Saturday, January 2, 2010
 

Climate Pilots

Today's Post contains an article about a group of four N. Va. families who are Climate Pilots, going Beyond recycling and light bulbs.
They are Climate Pilots, guinea pigs in a Swedish experiment aimed at helping U.S. citizens understand that a lifestyle that curbs greenhouse-gas emissions is not necessarily oppressive, just different.

Many Americans have adopted small eco-friendly measures, such as recycling and installing compact fluorescent light bulbs. A number of Washington area residents have made more significant lifestyle shifts, commuting by public transportation or bicycle and adopting high-efficiency or renewable-energy systems for their homes.

At times, there has been a culture gap. Angela Ulsh, a Climate Pilot who teaches second grade at the school, remembered a video conference call with her Swedish coach in Kalmar, who mentioned he had used his car only three times during the past month. "You've got to be kidding me," Ulsh replied. "I've used it three times in one day."
Bicyclists in the U.S. are already leading the way by driving less and using bicycles for many of their trips. We're proving that is is possible to have a future in which people rely less on fossil-fuel vehicles and use more active transportation modes.

The Climate Pilots program has partnered with four families connected with the The Congressional School here in Fairfax County, on Sleepy Hollor Rd (a Preferred bike route by the way).

Learn more about the Climate Pilot program. In looking at the Traveling Challenge, we notice that there is little emphasis on alternative modes and more on saving fuel while driving smarter. Could be because the online tool used for tracking trips, Commute Greener, is produced by Volvo.

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Wednesday, October 7, 2009
 

You don't have to be a superhero

That's the title of a bicycle advertisement in the UK on how by simply bicycling we can reduce our impact on climate change. It would be nice if LAB, America Bikes, or the Alliance for Biking and Walking had funds for a few general bicycle advertisements in the mainstream media. As Mikael Colville-Andersen pointed out in his recent talk about Copenhagen bicycle culture, we see plenty of ads for all the wonderful things you can do in a car; we need more positive bicycle ads. Here's the ad as seen on the LAB blog:

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Wednesday, July 15, 2009
 

Transportation Secretary LaHood wants better bike facilities

Yesterday Transportation Secretary LaHood testified at the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee hearing entitled Transportation's Role in Climate Change and Reducing Greenhouse Gases. One of his key points is the need for providing better alternative transportation modes, including bicycling. In his blog he only mentioned bike paths but in his full testimony he mentions bike lanes:
  • We must take action to make all forms of transportation more fuel efficient while stepping up efforts to introduce low-carbon fuels and alternative power sources for all types of vehicles.
  • However, even if we were to achieve a 55 mile-per-gallon fuel efficiency standard in the coming years, carbon emission levels from transportation would still only decline modestly. We must implement policies and programs that reduce vehicle miles driven.
  • This means providing communities with additional transportation choices, such as light rail, fuel-efficient buses, and paths for pedestrians and bicycles that intersect with transit centers. These options will also reduce household transportation costs, strengthen local economies, lower traffic congestion, and reduce reliance on foreign oil.
  • Our strategy also calls for investing transportation dollars in coordination with housing and economic development. By doing so, we can promote strong communities with mixed-income housing located close to transit in walkable neighborhoods.

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