Report findings: States committed to meeting 2030 climate goals ‘off track’

The below Dec. 8, 2020 press release is from the Environmental Defense Fund. A new report from Environmental Defense Fund using emissions data from Rhodium Group finds that U.S. states with climate commitments are not on track to bring their emissions down consistent with science-based trajectories for 2030. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate … Read more

Montgomery County, MD releases action-plan-draft for meeting climate goals

The below Dec. 14, 2020 press release is from Montgomery County (Maryland) Government. Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich has released the Draft Climate Action Plan for public review. The Climate Action Plan is the County’s strategic plan to cut greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 80 percent by 2027 and by 100 percent by 2035. [Note: … Read more

Autonomobility: Not quite ‘there’ yet

Even with some 40 years of accumulated road-testing time, there are issues still to be worked out before we can even think about autonomous vehicles gaining full-on, full-tilt access to the road more traveled, let alone the less-traveled one. A number of said vehicles, operationally speaking, have the necessary “stuff” to enable them access to … Read more

Calif. high-speed rail: Recognized for sustainability efforts, receives award

The below Dec. 8, 2020 news release is from the California High-Speed Rail Authority. California High-Speed Rail Authority (Authority) announced today it has received national recognition with the Envision Platinum rating for its sustainability efforts. The Envision Platinum rating is the highest-level award from the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure, and the award is the first … Read more

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

Clean energy now powers Sound Transit’s light rail trains

The below Dec. 1, 2020 news release is from Sound Transit. Sound Transit’s Link light rail system is now running on 100 percent carbon-free electricity, making it the first major light rail system in the country to achieve this milestone. The accomplishment is made possible through an innovative agreement with Puget Sound Energy (PSE) to … 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