Greening New York's Subways
Public transportation saves energy. Instead of individually consuming hundreds of gallons of gasoline, if not thousands, the great mass of workers in Boston, Chicago or New York commute powered by electricity or efficient diesel engines. Saving fuel and other environmental economies are thus embedded in the very way the municipal authorities charged with mass transit do business. So it comes as no surprise that New York's Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) has an ambitious plan to "green" its operations.
Trapping Carbon, Freeing Coal
There is a lot of carbon in the ground. For eons, life forms ranging from microbes to Homo sapiens have trapped the element as part of their fundamental molecular makeup, died and cycled it into the great geologic chain of carbon. Some of that carbon has been recycled into descendant organisms and soil, and some has been transformed by temperature, pressure and time into coal, natural gas and oil--the fuels of our modern economy.
Samuelson's Wishful Thinking on Global Warming
My good-cop colleague George Musser is doing the saintly work of reasoning with global-warming skeptics by calmly laying out the evidence for them. That leaves an opening for somebody to be bad cop in responding to the prattle of more politically influential skeptics and deniers. In the words of the late Vernon Wormer (dean emeritus, Faber College): "That foot is me."
By the end of this week, the Chinese government expects to pour the last concrete for the enormous Three Gorges Dam on the Yangtze River. Partially operational since 2003, the dam will be fully operational in 2009, according to the confident officials, bringing to a close more than a decade's worth of construction.