Clean Car Challenge

From Washington Post Sen. McCain offers $300 million prize for new auto battery
McCain’s energy policy is described in a speech today.
Key points:
“The Republican presidential nominee-in-waiting is proposing a $300 million government prize to whomever can develop an automobile battery that far surpasses existing technology.”
“The Arizona senator is also proposing stiffer fines for automakers who skirt existing fuel-efficiency standards, as well as incentives to increase use of domestic and foreign alcohol-based fuels such as ethanol.”
“In addition, a so-called Clean Car Challenge would provide U.S. automakers with a $5,000 tax credit for every zero-carbon emissions car they develop and sell.”

Public transport in Brisbane

An Op-Ed in the Courier Mail by Chris Hale on public transport in the Queensland, Australia city of Brisbane (population 1.8 million according to wikipedia)Kevin Rudd on right track with push for public transport l
The article notably discusses the importance of ticketing and signing, which are far too neglected in consideration of public transport use.
Whether the combination of density and energy prices is sufficient to support rail is an empirical question.

Taxis in the Sky

From The Atlantic by James Fallows: Taxis in the Sky about the emerging market for air taxis connecting smaller cities not served by point-to-point service.
“Herriott and Sawhill have developed a model to simulate the individual decisions that go into every one of these business trips. The model starts with the likelihood that a person in any one city, let’s say Mobile, will want to go to another, say Savannah, on any given weekday (for now, DayJet is a weekday-only service). These predictions are based on average income in each city, business relations, and other factors, and are constantly tuned to reflect real data. “It’s like the pull between two planetary bodies,? Herriott said. “Almost a Newtonian law!? (He was joking.)”
Could they be using a version of The Gravity Model, which implements a version of Tobler’s First Law of Geography “Everything is related to everything else, but near things are more related than distant things.”

Can better highways save Afghanistan?

From The Atlantic, an interesting article by Philip Smucker: Asphalt Dreams about the correlation between development highways and stability in Afghanistan. The article reminds that highways are not just for moving troops quickly to deploy elsewhere, but also to help settle the places they run through. While that may not have been foremost on the mind of proponents of The Dwight D. Eisenhower National System of Interstate and Defense Highways, (even though it has Defense in its name) it certainly has been important throughout history.

a blog about Networks and Places

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