Headline News

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  • AAAS Fellow Dan Kammen, a professor in UC Berkeley’s Energy and Resources Group, Goldman School of Public Policy, and Department of Nuclear Engineering, outlines the future ahead for alternative energy in his introduction to AAAS's latest Cutting Edge lecture series Cutting Edge: Energy.

  • ...Clean Air Asia, a regional network on air-quality management, aggregated data from more than 300 cities in 16 Asian countries and found that levels of fine particulate matter — a key pollutant in terms of its impact on human health — were below targets recommended by the World Health Organization in just 16 cities, most of them in Japan. Pollution levels in 70 percent of the cities, mostly in fast-growing, less developed countries like China, India, Bangladesh and Mongolia, exceed even the most lenient of several targets recommended by the W.H.O., the organization said.

    New York Times
  • ...Based on the number of days per year in which smog, soot and other ozone emissions surpass U.S. regulatory standards, the Bay Area's nine counties fall well below the state average. This is good news, as breathing pollution puts people at risk for asthma and other medical conditions.

    SF Chronicle
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    China will spend 350 billion yuan ($56 billion) by 2015 to curb air pollution in major cities, the environmental watchdog said on Wednesday. Local governments will fund most of the programs aimed at cutting the level of harmful particles in the air in 117 cities by at least 5 percent between 2011 and 2015, the Ministry of Environmental Protection said in a statement on its website.

    Reuters/New York Times
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    If you are interested in transit maps and abstract kinetic art (maybe that’s a small confluence of people?), this may be for you....The videos, which come from the STLTransit channel on YouTube, track the movement of transit vehicles in various cities throughout a 24-hour day, generally from 3 or 4am until the next 3 or 4am, and display the action in exactly two minutes and 24 seconds each. Many are color-coded for different types of vehicles (some show ferries as well as buses and trains) and you can either just enjoy the patterns, which are mostly set to music, or watch closely to see the changes in activity in a region over the course of the day.

    Atlantic Cities
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    As more and more Americans forego car ownership in favor of more walkable lifestyles, look for taxis to play in increasingly important role in our transportation mix...Arlington, Virginia, for example is about to get a fleet of all-electric taxis.

    Atlantic Cities
  • zzlondonOverground_.png

    This Saturday, London gets its first real orbital railway. This new line will ease pressure elsewhere and allow travelers to circumnavigate the city without passing through its congested core....London’s new links (part of a growing network under the umbrella name London Overground) have arrived through creating new, tunnelled connections that bolt together old, underexploited tracks, a sort of make-do-and-mend network. This doesn’t make it any less effective, and the Overground is already helping to redraw the London map and, as one of the UK’s most reliable railways, it’s making the city that bit more liveable. 

    Atlantic Cities
  • ...In recent weeks, Minnesota leaders have pushed for $15 billion in gas tax increases, Massachusetts leacers have revived the gas tax as one of many potential ways to close a shortfall, and Maryland leaders have said they consider the tax unless the country goes over the fiscal cliff. The governor of Virginia, who has strongly opposed the tax in the past, seems at least ready to keep the measure on the bargaining table. The federal government appears willing to be doing the same.

    Atlantic Cities
  • ...The International Air Transport Association today released a report projecting 5.3% average annual growth in passenger numbers between 2012 and 2016....The emerging economies of Asia Pacific, Latin America and the Middle East will see the strongest passenger growth, the group predicts. Many of those passengers — about 193 million — will be traveling routes within or connected to China. The Asia-Pacific routes will account for about 380 million passengers over the forecast period.

    USA Today
  • Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Bakersfield), the third-highest-ranking Republican in Congress, suggested on Thursday that the federal government should “cut its losses” and not provide any more money for the state’s high-speed rail program....“Look, I know Hollywood happens to be in California, but this is not a Kevin Costner movie,” he said. “If we built it, I don’t know if they will come.” 

    LA Times