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Research Recap, July 16: “Green Guilt,” Healthy Transport, Access to Jobs, Wild Weather Extremes

A  recent report shows that consumers in countries like China rate owning a luxury car as a higher priority than those surveyed in more developed countries. Photo by Tom Spender.

Welcome to “Research Recap,” our series highlighting recent reports, studies and other findings in sustainable transportation policy and practice, in case you missed it.

Green Guilt

The National Geographic Society, publisher of National Geographic Magazine,  released its annual Greendex Survey, a 17-country survey of environmentally sustainable behavior. The survey finds that consumers in less developed countries, such as India, China and Brazil, not only have small environmental footprints when compared to their industrialized peers, but they also feel the most “guilt” about the impact they have on the environment. This same cluster of countries also tended to rate owning a luxury car as a higher priority than those surveyed in the more developed countries.

Healthy Transport

The British Medical Association published “Healthy Transport=Healthy Lives,” a report on road safety, transportation accessibility and public health in the United Kingdom. The report calls for an overhaul to U.K. transportation policy, refocusing efforts away from car use and shifting priorities to  public transit, walking and cycling.

Access to Jobs

The Brookings Institution’s Metropolitan Policy Program released a transit accessibility report, “Where the Jobs Are: Employer Access to Labor by Transit,” noting that while more than 75 percent of jobs in the 100 largest American metropolitan areas are accessible to public transit, only 27 percent of the workforce can access jobs in 90 minutes or less.

Wild Weather Extremes

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), a branch of the U.S. Department of Commerce, published its annual State of the Climate Report, which chronicles changes in climate patterns. “2011 will be remembered as a year of extreme events, both in the United States and around the world,” said Deputy NOAA Administrator Kathryn D. Sullivan, Ph.D. The most recent report details unseen undulation in world rainfall, from the worst droughts in East Africa to the wettest two years Australia has ever endured, in addition to the South Pole’s highest recorded temperature in history.

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