Electric vehicles, multiple flavors of “shared mobility” services, information technology apps and tools, new concepts for building “complete streets,” and other advances give policy-makers an ever-expanding array of ingredients that can be combined in new and exciting ways to create cleaner, greener and more efficient systems for moving people and goods around our communities.

If you can dream it, you can do it. Or, rather, only if you can dream it can you then proceed to do it. Acknowledging that dreams sometimes come true is the first step in opening the door for transformative change.

The task of transportation and climate advocates in these next few years is to identify and work to achieve the contemporaneous and mutually reinforcing shifts in public policy, economics, technology and culture that can make seemingly impossible changes happen quickly.

A transformed transportation system offers tremendous benefits, including reducing emissions, saving taxpayers and consumers money, making communities safer and healthier, and boosting local economies.

The powerful wind blowing along and off the shores of the East Coast contains enough energy to provide more electricity than the region uses in a year, from Miami to D.C., up to New York and Boston. 

Society's problems are not simple, but they are solvable if we follow a few basic principles.

Does America need to rely on natural gas as a "bridge fuel" on the way to reaching its clean energy goals?

Will we come to debate highway expansion projects that fuel carbon-intensive land uses and travel patterns with the same intensity as we did Keystone XL? I’m not sure. But the creation of greenhouse gas performance metrics will help to ensure that at least they are debated. And that is a big step forward.

In last week's Boston Globe an MIT economics professor argued that the fastest and fairest way to transition to a clean energy economy is to shift government policy support away from distributed solar, and toward utility-scale solar. But distributed, rooftop solar has particular benefits to the environment, to society and to electricity customers that make it worth the investment.

“Moving to the suburbs” can mean something quite different than it did 20 or 30 years ago.

Evidence is emerging that one type of dangerous resistant infection linked to factory farms – urinary tract infections caused by resistant E coli – is becoming increasingly widespread, particularly in children.

Our new report Solar Schools for Philadelphia found environmental and economic benefits for putting solar panels on Philadelphia schools. So if solar panels make economic sense for Philadelphia, shouldn’t they make sense just about everywhere? 

Bike-friendly cities show us that there is no need to wait for new technology to begin the process of transformation.

Can the small-scale financial and social benefits that are out there for drivers be applied more equitably to also benefit transit users, pedestrians, and bicyclists?

The Zika virus and its anticipated spread across North America is alarming for two reasons: first, that it can cause birth defects in babies whose pregnant mothers are bitten by an infected mosquito, and second, that a likely response here in the U.S. is increased “fogging”—spraying pesticides throughout neighborhoods to kill adult mosquitoes in an attempt to control the spread of the disease—though that approach also may have risks for babies.

In December, the California Public Utility Commission (CPUC) decided to keep strong net metering in California for years to come. The decision, made over the objections of the state’s biggest utilities, is a testament to the popularity of solar power, and will allow California to ramp up its solar economy while reducing global warming emissions and driving down the price of solar panel.

Over the last decade and a half, one major source of T revenue has actually grown at a faster rate than operating expenses: transit fares.

This weekend, for my son’s birthday party, we invited a handful of his friends to meet us in downtown Santa Rosa for a movie and then a bus ride back to our house for cake and games. The eight first-graders loved both the movie and riding the bus. For me, the day’s travel experiences highlighted how transportation pricing and land use requirements don’t square with enabling people to drive less (as many people say they wish were possible) or with Sonoma County’s pledge to reduce its global warming pollution.

2015 was the warmest year on Earth since recordkeeping began in 1880. Furthermore, temperatures in 2015 broke the previous record, set in 2014, by the largest margin ever recorded.


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