Headline News

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  • zzmilitarybiofuel.jpg

    ...The US Department of Defense is the largest user of petroleum in the world. In fiscal year 2011, it used 117 million barrels of oil – almost 5 billion gallons of petroleum products in one year. This amounts to about 2 percent of the total usage of the country. This all came at a cost of $17.3 billion in 2011. This adds up to about 80 percent of the government's total energy consumption.

     

    Christian Science Monitor
  • zzarcticairtravel.jpg

    ...Air traffic is the biggest source of pollution in the Arctic. Ever since cross-polar flights became commonplace in the late 1990s, flights crossing the Arctic Circle have risen steadily, surpassing 50,000 in 2010. While cross-polar flights account for only a tiny percent of total global emissions from aviation, the standard cruising altitude for commercial planes in the Arctic is the stratosphere, an extremely stable layer of the atmosphere. Black carbon and other emissions get trapped in this layer and as a result remain in the atmosphere longer, causing far more damage than emissions from flights at lower latitudes, scientists say.

    New York Times
  •  The snow came down hard on Friday, more than two feet in places, the first big storm of the year here. But in Russia, where the winters are long and hard, it was nothing out of the ordinary, it seemed....The ensuing traffic jam — 100 miles long by some estimates and involving 10,000 vehicles — trapped some motorists for three days and forced senior Russian officials to go on television on Monday to mollify the thousands of angry drivers.

    New York Times
  • zzenergy.jpg

    ...The state has adopted a series of far-reaching energy reforms - boosting the use of renewable power and reining in greenhouse gases - without considering how each policy affects the others, the Little Hoover Commission argues in the report. Even worse, state officials have no clear idea how much all of those reforms, taken together, will cost.

    SF Chronicle
  • utahbus.jpg

    Say goodbye to catenary wires. Utah State University has unveiled an electric bus that charges through induction, topping off its batteries whenever it stops to pick up passengers....As in all modern inductive-charging setups, a transformer is “split” between the bus and a charge plate under the bus stop. When the bus drives over the charging plate, current flows with no physical contact required. Engineers at USU designed their system so that the Aggie Bus can be misaligned up to 6 inches from the charge plate and still get 25kW of power and 90 percent efficiency from the power grid to the battery.

    Wired
  • California is courting sovereign- wealth funds, pensions and endowments for more than $50 billion to build Governor Jerry Brown’s proposed bullet train to link the state’s largest cities, the most expensive public-works project in U.S. history.

    Bloomberg
  • A controversial plan to separate the two northern runways atLos Angeles International Airport by 260 feet advanced last week when airport staff recommended the proposal for further environmental review over other runway options...Runway separation that would give large airplanes more room to take off and land is adamantly opposed by residents of nearby Westchester and the cities of Inglewood, Culver City and distant Ontario, in San Bernardino County.

    LA Times
  • Voters today will decide whether or not to approve an assessment to help finance a $125-million fixed-rail project that is forecast to spawn $1 billion in development, including 2,600 new housing units. Sup[porters say the streetcar will bring a fresh wave of economic development to downtown.

    LA Times
  • "The Pennsylvania lawmaker, who is the son of a former Transportation Committee chairman, said recently that there could be "common ground" in the next Congress on rail funding."

    The Hill
  • zzwalkablecities.jpg

    In Jeff Speck’s excellent new book, Walkable City, he suggests that there are ten keys to creating walkability. Most of them also have something to do with redressing the deleterious effects caused by our allowing cars to dominate urban spaces for decades. I don’t necessarily agree with every detail, and my own list might differ in some ways that reflect my own experience and values. But it’s a heck of a good menu to get city leaders and thinkers started in making their communities more hospitable to walkers.

    Atlantic Cities