Cities

Amtrak struggles to meet demand as ridership soars

As commuters continue to look for alternatives to high gas prices, increasing numbers are choo-choo-choosing Amtrak. A record 28 million passengers are expected to ride the train this fiscal year compared to 25.8 million last …

Brownstein on land use

It’s time to link climate and energy policy to land-use policy. We won’t be able to reduce emissions and escape fossil fuels if we keep building communities that require massive amounts of driving. That’s practically …

Employers scramble to make commutes less costly

Recognizing the very real possibility of losing quality employees to jobs with shorter, cheaper commutes, employers across the country are scrambling to help their workers save on gas. Many companies have started to strongly encourage …

Globalization death watch, part II

The beginnings of a continentalized global economy

Your faithful blogger was surprised to find himself representing part of the environmental blogosphere in a New York Times article on Sunday, "Shipping Costs Start to Crimp Globalization." It's very much worth reading, and prior to writing the article the reporter, Larry Rohter, talked with me about my first installment in this series, "Globalization death watch, Part I." In his article, after noting the recent collapse of global trade talks, Rohter writes: Some critics of globalization are encouraged by those developments, which they see as a welcome check on the process. On environmentalist blogs, some are even gleefully promoting a "globalization death watch." Now, look at the dictionary.com definition of "gleeful": full of exultant joy; merry; delighted. Well, maybe the births of my sons called forth such feeling, but I'm not usually full of exultant joy, particularly when I think about global crises. However, Larry Rohter may be forgiven his choice of words, considering the title of the blog post. I and, if I may be so bold as to speak for some other environmental bloggers, others think that the decline, even death of globalization would be a good thing. But just as the rise of globalization led to much suffering, so will its decline, and that's certainly not something to be "gleeful" about. To paraphrase Barack Obama's pithy phrase about getting out of Iraq, "we've got to be as careful getting out as we were careless getting in." I'd like to go over some of the points Rohter highlights, and then explain later in the post why there is a better alternative to globalization.

Greyhound and other intercity buses gain popularity

High gas prices are helping Greyhound and other intercity buses shun their loser-cruiser reputation. Ridership on the U.S. intercity bus system fell by a third between 1960 and 1980, by half again by 2006 — …

Is your favorite beach polluted?

Photo: Tom Twigg American beaches “continue to suffer from serious water pollution that puts swimmers at risk,” concludes the Natural Resources Defense Council in an annual report. There were 22,571 pollution-related closures or warning advisories …

Google Maps adds walking directions

Taking another step toward complete indispensability, Google Maps on Tuesday became the first service of its kind to add walking directions. In addition to searches for car and transit travel, pedestrians — and, hell, Segway-ers …

Street arts

Artists and environmentalists team up to create vibrant cityscapes

The Olympic Sculpture Park. Photo: Jeff Wilcox. “Cities are what’s going to get us out of this mess … and what makes cities livable is art.” That was the take-home message, summarized by Cascade Land …

First statewide green-building standards adopted by California, natch

Photo: Patrick Dirden California has adopted the nation’s first statewide green-building standards in what is, according to ever-punny Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, “literally a groundbreaking move.” The new California Green Buildings Standards Code requires builders to …

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