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Sam Lee: the Extinction Rebellion musician flying birdsong to the charts | Music | The Guardian
Sam picks up a shruti box – the instrument used by Indian musicians to create drone effects – and begins overtone singing, where two notes are produced at once. “They love the harmonics”, he explains. Instead of flying off, the bird now joins in, singing even louder than before. And he continues singing when tonight’s guest musician, the composer and arranger Kate St John begins improvising on cor anglais. And so it continues for well over an hour, with Sam switching to folk songs, including The Nightingale, of course, and Kate playing thumb piano. “The birds know how to create a dialogue,” Sam explains. “They love cellos and flutes and folk songs – but not guitars or singer-songwriters.”
music  environment 
may 2019 by juliusbeezer
UK taxpayers to spend at least £24bn cleaning up after oil companies in the North Sea
Taxpayers are liable for the costs of decommissioning in the North Sea through significant tax reliefs granted to oil companies by HMRC, which allows operators to deduct up to 75 per cent of their spending on decommissioning from their tax. This can include reclaiming corporation tax paid since 2002. The government is also liable for the total cost of decommissioning oil rigs owned by operators that go bankrupt, or lack the funds to decommission them themselves.

The Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) told the NAO that the total cost of decommissioning the North Sea’s oil and gas infrastructure could be up to £77bn. HMRC’s current estimate of the cost to the public through tax relief is £24bn, including £12.9bn in repayments of taxes previously collected.
fossil-fuel  oil  politics  tax  uk  environment 
february 2019 by juliusbeezer
Scientists identify vast underground ecosystem containing billions of micro-organisms | Science | The Guardian
The Earth is far more alive than previously thought, according to “deep life” studies that reveal a rich ecosystem beneath our feet that is almost twice the size of that found in all the world’s oceans.

Despite extreme heat, no light, minuscule nutrition and intense pressure, scientists estimate this subterranean biosphere is teeming with between 15bn and 23bn tonnes of micro-organisms, hundreds of times the combined weight of every human on the planet.

Researchers at the Deep Carbon Observatory say the diversity of underworld species bears comparison to the Amazon or the Galápagos Islands, but unlike those places the environment is still largely pristine because people have yet to probe most of the subsurface.
science  geography  environment  bio 
december 2018 by juliusbeezer
Testés, nos enfants sont tous contaminés - Marie Claire
Nos certitudes sur les bienfaits de cette agriculture vacillent. Pour le toxicologue médical Nouredine Sadeg, président du comité scientifique de ToxSeek, cette coïncidence alimentaire est "phénoménale ! C'est une donnée difficile à trouver, les sources sont tellement diverses". Quant aux interrogations sur les dérives du bio, il tempère : "Un vin bio peut contenir des traces de pesticides, mais sachez qu'un vin non bio subit 50 à 80 épandages. L'Etat français ne peut pas tout contrôler. Surtout que, pour éviter de dépasser le seuil autorisé, la stratégie consiste à ne plus utiliser un pesticide à forte dose mais un mélange d'une vingtaine à faible dose. Les pesticides touchent aujourd'hui 100 % de la population. Il y a cinquante ans, les quantités produites par l'industrie étaient infiniment plus petites. Le vrai problème existe depuis quinze ans, c'est récent."
agriculture  france  environment  health 
october 2018 by juliusbeezer
Sources of Greenhouse Gas Emissions | Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions | US EPA
Transportation (nearly 28.5 percent of 2016 greenhouse gas emissions) – The transportation sector generates the largest share of greenhouse gas emissions. Greenhouse gas emissions from transportation primarily come from burning fossil fuel for our cars, trucks, ships, trains, and planes. Over 90 percent of the fuel used for transportation is petroleum based, which includes gasoline and diesel.2
transport  climatechange  environment  fossil-fuel 
august 2018 by juliusbeezer
Veridium Review - TGR ICO Natural Capital Tokens Environment FinTech?
Veridium is an alternative trading and digital asset issuance network based on Ethereum. The goal of the platform is to provide a digital token for natural capital commodities and “EcoSmart-Commodities” (a term Veridium has trademarked). Some of the examples of things you can digitize with Veridium include carbon neutral or environmentally neutral commodities.

The first digital token, or Natural Capital asset, released by Veridium is called the TGR. Each TGR is backed by Triple Gold REDD+ credits, which are considered the world’s highest quality environmental credits.

REDD+ credits deliver compound environmental and social returns, forest and biodiversity conservation, carbon emissions, savings and reductions, and a positive social impact for forest-dependent indigenous communities.

TGRs create a common denominator that can easily integrate environmental mitigation credits into commodities transactions with far greater efficiency than anything available today. The TGR is described as a “cryptographic natural capital asset token”. You can trade tokens on the Veridium network. The Veridium network itself is a blockchain-based platform designed to provide open and transparent trading for the pricing of natural capital.
finance  environment  bitcoin  climatechange 
february 2018 by juliusbeezer
Catclaw bursts car tyres to safeguard against illegal and dangerous pavement parking
Catclaw is the size of half a small orange and is designed to be installed in its thousands along kerbs and pavements. When a car or lorry drives over a CatClaw, its weight exposes a sharp steel tube that quickly punctures the tyre. However, it poses no threat to pedestrians – a person standing on top of the device would not be heavy enough to activate it.
driving  urban  environment 
january 2018 by juliusbeezer
Navigation Apps Are Turning Quiet Neighborhoods Into Traffic Nightmares - The New York Times
But Leonia is not alone. From Medford, Mass. to Fremont, Calif., communities are grappling with the local gridlock caused by well-intentioned traffic apps like Waze, which was purchased by Google in 2013 for $1.15 billion.

Since Waze uses crowd sourcing to update its information, some people — frustrated at the influx of outside traffic — have taken to fabricating reports of traffic accidents in their communities to try to deter the app from sending motorists their way.
maps  gps  driving  urban  environment 
january 2018 by juliusbeezer
Why Petroleum Did Not Save the WhalesSocius - Richard York, 2017
A related phenomenon occurred in twentieth-century whaling. Perversely, the very fact that whale populations were being driven to the brink of extinction led individual whalers and whaling nations, who were in competition with other whalers and nations, to intensify their efforts to get as many whales for themselves before the whales were gone (Ellis 1991). This is an intensified version of the tragedy of the commons, where the incentive to overexploit a common resource becomes enhanced the closer that resource comes to depletion. This phenomenon could be called the “depletion paradox,” which is much like the green paradox, where the anticipation of depletion, just like the anticipation of regulation, can spur the processes that lead to depletion. There are many examples of this, one being the destruction of the passenger pigeon in North America mainly by market hunters in the latter part of the nineteenth century (Schorger 1955). Although the depletion paradox can apply to noncapitalist economies (as I explain in the next section), it is important to recognize that the driving force that typically leads to it is the ruthless profit seeking of private interests. In this regard, this phenomenon is closely connected with the tragedy of the commodity...
My most basic aim here has been to explain why the discovery of petroleum and growing use of other fossil fuels did not end whaling. Since fossil fuels provide potential substitutes for the main products of whaling—whale oil most notably—rising petroleum production could have ended whaling. However, to the contrary, fossil fuels allowed for the development of modern whaling technologies, which greatly expanded the capacity to kill whales. Additionally, a variety of other technological innovations, like hydrogenation, allowed for the development of new commodities, such as whale oil–based margarine, that expanded the market for the products of whaling. Due to these changes, most whales that were ever killed were killed in the twentieth century, in the era of plentiful fossil fuels and substitutes for whale products. Tragically, widespread whaling did not end until most whale stocks were driven to commercial extinction and many species to the brink of biological extinction.
economics  environment  business  marine 
december 2017 by juliusbeezer
'No shame': how the Trump administration granted big oil's wishlist | Business | The Guardian
in a “wishlist” drawn up by the American Petroleum Institute (API), the leading lobby group for US oil and gas companies.

In a document called “comments on specific regulations” sent to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in May, API highlighted eight key changes it wanted to ease the regulation of air and water pollution. An analysis shows that the EPA has now so far either partially or wholly delivered on six out of these eight key demands within the first year of the Trump administration, which solicited input on government rules from a number of trade groups.
energy  us  politics  climatechange  environment 
december 2017 by juliusbeezer
One Bitcoin Transaction Now Uses as Much Energy as Your House in a Week - Motherboard
That problem is carbon emissions. De Vries has come up with some estimates by diving into data made available on a coal-powered Bitcoin mine in Mongolia. He concluded that this single mine is responsible for 8,000 to 13,000 kg CO2 emissions per Bitcoin it mines, and 24,000 - 40,000 kg of CO2 per hour.

As Twitter user Matthias Bartosik noted in some similar estimates, the average European car emits 0.1181 kg of CO2 per kilometer driven. So for every hour the Mongolian Bitcoin mine operates, it's responsible for (at least) the CO2 equivalent of over 203,000 car kilometers travelled.

As goes the Bitcoin price, so goes its electricity consumption, and therefore its overall carbon emissions. I asked de Vries whether it was possible for Bitcoin to scale its way out of this problem.
climatechange  energy  bitcoin  blockchain  environment 
november 2017 by juliusbeezer
Government's Brexit Repeal Bill 'Power Grab' Threatens UK Environment Regulations | DeSmog UK
The reasoning behind this is that currently Britain, as part of the EU, adheres to the Lisbon Treaty which entered into force in 2009 and was signed by all EU member states. The Lisbon Treaty is based on “the precautionary principle and on the principles that preventive action should be taken, that environmental damage should as a priority be rectified at source and that the polluter should pay.” But once Brexit happens, it’s likely that this constraint will no longer apply unless specifically retained by new UK law.
airpollution  uk  environment  eu 
october 2017 by juliusbeezer
The Toxins That Threaten Our Brains - The Atlantic
Dr. Linda Birnbaum is the director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and the National Toxicology Program in North Carolina’s Research Triangle. Birnbaum oversees federal funding for research to discover how the environment influences health and disease, including Tox21.

“If you want to do the full battery of current tests that we have on a chemical, you’re looking at least five years and about $5 million,” Birnbaum told me. “We’re not going to be able to do that on large numbers of chemicals.” The robot is being trained to scan thousands of chemicals at a time and recognize threats inexpensively and quickly—before people get sick. It’s also using alternative testing models—looking at not just isolated cells, but also simple organisms like the roundworm C. elegans or zebrafish—to answer certain basic questions.
health  environment  organic  food  pollution 
july 2017 by juliusbeezer
£6billion smart motorway project is dubbed a waste of money
Two years after the first smart motorway schemes were completed studies by Highways England have revealed benefits of providing an extra lane are soon lost to extra traffic.

One 16-mile section of the M25 recorded journey times of eight per cent longer during peak periods despite the hard shoulder being operational.

Another 10-mile stretch that benefitted from an additional lane failed to improve journey times, too.

The hard shoulder is now a full-time “running lane” on sections of the M25, M1 and M6 and is due to be removed from another 97 miles by 2020.

Stephen Joseph, head of the Campaign for Better Transport, told The Times changes had been a waste of money.
driving  environment 
june 2017 by juliusbeezer
La position du CéDpa confirmée par l’Autorité de Contrôle des Nuisances Aériennes - ACIPA NDL
L’ACNUSA consacre en effet un long développement aux progrès réalisés par l’industrie aéronautique en matière de bruit : « Depuis la fin des années 1990, le bruit des avions a été divisé par deux. Et on estime que l’empreinte sonore de chaque nouvelle génération d’appareils est inférieure d’au moins 15 % à celle qu’elle remplace. En outre, presque partout, en dépit de l’augmentation du trafic, les territoires couverts par les PGS pourraient diminuer. »

Elle conclut : « La première leçon à tirer est que la situation des riverains s’améliore et continuera de s’améliorer même si le trafic doit encore augmenter. (…) Dépenser plusieurs milliards pour déplacer un aéroport (ou ses pistes !) dans le seul but de mettre fin à un niveau de nuisance qui n’existera plus dans vingt ou trente ans ne peut pas être regardé comme raisonnable. » (page 33). Si la phrase se réfère explicitement au projet de déplacement des pistes à Orly, projet jugé illusoire par l’Autorité, on ne peut évidemment s’empêcher de penser aussi à Notre-Dame-des-Landes ...

N’est-ce pas ce que nous avons dit et écrit depuis plusieurs années ?

Le deuxième point intéressant concerne la révision des Plans de Gêne Sonore, en général. Précisément parce que la réalité du bruit se modifie, l’ACNUSA demande « que soit examinée au moins tous les deux ans la pertinence des prévisions (trafic, procédures de navigation aérienne, infrastructures...) ayant servi à l’établissement du PGS. »
aéroport  pollution  environment  aviation 
june 2017 by juliusbeezer
Bicycle sharing success hinges in part on quality local infrastructure, shows new research
A new study on the impact of bicycle sharing on cities has drawn new conclusions and dispelled old myths on what exactly makes a successful scheme.

Analysing 75 schemes from around the globe, the Bicycle sharing system ‘success’ determinants study delivers both unsurprising results, including tying safe cycling infrastructure in the locality to increased use, but also pours cold water on the notion that only large scale footprint schemes can be successful.

Infrastructure and weather’s impact

Adding weight to the “build it and they will come” argument, safe and local cycling infrastructure was found to have a correlation to stronger share scheme performance. The study does however remind that in many cases political and public will to provide share schemes is often far higher than it is to tear up the road space and reallocate to active travel.

Putting a figure on the impact of dedicated space for cycling, the authors range the impact at between 0 and 20% per additional kilometre, per square kilometre.

Rail and bus infrastructure were not found to have a significant impact, however it was noted that in many big cities the most active hire hubs are found at busy stations.

Unsurprisingly, weather proved a major performance stimulation, with warmer temperatures increasing overall performance.
cycling  urban  environment 
may 2017 by juliusbeezer
User Equilibrium - Travel Forecasting Resource
Although the term user equilibrium (UE) is not mentioned in Wardrop’s paper1, in the context of transportation modeling, the term is used to describe a route choice assumption formally proposed by Wardrop: “The journey times on all the routes actually used are equal and less than those which would be experienced by a single vehicle on any unused routes”. This criterion is also known as Wardrop’s first principle.

This condition of UE can be described with an example case where an origin destination (OD) pair is connected by two one-way links representing two different routes. Illustrated in Figure 1, the assumed traffic demand between these OD is 3000 vehicle per hour (vph). Fixed characteristics of links utilized in the calculation are listed in Table 1. Travel times on these links are estimated by using a typical Bureau of Public Roads volume delay function shown in equation below where travel time is an increasing function of flow. This type of flow dependent functions for estimating travel time are also called link cost function.
driving  environment  mathematics 
may 2017 by juliusbeezer
Kerner's breakdown minimization principle - Wikipedia
The breakdown minimization (BM) principle states that the optimum of a traffic network with N network bottlenecks is reached, when dynamic traffic optimization and/or control are performed in the network in such a way that the probability for spontaneous occurrence of traffic breakdown in at least one of the network bottlenecks during a given observation time reaches the minimum possible value. The BM principle is equivalent to the maximization of the probability that traffic breakdown occurs at none of the network bottlenecks.
driving  environment  mathematics 
may 2017 by juliusbeezer
Route assignment - Wikipedia
The problem of estimating how many users are on each route is long standing. Planners started looking hard at it as freeways and expressways began to be developed. The freeway offered a superior level of service over the local street system, and diverted traffic from the local system. At first, diversion was the technique. Ratios of travel time were used, tempered by considerations of costs, comfort, and level of service.

The Chicago Area Transportation Study (CATS) researchers developed diversion curves for freeways versus local streets. There was much work in California also, for California had early experiences with freeway planning. In addition to work of a diversion sort, the CATS attacked some technical problems that arise when one works with complex networks. One result was the Bellman–Ford–Moore algorithm for finding shortest paths on networks.

The issue the diversion approach didn’t handle was the feedback from the quantity of traffic on links and routes. If a lot of vehicles try to use a facility, the facility becomes congested and travel time increases. Absent some way to consider feedback, early planning studies (actually, most in the period 1960-1975) ignored feedback. They used the Moore algorithm to determine shortest paths and assigned all traffic to shortest paths. That’s called all or nothing assignment because either all of the traffic from i to j moves along a route or it does not...

To take account of the effect of traffic loading on travel times and traffic equilibria, several heuristic calculation procedures were developed. One heuristic proceeds incrementally...

These procedures seem to work “pretty well,” but they are not exact.
driving  environment  mathematics  statistics  gametheory 
may 2017 by juliusbeezer
Cut fossil fuel use dramatically: Shell-backed climate report
The falling costs of renewables means that increasing shares of overall energy use could be decarbonised through electrification, the report says. Around 10-20% of fossil fuel use could be eliminated in this way, using electric vehicles and heating.

Across the global economy, a “step change in energy productivity” is required, with improvements in the amount of energy needed to generate wealth rising from 1.7% per year to 3%. To achieve this “energy productivity revolution”, more efficient devices and vehicles will have to be combined with deeper structural change, such as more efficient urban design.
environment  climatechange  urban  energy 
april 2017 by juliusbeezer
Centres-villes morts, moches périphéries, merci qui?
Ce sont les villes moyennes, c'est à dire de 10 000 à 100 000 habitants, qui sont les plus touchées, pas les grandes villes. Le palmarès des centres les plus abandonnés par les commerces revenant à la ville de Béziers (24% de vacances commerciales), suivent Châtellerault et Forbach. Pour m'aventurer un brin sur le terrain politique, sachez qu'une enquête IPSOS a mis l'an dernier en évidence un lien entre le vote Front national et la désertification des centres-villes, comme l'évoque cet article de l'Opinion
france  driving  politics  environment  urban  français 
april 2017 by juliusbeezer
To the next ice age and beyond: How to dispose of nuclear waste | The Economist
The geological part, though the timespan is greatest, is probably the least tricky. Finland began the search for a site in 1983, shortly after it began generating nuclear power, and chose Olkiluoto after reviewing 100 areas. It has mapped faults and fissures in the bedrock, and sited the repository in a seismic “quiet zone”. It says it will avoid burying canisters close to potential pressure points, to minimise the danger that rock movements would crush or tear the canisters and cause radioactive leakage. Finland’s Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority (STUK) called Posiva’s analysis of the bedrock and groundwater “state of the art”.

Ismo Aaltonen, Posiva’s chief geologist, says that earthquakes cannot be ruled out, especially if the bedrock shifts upwards in the melting period after a future ice age. Olkiluoto is still rising as it rebounds from the pressure of the last one, which ended more than 10,000 years ago.
Finland’s nuclear-waste kitty, collected from the utilities, currently stands at €2.5bn ($2.7bn). By the time it is closed, the price is expected to be €3.5bn. That is reassuringly modest for a 100-year project, partly reflecting the fact that Finland’s nuclear industry, even when the planned total of five reactors are up and running, is relatively small.
nukes  environment 
april 2017 by juliusbeezer
Parkageddon: How not to create traffic jams, pollution and urban sprawl | The Economist
In 2004 London abolished minimum parking requirements. Research by Zhan Guo of New York University shows that the amount of parking in new residential blocks promptly plunged, from an average of 1.1 spaces per flat to 0.6 spaces. The parking minimum had boosted supply far beyond what the market demanded.
driving  london  urban  environment 
april 2017 by juliusbeezer
Bordeaux : les voies sur berges vont devoir ralentir - Sud Ouest.fr
L’un des derniers vestiges des années 60, en matière d’infrastructures routières, sera bientôt rayé de la carte. Bordeaux se prépare en effet à faire disparaître de son réseau l’un de ses derniers morceaux d’autoroute urbaine. Un témoin de l’ère triomphante du tout automobile, devenu aujourd’hui le symbole de ce que les élus ne veulent plus voir : des autoroutes en pleine ville. Il s’agit de l’A 631, autrement dit les voies sur berges qui relient les ponts Saint-Jean et Mitterrand, sur la rive gauche. Des voies qui longent la zone des abattoirs avant de filer droit vers la rocade, en survolant la Garonne. C’est la plus grosse sortie sud de Bordeaux, avec près de 80 000 véhicules par jour. Demain, ce sera un « boulevard urbain », nouveau modèle d’infrastructure en vigueur à la Métropole (lire ci-dessous). Soit 2x2 voies, 50 km/h maximum, circulation apaisée…
driving  bordeaux  france  environment 
april 2017 by juliusbeezer
The Construction of Discourses of Electric Vehicles in the Global Online Media – Andrew Brindle
The search was electric vehicles. The methodological approach, which combines corpus linguistics with discourse analysis, focused on word frequency, salience and words in context in order to study language patterns in the corpus of texts. The analysis found that prevalent discourses were related to the technological advances made in areas related to the battery unit, charging capability and travel range of the vehicles, as well as the growing infrastructure necessary to support such means of transport and the lowering of prices. Thus, rhetorical arguments were presented which positioned electric vehicles as a comparable alternative to internal combustion engine vehicles. The research found that an emphasis towards lower greenhouse gas emissions in electric vehicles was not made, thus, the environmental benefits of electric vehicles was not highlighted.
driving  environment  corpus 
march 2017 by juliusbeezer
Cycleways and congestion – getting beyond the windscreen mentality | cyclableblog
let’s say that cars have become about 10 percent bigger (in terms of road space occupied) over the last, say, 20 years. There are 2,600,000 cars registered in London. If we work out the average extra space occupied (length x width) by those cars we get a figure of about 2,127,000 square metres.

A little bit of calculator work shows that this is 4,123 times as much space as occupied by all the London cycleways (assuming 3.5 metres wide and 18km in length).

This is almost certainly a considerable underestimate for a number of reasons. First, the motor vehicle space requirements boom has been most marked among popular car models. The space requirement of the Ford Fiesta has grown 20 percent, that of the VW Golf GTi by 25 percent, of the VW Beetle by 23 percent, of the Fiat 500 of by 47 percent and of the Mini a whopping 75 percent, so taking a 10 percent increase is conservative. Second, the calculation applies just for like to like models and doesn’t take into account the immensely popular new types of vehicle such as the ‘people carrier’ and the ‘SUV’
driving  environment  cars 
march 2017 by juliusbeezer
Taking Back the Streets: the Role of Planning Design for Urban Biking - Resilience
“For 7000 years,” says Mikael Colville-Anderson, “streets were the most democratic space in the history of Homo sapiens.”

Nearly everything that could be done in public could be done safely in city streets. People walked and talked and argued, children played, markets and festivals were set up – and if a horse-drawn wagon needed a bit of extra room for passage, that could be negotiated too. Except in times of war, carelessly stepping out into a street did not bring the risk of a sudden violent death.
cycling  urban  environment 
march 2017 by juliusbeezer
A l’étranger, l’évaporation du trafic est une réalité - Le Parisien
A l’Institut d’aménagement et d’urbanisme d’Ile-de-France (IAU), on étudie depuis plus de 10 ans l’impact de la fermeture de voies rapides urbaines dans le centre des grandes villes, dans le monde entier. Et les résultats, unanimes, sont surprenants.

« En dépit des craintes initiales, la suppression de voies rapides n’engendre pas de dégradation des conditions de circulation au-delà des ajustements de départ, explique Paul Lecroart, l’urbaniste de l’IAU spécialiste de la question. Dans toutes les villes étudiées, l’évaporation du trafic est importante ». Pas encore à Paris, certes. Mais dans la douzaine de métropoles étudiées, aux Etats-Unis, au Canada ou en Corée du Sud, cela ne fait pas de doute. Paul Lecroart cite une étude anglaise, très documentée, portant sur 60 villes, qui calcule que, quand une voie rapide est supprimée, le trafic global diminue en moyenne de 14% après plusieurs mois.
driving  environment  transport  roaddiet 
february 2017 by juliusbeezer
Scientists Discover An Environmental Message That Resonates With Conservatives  | GOOD
A recent experiment asked self-identified liberals and conservatives what they would do with a $0.50 donation they had to give to an environmental charity. One charity’s focus was on reinstating a healthier Earth from the past, while the other emphasized preventing future environmental degradation.

The study found that conservatives were much more inclined to donate to the charity whose messaging emphasized restoring the Earth to its past state. This new data gives scientists a way to frame climate change information to make it more appealing to conservatives. This type of messaging embraces the conservative value of preserving the past while mitigating their skepticism towards change. Who knows, maybe if climate scientists started wearing red hats that said “MAKE EARTH GREAT AGAIN,” conservatives might really start paying attention.
politics  authoritarianism  environment  climatechange 
february 2017 by juliusbeezer
The short life of Pennsylvania's radical tax reform | Washington Examiner
Matt Pacifico, the town's mayor, blamed the land value tax's political failure on two major factors.

The first was that the incentive created by the city's land value tax was limited, because the county and the school district imposed property taxes. The tax break for investment created by the land value tax, accordingly, made up just a small fraction of overall property-related taxes.

Another major problem was that the tax system was so unusual that potential residents and businesses struggled to understand the potential benefits of moving to or investing in the city. When campaigning, Pacifico noticed that many residents didn't realize Altoona had a unique tax system that incentivized building. In some cases, businesses might have been turned off by the relatively high rate of tax on land, not understanding that there was no rate of tax on structures.
tax  urban  environment  LVT 
february 2017 by juliusbeezer
Cyclists Dismount: "Happy City" by Charles Montgomery: A digested read
I have a confession to make. I work as an academic, but I have never before in my life read a non-fiction book through cover to cover. Theses and papers yes, but book, no. I read this book right through. It explained to me much of what I have seen happening as cities throughout the world are beginning to change their shape and behaviour.

I have become increasingly interested in Urban Design and so called “Liveable cities” in recent years, since spending 2011, one of the happiest years of my life, living in the centre of Montpellier in the South of France.
urban  environment 
february 2017 by juliusbeezer
Concevoir la ville à échelle humaine en 5 conseils selon Jan Gehl – carfree.fr
1. Arrêter la construction d’une « architecture pour l’essence pas chère »
2. Faire de la vie publique le moteur de l’urbanisme
3. Concevoir des expériences multi sensorielles
4. Rendre les transports plus équitables.
5. Bannir la voiture.
urban  environment 
february 2017 by juliusbeezer
Bay of Bengal: depleted fish stocks and huge dead zone signal tipping point | Environment | The Guardian
Last month a multinational team of scientists reported an alarming finding – a very large “dead zone” has appeared in the bay. Apart from sulphur-oxidising bacteria and marine worms, few creatures can live in these oxygen-depleted waters15. This zone already spans some 60,000 sq km and appears to be growing16.

The dead zone of the Bay of Bengal is now at a point where a further reduction in its oxygen content could have the effect of stripping the water of nitrogen, a key nutrient. This transition could be triggered either by accretions of pollution or by changes in the monsoons, a predicted effect of global warming.
[Indian Ocean]
climatechange  marine  food  agroecology  environment 
january 2017 by juliusbeezer
Land, irrigation water, greenhouse gas, and reactive nitrogen burdens of meat, eggs, and dairy production in the United States
Quantifying the environmental impacts of the various livestock categories, mostly arising from feed production, is thus a grand challenge of sustainability science. Here, we quantify land, irrigation water, and reactive nitrogen (Nr) impacts due to feed production, and recast published full life cycle GHG emission estimates, for each of the major animal-based categories in the US diet. Our calculations reveal that the environmental costs per consumed calorie of dairy, poultry, pork, and eggs are mutually comparable (to within a factor of 2), but strikingly lower than the impacts of beef. Beef production requires 28, 11, 5, and 6 times more land, irrigation water, GHG, and Nr, respectively, than the average of the other livestock categories.
food  environment 
december 2016 by juliusbeezer
How driverless cars will make your life worse
What about the shorter journey times? I’m sceptical about that, too. If driverless cars really are all they’re cracked up to be, we’ll see a shift away from public transport towards more car and lorry journeys. Elderly people won’t stop using cars when their eyes and other-senses deteriorate, freight will shift from railways to automated lorries and workers will be more likely to use cars for the daily commute if they can recline in the back seats with their laptops. Dr Zia Wadud of the-Faculty of Engineering at the University of Leeds estimates that once-driverless cars become fully operational, in about 20 years, we will see a 60 per cent increase in road usage. ‘If you can relax in your car as it-safely drives itself to a meeting in another city, that changes the whole equation,’ he says. That will mean longer-journey times, not shorter.
driverless  environment 
november 2016 by juliusbeezer
Grand mensonge : le gouvernement parle climat, mais il relance les autoroutes
Dans la torpeur estivale, François Hollande a lancé les travaux d’élargissement de l’A9, à Rivesaltes, réalisés par Vinci dans le cadre du premier plan de relance autoroutier. À la surprise générale, il a annoncé du même coup qu’un second plan allait suivre, avec des chantiers mis en route « au début de l’année prochaine ». Un pari impossible à tenir, mais qui permet au chef de l’État de promettre des emplois tout en faisant un cadeau supplémentaire aux sociétés d’autoroute. Et qu’importe si ces décisions entrent en contradiction avec les engagements pris pendant la COP21.

Le 18 septembre, Alain Vidalies, le secrétaire d’État aux Transports, qui dépend du ministère de l’Environnement, a précisé les contours de ce nouveau plan : 30 chantiers répartis sur l’Hexagone, 5.000 emplois, un milliard d’euros d’investissement financés par les collectivités territoriales et par une augmentation des péages de 0,3 à 0,4 % entre 2018 et 2020. Alain Vidalies en a profité pour discrètement rallonger le délai, évoquant plutôt des travaux mis en route fin 2017.
environment  france 
november 2016 by juliusbeezer
Notre-Dame-des-Landes : l'analyse juridique – Droit – Environnement-magazine.fr
S’agissant des arrêtés portant déclaration d’utilité publique, la cour a notamment relevé que le projet d’aménagement des voiries départementales et communales constitue un programme distinct de celui de la création de l’aéroport de Notre-Dame-des-Landes et de sa desserte routière.

Pour elle, ce projet a « pour but d’améliorer la sécurité de la circulation sur des voies empruntées pour des déplacements locaux », elle relève que « ces voies ne sont pas interrompues par la plate-forme aéroportuaire, ne traversent pas l’emprise du futur aéroport, n’ont pas vocation à le desservir directement et peuvent être réalisées indépendamment de cette infrastructure.»
aéroport  environment 
november 2016 by juliusbeezer
Shubhendhu Sharma Left His Job, Created 85 Forests Across 6 Countries
The Miyawaki method of afforestation was discovered by Japanese botanist Akira Miyawaki, and involves planting a number of different types of trees close together in a small area. Closely planting many random trees in a small area enriches the green cover and reinforces the richness of the land. This will lead to co-existence of plants and also leads to each plant drawing vital nutrients from the others to become strong and healthy.
forestry  environment 
november 2016 by juliusbeezer
Will pedestrians and cyclists bully self-driving cars? : TreeHugger
Using game theory and “crosswalk chicken”, Millard-Ball concludes that in the suburbs, with low-volume traffic, AVs and humans might co-exist quite nicely in the roads, sharing the space. Kids might play in traffic and parents won’t worry. Cities could take down all those no ball-playing and hockey signs.

However in the denser parts of the city, the situation changes. There are a number of scenarios, including:
Pedestrian Supremacy:

The first scenario envisages urban environments where pedestrians, and perhaps bicycles, dominate.
driverless  environment  dccomment  walking  cycling 
november 2016 by juliusbeezer
No prizes for originality  |  JOHN DALES - Urban Movement
Enabling more and more traffic to go by road will do yet more damage to our towns and cities. But how does wise government go about dealing with this problem? The wise response, surely, is neither simply to bow to the wishes of individuals nor to insist that they use alternatives that are, or are considered, inconvenient. It is to make the more benign alternatives to private car travel more convenient. Or, put another way, better.

THAT is what we should be investing in.

Sir John Kingman, chairman of the Wolfson prize judging panel, correctly observes that, “The biggest challenge for policy makers in this area is not technical or financial, it is political – how to convince the public that there is a better way.” He goes on to say that, “The judges will be particularly interested in fresh thinking around this”
transport  environment  urban 
october 2016 by juliusbeezer
Crash: how computers are setting us up for disaster | Tim Harford | Technology | The Guardian
Monderman wove his messy magic and created the “squareabout”. He threw away all the explicit efforts at control. In their place, he built a square with fountains, a small grassy roundabout in one corner, pinch points where cyclists and pedestrians might try to cross the flow of traffic, and very little signposting of any kind. It looks much like a pedestrianisation scheme – except that the square has as many cars crossing it as ever, approaching from all four directions. Pedestrians and cyclists must cross the traffic as before, but now they have no traffic lights to protect them. It sounds dangerous – and surveys show that locals think it is dangerous. It is certainly unnerving to watch the squareabout in operation – drivers, cyclists and pedestrians weave in and out of one another in an apparently chaotic fashion.

Yet the squareabout works. Traffic glides through slowly but rarely stops moving for long. The number of cars passing through the junction has risen, yet congestion has fallen. And the squareabout is safer than the traffic-light crossroads that preceded it, with half as many accidents as before. It is precisely because the squareabout feels so hazardous that it is safer. Drivers never quite know what is going on or where the next cyclist is coming from, and as a result they drive slowly and with the constant expectation of trouble. And while the squareabout feels risky, it does not feel threatening; at the gentle speeds that have become the custom, drivers, cyclists and pedestrians have time to make eye contact and to read one another as human beings, rather than as threats or obstacles. When showing visiting journalists the squareabout, Monderman’s party trick was to close his eyes and walk backwards into the traffic. The cars would just flow around him without so much as a honk on the horn.
road_safety  design  environment  urban 
october 2016 by juliusbeezer
Wild campers should be tamed, not banned | Patrick Barkham | Opinion | The Guardian
a ban on wild camping in Loch Lomond and the Trossachs, which comes into force next spring.

During a previous visit this summer, I befriended a couple of young roofers from Glasgow who also said how upset they were about this ban, which prevents camping on about 150km of loch shore, the most attractive and accessible part of a national park that is less than a hour’s drive away for half of Scotland’s population.
scotland  environment  law 
september 2016 by juliusbeezer
(2) Après la mort d'un joggeur, la justice pas pressée d'accuser les algues vertes - Libération
après la mort du coureur, cette hypothèse est écartée par la justice qui n’estime pas utile de faire un prélèvement sanguin. «La présence d’algues vertes n’a pas été constatée autour du corps de la victime», indique alors Patrick Lewden, procureur adjoint. C’était compter sans la vigilance des associations de défense de l’environnement, Sauvegarde du Trégor et Halte aux marées vertes en tête, qui ne manquent pas de faire le rapprochement entre ce décès et la mort des sangliers. «L’absence d’autopsie et le refus manifeste de toute enquête nous apparaissent incompréhensibles», écrivent-elles. D’autant que, même si les algues vertes qui s’échouent sur la grève sont systématiquement ramassées, l’embouchure du Gouessant est connue pour être couverte de vases mélangées à des algues susceptibles de provoquer des poches d’hydrogène sulfuré.
france  environment  pollution  law  agriculture 
september 2016 by juliusbeezer
Which environmental factors most strongly influence a street’s appeal for bicycle transport among adults? A conjoint study using manipulated photographs | International Journal of Health Geographics | Full Text
In total, 1950 middle-aged Finnish adults completed a web-based questionnaire consisting of a set of 12 randomly assigned choice tasks with manipulated photographs. Seven micro-environmental factors (type of cycle path, speed limit, speed bump, vegetation, evenness of the cycle path surface, general upkeep and traffic density) were manipulated in each photograph. Conjoint analysis was used to analyze the data.
Results

Providing streets with a cycle path separated from motorized traffic seems to be the best strategy to increase the street’s appeal for adults’ bicycle transport. If this adjustment is not practically feasible, micro-environmental factors related to safety (i.e. speed limit, traffic density) may be more effective in promoting bicycle transport than micro-environmental factors related to comfort (i.e. evenness of the cycle path surface) or aesthetic (i.e. vegetation, general upkeep). On the other hand, when a more separated cycle path is already provided, micro-environmental factors related to comfort or aesthetic appeared to become more prominent.
cycling  design  environment 
september 2016 by juliusbeezer
Bike jams and unwritten rules: a day with Amsterdam's new 'bicycle mayor' | Cities | The Guardian
Indeed, while bikes account for an estimated 68% of journeys made in the city centre, they are allocated just 11% of infrastructure space, with cars getting 44%. There are further flashpoints around the relative lack of cycle parking (“Tourists love taking photos of bikes chained to canal bridges but the council hates it,” says Anna) and the use of bike lanes by scooters, which are heavier, wider and faster than bicycles. Moves to ban scooters from cycle paths nationally are currently going through parliament in the Hague – but just as that issue nears a possible conclusion, the introduction of electric bikes which can reach speeds of 30mph is threatening to create new problems.
cycling  netherlands  urban  environment  law 
september 2016 by juliusbeezer
Voies sur berges à Paris : le cri d’alarme de pneumologues - leJDD.fr
La parole est aux pneumologues. Alors que la polémique est à son comble à propos de la piétonisation des voies sur berges rive droite, cinq professeurs de médecine publient une tribune sur leJDD.fr, pour défendre le projet conspué de la maire de Paris, Anne Hidalgo (PS). Les signataires sont des spécialistes reconnus des maladies respiratoires, chefs de différents services de pneumologie – hôpital de Créteil (94), de la Pitié-Salpêtrière (13e) – ou d’allergologie pédiatrique – Trousseau (12e) –, vice-doyen de faculté de médecine Pierre-et-Marie-Curie… Leur message est clair : "Il est urgent d’agir [contre la pollution de l’air]. Ne rien faire, c’est se rendre coupable de non-assistance à personnes en danger." Voici leur tribune ci-dessous :

Oui à des voies sur berge piétonnes de la Seine rive droite à Paris, une mesure utile à la préservation de la santé de tous

En France, la pollution de l’air extérieur entraine environ 48 000 décès prématurés chaque année. A Paris, elle entraine environ 2500 décès chaque année et retire plus de 2 ans d’espérance de vie à 30 ans. À l’échelle de la Métropole, ce sont 6600 décès qui seraient évitables chaque année.
pollution  france  health  environment 
september 2016 by juliusbeezer
About | Clean Air in London
Air pollution in our biggest cities is much worse than most of us have realised. It averages well over twice World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines and legal limits near many of London’s busiest roads. Mayor Johnson has estimated some 4,300 premature deaths in London in 2008 were attributable to long-term exposure to dangerous airborne particles alone.

Clean Air in London’s Mission is to achieve urgently and sustainably full compliance with WHO guidelines for air quality throughout London and elsewhere. It works closely with other campaign groups and a wider network of supporters and volunteers to identify and build understanding of the most important issues and encourage decisive action on them.

Clean Air in London’s immediate priority is to see that air quality laws are enforced rigorously in London in 2014 (and thereafter).
pollution  environment  London 
july 2016 by juliusbeezer
Air pollution makes Oxford Street buses double hazard for cyclists | road.cc
researchers set up a monitoring station on Oxford Street and found a peak level of nitrogen dioxide of 463 micrograms per cubic metre of air (mcg/m3), over 11 times higher than the European Union’s limit of 40mcg/m3.

On average, including nights when the traffic is lighter and emissions level drop, the level of nitrogen dioxide is 135mcg/m3 — still four times the limit.“It’s a quirk of modern diesels that they produce more NO2 then in the past. This is because they have been designed to use NO2 to burn off particulates but, in the stop-start conditions found in congested streets, the systems are inefficient and produce far too much NO2.

“This is compounded by the high buildings on either side, which concentrate it to dangerously high levels.”
AdTech Ad

Richard Dickinson, chief executive of New West End Company which represents traders in Oxford Street, Regent Street and Bond Street, said a reduction in traffic was essential.
pollution  environment  cycling 
july 2016 by juliusbeezer
London bike couriers set to map the capital's pollution | road.cc
A team of 50 cycle couriers from London same-day courier service Gophr are set to be equipped with carbon monoxide monitors to map the capital's pollution.

The project goal is to create "the world's most advanced air pollution map," and has been masterminded by former Labour minister Paul Drayson's firm Drayson Technologies, which works towards connecting the world via the 'internet of things.

Drayson Technologies has equipped Gophr cycle couriers with 50 of their carbon monoxide sensors which they call CleanSpace Tags.

These tags will collect data from the trips each rider takes every day and will compile it to make a real-time map of the air pollution levels around the city.

The cyclists are expected to cover around 17,000 per month, and the data collection won't be relying on patchy and unreliable mobile phone GPS connections. Each CleanSpace Tagged ride will have its height and real-time location data monitored using long range trackers developed by Inmarsat - a satellite communications provider - to give precise context to the air pollution data collected.
pollution  environment  cycling  maps 
july 2016 by juliusbeezer
Poor people pay for parking even when they can’t afford a car - The Washington Post
Free parking makes it cheaper to own a car. But, as UCLA economist Donald Shoup has long argued, it makes everything else more expensive. Parking at the supermarket is embedded in the cost of groceries. Parking attached to an apartment building is built into the price of rent.

And because cities typically require developers to build a minimum amount of parking — say, one spot per bedroom in each housing unit, or two per thousand square feet of commercial space — you may pay for the cost of parking even if you never drive a car.

One analysis in Seattle found, for instance, that overbuilt parking at apartment buildings can drive up rents by nearly $250 a month.
driving  environment  urban 
june 2016 by juliusbeezer
Twitter
: la mairie durcit sa politique de répression de la fraude au stationnement
Nantes  politics  spectacle  funny  pollution  environment  road_safety 
april 2016 by juliusbeezer
Revealed: nearly all new diesel cars exceed official pollution limits | Business | The Guardian
Ninety-seven percent of all modern diesel cars emit more toxic nitrogen oxide (NOx) pollution on the road than the official limit, according to the most comprehensive set of data yet published, with a quarter producing at least six times more than the limit.

Surprisingly, the tiny number of models that did not exceed the standard were mostly Volkswagens, the carmaker whose cheating of diesel emissions tests which emerged last year sparked the scandal. Experts said the new results show that clean diesel cars can be made but that virtually all manufacturers have failed to do so.
pollution  driving  environment  uk 
april 2016 by juliusbeezer
A surprising upside to driverless cars you probably hadn't thought of | City A.M.
The creation of dedicated zones for driverless cars could free up land worth billions in central London, as parking spaces become redundant because fewer people own their own car and less space is allocated to roads...

As much as 20 per cent of land across Britain could be freed up, according to a new report from WSP Parson Brinckerhoff and Farells architects which imagines the future impact of the technology on cities and our environment (see gallery below for images).

The zones, which have already sprung up in areas such as Greenwich where driverless cars are being tested, have the potential to create thousands of additional homes and jobs, as well as extra land for quality green and open spaces, the report found. It estimates that zones of 100 hectares could gain more than £1.25bn in added land value in central London, £300m in outer London and up to £75m across the rest of the country.
driverless  environment  urban  London 
april 2016 by juliusbeezer
Le socialisme, c'est les aéroports plus le nucléaire | Le Club de Mediapart
Faudrait-il invoquer quelque trouble psycho-social collectif? Cette hypothèse n’est pas sans justesse: plus la situation écologique mondiale se détériore, plus les signes de dénis se multiplient (« non, ce n’est pas possible, tout va bien, tout ira bien, continuons comme avant, allons même plus loin encore »); mais paradoxe suprême, l’imaginaire explose en films-catastrophes invoquant la fin du monde. Tout se passe comme si ce déni et cet imaginaire étaient alimentés par une volonté de développement économique à tout prix.

Quelle est la nature exacte de cette volonté pathologique? Jean-Marc Ayrault voulait un nouvel aéroport comme certains désirent peut-être une couronne –manière de consacrer son règne à Nantes, ville dont il fut maire avant d’être premier ministre. Autre symptôme: ce ministère du Redressement Productif confirmant que le Parti «Socialiste», contrairement à ce que disent de mauvaises langues, mérite bien son adjectif: en digne héritier d’un Lénine proférant son célèbre « le communisme, c’est les soviets plus l’électricité », Ayrault et Hollande modernisent la formule en: « le socialisme, c’est les aéroports plus le nucléaire » -énergie qu’adore Arnaud Montebourg. La multinationale Vinci a répondu présent à l’appel d’offre; la voici maintenant qui demande son dû: non pas l’ombre de l’Etat, (elle fut vendue il y a fort longtemps, comme Peter Schlemihl aura cédé la sienne au diable dans le conte de Chamisso), mais sa police, son armée, afin d’expulser toute la population qui vit près de Notre-Dame-des-Landes, sur le territoire qui est destiné à accueillir l’aéroport.
aéroport  environment  politics  france 
april 2016 by juliusbeezer
A La Rochelle, les militants du vélo imaginent la société de l’a-voiture | L'interconnexion n'est plus assurée
1/ La ville apaisée. Vitesse maximale à 30 km/h, réaménagement de l’espace public, dos d’âne, parkings relais, verbalisation des voitures et scooters garés sur les trottoirs... Tous ces outils contribuent à encourager la marche et le vélo. « La démarche de ville à 30 me semble indispensable », indique Jean-Marc Soubeste, adjoint (EELV) au maire de La Rochelle, qui annonce « une concertation » sur ce sujet. A Lorient (Morbihan), « certaines voies réservées aux bus sont également autorisées aux vélos », souligne Olivier Le Lamer, adjoint (PS) à l’urbanisme. A rebours de ce qui se pratique à Rouen ou à Marseille.
cycling  environment  urban  france  français 
april 2016 by juliusbeezer
Why data proves protected bike lanes are good for everyone - Communities / Transportation - two by fore
The addition of urban bike lanes seems to be typically fraught with controversy.

The bike enthusiasts are pleased as they have safer and more routes to bike.
Drivers are in some cases up in arms, concerned about increased traffic by stealing lanes that were once used for cars.

I was lucky enough to attend the Vancouver talk by Janette Sadik-Khan, former Commissioner of the New York City Department of Transportation (NYC DOT), on her book tour for Streetfight.2

Perhaps the most striking aspect of her presentation was data about the urban transformations made in NYC during her tenure.
cycling  environment  us  science 
april 2016 by juliusbeezer
One Step Closer to Blackouts | Energy Matters
The Scottish supply is now based on nuclear, wind and imports with a little hydro and gas on the side. I think nuclear and wind is likely the worst combination for any grid that no sane power engineer would design. Variable and intermittent wind does not sit well with constant, base load nuclear power...
Clearly, national governments, power generation and distribution companies should do everything they can to safeguard against blackouts. It appears that what is happening in Scotland is the exact opposite where Scottish Power (a subsidiary of Spanish Iberdrola) has made a commercial decision to close Longannet forced by energy policy both N and S of the border. Scottish politicians seem more interested in scoring political points out of this event than safeguarding the best interests of the Scottish people. Had the NE USA blackout of 2003 occurred in January instead of August, the death toll may have been many thousands as old and vulnerable people would have died from the cold.
nukes  energy  scotland  preppers  environment  politics  commenting 
april 2016 by juliusbeezer
'Inside Sellafield' and military plutonium - the BBC's nuclear lies of omission - The Ecologist
For example, Al-Kalilili spent considerable time explain the key role of the £2.85bn Thermal Oxide Reprocessing plant (THORP), opened in 1994, once Sellafield's 'jewel in the atomic crown'. But he completely glossed over the severity of the THORP accident that disabled the plant for four years in 2004.

In May 2005, it was first reported that a serious leak of highly radioactive nuclear fuel dissolved in concentrated nitric acid - enough to half fill an Olympic-size swimming pool - had forced the facility's closure.

The highly dangerous mixture, containing about 22 tonnes of uranium and plutonium fuel, in liquid form, with a volume of around 83m3, had leaked through a fractured pipe into a huge stainless steel chamber in the 'feed clarification cell'.

The Nuclear Installations Inspectorate - now the Office for Nuclear Regulation - report on the accident, issued in December 2005, said that 160kg of plutonium was leaked - enough to make more than 30 nuclear weapons. The NII investigation identified that the company had been in breach of nuclear site licence conditions at the Sellafield site.
nukes  uk  military  history  environment 
april 2016 by juliusbeezer
Does size matter? | As Easy As Riding A Bike
These assertions of unsuitability seem to hinge on an assumption that in larger cities, people make longer trips, that their journeys get ‘stretched’, by comparison with smaller cities. These longer trips are less suited to cycling. But how much truth is there in these kinds of claims? How long are trips in London?
cycling  urban  environment 
april 2016 by juliusbeezer
Pollution atmosphérique : Michel Aubier face à ses mensonges
Cinquante mille à soixante mille euros par an : c’est ce qu’a confessé avoir touché du pétrolier Total, depuis la fin des années 1990, le pneumologue Michel Aubier, chef de service à l’hôpital Bichat, à Paris. Le médecin était entendu à huis clos, jeudi 17 mars au matin, par la commission d’enquête du Sénat sur le coût de la pollution atmosphérique, dans une ambiance assez lourde. Et pour cause. Voilà près d’un an, le 16 avril 2015, dans le cadre de ses travaux, cette même commission avait auditionné en tant qu’expert M. Aubier, qui avait déclaré en préambule de son intervention : « Je n’ai aucun lien d’intérêt avec les acteurs économiques. » Une déclaration sous serment démentie par Libération et Le Canard enchaîné qui ont révélé, mercredi, que le professeur exerçait depuis 1997 les fonctions de médecin-conseil pour Total, chargé de conseiller les cadres dirigeants du groupe en cas de problèmes de santé.
pollution  environment  conflict_of_interest 
march 2016 by juliusbeezer
Aubier, le médecin qui minimise la toxicité du diesel, carbure pour Total - Le Point
Michel Aubier, chef du service de pneumologie-allergologie de l'hôpital Bichat, également médecin-conseil du groupe pétrolier Total, est au coeur d'une polémique mercredi en raison notamment de propos tenus dans plusieurs médias, minimisant la toxicité du diesel sur la santé. "Dans l'émission Allô Docteur du 1er mars (sur France 5), le Pr Michel Aubier, pneumologue à l'AP/HP (Assistance publique/hôpitaux de Paris), a affirmé que la pollution atmosphérique n'était pas cancérigène sauf à de très forts taux d'exposition et essentiellement chez les fumeurs", déplore le collectif "Strasbourg respire". "Un rectificatif nous semble indispensable pour corriger certains propos d'un médecin universitaire qui vont à l'encontre des principales études médicales, et notamment des études de l'OMS qui a classé le diesel cancérigène en 2012 et la pollution atmosphérique cancérigène en 2013", ajoute ce collectif dans un communiqué.
conflict_of_interest  medicine  france  environment  driving 
march 2016 by juliusbeezer
Le siècle de l’automobile était une erreur. Il est temps de passer à autre chose. – carfree.fr
Il faut d’abord rappeler que toutes les villes étaient sans voiture il y a un peu plus d’un siècle. Toutes les villes n’ont pas répondu à l’avènement de l’automobile avec le même enthousiasme que les villes américaines. En fait, certaines villes n’ont jamais adopté la voiture. Venise n’a pas voulu se détruire pour construire des rues assez larges pour les voitures. Elle n’en a donc jamais eu, sauf dans la partie de la ville située sur le continent. La même situation existe dans la médina de Fès, au Maroc, et dans plusieurs autres villes d’Afrique du Nord. Ces quartiers sont généralement les parties les plus dynamiques de ces villes.
environment  driving  urban 
march 2016 by juliusbeezer
The Bike Wars Are Over, and the Bikes Won -- NYMag
NY transport commissioner defends (largely paint based) reallocation of urban space from motor vehicles:
"While their eyewitness reports painted a dismal picture, statistics told a far different story. Russo clicked through the presentation as reporters lurked around the auditorium. Speeding on the corridor — the original impetus behind the project — bottomed out, from 74 percent of cars on Prospect Park West speeding before to just 20 percent after. Sidewalk bike riding dropped from 46 percent of riders on the sidewalk before the project to just 4 percent after. The number of crashes actually resulting in injuries dropped 63 percent. Traffic volumes and driving time remained unchanged. A survey conducted by Brad Lander, the community-minded council member for Prospect Park West’s district, found that most people surveyed who lived near the park supported the changes."
us  cycling  road_safety  environment 
march 2016 by juliusbeezer
Auto électrique : la grande arnaque
L’idée d’une voiture neutre en CO2 a pourtant été battue en brèche. En novembre 2013, une étude de l’ADEME analyse les émissions de gaz à effet de serre sur l’ensemble du cycle de vie de la voiture électrique. Le résultat est marquant : une voiture électrique « rentabilise » son impact CO2 à partir de 50 000 km en France, et de 100 000 en Allemagne – une différence qui s’explique par l’alimentation électrique au charbon, à hauteur de 44 % outre-Rhin.

Nouveau calcul : « Cela revient à une moyenne de 15 kilomètre par jour, 365 jours par an, pendant 10 ans. En dessous, la voiture électrique est moins efficiente en CO2 qu’une voiture thermique », dit Stéphane Lhomme. Avec l’Observatoire du nucléaire, il a récemment obtenu du Jury de déontologie publicitaire le retrait des adjectifs « propres », « vert » ou « écologique » qu’utilisaient les constructeurs automobiles pour qualifier la voiture électrique.
driving  energy  environment 
march 2016 by juliusbeezer
Electro-sensibilité, le cri d’alarme des médecins
Souvent considérés comme phobiques ou paranoïaques, les électro-hypersensibles bataillent à faire reconnaître leur maladie, et donc la potentielle dangerosité des ondes électromagnétiques. Mais une étude parue en décembre 2015 pourrait changer la donne : elle a identifié des « marqueurs biologiques », c’est-à-dire des réactions spécifiques du corps à la maladie. Menée par le professeur Dominique Belpomme, l’étude a suivi sur la longueur plus de 500 patients atteints d’électro-hypersensibilité. En plus des analyses de sang et d’urine, qui ont montré certaines anormalités, le professeur a observé l’activité du cerveau : elle montre que certaines zones précises sont moins bien irriguées chez les patients électro-hypersensibles.
environment  health  science  telephony  internet  networking 
february 2016 by juliusbeezer
“The True Costs of Automobility: External Costs of Cars” | Road Danger Reduction Forum
First, the good news: another academic study using conventional cost-benefit analysis finds that motorists in the 27 EU countries have a net economic cost to society, with the UK second only to Germany in costs. Take a look at the nice short summary in the Guardian. It’s good to counteract what the Guardian correctly calls “The perennial complaint from drivers that they are excessively taxed”, not least the prejudice that cyclists are cheating by “not paying a tax”. The figure given for these external costs – £48 billion per annum, some £10 billion more than the total of motoring taxation revenue – looks pretty damning. However, it can be argued that the costs of motoring to society are considerably greater than those in the picture painted in the study, and that the report is inadequately critical of the status quo.
driving  environment  road_safety  jbcomment 
february 2016 by juliusbeezer
The Pope and the Planet by Bill McKibben | The New York Review of Books
The pope’s contribution to the climate debate builds on the words of his predecessors—in the first few pages he quotes from John XXIII, Paul VI, John Paul II, and Benedict XVI—but clearly for those prelates ecological questions were secondary...

It is, therefore, remarkable to actually read the whole document and realize that it is far more important even than that. In fact, it is entirely different from what the media reports might lead one to believe. Instead of a narrow and focused contribution to the climate debate, it turns out to be nothing less than a sweeping, radical, and highly persuasive critique of how we inhabit this planet—an ecological critique, yes, but also a moral, social, economic, and spiritual commentary. In scope and tone it reminded me instantly of E.F. Schumacher’s Small Is Beautiful (1973), and of the essays of the great American writer Wendell Berry. As with those writers, it’s no use trying to categorize the text as liberal or conservative; there’s some of each, but it goes far deeper than our political labels allow. It’s both caustic and tender, and it should unsettle every nonpoor reader who opens its pages.

The ecological problems we face are not, in their origin, technological, says Francis. Instead, “a certain way of understanding human life and activity has gone awry, to the serious detriment of the world around us.” He is no Luddite (“who can deny the beauty of an aircraft or a skyscraper?”) but he insists that we have succumbed to a “technocratic paradigm,” which leads us to believe that “every increase in power means ‘an increase of “progress” itself’…as if reality, goodness and truth automatically flow from technological and economic power as such.”
environment  religion  climatechange  technology  science  literature 
february 2016 by juliusbeezer
Pollution : « Aucun constructeur ne respecte la réglementation », selon Royal
SÉGOLÈNE ROYAL. Oui, on peut le dire. Instaurer des normes plus laxistes, c'est comme donner un droit à polluer aux constructeurs automobiles. Ces derniers ont obtenu le doublement des normes d'émission des oxydes d'azote, les NOx, en contrepartie de nouveaux tests plus rigoureux qui incluraient des contrôles sur route. Le poids des lobbys a malheureusement pleinement pesé sur cette décision. On observe exactement la même chose avec les chimistes et leurs pesticides.
driving  pollution  environment  politics  france 
february 2016 by juliusbeezer
Sheer volume of cyclists causing congestion and crashes on Dutch bike lanes | road.cc
Congestion, crashes and a chronic lack of parking spaces – for Britain’s roads, substitute the Netherlands’ cycle lanes. It seems cycling has become so popular in the country that its infrastructure is struggling to cope.

Citylab (link is external) reports on a recent report by the country’s SWOV Institute for Road Safety Research which has found that with bike paths filling to capacity during rush hour, crashes are becoming more common. Furthermore, many areas are woefully short of bike parking with Amsterdam now planning a 7,000-space bicycle garage under the IJ lake.

The SWOV says that the sheer numbers using bike paths means many can’t ride at the speed of their choice and argues that this is a major cause of the growing number of collisions that do not involve cars. Around 1,000 cyclists are hospitalised each year after collisions with other cyclists – although it should be noted that in Amsterdam alone, several hundred thousand trips are made by bike each day.
cycling  netherlands  environment 
january 2016 by juliusbeezer
The solution for the melting polar ice caps may be hiding in the rainforest | Dr Paul Salaman | Opinion | The Guardian
Rainforest conservation is also incredibly economical. One acre of Amazon rainforest in Peru, which stores up to 180 metric tonnes of CO2, can be protected for just a few dollars; the same is true elsewhere in Latin America and Africa. The implications here are astounding and should give us pause: for the cost of a meal – or even a coffee – each of us could save an area of forest about the size of four football pitches and safely store about 725 metric tonnes of CO2. To put this in perspective, the annual emissions of a typical passenger vehicle in the United States is less than 4.5 metric tonnes of CO2.
climatechange  environment 
january 2016 by juliusbeezer
Bristol Traffic
the War on Motorists began over 25 years ago —and the city is still suffering under it. Before the war, you could drive from temple way over the rickety flyover, straight to the centre, then past the cathedral and out to the A4, with only a couple of traffic lights in your way. Not now.
driving  urban  environment  dccomment 
january 2016 by juliusbeezer
Forests Emerge as a Big Winner in Paris Agreement | Gustavo Silva-Chávez
All countries agreed on simple but strong language that operationalizes forest protection and flips the 'on' switch for the international finance to make it happen. It also brings in the necessary technical and scientific rules to make sure there is the blueprint to build national forest protection plans. In doing so, they expanded the opportunities for forests to play a key part in our global response to climate change, helping to achieve both mitigation and adaptation goals.

Why was it so important that forests be included prominently in the Paris Agreement? Deforestation, primarily in the tropics, currently accounts for about 10 percent of annual carbon emissions worldwide -- about as much as all cars and trucks on the planet combined. But as Jonah Busch of the Center for Global Development points out, stopping all tropical deforestation would cut greenhouse gas emissions by as much as a third, and at a fraction of the cost of comparable emissions reductions in the United States or Europe.
climatechange  environment  finance  politics 
december 2015 by juliusbeezer
Revealed: Oil giant Exxon lobbied against decarbonisation and electrification of EU transport - Energydesk
The current carbon price of 8 euros per tonne could correspond to adding only approximately 1.6 eurocents to the price of a litre, given that each litre of fuel would produce just under 2 kilos of CO2, according to a back-of-envelope calculation.

Analysts say the carbon price will be around 19 euros per tonne in 2020. At this rate, additional duty would be 3.8 euro cents per litre, adding up to only 15 cents for a 40 litre fill up.

Even if the policy were meaningful, it would be almost impossible to implement at EU level since fiscal measures are decided unanimously.
transport  climatechange  eu  environment 
december 2015 by juliusbeezer
'LCDS meets a real live borough: how new analysis tools can be used to evaluate and plan cycle networks - Rides and Events - London Cycling Campaign
An LCC Policy Forum Seminar. Mark Strong from Transport Initiatives will talk us through the Mesh Density and Area Porosity Analysis tools, found in the London Cycle Design Standards. Mark will discuss the principles behind the tool, the steps involved in carrying out an analysis, and provide a couple of examples that those attending can try out. There will also be time for questions and discussions about how the tool fits into cycle network planning.
cycling  environment  permeability 
december 2015 by juliusbeezer
Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology - The Fort Collins Commuter Study: Impact of route type and transport mode on personal exposure to multiple air pollutants
Previous studies comparing particulate exposures between drivers and cyclists present mixed results.27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32 Boogaard et al.33 and Panis et al.,28 for example, compared driving and cycling exposures to PNC and PM2.5 across multiple cities and found that the direction and magnitude of relative differences varied from city to city. Other studies, however, observed increased mean exposure to particulate pollutants when driving (e.g., BC (49%34), PM2.5 (12%35 and 17%34), PNC (6%35 and 36%34) and elemental carbon (41% summer and 44% winter30)) in drivers relative to cyclists on comparable routes. Local traffic patterns, fleet composition, vehicle operation, topography, and proximity to source (i.e., the tailpipe) all likely contribute to the relative differences in exposure between cyclists and drivers. An increase in mean CO exposure when driving is consistent with several previous studies.32, 35 The observed increase in mean CO exposure when driving (15% to 20% greater than cycling) is similar to Kaur et al.35 (15%) but lower than de Nazelle et al.32 (75% geometric mean). Additional studies comparing cycling and driving exposures to gaseous air pollutants have found driver’s exposure is elevated by 60% to 75%.13, 29
cycling  pollution  environment 
november 2015 by juliusbeezer
(94) Scandale Volkswagen : la Commission européenne aurait été informée dès 2011 - Libération
l’hebdomadaire économique allemand Wirtschafts Woche est venu renforcer cette thèse en affirmant avoir pu consulter des documents montrant qu'«un équipementier automobile a informé le commissaire européen à l’Industrie de l’époque, Antonio Tajani, à propos de la fraude». La Commission européenne «savait depuis 2011 que les constructeurs automobiles trichaient au sein de l’UE sur les mesures de leurs émissions de gaz grâce à des systèmes de réglage de leurs moteurs», écrit le journal.
pollution  driving  environment  eu 
november 2015 by juliusbeezer
C’est ennuyeux mais... la ville écolo est sexiste
En premier lieu, l’analyse d’une enquête [1] montre que les femmes, de tous âges, seraient défavorisées par les « bonnes pratiques » de mobilité dans la ville durable, et notamment l’abandon de la voiture. Les raisons en sont aussi bien la nature des tâches qui leur sont encore majoritairement dévolues (accompagnement des enfants, des personnes âgées, courses) que leur sentiment d’insécurité dans l’espace public (crainte de l’agression dans certains quartiers ou bien la nuit). Les études [2] Adess/CNRS réalisées entre 2010 et 2014 sur la métropole bordelaise montrent ainsi que les femmes sont toujours moins nombreuses à vélo (en particulier la nuit ou lorsqu’il pleut) et qu’elles l’abandonnent à la naissance d’un deuxième enfant.
cycling  environment  france  feminism 
november 2015 by juliusbeezer
Dedicated Bike Lanes Can Cut Cycling Injuries in Half - CityLab
Teschke and her colleagues worked with five hospitals in Toronto and Vancouver to identify adult bikers who were treated in an emergency room within 24 hours of a bike accident. Over an 18-month period between summer of 2008 and fall of 2009, they identified 2,335 injured cyclists. Of that group, 690 were considered eligible for the study and agreed to participate.

The researchers excluded bikers who were fatally injured (there were two in this time period), those who couldn’t remember or speak about their rides, or who had been injured off-road riding, trick riding or racing. The study essentially focused on cyclists who were injured enough to visit the ER, but not so battered that they couldn’t recall the details of the trip in question (Vancouver, by the way, has a helmet law).

The genius of this study is that each biker was used as his her own control. On a map, the researchers traced each route with the riders and identified where their accidents had occurred.
cycling  road_safety  environment 
november 2015 by juliusbeezer
Copenhagenize.com - Bicycle Culture by Design: Amsterdam City Council Agrees to Remove More Cars
Amsterdam today is that the city council has agreed to further limit car traffic in the city centre. Earlier this year, their agreed to establish a new design for the Muntplein square. With a recent traffic study of the city, it has been established that it is possible to improve the plans even more.

Through a car number plate analysis, it was possible to get a detailed picture of the traffic in the city centre. The study showed that traffic is atypical. There are many taxis, vans and visitors but there is no longer a pattern. 65% of the motorised traffic in the city city centre has no business there. 20% uses the roads to get to surrounding areas. 15% use the streets as a transit route on A to B journeys that have nothing to do with the city centre. 30% just drive around in circles - this is primarily taxis, especially at night, doing loops while waiting for customers, as well as people looking for parking.

The plans will direct this parasitical traffic to other roads outside the city centre, while keeping the area accessible to local traffic and deliveries. This will improve the flow and create more space for pedestrians and cyclists. The city is also looking at how to get taxis from driving aimlessly around at night.
cycling  environment  urban  netherlands 
november 2015 by juliusbeezer
Roads Were Not Built For Cars | “Building more roads to prevent congestion is like a fat man loosening his belt to prevent obesity”
That Mumford quote
People, it seems, find it hard to believe that the cure for congestion is not more facilities for congestion.
driving  environment 
november 2015 by juliusbeezer
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