity train: Clean-energy generation need not be an ‘uphill’ battle

Not surprisingly, gravity railroads – which were among our nation’s first railroads – are making a comeback – or are poised to. The gravity railroads that I’m speaking of are not in the business of hauling freight per se. Instead, the gravity, as employed in the application I’m talking about, is tied to energy production … Read more

CATS: Breaking friction-braking-barriers with regenerative braking

Number 28 in the Clean Air Technologies Series. In the U.S. momentum is building regarding true high-speed rail implementation – principally in Texas and in the Washington, D.C. region. Meant by “true” high speed is operational velocities of 168 miles per hour or higher; typically 200 mph. Furthermore, surrounding the much anticipated fast-train system planned … Read more

Rising public transit use has side benefit of cleaner air

The journey that is called transportation continues. On Mar. 3rd I reported on American public transportation 2013 trip numbers for quarters 1, 2 and 3. Stats for quarter 4 as of that posting were not available. But they are now. In fact, regarding ridership statistics, not only are these available for 2013’s fourth quarter but … Read more

Garbage disposal: Rubbish not just for burning and dumping anymore

Garbage disposal is not rocket science, but it’s no easy endeavor either. As is typical in cities, armies of sanitation workers are charged with the task of picking up refuse (and recyclables where applicable) in an armada of waste-collection vehicles that are there to haul away the solid waste- and recycle-material, which is itself typically … Read more

Air Quality Matters: 2013 in review – Part 2

In “Air Quality Matters: 2013 in review – Part 1,” covered was air pollution and why it’s so troubling. Also looked at was transportation – emissions-contribution- and cleanup-work-wise. Here, in Part 2, quick-reviewed are: commerce, energy, home, industry and infrastructure. Plus, presented are my favorite posts of 2013. Showstoppers Commerce – “Revisited: Will California’s second-tier [high-speed rail] … Read more

Path to better quality of life could be slow road … or not

I have my own ideas on what would make an ideal city: Subsurface plus grade level and above-ground transportation corridors and living. Personally, I think such an idea is neither too outlandish nor too far-fetched. “Outlandish”: now there’s an interesting-sounding word. Thinking the ideal city is probably not going to happen anytime soon, the next … Read more