Weekend surfing: A Sustainable Transportation Clean Air Cornucopia

From the website of the Clean Air Institute, you have here for your convenient consultation more than 50 audio presentations made during their May 2011 Conference for Sustainable Transportation, Air Quality and Climate Change held in Rosario Argentia. They report that this collection is the largest online collection of audio presentations in Spanish on transportation issues, air quality and climate change. You can access it in Spanish here. And in English, a useable (to us) Google translate version here . Continue reading

Gore Criticizes Obama for Record on Climate

Gore Criticizes Obama for Record on Climate From the New York Times, 22 June 2011: “Former Vice President Al Gore sharply criticized President Obama as lacking leadership on climate changein a magazine essay published online Wednesday, saying his policies had been little more effective than those of President George W. Bush. In the 7,000-word article in Rolling Stone, Mr. Gore said . . . ” Climate of Denial Can science and the truth withstand the merchants of poison? – By Al Gore, Rolling … Read More

via World Streets: The New Mobility Agenda

The World – The Climate – The Strategy. Come argue with me.

Part I: Ten steps to get the job done:
Let me sketch out an easy to understand (or reject) climate/transport strategy that presents some stark contrasts with what seems to be largely accepted as the received wisdom when it comes to targeting, policy and investment in the sector — and which in a first instance is quite likely to earn me more enemies than friends (that goes with the territory). At least until such time that these basic underlying ideas are expressed in a manner which is sufficiently clear and convincing that we put them to work to turn the tide. So here you have my first brief statement of the issues, the basic strategic frame and the key pressure points to which I invite your critical reactions and comments. In a second piece in this series, to follow shortly, I intend to have a look at the candidates who could be ready to do something about it. Or not.

- Eric Britton, Editor, World Streets Continue reading

The Road Transport Energy Challenge in India

Environment vs. Mobility? (Image source: Times of India)

A few weeks ago, we had reported about India’s plans to reduce the climate change impact from its transportation sector. However, we saw that India’s plan, like many other plans out there, attempts to tackle the problem almost entirely by improving vehicle and fuel technology without adequately dealing with the most important factor – the number of vehicle-kilometers travelled. In the article below, we will read Prof. Madhav Badami of McGill University argue that “[fuel economy improvements will do little to mitigate [climate] impacts, and might even exacerbate them to the extent that the improvements increase motor vehicle activity by reducing the costs of driving… On the other hand, measures to curb vehicle-kilometers can provide major “co-benefits” by helping control energy consumption and related emissions, as well as other transport impacts.” Continue reading

“India Steers Full Speed towards Low Carbon Transport”

We do not normally carry media releases on projects, programs, reports or books, but today we make an exception and are gladly posting the following important announcement. We share this both here and on the Sustran Global South forum for comment and discussion. It is our firm intention to keep an eye on this and our firm hope that the money spent and technical resources brought to the job will result above all in multiplying the number of many and diverse on-street examples of how sustainable mobility works in the interest of the entire population — and not just the privileged (automotive and relatively affluent) few. As William Blake put it roughly two centuries ago: “He who would do good to another must do it in minute particulars.” India Streets pledges keep as eye on the minute particulars. Continue reading

Rough trade on the streets of Bogota, much like here

Loved by the people for their extreme utility, abhorred by the state as a symbol of backwardness, cycle rickshaws – or pedicabs – are not a new phenomenon in India.  Originally from Japan, the hand-drawn rickshaw was introduced in Simla in India around 1880. It was, then, a vehicle to carry the social elite. By 1950, cycle rickshaws evolved into a popular mode of urban transport. Today, cycle rickshaws provide door-to-door transport at an affordable price to people in urban areas across India. Cycle rickshaws also provide easy employment to those wanting employment. At a time when economic opportunity in the hinterland is dwindling, many village folk come to the city and earn a living by pulling cycle rickshaws. Continue reading