November 30, 2008
Carbon dioxide may have played a vital role in helping ancient Earth to escape from complete glaciation, according to scientists in a paper to be published in the journal Nature Geoscience. The authors from Imperial College London claim that the Earth never froze over completely during the Cryogenian Period, about 840 to 635 million years ago.
BNSF Railway recently completed construction of a third main rail line through Cajon Pass in Southern California that will increase capacity on BNSF’s Chicago to Los Angeles Transcontinental (Transcon) route from 100 to 150 trains a day. The $90 million project adds almost 16 miles of third main track to BNSF’s route into the Los Angeles Basin.
Suzuki Motor Corporation introduced the new Alto Lapin minivehicle for the Japan domestic market. The redesigned vehicle with 2WD and a continuously variable transmission (CVT) offers 24.5 km/L fuel economy (57.6 mpg US, 4.1 L/100km) on the 10-15 cycle.
New Global Survey Finds Consumers Want Government Action on Climate Change; Decreasing Willingness to Take Personal Action
|Percentage of respondents ranking climate change higher than global economy. Click to enlarge.|
The results of a new global survey released by the HSBC Climate Partnership show that consumers want governments to stop haggling on carbon concessions and act. The Climate Confidence Monitor 2008 surveyed 12,000 people across 12 markets and found that 43% of those surveyed chose climate change ahead of global economic stability when asked about their top three concerns, despite the survey taking place in the midst of the financial market turmoil in September-October 2008.
In a clear call for resolution to the debate on emission targets, 77% of people surveyed worldwide want to see their government cutting carbon by their national “fair share” or more to allow less developed economies to grow.
Mitsubishi Chemical Group To Boost Li-ion Anode Material Output Capacity 70%, Enter Separators Market
Nikkei. Mitsubishi Chemical Corp. will spend ¥ 1 billion (US$10.5 million) to raise production capacity of lithium-ion anode materials by roughly 70% by next fall.
Europe is moving closer to finalizing a new fuel quality law which will require fuel suppliers to cut full life-cycle greenhouse gas emissions from road fuels by 6% between 2010 and 2020.
ENDS (Environmental Data Services) reports that the cuts are expected to come from production efficiency improvements and a switch to biofuels and other cleaner fuels. Biofuel sustainability criteria will be added to the new law once they have been agreed in separate negotiations relating to the new Renewable Energy Directive.
November 29, 2008
T3 Motion, the provider of a three-wheel electric vehicle to the public safety and private security markets, has contracted for 4,000 e-ZONE low-speed electric vehicles from Korea-based CT&T for sale to police departments in the US for use in applications such as parking enforcement. The contract is worth around US$50 million.
Evaluation of Shared Low-Speed Link to Public Transit Finds Demand Higher Among Day Users Than Commuters
Researchers from the Institute of Transportation Studies at UC Davis have published an evaluation of the results of the 16-month EasyConnect field test in the San Francisco Bay area. EasyConnect was launched in August 2005 to test and evaluate the potential for a shared-use low-speed mode vehicle service at bridging the “last mile” from a public transit station to the workplace. The program used electric bicycles, non-motorized bicycles, and Segway Human Transporters (HTs). (Earlier post.)
Although in concept the program was more focused on commuters, the results of the analysis found higher demand among day users (e.g., for lunch, errands, and business meetings) than among commuters (i.e., getting from the public transit station to work and back). The electric bicycle had the highest low-speed mode share (68%) relative to the conventional bicycle or the Segway HT for commute travel; for day use, however, the Segway had the highest share (52%).
|Examples of measures for forest adaptation. Click to enlarge.|
Unless immediate action is taken, climate change could have a devastating effect on the world’s forests and the nearly 1 billion people who depend on them for their livelihoods, according to a team of scientists from the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR).
In their report—Facing an Uncertain Future: How Forests and People can Adapt to Climate Change—released in conjunction with the UNFCCC Conference of Parties meeting in Poznán, Poland, the CIFOR researchers call for the implementation of adaptation measures to reduce the vulnerability of the forests and forest-dependent communities that will experience an unprecedented combination of climate change-associated disturbances like flooding, drought, wildfire, and other environmental challenges in the next 100 years.
Beijing will not restrict the purchase of private cars as proposed by some residents to help ease traffic jams and stem pollution, according to Wang Haiping, deputy head of the Beijing Municipal Commission of Development and Reform. He said it would be an irresponsible move while China is trying to boost domestic consumption to offset impacts from the global financial crisis.