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

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

Pacific Harbor Line to demonstrate battery-electric locomotive at Port of Long Beach, Port of Los Angeles sites

The below Nov. 13, 2020 press release is from Progress Rail. Progress Rail, a Caterpillar company, has reached an agreement with Pacific Harbor Line (PHL) to supply its new EMD® Joule battery electric locomotive for a demonstration project operating in the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, California. The new, six-axle locomotive will feature … Read more

Better designed roads and vehicles makes for better air

There is this maxim that goes something like this: “If you take care of your car, it’ll take care of you.” If this is true, logic would have it then that if we take care of the air, well, regarding the rest of the thought, I’m certain you know exactly where this is going. And, … Read more

High levels of fine PM pollution linked with patterns of brain shrinkage, study finds

The below Nov. 18, 2020 press release is from the American Academy of Neurology. Older women who live in locations with higher levels of air pollution may have more brain shrinkage, the kind seen in Alzheimer’s disease, than women who live in locations with lower levels, according to a new study published in the November … 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