Op-Ed: To Fight Climate Change, Think Politics First, and Often

Protest Green New Deal, San Fran - Photo Peg Hunter via Flickr CC

By Nathan Lobel, Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment|Feb. 26, 2019

In October, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reported that we have little more than a decade to stave off climate catastrophe. Avoiding such a fate, the panel warned, “would require rapid and far-reaching transitions in energy, land, urban and infrastructure (including transport and buildings), and industrial systems… unprecedented in terms of scale.”

Punctuating a year of natural and political climate-related disasters, the IPCC report sparked renewed calls for action. Economists, environmentalists, and policy elites took to the nation’s opinion pages with a common prescription: to fight climate change, Congress should put a price on carbon, thus “internalizing” the social cost of fossil fuel consumption.

From one perspective, converging on carbon pricing makes lots of sense — after all, carbon prices are often thought to be the most efficient means to mitigate climate change. But, despite its theoretical utility, carbon pricing has also struggled to deliver the real and drastic emissions reductions that we so desperately need.

Continue reading

THE FIVE PERCENT CHALLENGE (continued)

 * * Very rough first draft.  Requiring careful rewrite for content and clarity.   * *

CLIMATE/NEW MOBILITY  2019-2020 EMERGENCY ACTION PLAN

If we knew what it was we were doing, it would not be called research, would it?  (Attributed to A. Einstein)

 

Working Notes: Building Blocks:

The sources,  references and links that follow here – we call them building blocks or parts of the much larger puzzle – are presented here in first working draft form and are intended to be useful to inform and guide students, researchers, concerned citizens and others interested in getting up to speed on the wide range of challenging topics that need to be brought in to the analysis and eventual work plan for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the local transport sector by a radical target and in a single year . These references include a considerable variety of issues, hints and developments (examples, free public transport, economic levers, value capture, full gender parity, etc., etc.) which have important roles to play in this wholesale reconstruction of the new mobility ecosystem.

WORLD CLIMATE EMERGENCY

Continue reading

PROFILE: Cambridge City Council’s Climate Change Strategy

Cambridge drivers spend a whopping 23 days a year queuing in traffic

Cambridge has been named the congestion capital of the UK – weeks after the council announce ‘peak hour’ parking charges

ANNUAL CLIMATE CHANGE STRATEGY, CARBON MANAGEMENT PLAN AND CLIMATE CHANGE FUND UPDATE REPORT

Continue reading

FIVE PERCENT CLIMATE/NEW MOBILITY EMERGENCY CHALLENGE: Cross-cutting issues, sources and strategies

 * * THIS IS A ROUGH FIRST DRAFT. REQUIRES TOTAL REWRITE   * *

2019 Climate/New Mobility Emergency Action Plan & Demonstration

If we knew what it was we were doing, it would not be called research, would it? (Attributed to Albert Einstein)

The sources,  references and links that follow here – we think of them as building blocks – are presented here in first working draft form and are intended to serve to inform and guide  students, researchers, concerned citizens and others who are interested in getting up to speed on the wide range of challenging topics that need to be brought in to the analysis and eventual work plan for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the local transport sector by a radical target and in a single year . These references include a considerable variety of issues, hints and developments (examples, free public transport, economic levers, value capture, full gender parity, etc., etc.) which have important roles to play in this wholesale reconstruction of the new mobility ecosystem.

Continue reading

Transport and Climate Change: 2006 Perspectives

Climate temperature anomolies global time series

Here we are, it’s 2019, but how did all this look a dozen years ago? In this broad-based overview article published in 2006, Professor Lee Chapman of the School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Science at University of Birmingham,  reviews the impact of various modes of transport with respect to climate change inducing greenhouse gas emissions and discusses ways in which society can adapt to reduce the impacts. Let’s take a look and see what has changed, what has been done, and what has been learned..

This paper reviews the impact of various modes of transport with respect to climate change inducing greenhouse gas emissions and discusses ways in which society can adapt to reduce the impacts.

Continue reading

2019 ECO-INVITATION: THE FIVE PERCENT CHALLENGE

. . . an invitation to join an open collaborative action plan to cut GHG emissions from the mobility sector in cities by 5% in first year.

Climate/Mobility Action Plan and Demonstration Projects: 2019-2020

EXEC SUM: This open collaborative project just getting underway on World Streets aims to demonstrate how cities can reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the mobility sector by at least five percent in the first year after startup. And this by working from a well-prepared two-pronged push and pull strategy based on a combination of (a) sharp VKT  reductions  (Vehicle Kilometers Traveled) and (b) an expanding Better Choices while working with proven, cost-effective, available technologies and processes.  The project aims to get sharp, measurable results in short time with an approach that is, we argue, Better, Faster and Cheaper — and through this basically reshaping the city’s basic mobility ecosystem.   This bold initiative is only possible with very strong leadership and commitment, and an exceptional ability to  communicate and engage the population in a fully equitable and  positive manner.

COLLABORATIVE STARTUP: Now seeking critical feedback on working materials and proposals, collaborators, presentation opportunities, partners and eventual demonstration projects and sponsors

FOR FIRST INFORMATION AND LEADS: (Most of these still  interim  working drafts)

Continue reading