Monday, October 26, 2015


According to the Wall Street Journal, CEOs of big oil companies averaged almost $14 million in 2010. That’s “total direct compensation” for each one. Not bad for a day job. In 2013 Marathon blessed its Executive Chair with $22.5 million. He probably felt no guilt.

For the rest of us, this is obscenely unjust. Big Oil is sucking up huge profits while Big Carbon is intensifying the Earth’s weather system to increasingly destructive levels. This is happening today. What will happen when Greenland and Antarctica ice caps break off, lifting ocean levels a meter or two?

How do we get carbon numbers down?
It's a little like lowering high blood pressure.
It makes sense for oil executives to deny the scientific reality of climate change. They are accumulating huge profits. How easy for them to subsidize dubious research to deny the problem and delay corrective actions. This explosive situation will all come to a head in Paris at the COP21 talks to be held by the UN in December.

Transport Numbers

Podcars are but one tool for governmental policies and programs to reverse course to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In the USA, transportation (all modes) accounts for 27 percent of GHG emissions. Industrial uses are a bit more at 28%. Residential and commercial consumption are 17% each.

Forty-three percent of the transportation carbon volumes come from cars, 22% trucks, 18% light trucks, 8% aircraft and 3% boats. Urban mobility is a big chuck of the whole. How much can be shifted to green modes -- walking, biking, rail, electric buses and podcars? Traditional rail won’t go away. In fact, it will be fortified by sound podcar interfacing.

These numbers can be questioned, but the ballpark that emerges is the same. In the long run, a 50% carbon reduction from transport is possible if strong climate protection measures are taken around the world.  Podcars can be key in a 13 percent reduction of the world’s carbon problem.  But that if is a BIG if.

The spacious control center at the
privately built pod system
 in Las Colinas outside Dallas.
Such as shift will hit Big Oil hard. No wonder oil CEOs and managers need huge salaries. They’re saving up for the difficult years ahead.

Exxon Exhortation

It recently came to light that ExxonMobil executives knew of causal links from carbon emissions to climate stability and public welfare back in the 1970s. Influential environmentalist Bill McKibben got himself arrested at an Exxon gas station in Vermont last week to call media attention to it.

The disclosure is being compared to corporate memos in the 1990s that forced Big Tobacco to pay out big - financially and politically. What can we expect from Exxon, Shell, BP and other carbon-pushers when McKibben and friends work it through our courts?

Elaborate are the ramps at this station of the Morgantown PRT.
Shouldn't Exxon be assessing this 1970 gem for a greener future?
Given Big Oil cash flows, assigning a faction of a percent to sustainable mobility infrastructure would do a lot to jumpstart the podcar industry. Come explore the possibilities at PCC9 in two weeks.

Previous Podcar News

BRT in twenty years -- or maybe ten if we get funds from DC. Metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs) across the USA propose LRT or BRT for long-term infrastructure development. Heavy rail is too expensive and fits only in exceptional places like Manhattan and Honolulu. Elsewhere in areas of m... more
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 ... more
According to UN data, the most profligate producers of carbon dioxide are in oil-rich Trinidad. Annual emissions there work out to almost 38 tons per person. That’s more than double the US rate of 17.5. Of course there are 320 million people in the USA compared to 1.3 million in this Caribbean isla... more
News of the 180-page papal encyclical about “ecological sin” is swirling in the media. The New York Times reports that industrialists are “fuming” with reactions as rude as “Who the hell is he?”.  On the green side, EcoWatch has gushed that this Vatican leader is “laudable”. "We have a rig... more
Especially over the past three years, the spirits of Ron Swenson, California-based solar entrepreneur and director of the International Institute of Sustainable Transportation (INIST) have been lifted by the incredible dedication and hard work of many folks around the world who are raising the bar ... more
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