Air travel is a huge contributor to climate change. A new global movement wants you to be ashamed to fly.

Author Umair Irfan

It was 2007, during a trip to visit her sister in Norway’s pristine Lofoten Islands, when Maja Rosén had an unsettling thought.

As she took in the breathtaking archipelago north of the Arctic Circle that is dotted with mountains, carved with fjords, and circled by sea eagles, she remembered she was looking at one of the fastest-warming regions of the planet.

And she realized that how she got there was part of the problem.

She’d carpooled with friends to Oslo from her home in Gothenburg, Sweden. The final leg was a short boat ride to the islands. And in between was a 500-mile flight from Oslo to Bodø.

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Report: 21st Century Transportation

Released by: U.S. PIRG Education Fund

America’s aging roads and bridges need fixing. Our car-dependent transportation system is dangerous, harms our communities, and is the nation’s leading source of global warming pollution. And more than ever before, it is clear that America needs to invest in giving people healthier, more sustainable transportation options.

Yet year after year, state and local governments propose billions of dollars’ worth of new and expanded highways that often do little to reduce congestion or address real transportation challenges, while diverting scarce funding from infrastructure repairs and key transportation priorities. Highway Boondoggles 5 finds nine new budget-eating highway projects slated to cost a total of $25 billion that will harm communities and the environment, while likely failing to achieve meaningful transportation goals.

Highway expansion costs transportation agencies billions of dollars, driving them further into debt, while failing to address our long-term transportation challenges.

Highway expansions are expensive and saddle states with debt.

  • In 2012, the latest year for which data is available, federal, state and local governments spent $27.2 billion on highway expansion projects – sucking money away from road repair, transit, and other local needs.
  • From 2008 to 2015, the highway debt of state transportation agencies nearly doubled, from $111 billion to $217 billion.[i]
  • New roadway is expensive to maintain, and represents a lasting financial burden. The average lane mile costs $24,000 per year to keep in a state of good repair.[ii]

Highway expansion doesn’t solve congestion.

  •  Expanding a highway sets off a chain reaction of societal decisions that ultimately lead the highway to become congested again – often in only a short time. Since 1980, the nation has added more than 800,000 lane-miles of highway – paving more than 1,500 square miles, an area larger than the state of Rhode Island – and yet congestion today is worse than it was in the early 1980s.[iii]
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The Generating Resilient, Environmentally Exceptional National (GREEN) Streets Act introduced in the Senate today

10 Jul 2019 | Posted by

Today Senators Ed Markey (D-MA) and Tom Carper (D-DE) introduced a bill that would measure and reduce greenhouse gas emissions and vehicle miles traveled. This would be transformative.

Transportation is the single largest source of greenhouse gases (GHG), contributing 28 percent of the United States’ total GHG emissions. While many other sectors have improved, transportation is headed in the wrong direction. Driving represents 83 percent of all transportation emissions and these emissions are rising—despite cleaner fuels, more efficient and electric vehicles—because people are driving more and making longer trips.

Unfortunately, our federal transportation program forces people to drive more by measuring success through vehicle speed—not the time it actually takes people to reach their destination. Building wider highways and sprawling cities to accommodate high-speed driving creates a feedback loop of more driving, virtually guaranteeing ever-increasing transportation emissions (and congestion).

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Americans Shouldn’t Have to Drive, but the Law Insists on It

Author: Gregory H. Shill

In a country where the laws compel the use of cars, Americans are condemned to lose friends and relatives to traffic violence. My childhood neighbor was a varsity student-athlete, the president of the junior class, and the most popular girl in school. One day in September 1995, a car crash took her life. She had been driving home on the freeway when her car went across the median and collided with one going the opposite direction, killing both drivers. A third vehicle was said to have struck her car moments before, causing her to lose control. The police put out a call for information, apparently without success.

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Hit by a Tourist Boom, Cities Wonder When to Stop Self-Promotion

Author Molly McCluskey Jul 5, 2019

VANCOUVER, B.C.—It’s early morning when the first cruise liner of the day approaches Vancouver’s waterfront. The vessel is one of more than 230 similar ships that will dock here this year, adding its passengers to the stream of 10 million overnight guests that the Western Canada city will host this year.

From now until the end of the summer season, Vancouver will be at 95 percent tourism capacity, according to Gwendal Castellan, manager of Sustainable Destination Development at Tourism Vancouver. That is presenting him and his colleagues with a once-unthinkable challenge: Do they just stop promoting the city?

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