California’s crusade against planet-warming emissions seems at times disconnected from the reality of its gridlocked freeways. But that hasn’t stopped a push for change. State officials want new cars to burn less gasoline for each mile they travel, and to use cleaner fuel. They are making electric cars easier to buy and adding bike lanes along major thoroughfares. Cities and counties have ripped apart streets to build new rail lines and bus corridors. But California will have to do far more if it wants to meet a crucial 2030 climate change goal. Then, state greenhouse gases must fall roughly 40% from what they are now. It’s a steep, unprecedented drop — and whether California can transform transportation will determine whether it can meet those goals. The challenge is huge. Even as power plants and other sectors have cleaned up, greenhouse gas emissions from transportation in California have actually grown in recent years, a sign that cleaner and more … [Read more...] about To fight climate change, car-loving California must overhaul transportation. Can it?
As a renter, Bruce Wolfe knows the struggles many people face driving an electric car when they lack access to a charging outlet at home. He parks on the street outside his Haight-Ashbury flat in San Francisco, which doesn’t have a garage. There aren’t any public charging stations in the neighborhood, so he charges in a parking lot outside the nonprofit where he works in Marin County. Wolfe said he can’t afford to rent an apartment that has a garage, at least not in San Francisco. Twice in the seven years he has driven electric cars, he’s run out of juice on the road and had to be towed to a charging station. “It becomes an economic justice issue and an equity issue,” Wolfe said of renters and their lack of access to car chargers. “People can’t run cables across the sidewalk.” His predicament illustrates gaps in California’s electric-vehicle charging infrastructure that clean-car advocates say could limit the state’s … [Read more...] about Californians are buying up electric cars. But where will they plug in?
If ever there was a glaring example of the havoc and heartache climate change can cause to a farming family, the assortment of chain restaurants, stores and 300 apartments on El Camino Real in Sunnyvale is the one. The 16-acre development in the heart of Silicon Valley is where Stanford Professor Mark Jacobson’s family had a cherry orchard and fruit stand, called C.J. Olson Cherries, that was a landmark for about a century in the agricultural region once known as the Valley of Heart’s Delight. The orchard, at the corner of El Camino and Mathilda Avenue, was bulldozed in 1999, one of the last farms in Sunnyvale to be plowed under. But Jacobson said it wasn’t high-tech urbanization that compelled the family to develop the land after more than a century of farming it. “For five years, from about 1991 to 1996, we didn’t get any cherries,” said Jacobson, a professor of civil and environmental engineering at Stanford University, who blamed a sudden, … [Read more...] about California farms, ranches strive to adapt as climate warms — it’s a matter of survival