Thursday, August 20, 2015
The Pope recently raised
global consciousness to respond to the intensifying climate threats that
science tells us are real. This month international Muslim group declared that
there are serious flaws in way we use natural resources. This should be helpful in gaining support for
podcars from mosques and churches -- synagogues and temples too.
|Cities are living organisms. |
- courtesy of Ethel Vrana of Ithaca NY
more than half of humankind now urban, increasingly concentrated in huge metro,
regions, the Pope admonishes city planners and transport policy makers: Awkwardly
translated from Latin, here is a quote from Pope Francis’s Laudato Si:
The quality of life in
cities has much to do with systems of transport, which are often a source of
much suffering... Many cars, used by one or more people, circulate in cities. …
This makes it necessary to build more roads and parking areas which spoil the
urban landscape. Many specialists agree on the need to give priority to
public transportation.Yet some measures needed will not prove easily acceptable
to society unless substantial improvements are made in the systems
Those who see
civilization in terms of millennia, not centuries know that mass ownership of
cars, trucks and planes is new. Abraham, Moses, Zoroaster, Jesus and Mohammad
didn’t have to deal with highway issues. This came as the 20th century began. Car culture became widespread
after World War-II. It became global as that century closed. This and other
factors -- aviation, power generation and sloppy agriculture -- have made
Mother Earth quite sick.
|Will Sikh leaders now embrace a PRT |
proposed in Amritsar, India?
carbon-emitting vehicles operating daily have adversely affected our climate. They
kill and maim millions of people every year. They poison our lungs. The Pope,
the Dalai Lama and countless other religious leaders around the world have declared
this -- if not criminal -- immoral.
Deeply feeling the pain to
the poor, the Pope goes beyond good words. Last month he invited sixty mayors
from around the world to Rome. One of the eight from the USA was Minneapolis
Mayor Betsy Hodges. She had an epiphany there, stunned that outside the USA
climate issues are actionable.
Minnesota has a long and
deep history in PRT technologies -- from the 1970s, off and on over the
decades. It is home to Ed Anderson’s PRT International and the independent Taxi 2000 led by Mike Lester. It
is also home to PRT Minnesota and Jpods. Twin
Cities debated PRT, and PRT issues sparked into state party politics spawning
virulent attacks from a Luddite blogger. Mayor Hodges last year won with a
platform to bring 21st century solutions to create a 21st century city.
|Highways make for ugly walkways.|
So far Hodges is not
known to favor PRT projects. Will her new climate transformation launch a round
of podcar initiatives? With calls for modern mobility being voiced in Austin,
Greenville, Ithaca, Los Angeles and now Minneapolis, a podcar breakthrough is
looking eminently real.
Power brokers in Boston,
New York and Washington are taking note. They're collecting beans to count.
Many will come to PCC9 in Silicon Valley Nov 4-6.