Greg Galitzine : Green Blog
Greg Galitzine
| Helping environmentally-conscientious business leaders choose environmentally-friendly solutions.

September 2008

You are browsing the archive for September 2008.

Here's How To Make Airports Really Green...

September 23, 2008

I applaud the airports for taking steps to use less energy, generate fewer emissions, and recycle more, as reported in a USA Today story last week that I had perused while at ITEXPO West.

Yet if these facilities, and their airline masters truly want to go green they should:

* Invest in European-styled electric high-speed rail links to replace short-haul flights. 

A Hydro-Quebec report published in 2006 revealed that such air travel can release as much as 340 grams of CO2 per passenger-kilometre as compared with zero for a passenger in a high-speed electric train, powered from hydroelectric dams. In contrast, long-haul flights, for which there is no competition (other than the ultraclean choice of conferencing) release as little as 102 grams.

Short haul flights also eat up runway space, whose expansion chews up life-giving greenspace. More runway wear-and-tear also means more pollution-adding construction and maintenance.

*Shift access to mass transit and shared-ride away from private vehicles. Invest in rapid transit and subsidize off-site airport buses to transit centers, like existing commuter rail/bus stations near where users live.









Green Ideas Overheard At ITEXPO West

September 22, 2008

Several ideas/observations overheard at ITEXPO West last week in Los Angeles...

1. Get rid of the ethanol subsidy 

Ethanol production--from grains as opposed to biowaste--is being criticized for generating more pollution than it solves through processing and transportation.

Kind of like LEED buildings being erected in car-oriented office parks, gouged out of what had been environmentally-beneficial fields, wetlands, forests...

2. Go nuclear, like France has done. Get away from coal, heavy oil, natural gas, hydro...

There is some logic here.









Going Green To L-A...To ITEXPO West

September 10, 2008


The headline above sounds like an oxymoron, given that Los Angeles has for 60 years come to represent everything brown and ugly as opposed green and bright in the environment. For "L-A" was the first city--and far from the last--to buy into the 1930s urbanist vision of dispersed sprawling communities linked by car-occupied freeways, popularized at the 1939 World's Fair in New York City.   The car and the wide, fast roads to accommodate it represented individual freedom, the escape from dirty, fetid cities into fresh countryside and wide open spaces, once the province of farmers and the elite. Unfortunately like most visions it overlooked the consequences, like smog, which began to be inflicted by cars on Los Angeles as early as the late 1940s, and traffic congestion that has proven to be impossible to build out of.   There is a plaque in the Los Angeles Union Passenger Terminal, (also known as Union Station used by Amtrak and the Metrolink commuter rail that discusses the deliberate freewayization of Los Angeles that destroyed what was the world's greatest mass transit network, the  Pacific Electric interurbans or 'Red Cars'. This figured as a subplot in the hit animated/real action comedy film 'Who Framed Roger Rabbit?'  The city also had an extensive narrow gauge urban streetcar system, which shared tracks with the Red Cars with inside rails for the trolleys.   Since the early 1990s "L-A" has been pouring money if by fits and starts into returning the 'Red Cars' now known as light rail transit or LRT, plus in subways, commuter rail, and bus rapid transit that have proven popular especially with high gas prices.
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