Typical American families worse off than in the 80s

Cross-posted from The Nation, by Michelle Chen, 29 Dec 2016 Trump’s support and popularity reflected a massive sense of loss: real economic loss, perceived cultural loss, and anticipatory loss for their children’s generation. Just how “real” this decline actually has been, however, depends on where you stand, and where you’re falling from. A recent study of stratification and eroding quality of …

Improving performance measurement in transportation

Performance measurement — more carefully measuring and quantifying the multiple benefits of transportation spending decisions to ensure that every dollar is aligned with the public’s goals and brings the greatest return possible for citizens — is an emerging practice that forward-looking metropolitan areas of all sizes are beginning to use. The transportation law passed in 2012 (MAP-21) created a nascent …

Engineering students in Kolkata create device for 24×7 solar power

By Debjoy Sengupta, ET Bureau | Dec 23, 2016 While battery manufacturers and solar power companies are struggling to develop batteries that would be cheap, smaller in size and can store power for days, an engineering college in Kolkata has devised a combo of solar based generation and power storage system that can supply power perpetually 24 hours a day …

Your brain on air pollution

Your brain on air pollution June 16, 2016 by Nathan Taft When people worry about air pollution, they’re normally concerned about the impact it’s having on their lungs, and their children’s. But what about their brains? Last year, independent journalist and Ph.D. candidate in Clinical Neuropsychology at Duke University, Aaron Reuben, wrote an eye-opening exposé on the growing body of evidence that …

An update from IEA: to catch the 2-degree trajectory, we need stronger government policies and at least 60% RE in electricity by 2040

A chat with IEA executive director Fatih Birol, cross-posted from Vox, by David Roberts, 2 Dec 2016 The International Energy Agency’s (IEA’s) New Policies scenario considers policies in place and in the pipeline; i.e., it increased renewable energy (RE) estimates significantly, mainly because two major countries put new policies in place.  The US government renewed the federal investment tax credit and production …

Lighter and more powerful electric motors, batteries that can store more energy, and more sophisticated aviation software are transforming small aircraft

By Tim Lee, Dec 2016, Cross-posted from Vox.   There’s a couple of technologies that are maturing and converging” to make small, affordable airplanes feasible, says Brian German, an aerospace researcher at Georgia Tech. German argues that lighter and more powerful electric motors, batteries that can store more energy, and more sophisticated aviation software could transform the market for small …

The Independent: Driverless electric cars could ‘cut air pollution to almost zero and make parking lots obsolete within 10 years

‘We’re likely to see a huge shift in how our cities look and how transport is managed’  By Lynsey Bews, cross-posted from The Independent, Monday 26 December 2016 People look towards an autonomous self-driving vehicle, as it is tested in a pedestrianised zone, during a media event in Milton Keynes, UK Getty Self-driving electric cars could make car parks obsolete within the …

Activists building DIY bikelanes and improving safety

Meet the shadowy group that’s arguably outpacing San Francisco when it comes to protected bike lanes.  By JOHN METCALFE cross-posted from City Lab, Dec 23, 2016SFMTrA When it comes to bike lanes in San Francisco, there’s SFMTA—the official transit agency—and then there’s the thorn in its side known as SMFTrA. Their names may look the same at first glance, but don’t be …

Cyclists Are Winning Commuting

They’re more likely than drivers, walkers, and straphangers to get to work on time and feeling good.  By ANDREW SMALL, cross-posted from City Lab, Dec 23, 2016 Lucas Jackson/Reuters With so many commuting choices—bikes, trains, buses, and those god-forsaken, gas-guzzling death-boxes also known as cars—and so many variables—cost, time, distance, traffic, and weather conditions—we transit nerds at CityLab are constantly reconsidering …