Cleaning up transportation-sourced air pollution a difficult (and dirty) job

A quick assessment of all of my prior blogposts reveals 31 out of 64 deal with air quality or air pollution issues as it relates to transportation. That’s nearly half. If you’re wondering why such a high concentration, what I can tell you is the majority of the world’s air pollution is transportation sourced. As it … Read more

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

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

Trains prove their worth in helping improve air

In “CATS: Decline in smog-forming emissions from California cars a bright spot,” I credited improvement in state motor vehicle smog-forming emissions to “initiatives such as the state’s Smog Check and other programs.” California’s Smog Check Program, by the way, went into effect in 1984. Moreover, noted in “Planning for a Better Future: California 2025: 2010 Update,” a Public Policy … Read more

CATS: Decline in smog-forming emissions from California cars a bright spot

Number seven in the Clean Air Technologies Series. In a 1952 “Key Events in the History of Air Quality in California” entry, the California Air Resources Board (ARB) revealed, “Dr. Arie Haagen-Smit discovered the nature and causes of photochemical smog. He determines that nitrogen oxides and hydrocarbons in the presence of ultraviolet radiation from the sun forms smog (a … Read more