Wednesday, January 18, 2006


Truckers, prithee be more careful with your HAZ MATs! Maybe you never had a nelly mother hawk you a chainik about driving at high speeds on the icy roads of the northeastern US... But just listen to the news! On Monday, a massive tanker truck carrying fuel flipped over and burst into flames on the BQE, closing it for the entire day! Is this how we honour the memory of MLK? On Wednesday, another tanker went belly-up in Philadelphia on I-95, spilling a bit of xylene on the roadway.

Admittedly, these roads are in horrible condition. Their surfaces, pocked and scarred, are not amileorated by the addition of a layer of frozen water. Nevertheless, I blame the truck drivers themselves for these accidents, both of whom came away largely unscathed.

Thursday, January 12, 2006


TerraPass is a brilliant idea. Motivated by guilt, funded by excessive work hours, TerraPass is a partially facilitates the development of a pollution economy. The idea of trading pollution "credits" has been around since Kyoto. Now it is available for individual purchase. Though the details aren't clear, the idea is to pay for the pollution that you produce. TerraPass enables users to offset the cost of reducing that much pollution from being produced by other actors in the economy.

Imagine buying that Hummer but then feeling guilty about the 13 MPG fuel economy. Now you can do something about it! Maybe TerraPass should be mandatory? That way it might actually function as an incentive to purchase more environmentally-friendly vehicles. But for now, it's an excellent way for Land Cruisers and Range Rovers to manifest their concern for mother nature without sacrificing an inch of storage space!

Using the TP emissions calculator, I determined that I emit roughly 5,791 pounds of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere annually. That seems like a lot, but according to the TerraPass scale, my car qualifies for hybrid status! For $29.95 per year I can offset the Kompressor's kontribution to atmospheric pollution. Hmmmm...

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

National Pass!

A January 10th article in the NYT, "Giving Drivers More Access to Fast Lanes," discussed efforts to develop interoperable electronic toll payment devices. Unfortunately, systems that will fully work together seem a long way off.

Surprisingly, a company called "Highway Toll Administration" in GREAT NECK is working on equipping Budget rental cars with EZPass transponders. What a great idea! I guess it isn't so surprising that people living in Great Neck would feel the acute pain of waiting in non-electronic toll lines.

The other proposed solution (from American Traffic Solutions), seems like an even more appealing option. Their "PassPlate" would allow users to pass through any electronic tollbooth and use a universal credit account to pay tolls. Now THAT is a good idea...but we really have to think about how to prevent PassPilfery!