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San Francisco cyclist guilty of manslaughter in legal first

The Guardian, 24 July 2013

A cyclist has pleaded guilty to vehicular manslaughter after running down a 71-year-old pedestrian in what San Francisco's top prosecutor said appeared to be the first conviction of its kind in the US.

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Are the Suburbs Where the American Dream Goes to Die?

The Atlantic, 23 July 2013

Rumors of the American Dream's demise have been greatly exaggerated — at least in parts of America. That's the message of a new study that looks at the connection between geography and social mobility in the United States. It turns out modern-day Horatio Algers have just as much a chance in much of the country as they do anywhere else in the world today. But if you want to move up, don't move to the South. As you can see in the chart below from David Leonhardt's write-up in the New York Times, the American Dream is on life support below the Mason Dixon line.

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Peak oil lives, but will kill the economy

The Guardian, 23 July 2013

Last Monday's BBC News at Ten broadcast a report by science editor David Shukman arguing that concerns "about oil supplies running dry are receding." Shukman interviewed a range of industry experts talking up the idea that a "peak" in oil production has been "moved to the backburner" – but he obfuscated compelling evidence in his own report contradicting this view.

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Peak oil isnӴ dead; it just smells that way

Smart Planet, 24 July 2013

The Oil Drum, a Web site dedicated to informed discussions about peak oil and energy, announced on July 3 that it is closing down. (For a brief primer on peak oil, see my conversation with Brad Plumer in the Washington Post.) Those who hate the peak oil story didn’t bother to conceal their glee at the news; some even saw occasion to claim victory for their side in the “debate” over the future of fossil fuels. “We could say ‘I told you so,’ not as a school-yard epithet, but simply as a fact,” crowed Mark Mills, co-author of a lightweight book entitled The Bottomless Well, which Publishers Weekly described as “Long on Nietzschean bombast but short on some crucial specifics.”

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Goodbye, Miami

Rolling Stone, 20 June 2013

By century's end, rising sea levels will turn the nation's urban fantasyland
into an American Atlantis. But long before the city is completely underwater,
chaos will begin.

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Bikes of burden: London Green Cycles is offering a clean, green and cheap way to transport goods

The Independent, 24 July 2013

The first thing you notice when you walk into the London Green Cycles shop is the
space. While most bike shops are brimming with parts and gear, frames and wheels
hanging from the ceiling, London Green Cycles boasts a clean, square room, with
just a handful of bicycles on display. But then again, its bikes are much, much

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Innovative climate change web site Innovative web site that offers a different level of discussion depending on your level of science understanding (basic/intermediate/advanced) plus copies of viewer comments going back to 2008
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Hauling New Treasure Along the Silk Road

New York Times, 20 July 2013

AZAMAT KULYENOV, a 26-year-old train driver, slid the black-knobbed throttle forward, and the 1,800-ton express freight train, nearly a half-mile long, began rolling west across the vast, deserted grasslands of eastern Kazakhstan, leaving the Chinese border behind.

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Germany went ҲogueҠto freeze green cars law, say diplomats

Euractiv, 22 July 2013

Diplomats from several EU states have accused
Germany of using threats, intimidation and blackmail to sideline green cars
legislation in an unprecedented display of hubris within the Brussels’ corridors
of power.

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Requiem for Detroit

Kunstler, 22 July 2013

I was in Detroit in 1990 — not my first time — poking around to get a deeper feel for the place so I could write a chapter about it in The Geography of Nowhere. At mid-day, I was driving on one of the great avenues that radiates out of the old Beaux Arts fan of streets that emanates from the Grand Circus at the heart of downtown — Woodward or Cass or Gratiot, I forget. It was a six or eight laner, and everything along both sides was either some kind of social service installation or vacant. There was no traffic, by which I mean not merely a smooth flow of cars, but no other cars whatsoever. For at least a mile, my rent-a-car was the only vehicle on the street. Finally I saw another car up ahead, in my lane, coming straight at me. It continued bearing down on me, until the last 100 feet or so when it veered around me with an indignant blare of the horn. It was only about then that I noticed a sign indicating that I was on a one-way street. Downtown Detroit was so empty that I could drive a good mile the wrong way without knowing it.

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