Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The Green House Gas War

Here's an interesting article in Slate that talks up the difference between driving and transit and airplanes and GHG emissions. It's nothing you don't already know but a nice read complete with links to the Reason Foundation and the Center for Neighborhood Technology. Here's an interesting clip:
Secondly, you can't discuss the environmental impact of getting around without considering the infrastructure that makes travel possible. We have a tendency to focus on the environmental impact of the things that move—the cars, trains, and planes we see getting from point A to point B. But Chester and Horvath found that in some cases, construction is the biggest polluter. Roads were responsible for more particulate matter than tailpipes, for example. For rail travel, operating the trains actually accounts for less than half of a system's greenhouse-gas emissions. The implication: Making concrete and asphalt in a more environmentally friendly way can be just as important as getting vehicles to run more efficiently. In other words, it's not just the road you take, but what it's made out of, too.
H/T Public Transit in Ottawa

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I don't know if this study catches this, but one major benefit of transportation electrification (electric rail, trolleybuses, or electric cars) is that they become greener as sources of their electricity change from fossil fuels to more renewable energy sources and more efficient transmission of electricity.

A gasoline, diesel, or natural gas fueled car or train maintains the same emissions portfolio over the entire lifetime of the vehicle, and that portfolio is a result from the efficiencies at the time of construction.