Energy Conservation

September 17, 2014, 8am PDT
New report by the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate describes specific actions which can strengthen economic performance and reduce climate change risks. A key strategy is to build better, more productive cities.
Better Growth Better Climate
Blog post
June 24, 2013, 6am PDT
Critics claim that smart growth policies are ineffective at reducing vehicle travel and achieving intended to objectives. This column critiques their arguments.
Todd Litman
May 26, 2013, 5am PDT
Let's put aside those renderings of high-rise urban greenhouses with lush, vertical gardens. Vertical farming's future, instead, lies more practically in large, suburban "pinkhouses", says one expert.
NPR
April 22, 2012, 5am PDT
Coinciding with Earth Day, PBS is airing a series of programs highlighting the ways in which local communities are working to conserve energy in order to save money and save the environment.
PBS
Blog post
December 30, 2011, 2pm PST

I am sorry to report that, Canada, my chosen country (I immigrated here in 1993), recently withdrew from the Kyoto Accord, which sets international climate change emission reduction targets. It’s worth noting that this decision was made by the ruling Conservative Party which received less than 40% of total votes, but the other four parties split the more progressive votes and are unable to form a coalition, resulting in federal policies that are far more politically conservative than the average Canadian would prefer.

Todd Litman
Blog post
December 4, 2011, 7pm PST

Bad planning simply extrapolates past trends: “We experienced 2% annual growth during the last decade, so we’ll assume that will continue into the future.” Good planning attempts to understand underlying factors that affect change. Such is the case with the price elasticity of vehicle travel, that is, the changes in vehicle travel caused by a change in transport prices (fuel, parking, tolls, insurance, etc.).

Todd Litman
December 10, 2010, 11am PST
The more you drive, says a new study, the more you are at risk of getting in an accident. So if how much one pays for car insurance was linked to mileage, there would be a significant reduction in driving - and fender benders.
Pay-As-You-Drive Auto Insurance In Massachusetts: A Risk Assessment And Report On Consumer
Blog post
June 30, 2010, 1pm PDT

Many ancient religions required animal sacrifice to satisfy their gods’ desires. We now sacrifice pelicans, marine mammals and sea turtles to satisfy our desire for cheap oil.

Todd Litman
Blog post
May 3, 2010, 7am PDT

On Earth Day the US Department of Transportation released an important new, 605-page report, Transportation's Role in Reducing U.S.

Todd Litman
Blog post
August 20, 2009, 5am PDT

The recently released report, Moving Cooler: Transportation Strategies to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions, which recommends various VMT reduction strategies (also called mobility management, transportation demand management, TDM), has raised debate concerning the best way to reduce climate change emissions. Critics argue that that reducing vehicle travel is difficult and costly to consumers and the economy, and instead support strategies that change vehicle design (increased energy efficiency and alternative fuels).

Todd Litman
December 10, 2008, 12pm PST
In this Mercury News Op-Ed, San Jose State University Professor Larry Gerston proposes this bold tax for mass transit and alternative energy programs. It yields $175 billion annually and creates green jobs, enabling us to determine our destiny.
Mercury News
November 15, 2008, 11am PST
Officials in Austin, Texas, are drafting what's believed to be the nation's most substantive sustainability policy for special events--including measures to reduce waste and conserve water and energy.
Austin American-Statesman
August 13, 2008, 7am PDT
American businesses and consumers are changing their habits and finding ways to save energy.
Wall St. Journal
Blog post
July 11, 2008, 10am PDT

North American (United States and Canada) policy generally favors low energy prices, with low taxes, production subsidies and other types of energy industry support. As a result, North Americans are energy rich: an average worker can purchase more fuel per hour of labor than almost any other time or place. In response North Americans have developed energy intensive lifestyles and industrial practices, have failed to implement many energy conservation practices common in other parts of the world, and consume more energy per capita than most other times and places.

Todd Litman
June 26, 2008, 6am PDT
<p>A grassroots group is working to remove barriers to erecting clotheslines, which are commonly banned by apartments buildings as a blight. The group is pitching their work as an energy conservation effort.</p>
Rutland Herald
June 18, 2008, 8am PDT
<p>An avalanche decimates an Alaskan city's energy infrastructure, leading residents to craft creative ways to conserve energy and lower their utility bills.</p>
The Next American City