Randall Julander, a U.S. Department of Agriculture hydrologist, summed the situation up best. “Slight improvement in the Colorado basin water supply is like expecting a road-killed jackrabbit to feed a whole pack of hungry coyotes. It’s not nearly enough to go around,” he said.
In an industrial area of Chicago, a new street actually eats pollution. Using titanium dioxide as an additive to ordinary cement, the road surface can actually destroy nitrous oxides at ground level. In addition, the lighter color of the cement reduces heat absorption during the day and lighting requirements at night. Chicago added rain absorbing […]
Metro, the Portland Oregon regional government, is asking about Greenhouse gas reduction strategies here Focus is on motor vehicles and transport with a bit of land use thrown in. *Note: Opt In is an innovative on-line civic forum with almost 20,000 registered participants from all around the metro region begun when I was a Metro […]
Now, the demand for water to cool coal-fired power plants is drying up the breadbasket of China. Add this to the heavy pollution blanketing urban areas like Beijing and its a wonder the people are as quiet as they are.
Two articles in today’s NY Times highlight the challenge and promise of changing our energy mix.
China is in the midst of its worst air pollution crisis, with images reminiscent of 1950s Pittsburgh, when the noontime sun disappeared regularly in the dark cloud of smog.
While in the US, the tax credit for alternative energy being restored in January has led to a resurgence in wind energy projects. The US still lags most of the industrial world in its percentage of energy produced with non-carbon sources but a recent report done in New York state lays out a viable path for virtually 100% renewable energy there by 2050. The study authors noted:
“We must be ambitious if we want to promote energy independence and curb global warming,” said study co-author Robert Howarth, a Cornell University professor of ecology and environmental biology. “The economics of this plan make sense,” said Anthony Ingraffea, a Cornell engineering professor and a co-author of the study. “Now it is up to the political sphere.”
Portland is heralded for its strong investment in bicycle facilities and is being copied around the continent (think NYC, Vancouver, BC and Chicago). Can’t even remember how many times Bicycling Magazine has called Portland the Best Cycling City in North America. In the past 20 years, Portland has built over 300 miles of bicycle facilities and much of the Portland metropolitan area is not far behind. Well, has it worked? Let’s find out…
With transportation making up about 20% of a city’s carbon contribution, changes in how we move are critical to address climate change but also, if done right, can make our cities safer, cleaner, quieter and more livable.
Why Getting to 2100? The next century will be a test: can humans use their intelligence and foresight to successfully transition from our consumption-fueled economy to one that balances the needs of humans with the Earth’s available resources. Getting to 2100 aims to be a forum for sharing of good ideas and good works. Got a good example or a new idea? Share it with the world!