Research Recap, August 6th: US Fleet Could Save $Billions, Climate Change Rising, British Biking, Status Quo Emissions

U.S. Postal Service Trucks, the largest contributor to the federal government fleet of vehicles.

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

Government Efficiency For the Future

The American Clean Skies Foundation has found that government owned, government operated and contracted alternative-fuel vehicles account for a 77-percent savings in fuel costs. The report, “Oil Shift: The Case for Switching Federal Transportation Spending to Alternative Fuel Vehicles” predicts that if just 20-percent of these vehicles switched to alternate fuel sources, Federal Agencies could save as much as $7 billion annually.

Climate Change More Extreme Than Ever

The NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies has found yet more evidence linking human activity to global warming. The report, “Perception of climate change”, directly links anthropogenic climate change to increased extreme weather events around the globe.  The likelihood of stronger storms and droughts has increased 100-fold over the past 30 years.

Biking Could Be Better

Polling data in the U.K. reveals that 36-percent of commuters across Great Britain are more likely to drive to work than walk, use public transport or cycle.  While 12-percent of British commuters arrive to work by transit, only 3-percent bike to work; more than half  would be willing to switch to cycling if it were “safe” or “practical”. Meanwhile, in New York City, the NGO Transportation Alternatives has found that 60-percent of fatal pedestrian and bike accidents are due to illegal driving behavior, 36-percent of which are linked to “driver inattention”.

Status Quo Air Quality

An international team of environmental scientists published a report in Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics detailing the effects of status-quo emissions policies on air quality. The report forecasts an acute increase in sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide and surface level ozone across much of Earth up to 2050;many of these pollutants are set to double in concentration.  The areas to be hit by the sharpest increases in these pollutants are The Persian Gulf, North Africa and South Asia.




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