Transportation headlines, Thursday, Aug. 19

Here is a look at some of the transportation headlines gathered by us and the Metro Library. The full list of headlines is posted on the library’s blog.

How about 30/15? (Legal Planet)

The policy blog tries to get to the bottom of what federal requirements are needed to make the 30/10 Initiative work. The blog’s verdict: The White House may have a greater say than Congress on 30/10, which may be a good thing given that only half of L.A. County’s Congressional delegation recently signed a letter supporting 30/10 (the lack of support was bipartisan, btw). And given the vagaries of infrastructure financing, the plan could perhaps be modified to 30/15 or even 30/20. It’s all, of course, hypothetical at this point, but it will be mighty interesting if Washington indeed can find any way to speed up the building of Measure R transit projects.

The Worst Ethical Scandal in the US Congress? Climate Change (Climate Ethics)

Penn State professor Donald Brown has penned a wonderfully scathing post saying that Congress’ failure to tackle climate change this year is a far worse ethical breach than the current scandals involving two members of the House of Representatives. Excerpt:

…the US Senate ethical failure is more ethically reprehensible because it is depriving tens of millions of people around the world of life itself or the natural resources necessary to sustain life. The failure in the US Senate to enact legislation to reduce US greenhouse gas emissions is a moral lapse of epic proportions. Yet it is not discussed this way….

First, climate change creates ethical duties because those most responsible for causing this problem are the richer developed countries, yet those who are most vulnerable to the problem’s harshest impacts are some of the world’s poorest people in developing countries. That is, climate change is an ethical problem because its biggest victims are people who can do little to reduce its threat.

Attentive readers already know that mass transit produces fewer greenhouse gases per passenger than those who drive alone. Here’s a recent post about that.

Yeah, pretty heavy stuff. So let’s take a break for today’s mass transit musical interlude, courtesy of Belle & Sebastian.

As America grows fatter, America burns more fuel (Wired)

The country’s obesity problem is growing — literally — and as a result Americans are buying bigger vehicles that burn more gas, according to a new study. Maybe it’s time for those Fred Flintstone-style cars. Just sayin’…