Events, News & Blog

The Streets Were Never Free. Congestion Pricing Finally Makes That Plain.

Author  Emily Badger

The policy could change not just traffic, but also how we think about the infrastructure cars require.

Congestion pricing has the potential to significantly change how traffic flows through Manhattan streets, how commuters get around the city, how companies like Uber and Lyft operate.

But most radically, if the policy spreads it could challenge a deeply embedded cultural idea, requiring people to pay for something Americans have long demanded — and largely believe they’ve gotten — free of charge.

Planting Our Future

Author Michael Stusser

Planting trees and preserving forests can balance many of the negative effects of human activity on our ecosystem before the threat from rising global temperature becomes irreversible.

Focus on Forests First

Of the many environmental factors that are currently at risk, the issue of forests is a critical leverage point for recovering balance quickly. Restoring global forest cover is one of the fastest and most effective natural solutions to the rising global temperature and the myriad related potentially catastrophic effects of climate change. 

Planting enough trees of the right kinds in the right places fast enough will reduce the amount of C02 in the atmosphere and reverse climate change.

Here are the facts:

  • Forests represent one of the largest, most cost-effective climate solutions available today. Halting the loss and degradation of natural systems and promoting their restoration have the potential to contribute over one-third of the total climate change mitigation scientists say is required by 2030. Restoring 350 million hectares of degraded land could sequester up to 1.7 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent annually. ~IUCN,  Forests and Climate Change Issues Brief
  • IPCC [International Panel on Climate Change] numbers suggest that if deforestation ended today and degraded forests were allowed to recover, tropical forests alone could reduce current annual global emissions by 24 to 30 percent. ~ Center for Global Development, Why Forests, Why Now?
  • Old growth trees, dense mature vegetation and rich soils in primary forests including intact forest landscapes are unmatched in terms of carbon sequestration and storage (30-70% more than logged or degraded forests). Forests are thought to remove 25% of all human generated emissions of CO2, and primary forests play a substantial role in this extraordinary carbon sink. ~ IUCN, Raising the profile of primary forests
  • NASA study estimates that tropical forests absorb 1.4 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide out of a total global absorption of 2.5 billion. – NASA Finds good news on forests and carbon dioxide  ~Data courtesy of verdantworld.org

What We Are Doing:

Freestone and the surrounding hills were logged out following the 1906 earthquake to rebuild San Francisco. We feel a responsibility to restore our own forests here at a local level. By planting a redwood forest at Osmosis it is our hope that this action that can also help to build more awareness of the fact that protecting and restoring forests around the world can reverse climate change.

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Inn at Occidental

Spring Into Summer Spa and Stay Special

A Complete vacation for two starting at just $379. Available now through June 27, 2019.
Escape to beautiful West Sonoma County for an unbeatable combination of outstanding spa services, luxury lodging, fine wine and dining.
Call the Inn at Occidental to purchase your Spring Into Summer Package 707.874.1047

Partnering with the Inn at Occidental, we’ve created the perfect Inn & Spa package that is sure to provide the ultimate relaxation and deliver restorative rejuvenation! You and your loved one will return home with memories that will last a lifetime.

  • Melt away your stress at Osmosis Day Spa, 3.5 miles south of the Inn. The treatment starts with a tea ceremony in a private room looking out to a serene Japanese garden. The steamy, therapeutic Cedar Enzyme Bath will continue the unique healing and rejuvenating experience (available Monday-Thursday).
  • Cool off in the misty spa meditation garden and be transported to another world.
  • Check-in at the Inn at Occidental for the night. The special applies to the Leaf Umbrella and Ivory Rooms.**
  • Enjoy the complimentary evening wine reception from 5:00 to 6:00 in the comfortable living room.
  • Stroll leisurely to one of the many restaurants in Occidental for a satisfying dinner. There are four restaurants within two blocks of the Inn.
  • Fall asleep and dream the night away in pillow top beds with 600 thread count linens.
  • In the morning, savor a scrumptious breakfast in front of the fireplace in the warm dining room.
  • Finally, enjoy complimentary wine tasting at select wineries before heading home, rested and rejuvenated. The Inn provides a Tasting Voucher and map to over 100 local nearby wineries.

Entire package: Only $379 for 2 people.  (Taxes & Gratuity additional.)

** Upgrade to a courtyard room with private entrance, over-sized spa tub, and fireplace for just $50.00 more plus tax.

Add a massage or facial at Osmosis for an additional charge. Call Osmosis (707-823-8231) to book direct.

Rail travel is cleaner than driving or flying, but will Americans buy in?

Author : Conversations

Transportation represents a large portion – about 29 percent – of U.S. emissions, and the share has been rising in recent years. Rail proponents often argue that investment in trains and public transportation is a key part of making transportation cleaner, and indeed, the Green New Deal calls for greatly expanding high-speed rail.

I’m a scholar of rail, and it’s clear to me that the quickest way to decrease greenhouse gases from transportation is to travel by train and move goods by rail instead of on the road or by air.

To explain why, it’s worth comparing rail to other modes of transportation on energy consumption and emissions, and to look at some of the developments that can make rail more widely used in the U.S. and less reliant on fossil fuels.

Energy and emissions profiles

Transportation by rail is a major part of the transportation system in most countries, including in the U.S., which has the longest freight railway system in the world with approximately 140,000 miles. Rail passenger services are essential in many areas, primarily in population centers such as New York and Chicago, and intercity rail has a significant market share in some corridors, such as the Northeast. Rail also offers long-distance routes connecting many smaller communities with each other and the large metropolitan areas in the country.

Read More: https://theconversation.com/rail-travel-is-cleaner-than-driving-or-flying-but-will-americans-buy-in-112128

A Modest Proposal to Eliminate 11,000 Urban Parking Spots

Amsterdam has a highly functional transit system which is why they can get away with reducing parking…..Rick Coates

Author:  Feargus O’Sullivan Mar 29, 2019

This week, Amsterdam is taking its reputation for pro-bike, anti-car polices one step further by announcing that it will systematically strip its inner city of parking spaces.Amsterdam transit commissioner Sharon Dijksma announced Thursday that starting this summer, the city plans to reduce the number of people permitted to park in the city core by around 1,500 per year. These people already require a permit to access a specific space (and the cost for that permit will also rise), and so by reducing these permits steadily in number, the city will also remove up to 11,200 parking spaces from its streets by the end of 2025.The cleared spaces won’t be left empty, however. As room for cars is removed, it will be replaced by trees, bike parking, and wider sidewalks, allowing Amsterdammers to instantly see and feel the benefits of what will still be a fairly controversial policy among drivers.

How can the city get away with it? Put simply, Amsterdam’s government has been given a mandate to. The city is currently being run by a coalition of left and centrist parties in which the Green Left party (GroenLinks) has the largest share. A promise to reduce parking space formed part of the initial coalition agreement. It also helps that no driver will actually be stripped of the right to park. Rather than revoking permits, the city will simply not replace any that are given up when drivers leave the city, give up their cars, or die. In this way, the city reckons it can naturally do away with about 1,100 permits a year.

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