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Slower boats to China as ship owners save fuel

Erik Kirschbaum, Reuters
Oil at more than $90 a barrel is concentrating minds in the shipping industry. Higher fuel costs and mounting pressure to curb emissions are leading modern merchant fleets to rediscover the ancient power of the sail.

The world’s first commercial ship powered partly by a giant kite sets off on a maiden voyage from Bremen to Venezuela on Tuesday, in an experiment which inventor Stephan Wrage hopes can wipe 20 percent, or $1,600, from the ship’s daily fuel bill.
(19 January 2008)

Study looks at transportation’s effects on global warming

Doyle Rice, USA TODAY
A new study released Monday reports that 15% of the manmade carbon dioxide (CO2) in the Earth’s atmosphere comes from cars, trucks, airplanes, trains, and ships. This is the first study to specifically measure the impact of transportation on global greenhouse gas emissions.

The remaining 85% of atmospheric CO2 comes from industry, buildings and agriculture, the report said.

The study was led by Jan Fuglestvedt and other scientists at the Center for International Climate and Environmental Research in Oslo.

… Elisabeth Holland, a senior scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, who was not part of the study, was impressed with the research: “This is a comprehensive study,” she says, “that takes a careful look at how all the emissions from the transport sector are handled.”
(9 January 2008)

Video: NC Researcher Details Freight Emissions
Calif, Air Resources Board, Energy Policy TV
Dr. H. Christopher Frey, Department of Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering, North Carolina State University, describes the greenhouse gas emissions created by freight transport, including trucking and shipping. This seminar is part of a series from theCalifornia Environmental Protection Agency (CA EPA) Air Resources Board.
(9 January 2008)

Cycling the way to go in this overcrowded city

Clover Moore, Sydney Morning Herald
THE NRMA, unsurprisingly, claims that few cyclists use the Epping Road corridor each day. The NRMA, like the big oil companies, has a vested interest to protect, and it is depressing that private car use in Sydney is still rising, with vehicle kilometres travelled increasing at twice the rate of population growth.

We are past the day when we have any choice but to pursue alternatives: oil is running out and global warming is increasing at an alarming rate. Our streets are becoming impossibly congested, polluted and unpleasant to use. The health costs, in respiratory disease and obesity, to name but two, are well-documented.

Many people choose cars over bikes because they can get directly to any destination. Get on a bike, and you’ll be lucky to find continuous safe passage.

Cyclists are expected to levitate through impassable gaps in the network and risk their lives inches from tonnes of speeding metal on car-dominated roads.

Despite this, nearly 1.5 million bicycles were sold in Australia last year, 40 per cent more bikes than cars. And this is the eighth year in a row that bikes have outsold cars.

At last year’s C40 Large Cities conference in New York, I cycled with the mayor of Copenhagen. In the Danish capital 40 per cent of people use bikes to get to work and study. International experience shows that if you provide the facilities, people will use them – but it does not happen overnight.

Our top need is for a clean, efficient, sustainable and integrated transport system that includes cycleways and mass transit to move the million-plus people who use the city daily to their destinations.

Clover Moore is Lord Mayor of Sydney and the independent state MP for Sydney.
(11 January 2008)
PaulS gives some background at The Oil Drum:

[The article] may be a little unclear where the Sydney mayor, Clover Moore, is coming from. The article seems to be in response to an earlier article on behalf of their National Road Motorists’ Association, harshly lambasting the Sydney local government for installing cycle lanes. You might think that in a place like Sydney, with a benign climate where it’s apparently never been below freezing in recorded history, they would find the lanes more useful than in places with harsh climates and actual winters, but, oh, well, who’s to say…

A Community Car Share Hits the Road
Janaia Donaldson, Peak Moment via Global Public Media

Lorraine Wilde’s non-profit Community Car Share organization in Bellingham, Washington received startup help from many quarters. Established car-sharing organizations mentored her, individuals offered low-interest private loans, a state grant enabled them to purchase a hybrid, and the city provided a fixed parking place by the bus station. Learn how she did it, then set one up in your community! Episode 92.
(20 January 2008)