Why Every City Feels the Same Now: Glass-and-steel monoliths replaced local architecture. It’s not too late to go back.

Vernacular architecture reflects who the built environment is by and for. Construction accounts for 39 percent of energy-related carbon-dioxide emissions, so the built environment stands right at the center of this challenge. If there is to be a habitable future, it will need to be vernacular: reengaging with people where they actually live rather than fixated on monumental follies. It’s attractive, and …

Covid Flight From Transit Forces Shift to Riders Without Choices

August 17, 2020 by Courtney Rozen, Bloomberg, Covid Flight From Transit Forces Shift to Riders Without Choices Public transportation leaders are rethinking how to serve riders who depend on them, as they adjust to the possibility that many commuters who abandoned mass transit during the Covid-19 pandemic will never return. Half the nation’s remote workers prefer to work from home …

Gas companies fighting back against cities and states preparing for gas phase-out in new construction, sometimes with money from cities and customers, paid into gas trade associations

In a nationwide blitz, gas companies and their allies fight climate efforts that they consider an existential threat to their business. By Emily Holden in Washington, in The Guardian, 20 Aug 2020 When progressive Seattle decided last year to wipe out its climate pollution within the decade, the city council vote in favor was unsurprisingly unanimous, and the easiest first step …

Innovations in Naturally Affordable Housing

Synopsis of Select 14 Sessions Introduction: Please find a very brief introduction to each of the sessions, listing the presenters and how you can access their programmatic information from their websites, books and articles.  While I took 49 pages of handwritten notes, I do not plan to type them up. Topic: ADUs Increasing Residential Density with Manufactured ADUs Presenter: Patrick …

Oil and gas groups block briefing for officials on health impacts of drilling: Commission agrees to postpone presentation ahead of key health and safety rulemaking

By Chase Woodruff -August 19, 2020 Colorado’s five new oil and gas commissioners were set to hear a presentation from state officials on the health impacts of drilling this week — but oil and gas interest groups objected, and the commission agreed to cancel the briefing. Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission chair Jeff Robbins noted the decision at the beginning of …

Battery Powered Trains will be 35% Cheaper Than Hydrogen, Study Concludes: Plus the price of batteries keeps dropping

Oliver Cuenca of International Railway Journal reports that the battery-powered trains cost 35% less to buy and operate than hydrogen trains. The batteries don’t have to be replaced as often as fuel cells, either, so maintenance costs will be lower. If the trains operate during the daytime, they can be charged at night with the same cheap electricity, just like people …

Report provides new framework for understanding climate risks, impacts to US agriculture

July 29, 2020, Colorado State University A new report focuses on how agricultural systems are impacted by climate change and offers a list of 20 indicators that provide a broad look at what’s happening across the country. Agricultural production is highly sensitive to weather and climate, which affect when farmers and land managers plant seeds or harvest crops. These conditions …

74 million people of color, or 57%, live in counties with at least one failing grade for ozone and/or particle pollution, compared with 38% of whites

By Mustafa Ali, August 2020 Studies show that Hispanics, Asians, American Indians/Alaska Natives and especially African Americans experience higher risks of harm (including premature death) from air pollution. Approximately 74 million people of color, or 57%, live in counties with at least one failing grade for ozone and/or particle pollution, compared with 38% of whites. Let’s be clear: we got here …

Study Links Fracking, Flaring to 50 percent More Preterm Births: Before 37 weeks of gestation, such incomplete development raises a baby’s chance of numerous disorders, even death

Environmental Health News https://www.ehn.org/fracking-preterm-births–2646411428.html NYTimes, July 23, 2020, https://ehp.niehs.nih.gov/doi/10.1289/EHP6394 Pregnant women who lived near areas where flaring is common had 50 percent greater odds of giving birth prematurely than those who did not. These births occurred before 37 weeks of gestation, when incomplete development raises a baby’s chance of numerous disorders, even death. Expectant mothers who lived near flaring sites …

Air Pollution and Mortality in the Medicare Population

Air Pollution Still Kills By Rebecca E. Berger, M.D., Ramya Ramaswami, M.B., B.S., M.P.H., Caren G. Solomon, M.D., M.P.H., and Jeffrey M. Drazen, M.D. Article, Metrics11 References, 10 Citing Articles In late October 1948, a dense smog descended over the town of Donora, Pennsylvania. The town was home to a zinc plant and a steel mill, both run by the United States Steel Corporation. Susan …