Sunday, August 7, 2011

Both Sides of the Fence Politics

YOU Are not the most important creature on Earth. Earth has done fine without your help for millions of centuries, and, in fact... Mankind is as detrimental to the Earth as he is to his own existence. So, keep in mind, ...
Life on Earth does NOT depend on bowing to your sciences, does NOT depend on practicing one religion or the other, does NOT depend on who we vote for or why...
Life on Earth will be here LONG after the last human being has vanished into the maggots, and then the dirt...
So, the most important creatures are like this...

The Polar Bear. Only a moron would say this is a dangerous animal, I don't care HOW many people they kill and eat.
Because it's ONLY dangerous when one intrudes on its natural habitat. It does not come to large cities to hunt.
Just as you would kill and eat a burglar that breaks into your home to do harm to your mate and children. 
OK, maybe not EAT the burglar...but then, bears are more primal, more connected to reality.
They don't ranch out a herd of cows...
They just wander around. And food finds them.
And, sometimes people is food.
...this person is dead, this person is meat, the bear is hungry...there's the math.
Leave the bears alone! Go away! SCAT! 
You nasty people...SCAT!

  • Barry Saltzman, Dynamical Paleoclimatology: Generalized Theory of Global Climate Change, Academic Press, New York, 2002, fig. 3-4.
As we keep zooming in towards the present we keep seeing more detail:
  • Over the last million years there have been about ten Ice Ages - though counting Ice Ages is a bit like counting "really deep valleys" in a hilly landscape.
  • From 150 to 120 thousand years ago it warmed up rather rapidly. From 120 thousand years ago to 16 thousand years ago it cooled down - that was the last Ice Age. Then it warmed up rather rapidly again.
  • Over the last 10 thousand years temperatures have been unusually constant.
Over the last 150 years it's been warming up slightly.


Depending upon the source and makeup of the coal being burned, the components of fly ash vary considerably, but all fly ash includes substantial amounts of silicon dioxide (SiO2) (both amorphous and crystalline) and calcium oxide(CaO), both being endemic ingredients in many coal-bearing rock strata.

Toxic constituents depend upon the specific coal bed makeup, but may include one or more of the following elements or substances in quantities from trace amounts to several percent: arsenic, beryllium, boron, cadmium, chromium, chromium VI, cobalt,lead, manganese, mercury, molybdenum, selenium, strontium, thallium, and vanadium, along with dioxins and PAH compounds.


1. Tokyo, Japan - 32,450,000 
2. Seóul, South Korea - 20,550,000 
3. Mexico City, Mexico - 20,450,000 
4. New York City, USA - 19,750,000 
5. Mumbai, India - 19,200,000 
6. Jakarta, Indonesia - 18,900,000 
7. Sáo Paulo, Brazil - 18,850,000 
8. Delhi, India - 18,680,000 
9. Õsaka/Kobe, Japan - 17,350,000 
10. Shanghai, China - 16,650,000
11. Manila, Philippines - 16,300,000 
12. Los Angeles, USA - 15,250,000 
13. Calcutta, India - 15,100,000 
14. Moscow, Russian Fed. - 15,000,000 
15. Cairo, Egypt - 14,450,000 
16. Lagos, Nigeria - 13,488,000 
17. Buenos Aires, Argentina - 13,170,000 
18. London, United Kingdom - 12,875,000 
19. Beijing, China - 12,500,000 
20. Karachi, Pakistan - 11,800,000

21. Dhaka, Bangladesh - 10,979,000 
22. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 10,556,000 
23. Tianjin, China - 10,239,000 
24. Paris, France - 9,638,000 
25. Istanbul, Turkey - 9,413,000 
26. Lima, Peru - 7,443,000 
27. Tehrãn, Iran - 7,380,000 
28. Bangkok, Thailand - 7,221,000 
29. Chicago, USA - 6,945,000 
30. Bogotá, Colombia - 6,834,000

31. Hyderabad, India - 6,833,000 
32. Chennai, India - 6,639,000 
33. Essen, Germany - 6,559,000 
34. Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam - 6,424,519 
35. Hangzhou, China - 6,389,000 
36. Hong Kong, China - 6,097,000 
37. Lahore, Pakistan - 6,030,000 
38. Shenyang, China - 5,681,000 
39. Changchun, China - 5,566,000 
40. Bangalore, India - 5,544,000

41. Harbin, China - 5,475,000 
42. Chengdu, China - 5,293,000 
43. Santiago, Chile - 5,261,000 
44. Guangzhou, China - 5,162,000 
45. St. Petersburg, Russian Fed. - 5,132,000 
46. Kinshasa, DRC - 5,068,000 
47. Baghdãd, Iraq - 4,796,000 
48. Jinan, China - 4,789,000 
49. Houston, USA - 4,750,000 
50. Toronto, Canada - 4,657,000 
51. Yangon, Myanmar (Burma) - 4,458,000 
52. Alger, Algeria - 4,447,000 
53. Philadelphia, USA - 4,398,000 
54. Qingdao, China - 4,376,000 
55. Milano, Italy - 4,251,000 
56. Pusan, South Korea - 4,239,000 
57. Belo Horizonte, Brazil - 4,160,000 
58. Almadabad, India - 4,154,000 
59. Madrid, Spain - 4,072,000 
60. San Francisco, USA - 4,051,000

61. Alexandria, Egypt - 3,995,000 
62. Washington DC, USA - 3,927,000 
63. Wuhan, China - 3,918,000 
64. Dallas, USA - 3,912,000 
65. Guadalajara, Mexico - 3,908,000 
66. Chongging, China - 3,896,000 
67. Medellin, Colombia - 3,831,000 
68. Detroit, USA - 3,785,000 
69. Handan, China - 3,763,000 
70. Frankfurt, Germany - 3,700,000

71. Porto Alegre, Brazil - 3,699,000 
72. Hanoi, Vietnam - 3,678,000 
73. Sydney, Australia - 3,665,000 
74. Santo Domingo, Dom. Rep. - 3,601,000 
75. Singapore, Singapore - 3,587,000 
76. Casablanca, Morocco - 3,535,000 
77. Katowice, Poland - 3,488,000 
78. Pune, India - 3,485,000 
79. Bangdung, Indonesia - 3,420,000 
80. Monterrey, Mexico - 3,416,000

81. Montréal, Canada - 3,401,000 
82. Nagoya, Japan - 3,377,000 
83. Nanjing, China - 3,375,000 
84. Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire - 3,359,000 
85. Xi'an, China - 3,352,000 
86. Berlin, Germany - 3,337,000 
87. Riyadh, Saudi Arabia - 3,328,000 
88. Recife, Brazil - 3,307,000 
89. Dusseldorf, Germany - 3,251,000 
90. Ankara, Turkey - 3,190,000

91. Melbourne, Australia - 3,188,000 
92. Salvador, Brazil - 3,180,000 
93. Dalian, China - 3,153,000 
94. Caracas, Venezuela - 3,153,000 
95. Adis Abeba, Ethiopia - 3,112,000 
96. Athina, Greece - 3,103,000 
97. Cape Town, South Africa - 3,092,000 
98. Koln, Germany - 3.067,000 
99. Maputo, Mozambique - 3,017,000 
100. Napoli, Italy - 3,012,000 


This one was such a good read, 
I left it in here as is. 
Except for the first statement here, 
which is the last statement of the FAQs. 


No. Just as building new schools does not "cause" more students or studying, building roads does not "cause" more drivers or traffic. Both schools and roads, like other public infrastructure and housing, are built to accommodate an ever growing U.S. population and economy.

New roads do provide new access opportunities for citizens and businesses-to jobs and employees, health care, shopping, recreation and family. Whether or not they use a particular road, however, depends on whether they think it provides them with a more efficient (less time spent), less expensive (less money spent), or safer route than their other transportation alternatives.

And according to both the Federal Highway Administration and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, despite gains in gross domestic product, population and vehicle miles traveled, the nation's air quality has improved. Specifically, between 1970 and 2002, the transportation sector has helped reduce volatile organic compounds (VOCs) by 73 percent, nitrous oxides (NOx) by 41 percent, particulate matter (PM) by 50 percent, and carbon monoxide (CO) by 62 percent. NOx and VOCs are precursors to ozone and associated with greenhouse gasses and climate change.

As levels of VOCs and NOx continue to decrease, so will ozone and greenhouse gases.


Based on data from the Federal Highway Administration, roads take up much less than one percent of the land area of the U.S.

The total land area of the contiguous 48 states is 2,959,067 square miles. (This excludes Alaska and Hawaii. Alaska has 17 percent of the land area of the U.S., but few roads. Adding Alaska would significantly reduce the percent of land covered by roads.)

There are currently 8,443,338 lane miles of road in the lower 48 states. The average width of a highway lane is 11 feet. This means roads cover 17,590 square miles of land, or just under six-tenths of one percent of the total land area of the contiguous 48 states. Even if shoulders, driveways and parking lots were added, the total would still be less than one percent of the nation's land area.

Each year, the U.S. builds an average of 32,300 lane miles of highway. This adds 67.3 square miles to the amount of land covered by roads. At this rate of highway construction, it would take 178 years to increase the U.S. land mass covered by roads to even one percent


According to the Federal Highway Administration, the average motor vehicle in the United States, including cars, SUVs, minivans and pickup trucks, is driven 11,432 miles per year.

Assuming the national average fuel economy of 20.5 miles per gallon, the average vehicle uses 557 gallons of motor fuel per year.

At a tax rate of 18.4 cents per gallon, consumers pay an average of $102.49 per year in federal gasoline taxes, or just under a penny per mile, for each vehicle they own.

According to the Census Bureau, the average American family owns 2.1 vehicles, which means the average family pays $215.22 in federal motor fuel taxes each year, or about $4.14 per week.


The federal excise tax rate on gasoline is 18.4-cents-per-gallon while the average personal motor vehicle in the United States gets 20.5 miles-per-gallon, which means the federal gasoline tax costs the average driver nine-tenths-of-a-cent per mile.

To calculate how much federal gasoline tax you pay per mile, first determine your vehicle's fuel economy -- that is, how many miles your vehicle gets per gallon of gasoline. Then divide that number into 18.4-cents-per gallon to calculate your tax cost per mile. For example, if your vehicle averages 15 miles-per-gallon, the federal gasoline tax costs you one-and-a-quarter penny for every mile you drive. If your vehicle gets 25 miles-per-gallon, the tax costs you only three-quarters of a penny per mile.

The U.S. Treasury Department calculates that the average cost of driving a motor vehicle in 2011 is about 51 cents per mile, when gasoline, insurance, depreciation, maintenance and repair costs are all taken into account. The federal gasoline tax thus represents less than two percent of the cost per mile of driving a motor vehicle in the U.S.


The federal government invested $58 billion in transportation improvements through the core federal transportation improvement programs during FY 2009, plus an additional $49.2 billion as part of the one-time "Economic Recovery & Reinvestment Act" (known as the stimulus law), for a total of 107.2 billion. For FY 2010, Congress appropriated $62.6 billion for the core federal transportation investment programs, an increase of just under 8 percent compared to core funding in FY 2009, with most of the increase dedicated to high speed rail. Congress has not yet enacted a transportation appropriations bill for FY 2011, which began October 1, 2010. As a result, federal transportation investment in FY 2011 is being temporarily funded at the same level as in FY 2010.
Federal investment in highway improvements in FY 2009 included $40.7 billion through the core highway program plus a one-time investment of $27.5 billion through the stimulus law, for a total of $68.2 billion. For FY 2010, Congress appropriated $41.8 billion for the core highway program, an increase in core funding of 2.7 percent. Most federal highway investment is used to upgrade and maintain the nation's core highways, including the Interstate Highway System, and to repair and replace deficient bridges.
For public transportation, the federal government invested $10.23 billion during FY 2009 through the core transit program plus a one-time supplement of $8.4 billion in the stimulus law, for a total of $18.63 billion. For FY 2010, Congress enacted $10.73 billion for the core public transportation program, an increase of 4.9 percent. Federal public transportation program funds are used to build and upgrade rail mass transit systems in major cities and to purchase and upgrade buses and facilities of local transit agencies.
The federal government’s investment in airport improvements in FY 2009 included $3.52 billion through the core Airport Improvement Program plus an additional one-time stimulus law investment of $1.1 billion, for a total of $4.62 billion. For FY 2010, Congress appropriated $3.52 billion for the Airport Improvement Program, the same core funding as in FY 2009. Airport improvement funds are used to build and upgrade airport runways, taxiways and other ground facilities. The federal government also finances the air traffic control system and helps airports pay for equipment upgrades
Most of the $9 billion annual construction work on railroads is privately-financed by the nation's railroad companies. The federal government, however, provides an annual appropriation of just over $1.5 billion for capital improvements to Amtrak as well as to help cover operating expenses. The stimulus law provided a one-time appropriation of $8 billion to finance construction of high-speed rail projects. For FY 2010, Congress appropriated $1.56 billion to Amtrak for capital and operating expenses—about the same as in previous years—plus $2.5 billion for capital grants for high speed intercity rail.
In addition to the above amounts, Congress provided $600 million in FY 2010 for a new national infrastructure program under which state and local governments can apply for grants that can be used for highway, transit or railway improvements.
The Army Corps of Engineers is responsible for capital improvements and maintenance of the nation's inland waterways. The regular appropriation for the Corps of Engineers in FY 2009 included $2.1 billion for construction activities, plus an additional $4.6 billion that was part of the stimulus law. For FY 2010, Congress appropriated $2.03 billion for the Corps of Engineers construction program, about the same as in FY 2009


Currently, there are 4.04 million miles of road in the United States, according to theFederal Highway Administration, including Alaska and Hawaii, but not Puerto Rico. The core of the nation's highway system is the 46,751 miles of Interstate Highways, which comprise just over one percent of highway mileage but carry one-quarter of all highway traffic. The Interstates plus another 116,948 miles of major roads comprise the National Highway System, which carries most of the highway freight and traffic in the U.S.

Of the remaining 3.9 million miles of road, about 2.6 million miles are paved, which includes most roads in urban areas. However, 1.3 million miles or more than one-third of all road miles in the U.S. are still unpaved gravel or dirt roads. These are largely local roads or minor collectors in rural areas of the country.


U.S. highway capacity has been growing very slowly in recent years.

Currently, the U.S. has just over four million center-line miles of roads, providing 8.48 million lane-miles for highway travel, according to the Federal Highway Administration.

Between 1998 and 2008, the U.S. built an average of 13,647 center-line miles of new roads per year, most of which were local roads to develop new residential neighborhoods. This, along with widening of existing roads, added 32,300 lane-miles per year. This means the capacity of the highway system grew less than four-tenths of one percent per year.

During that same time, the U.S. population grew an average of one percent per year, the number of licensed drivers grew 1.2 percent per year and the number of vehicle miles traveled on the nation's highways grew 1.6 percent per year. It's no wonder congestion increases every year.


The United States has an extensive transportation network.
In addition to four million miles of roads, the transportation infrastructure in 2008 consisted of:
·             5,202 public-use airports. This includes 1,150 airports that serve commercial carriers and emplane 697 million passengers each year. There are also thousands of small airports that serve recreational and business air travel. 

·             Just over 140,000 miles of railroad track that carry much of the nation's heavy freight and agricultural output. This includes 94,313 miles operated by the nation's Class 1 freight railroads, 16,930 miles operated by regional freight railroads and 28,891 miles operated by local freight railroads. Amtrak operates 21,708 miles of passenger rail service in the U.S., much of it over track owned by the freight railroads. 

·             Almost 151,000 route-miles of scheduled bus service plus 7,187 miles of fixed rail transit including trolley buses, commuter rail, subways and light rail systems. The fixed-rail transit systems serve 3,017 stations where passengers can board or exit trains.
·             Almost 9,550 ports and other commercial facilities on 25,320 miles of navigable channels in the United States. This includes 6,509 ports and facilities serving ocean-going traffic, 754 on the Great Lakes, and 2,321 on inland rivers and waterways.


There are two measures that are used to assess the condition of the nation's highways. One focuses on physical conditions, i.e., whether the roadways and bridges are in good repair. The other focuses on performance, i.e., whether the system is providing adequate transportation services to meet the nation's needs.
Unfortunately, U.S. highways do poorly under either measure.
Physical Conditions
The Federal Highway Administration tracks the state of repair on 945,771 miles of major highways that are eligible for federal aid. In 2008, the latest data available, the FHWA found that 164,351 miles, or 17.4 percent, were in poor or mediocre condition and needed repaving or even more substantive repairs.
Highways in rural areas are in somewhat better condition than those in urban areas. Urban highways carry more traffic and thus get more wear and tear. The nation's Interstate Highways are in relatively good condition, with only two percent of rural miles and five percent of urban miles in poor or mediocre repair. Other highways, however, are in much worse shape, particularly in urban areas where more than one quarter of all arterials and collectors are in poor or mediocre condition.
There is no information on the three million miles of local roads and rural minor connectors that are not eligible for federal aid. But if the same 17.3 percent are in poor or mediocre condition, then 519,000 miles of these roads would also be in need of repair.

Bridges: The Federal Highway Administration's 2010 National Bridge Inventory shows that nearly one quarter of the nation's 602,273 bridges (excluding Puerto Rico) are either structurally deficient or functionally obsolete. This includes 68,998 structurally deficient bridges (11.5 percent) that need significant maintenance or repair to remain in service and 76,540 functionally obsolete bridges (12.7 percent) which fail to meet current design standards, such as lane width, shoulder width or overhead clearance and thus need to be replaced.
In recent years, state and local highway agencies have been investing heavily in bridge maintenance and repairs. As a result, bridge conditions have been improving. Between 1998 and 2010, the number of deficient bridges fell from 29.5 percent to 24.2 percent. The improvement was concentrated in structurally deficient bridges, which declined from 16.0 percent of all bridges to 11.5 percent. The number of functionally obsolete bridges declined more modestly, from 13.6 percent to 12.7 percent.

The performance of the nation's highway system is measured by the amount of congestion and delay incurred by highway users. The latest information is from the Texas Transportation Institute's 2010 "Urban Mobility Report," which provided data on highway performance through 2009.
According to the report, congestion caused Americans to spend an extra 4.8 billion hours in their cars and trucks in 2009 and to purchase an extra 3.9 billion gallons of fuel for a congestion cost of $115 billion. $33 billion of this represented the impact of congestion on the U.S. trucking industry, which raised the price paid by American households for many goods and services.
For the average U.S.  motorist, congestion during peak periods added 34 hours to their driving time in 2009 and caused each one to waste 28 gallons of gasoline, for an annual cost of $808 per motorist.
All of the measures of congestion and delay have been getting progressively worse since the Texas Transportation Institute issued its first report in 1982. Furthermore, the problem of congestion has been spreading to smaller and smaller cities. In 1982, only one city, Los Angeles, registered a delay of more than 40 hours per motorist. In 2009, the average delay for the 100 largest cities in the U.S. was 39 hours per motorist, with Chicago and Washington, DC, experiencing 70 hours of delay.
According to 2008 data from the Federal Highway Administration, New Jersey has the worst roads in the country, with 48.6 percent in poor or mediocre condition. Not far behind: Hawaii with 44.4 percent and California with 39.3 percent. Other states with more than 30 percent of roads in poor or mediocre condition are Idaho (34.7 percent), Kansas (32.4 percent), Maryland (34.3 percent), Oklahoma (32.0 percent), and Vermont (36.3 percent).

The state with the best roads appears to be Kentucky, with only 2.9 percent in poor or mediocre condition, followed by Florida with 4.4 percent. Other states with roads in relatively good condition include Minnesota (7.1 percent poor or mediocre), Montana (6.1 percent), Ohio (5.9 percent) and Utah (6.9 percent).

California appears to have the worst Interstate Highways, with 16.3 percent of rural and 24.7 percent of urban Interstates in poor or mediocre condition. Twenty-five percent of Hawaii's urban Interstate Highways are in poor or mediocre condition.


According to data from the U.S. Department of Transportation's 2008 "Report to Congress on the Conditions and Performance of the Nation's Highways, Bridges and Transit," all levels of government should currently be investing $139 billion per year in highway improvements just to maintain current physical and performance conditions on the nation's highways and bridges. This would grow to $150 billion by 2015 if highway construction costs grow at the same rate as the overall inflation rate.

Traditionally, the federal highway program has financed about 43 percent of all highway improvements while state and local governments have financed the rest. This means the federal highway program should currently be investing about $72 billion in highways, including administrative and research costs. In Fiscal Year 2010, federal highway investment totaled $41.8 billion, or $30 billion less than the federal share needed to maintain current conditions.

The current level of federal investment in transit, just over $10 billion per year, comes much closer to the amount needed to maintain current transit systems and equipment. The 2008 Conditions and Performance Report, however, does not try to estimate needed investment in new transit systems. It therefore probably underestimates the amount governments should be investing in transit.

In addition to the regular annual investment in highways and transit, the Economic Recovery & Reinvestment Act of 2009 provided a one-time injection of $27.5 billion of federal funds for quick-start highway improvements to help stimulate the economy and $8.4 billion for transit. These investments helped address the shortfall in highway and transit investment but much more is still needed. 
Job opportunities at state and local departments of transportation and private engineering firms include:
·             Civil engineers, who design projects to build or improve transportation infrastructure
·             Transportation planners, who determine infrastructure needs
·             Contract managers, who draw up and oversee contracts with private engineering companies and construction firms to design and build construction projects
·             Inspectors, who monitor the progress and quality of construction work to assure contract provisions are met
·             Auditors and finance officers, who pay bills, collect receivables, and assure accuracy of financial transactions
·             IT personnel, since most operations and records are now computerized
·             Construction managers, who manage large construction projects on behalf of state or local departments of transportation
·             Office and clerical workers
Most of these occupations require a college degree and some require advanced training. Salaries and benefits match those of similar professions.

The career opportunities provided by construction companies focus more heavily on construction occupations, although managerial and professional jobs are also important. In addition to jobs similar to those described above, the jobs at construction companies include:
·             Project manager, who manages all aspects of a construction project
·             Estimator, who can work from engineering plans to determine how much it will cost to build a project and thus the amount the construction company should bid
·             Safety and environmental compliance managers
·             Purchasing agent, who is responsible for purchasing needed materials and equipment
·             Heavy equipment operators and truck drivers
·             Skilled craftsmen, such as carpenters, electricians and mechanics
·             Communications and marketing personnel
·             Laborers, who do a variety of jobs that may not require special skills
Educational requirements vary by occupation, with most requiring at least a high school diploma or equivalent. Skills can be developed in training courses and on the job. Salaries are very competitive with similar jobs in manufacturing and well above those in many service industries.

Each year, ARTBA conducts a survey of wages and salaries paid by construction companies for most jobs. The following table shows the national average for many construction jobs in 2008, although local wages and salaries can vary significantly.


There is no single answer to this question. Construction costs per mile of road depend on location, terrain, type of construction, number of lanes, lane width, durability, number of bridges, etc. It costs more to build a new road than to rehabilitate a road or add lanes. Roads cost more to build in urban areas than in rural areas. Roads in mountainous terrain are more expensive to build than roads on flat land.

Nonetheless, some states have developed cost models to guide planning for their highway construction programs. These models give a ballpark figure for various kinds of highway improvements. The following are some examples:
·             Construct a new 2-lane undivided road - about $2-$3 million per mile in rural areas, about $4-5 million in urban areas.
·             Construct a new 4-lane highway -- $4-$6 million per mile in rural and suburban areas, $8-$10 million per mile in urban areas.
·             Construct a new 6-lane Interstate highway - about $7 million per mile in rural areas, $12 million or more per mile in urban areas.
·             Mill and resurface a 4-lane road - about $1.25 million per mile.
·             Expand an Interstate Highway from 4 lanes to 6 lanes - about $4 million per mile.
The Florida Department of Transportation has published its generic cost per mile information for 2009 online.
The Arkansas Highway Department's estimated cost per mile for 2005 is availableonline.
Highway construction costs have risen about 25 percent since this was posted. 


In 2009, 33,808 people were killed on the nation's highways, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Another 2.2 million were injured.
Motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death of Americans between the ages of 1 and 34 years old. In 2005, motor vehicle accidents accounted for almost one out of every four deaths among this age group. (Source: Centers for Disease Control, National Center for Health Statistics, National Vital Statistics Report, Volume 56, Number 10, April 24, 2008, Table 10).
Poor road conditions contribute to more than one-third of all highway fatalities, according to the NHTSA safety data. Better alignments, wider lanes, median barriers, improved signage and signals, turn lanes, crash cushions, wider shoulders, utility pole relocation and other highway improvements could save thousands of lives each year.
Almost three-quarters of all fatal accidents occur on two-lane roads. (NHTSA, Traffic Safety Facts, 2009)
The Interstate Highways, despite high speeds, are the safest roads, with 0.65 fatalities per 100 million miles of travel. Wide lanes, gentle curves, long lines of sight, wide shoulders, barrier separated traffic and limited access points all contribute to the safety record. The worst are rural two-lane roads with a record of 3.06 fatalities per 100 million miles of travel (Highway Statistics 2008, Tables VM-2 and FL-20).
Construction of the Interstate Highways has saved thousands of lives over the years. If all highway traffic were to occur today on same kinds of roads as we had in the 1950's, the number of highway fatalities each year would exceed 165,000.
NHTSA reports that highway crashes cost Americans more than $230 billion annually, including the cost of medical bills, lost wages, legal fees, auto repairs and delays. This is more than two percent of the nation's total output of goods and services or Gross Domestic Product. The average cost per household is close to $2,000 per year. According to NHTSA, public revenues paid for almost 10 percent of crash costs, adding $200 annually to the tax bill of every household in the U.S.


A safe and efficient transportation system is one of the fundamental requirements of a modern economy. Virtually every business and industry depends on the transportation system to obtain needed materials and labor and to get goods and services to customers. Every household depends in some measure on the transportation system for access to work, shopping, medical care, church, family and entertainment. Millions of workers depend directly on the transportation system for jobs - auto workers, bus and truck drivers, airline workers, auto mechanics and gas station attendants, and hotel employees, among others.
Jobs: Building and maintaining the nation's transportation infrastructure is itself a major source of jobs in the U.S. Every $1 billion invested in highways supports 27,823 jobs, according to the Federal Highway Administration, including 9,537 on-site construction jobs, 4,324 jobs in supplier industries and 13,962 jobs throughout the rest of the economy. Investment in other modes would support a similar number of jobs.
In 2010, $115 billion worth of construction work was performed on transportation projects, including highways, bridges, subways, light rail systems, freight rail, airports and water ports. This investment supported more than 3.2 million jobs in the U.S., including just over one million construction jobs. Maintenance and administration of the nation's highways and other transportation infrastructure supported additional jobs.
Freight: In 2007, according to a freight survey conducted every five years by the U.S. Census Bureau, almost $14.9 trillion dollars of freight was shipped in the U.S. including $12.4 trillion of domestic shipments and $2.5 trillion of exports and imports. Two-thirds of the total, or $9.8 trillion, was shipped by truck on the nation's highways. Another 13 percent, or $1.9 trillion, was intermodal that included trucks, which means trucks were involved in 80 percent of all freight shipped in the U.S. in 2007. Rail, air, water and pipelines accounted for the remaining 20 percent of freight shipments.
The Federal Highway Administration estimates that the volume of freight shipments will triple by 2035 to almost $42 trillion in constant dollars, with $24 trillion of that carried by truck and $9 billion by intermodal combinations that include trucks. The growth will put enormous pressure on every element of the nation's transportation infrastructure.
Benefits to businesses: Businesses have always depended on the nation's transportation system to connect to suppliers and customers, but during the past 25 years improvements in transportation have also been a major source of productivity increases and reduced costs for many U.S. businesses. Manufacturers and retailers today use the just-in-time delivery system to assure materials are available when needed in the manufacturing and production process and finished goods arrive at retail stores and customers' docks in a timely manner. This has greatly reduced the need and expense of warehousing inventory, freeing up scarce capital to invest in, and make improvements to, other business activities like technology, product quality and marketing.
Just-in-time logistics, however, require a dependable transportation system, which is threatened by the ever-growing problem of congestion on our highways, rail, airports and water ports. Congestion makes transportation slower, more costly and unreliable. Adapting to congestion requires scheduling more time for trips, which raises labor costs, or holding more inventory which ties up capital. When that happens, the economy becomes less productive, costs increase and living standards decline.
Personal mobility: Americans are among the most mobile people on earth. In 2008, Americans traveled a total of 5.5 trillion miles by all transportation modes, or an average of 18,119 miles per person. Most of the travel, 4.7 trillion miles, or 85.6 percent, of the total, was by automobile, truck or motorcycle, an average of 15,510 miles per person.
Air travel accounted for 583 billion miles or 10.6 percent of the total, while intercity buses and public transportation, including bus and rail, accounted for 211 billion miles of travel, or 3.8 percent of the total.
Virtually every trip has an economic purpose or impact on the economy. Most obvious is the daily commute to and from work for the nation's 142 million workers. But every trip to the grocery store or shopping center has an economic impact, as do trips to restaurants, to the movies, to vacation spots, to school, even to church where the weekly tithe helps maintain the building and clergy. And many trips are essential to our quality of life, including visits to family and friends, a night out after a hard day's work, a drive in the country or an emergency trip to the hospital.
Defense and security: The U.S. transportation infrastructure is critical to our national defense and homeland security. More than 60,000 miles of roads have been designated part of the Strategic Highway Network, including the entire Interstate Highway System, because of their important role in transporting military equipment and personnel. Roads also comprise the primary evacuation routes in the event of an attack by a foreign enemy such as that on the World Trade Center in 2001, or a natural disaster like Hurricane Katrina in 2005. These disasters taught the need for both adequate capacity and redundancy in the nation's transportation system.


The review and approval process for all transportation projects includes multiple opportunities for the public to submit comments to a variety of federal and state transportation and environmental agencies. These public agencies must then respond to these comments before proceeding with the project.



Here's the raw maps...although I have some difficulty in finding temperature changes by region, which may credit some validity to claims of man made heat plumes.
The end calendar of temperatures will leave a lot of room for speculation...but, hey. The end product won't change.

Bibliographic Entry Result
(w/surrounding text) Standardized
Result "The Automobile." New Book of Popular Science.6th ed. Republic of China: Grolier, 1978. "In 1900 only 4,192 passenger cars (and no trucks or buses) were built in the United States." 4,192
(1900) "America Start Your Engines." US News and World Report. (27 December 1999). "At the start of the century, when America had only 8,000 cars and 144 miles of paved roads, the brake on an auto resembled that on a horse buggy: a padded stick pressed against a wheel." 8,000
(1900) Brooklyn Public Library. Electronic Mail. 30 May 2001. "Automobile Manufacturers Association's 1970 Automobile Facts and Figures,
Passenger cars, World Total, 1968: 169,994,128.
Trucks and buses, World Total, 1968: 46,614,342." 46,614,342

(1970) "The World in Figures, compiled by The Economist, it indicates the number of passenger cars worldwide in 1985 was 375,000,000, while in the same year, the number of commercial vehicles was 109,000,000." 375,000,000
(1985) "Citing Ward's Motor Vehicle Facts & Figures, 1999, this almanac reports that, in 1996, the most recent date covered, there were 485,954,000 cars registered worldwide, and 185,404,000 trucks and buses, for a total, worldwide, of 671,358,000 motor vehicles." 485,954,000
(1996) Stein, Jay. New Cars for Better Future: Driving Us Crazy. Earthgreen, 1990. "You probably have known that the world's human population is increasing dangerously. So is the world's car population. In 1970, there were 200 million cars in the world. In 1990, there were almost 500 million." 200,000,000

(1990) "Automobile." World Book Encyclopedia. Chicago: World Book, 2001. "About 450 million passenger cars travel the streets and roads of the world." 450,000,000
(2001) Cars Emit Carbon Dioxide. Global Warming, Focus on the Future, 1997. "There are over 600 million motor vehicles in the world today. If present trends continue, the number of cars on Earth will double in the next 30 years." 600,000,000

By "car" we are referring to passenger cars, which are defined as motor vehicles with at least four wheels, used for the transport of passengers, and comprising no more than eight seats in addition to the driver's seat. Cars (or automobiles) make up approximately 87% of the total motor vehicle annual production in the world.
The remaining 13%, not included in this statistics, is made up by light commercial vehicles and heavy trucks (motor vehicles with et least four wheels, used for the carriage of goods), buses, coaches and minibuses (comprising more than eight seats in addition to the driver's seat)
By "production" we are following the convention used by national trade organizations and referring to completely built vehicle (CBU) as opposed to assembly of completely knocked down (CKD) or semi-knocked down (SKD) sets when vehicle parts originate in another country.

How many cars are produced in the world every year?

For 2009, global vehicle sales remain in the midst of a precipitous fall-off, led by sharp declines in the mature markets of the United States, Western Europe and Japan. We project total cars produced at 51,971,328.

In 2006 there were 49,886,549 passenger cars produced in the world, with an increase of 6.45% over the previous year. The increase for 2007 was more modest, and 2008 showed a decline. Analysts from various institutes had in fact pegged the year 2007 as the year which would end the 5-year cycle (2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006) of record global auto sales worldwide.
2008 52,940,559
 2007 54,920,317
2006 49,886,549
2005 46,862,978
2004 44,554,268
2003 41,968,666
2002 41,358,394
2001 39,825,888
2000 41,215,653
1999 39,759,847

When Karl Benz built the first vechicle to use a internal combustion engine in 1885 there were less than 1000 petrol-driven cars

In 2000 there were more than 400million cars.

There are over 750 million motor vehicles in the world today.
If present trends continue, the number of cars on Earth will double in the next 30 years."

Only two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former

--Albert Einstein

While exhaust gases such as nitrogen oxides and carbon monoxide are pretty nasty in their own right it’s the CO2 emitted by cars that contributes towards global warming. Roughly, for every litre of petrol you burn, your car emits 2.4kg of CO2! The average motorist who drives 20 000km a year will therefore emit anything between 2000kg and 7000kg of CO2 a year.

Carbon dioxide and other air pollution that is collecting in the atmosphere like a thickening blanket, trapping the sun's heat and causing the planet to warm up. Coal-burning power plants are the largest U.S. source of carbon dioxide pollution -- they produce 2.5 billion tons every year. Automobiles, the second largest source, create nearly 1.5 billion tons of CO2 annually.

Here's the good news: technologies exist today to make cars that run cleaner and burn less gas, modernize power plants and generate electricity from nonpolluting sources, and cut our electricity use through energy efficiency. The challenge is to be sure these solutions are put to use.     Is the earth really getting hotter? Yes. Although local temperatures fluctuate naturally, over the past 50 years the average global temperature has increased at the fastest rate in recorded history. And experts think the trend is accelerating: the 10 hottest years on record have all occurred since 1990. Scientists say that unless we curb global warming emissions, average U.S. temperatures could be 3 to 9 degrees higher by the end of the century.       Are warmer temperatures causing bad things to happen? Global warming is already causing damage in many parts of the United States. In 2002, Colorado, Arizona and Oregon endured their worst wildfire seasons ever. The same year, drought created severe dust storms in Montana, Colorado and Kansas, and floods caused hundreds of millions of dollars in damage in Texas, Montana and North Dakota. Since the early 1950s, snow accumulation has declined 60 percent and winter seasons have shortened in some areas of the Cascade Range in Oregon and Washington.

Of course, the impacts of global warming are not limited to the United States. In 2003, extreme heat waves caused more than 20,000 deaths in Europe and more than 1,500 deaths in India. And in what scientists regard as an alarming sign of events to come, the area of the Arctic's perennial polar ice cap is declining at the rate of 9 percent per decade.
Although gasoline engines have improved a lot, they are still not very efficient at turning chemical energy into mechanical power. Most of the energy in the gasoline (perhaps 7­0%) is converted into heat, and it is the job of the cooling system to take care of that heat. In fact, the cooling system on a car driving down the freeway dissipates enough heat to heat two average-sized houses!

The automotive industry designs, develops, manufactures, markets, and sells the world's motor vehicles. In 2008, more than 70 million motor vehicles, including cars and commercial vehicles were produced worldwide.[41]
In 2007, a total of 71.9 million new automobiles were sold worldwide: 22.9 million in Europe, 21.4 million in Asia-Pacific, 19.4 million in USA and Canada, 4.4 million in Latin America, 2.4 million in the Middle East and 1.4 million in Africa.[42] The markets in North America and Japan were stagnant, while those in South America and other parts of Asia grew strongly. Of the major markets, China, Russia, Brazil and India saw the most rapid growth.
About 250 million vehicles are in use in the United States. Around the world, there were about 806 million cars and light trucks on the road in 2007; they burn over 260 billion gallons of gasoline and diesel fuel yearly. The numbers are increasing rapidly, especially in China and India.[4] In the opinion of some, urban transport systems based around the car have proved unsustainable, consuming excessive energy, affecting the health of populations, and delivering a declining level of service despite increasing investments. Many of these negative impacts fall disproportionately on those social groups who are also least likely to own and drive cars.[43][44][45] The sustainable transport movement focuses on solutions to these problems.
In 2008, with rapidly rising oil prices, industries such as the automotive industry, are experiencing a combination of pricing pressures from raw material costs and changes in consumer buying habits. The industry is also facing increasing external competition from the public transport sector, as consumers re-evaluate their private vehicle usage.[46] Roughly half of the US's fifty-one light vehicle plants are projected to permanently close in the coming years, with the loss of another 200,000 jobs in the sector, on top of the 560,000 jobs lost this decade.[47] Combined with robust growth in China, in 2009, this resulted in China becoming the largest automobile producer and market in the world.

Science Newsflash, 

temperature causes CO2 not vice-versa

I heard this fascinating science tidbit on NPR's Living on Earth program: 

"It appears that temperature appears to drive CO2 and not vice versa." -- U.S. Senator James Inhofe, R-Oklahoma(former chairperson of the U.S. Senate committee on the environment)
I only had a few years of university Chemistry and only a B.S. in physics so I may have missed the chapter on carbon alchemy that great physics minds like Einstein, Hawkins and Inhofe are aware of. Actually in a way he is correct:

C + O2 + heat ---> CO2

(o.k. heat and temperature aren't the same thing but we'll pretend) In simpler terms:

Carbon (e.g. Coal) + Oxygen + heat ---> CO2(Carbon Dioxide)

Was Inhofe was correct all along? No. As Al Gore responded, "One scientist said it's a stronger consensus than on anything except perhaps gravity." A grade school student can prove that burning carbon creates carbon dioxide. Any university lab can demonstrate that an atmosphere with more carbon dioxide traps more heat than an atmosphere with less. I'm unaware of any dispute over the strong evidence that the level of CO2 in the atmosphere has risen over the past century. There is also good evidence that average global temperature is rising. The only serious doubt is whether human contribution to CO2 is a significant factor in global climate. There may be arguments against human caused global warming (e.g. If any solid evidence of a warming trend is found on Mars) and there are arguments against the Kyoto treaty (e.g. Industries are encouraged to move towards exempt economies with already high coal usage.), but Inhofe represents a weird political paradigm where so-called conservatives are more interested in conserving their own mindset than they are in conserving the ecological balance of our planet.
CO2 didn't initiate warming from past ice ages but it did amplify the warming.
Earth’s climate has varied widely over its history, from ice ages characterised by large ice sheets covering many land areas, to warm periods with no ice at the poles. Several factors have affected past climate change, including solar variability, volcanic activity and changes in the composition of the atmosphere. Data from Antarctic ice cores reveals an interesting story for the past 400,000 years. During this period, CO2 and temperatures are closely correlated, which means they rise and fall together. However, changes in CO2 follow changes in temperatures by about 600 to 1000 years, as illustrated in figure 1 below. This has led some to conclude that CO2 simply cannot be responsible for current global warming.
This statement does not tell the whole story. The initial changes in temperature during this period are explained by changes in the Earth’s orbit around the sun, which affects the amount of seasonal sunlight reaching the Earth’s surface. In the case of warming, the lag between temperature and CO2 is explained as follows: as ocean temperatures rise, oceans release CO2 into the atmosphere. In turn, this release amplifies the warming trend, leading to yet more CO2 being released. In other words, increasing CO2 levels become both the cause and effect of further warming. This positive feedback is necessary to trigger the shifts between glacials and interglacials as the effect of orbital changes is too weak to cause such variation. Additional positive feedbacks which play an important role in this process include other greenhouse gases, and changes in ice sheet cover and vegetation patterns.
The only conclusion that can be reached from the observed lag between CO2 and temperatures in the past 400,000 years is that CO2 did not initiate the shifts towards interglacials. To understand current climate change, scientists have looked at many factors, such as volcanic activity and solar variability, and concluded that CO2 and other greenhouse gases are the most likely factor driving current climate change. This conclusion is not based on the analysis of past climate change, though this provides key insights into the way climate responds to different forcings and adds weight to the several lines of evidence that strongly support the role of greenhouse gases in recent warming.
That CO2 lags and amplifies temperature was actually predicted in 1990 in a paper The ice-core record: climate sensitivity and future greenhouse warming by Claude Lorius (co-authored by James Hansen):
"Changes in the CO2 and CH4 content have played a significant part in the glacial-interglacial climate changes by amplifying, together with the growth and decay of the Northern Hemisphere ice sheets, the relatively weak orbital forcing"
The paper also notes that orbital changes are one initial cause for ice ages. This was published over a decade before ice core records were accurate enough to confirm a CO2 lag (thanks to John Mashey for the tip).
Also, gotta love this quote from Deltoid in answer to the CO2 lag argument: See also my forthcoming paper: "Chickens do not lay eggs, because they have been observed to hatch from them".
  1. Nice correlation between T and CO2 level. However, given a correlation between two variables one has still to clarify which is doing what.
    One might of course notice that in the most recent "burst" CO2 gets well above the temperature curve, unlike the previous cases.
    Does anyone know what in the past produced the "fast" T and CO2 growths?
  2. Wondering Aloud at 06:42 AM on 10 November, 2007
    It is reasonable that warming of the oceans is in fact causing CO2 increase in the paleo record. What I wonder about is how anyone can turn this into evidence that CO2 causes warming?

    When I first saw this at an ACS function nearly 20 years ago these curves were presented as proof of CO2 caused warming; despite the obvious fact that the graphs, even then, showed that the temperature change was not following but rather was leading the CO2 change. Now we are trying to explain away T changing first invoking creative models. It appears the fundamental premise that CO2 causes warming is simply not supported by the paleo record. It may still be true, but what evidence do we have in the climate record that supports this hypothesis?

    Here is another question: If ice ages are on 100,000 year cycles because the Earth's orbit is more elongated on 100,000 year cycles why is the Earth's orbit so round now? Shouldn't it be nearing maximum excentricity?
    Response: The paleo record shows that Antarctic temperatures rise about ~800 years before CO2 and Greenland temperatures rise after the CO2 rise. The CO2 warming effect is necessary to explain both how weak orbital forcing can get us out of an ice age and also how an orbital forcing that affects only southern areas can spread through the globe. The paleo record also enables us to compare Co2 forcing with temperature change to calculate climate sensitivity.
  3. Provide error bars for the reconstructions, they tell quite a different story. Error bars are always necessary for meaningful interpreration of graphs like this.
    Response: Not sure what your point is - are you disputing that CO2 lags temperature? Monnin 2001 doesn't display error bars but quantifies the lag as around 800 ± 600 years:

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