CAR BUSTERS BULLETIN #34 - MAY 2002
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Monthly edition no. 34 - May 2002 - English version
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1- BUSH ENERGY POLICY CRITIC OUSTED AS HEAD OF CLIMATE
2- EUR 200,000 PER PAGE: WAS ANYONE EVER PAID MORE TO
3- FORD MANUFACTURING PLANT WILL SPOIL CZECH FARMLAND
4- US SENATE ADOPTS "CONSERVE BY BIKE" AMENDMENT
5- NO MONEY FOR US RAIL TRANSIT?
REPORTS FROM PAST EVENTS
6- ASIA REPORT ON EARTH CAR-FREE DAY 2002
7- END OF THE ROAD GATHERING IN UK
ANNOUNCEMENTS AND JOBS
8- THREE REASONS TO VISIT OUR WEB SITE THIS MONTH
9- NEW GRAPHICS BOOK
10- CAR BUSTERS MAGAZINE #14 IS HERE!
11- NEW ISSUES OUT: CARFREE TIMES & TRANSPORTATION
12- JOB POSTING: TORONTO, CANADA
13- ERRATA: MEXICO CITY CORRECTION
14- BIKE SUMMER 2002 IN PORTLAND
15- STREET SHARING IN BRUSSELS
16- AGAINST THE RETURN OF TRUCKS IN MONT-BLANC TUNNEL
1) BUSH ENERGY POLICY CRITIC OUSTED AS HEAD OF CLIMATE
[submitted by Todd Edelman - source:
The Bush administration was accused of pandering to the oil industry on
April 19 after an outspoken critic of America's energy policy was voted out
of his job as chairman of the world's premier scientific body on climate
change. In a secret ballot held at a meeting in Geneva, the UN-sponsored
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change elected the India delegate,
Rajendra Pachauri, as its chairman. He beat the current chairman, Robert
Watson, the US delegate, by 76 votes to 49.
Controversy had mired the meeting since it was revealed the US State
Department was supporting Pachauri over Watson, who has criticised
Bush's energy policy. That controversy turned to outrage when
environmental groups uncovered a memo from the US oil corporation Exxon-
Mobil a major contributor to Bush's election campaign asking the White
House to unseat Watson, who it considered had an "aggressive agenda."
2) EUR 200,000 PER PAGE: WAS ANYONE EVER PAID MORE TO IGNORE
[submitted by CEE Bankwatch Network]
The Italian company SPEA Ingegneria Europea received EUR 394,000 from
the PHARE CBC (Cross Border Cooperation) programme to investigate and
develop alternatives for the construction of the "Struma" highway outside
the Kresna gorge in Southwestern Bulgaria. As a result, a two-page
description and several maps were produced. Completed within a weekend,
this "file" is used to argue that it is impossible to find a feasible alternative
and the highway must go through Kresna gorge, thus destroying the
landscape, killing plants and rare species (some of the rarest in the world)
and doing irreversible damage to this outstanding natural value in Bulgaria.
3) FORD MANUFACTURING PLANT WILL SPOIL CZECH FARMLAND
[submitted by Friends of the Earth Czech Republic]
Thirteen Czech environmental groups sent a letter to Ford Motor Company
today demanding that it stop placement of a manufacturing plant on prime
agricultural land in the Czech Republic. Ford is founder and 25 percent
owner of NEMAK Co., which recently broke ground on the facility with an
expected annual output of 1,600,000 engine heads. The facility's operations
are expected to release toxic substances such as heavy metals and dioxins
in the middle of the last remaining farmland in this part of North Bohemia
one of the most environmentally devastated regions in both the Czech
Republic and Europe overall.
The US Environmental Protection Agency deems aluminium processing
plants such as the planned NEMAK facility a significant source of dioxin
pollution. By locating a dioxin source in the heart of tilled land, NEMAK's
facility would make a bad situation worse, creating an additional
contamination risk for farm soil and products, and as a result, for food.
NEMAK chose a greenfield site despite the availability of nearby
brownfields in the district where the environmental impact would be much
lower. ''Investors like greenfields. There are brownfields [in the district], but
why would we build a factory in the middle of a former coal pit?'' NEMAK
spokesman Pavel Kucera told the media. ''They would have to pave the
roads with gold for us to go there.''
Eight legal actions have been brought against NEMAK's project, and
more are in preparation. ''The former East-bloc states are racing to the
bottom in their efforts to attract foreign investors,'' says Pavel Franc from
the Environmental Law Service, a Czech public interest law organization,
''and thus these investors dictate the terms. Details are available at
4) US SENATE ADOPTS "CONSERVE BY BIKE" AMENDMENT
[submitted by Todd Edelman - source:
During the April 11 debate on the energy bill, the United States Senate
adopted an amendment that would promote energy conservation through
bicycling. The Conserve By Bike Amendment establishes within the
Department of Transportation a Conserve By Bicycling pilot program. This
program would oversee up to ten pilot projects geographically dispersed
across the US designed to conserve energy resources by providing
education and marketing tools to convert car trips to bike trips. In addition,
the projects would encourage partnerships between stakeholders from
transportation, law enforcement, education, public health, environment, and
energy fields. The Department of Transportation is also authorised to
conduct a study on the feasibility and benefits on the conversion of car
trips to bike trips. The amendment authorises $5.5 million for the pilot
projects and the study. The full energy bill is slowly making progress
through the Senate, but debate on drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife
Refuge has yet to occur.
5) NO MONEY FOR US RAIL TRANSIT?
[submitted by Ken Avidor]
The enemies of rail transit always say there isn't enough money for light rail
and intercity rail....but high above the Earth, it's another story:
"CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida - Astronauts sent the international space
station's new railcar down a short stretch of track today in the inaugural run
of the first permanent railroad in orbit. But they soon encountered a snag,
prompting NASA to interrupt the test. The solution for this is probably
going to involve a lot of manual commanding from the ground,'' Mission
Control informed the astronauts. Space station resident Carl Walz got the
railcar rolling this morning by sending computer commands from inside. The
empty flatcar crept along at less than two-tenths of an inch per second, then
sped up to four-tenths of an inch per second as it travelled 17 3/4 feet and
then stopped, on cue, at a designated work station. The $190 million railcar
eventually will be used to transport the space station's robot arm from one
end of the outpost to the other for construction work."
Seventeen feet of track at four-tenths of an inch per second and
computer snags for $190 million of taxpayers' money...
REPORTS FROM PAST EVENTS
6) ASIAN EARTH CAR-FREE DAY 2002
[submitted by Eric Britton, Ecoplan - source: Reuters]
In Singapore, a campaign to get people to use public transportation fell flat,
prompting "Car Free Day" organisers to complain it would take years for the
city-state to go green. Penelope Phoon, executive director of the Singapore
Environment Council (SEC), estimated around 5,000 car owners gave up
using their cars to mark Earth Day a little over one percent of the 403,000
private and rental cars.
In the Philippines, thousands of cyclists took to the streets of the capital
Manila to press for more bicycle-friendly streets and to protest against the
city's horrendous air pollution. The ride, covering 50 km (31 miles) through
seven cities in the greater metropolitan Manila region was also held to
highlight the plight of fireflies. The Firefly Brigade, a volunteer citizens
action group that organised the cycle ride, claims the city's fireflies have all
fled Manila because of the high level of toxins in the air.
7) END OF THE ROAD GATHERING
[Thanks to Adam and Eleanor]
The conference to mark the resurrection of the road-protests in the UK was
a great success, attended by between 50-100 people from all other the
country and beyond. Strategy meetings laid down the blueprints for future
campaigns, training events and networks. Obviously we cant tell you too
much, but look out for a newsletter appearing for the network sometime
ANNOUNCEMENTS AND JOBS
8) THREE REASONS TO VISIT OUR WEBSITE THIS MONTH
[Submitted by Richard Lane, Car Busters]
ONE: to find out what's going on with the World Car-Free Days in our
discussion forum, to get copies of the WCFD logos in various languages
and to register your group (new improved form! now works!)
TWO: to register your group in our directory which will soon become a
huge, heaving, comprehensive worldwide catalog of transport activism.
THREE: because we've got a hit counter now and we want to see some big
numbers there. SO, OFF YOU GO!
9) NEW GRAPHICS BOOK: LAST CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS
[submitted by Cat Busters]
Were putting the final touches on the new Car Busters Graphics Book and
CD-ROM. This is your last chance to submit any graphics to us for
consideration, preferably as 72-dpi JPEG or GIF files, or paper originals. (If
we decide to include your graphic in the Graphics Book, well ask for a
higher-resolution version later.) Basically were looking for high-quality
transportation-themed graphics that can be made available for free reuse by
activists and campaigners around the world, for their fliers, posters,
newsletters and other graphic materials. Please send them as e-mail
attachments with the subject headline Graphics Book Submission, by
10) CAR BUSTERS MAGAZINE
[submitted by Car Busters, surprise!]
Get your copy of Car Busters magazine #14, featuring:
Travels on a Time Bike: Pedalling Backwards Against the flow of Time
Exploring Medieval Urbanism in Fes, Morocco
The Politics of Urban Form
Exciting World News, Action! and Industry Watch sections
and much, much more.
If you are a subscriber, your April-June issue of the magazine is in the mail.
The magazine is also distributed around Europe and North America. To find
out where you can pick up a copy nearest you, see
Submission deadline for magazine #15
Magazine #15, exploring Visions of Future Cities, is already under way.
Dont be shy: If you have a vision of what future cities should look like
whether detailed or dream-like, professional or poetic, textual or artistic
you have until May 31 to send it in (along with your action reports,
graphics, letters, announcements, and whatever else).
11) NEW ISSUES OUT: CARFREE TIMES AND TRANSPORTATION
Carfree Times: Issue 25 of the quarterly on-line newsletter was released
April 16: <http://www.carfree.com/cft/i025.html>
Transportation Alternatives: The Spring issue of this New York City-area
magazine includes news on bicycle, pedestrian and sensible transportation
issues, features and much, much more. View the Table of Contents or
request a copy: <http://www.transalt.org/about/current.html>.
12) JOB POSTING
[submitted by Jacquelyn Hayward, Black Creek Regional Transportation
Black Creek Regional Transportation Management Association
The Black Creek Regional Transportation Management Association seeks
Executive Director for a one year term, with possibility of renewal. Duties
will include recruiting new corporate and government members to the
association; running trip reduction programs to promote a shift from driving
alone to options such as transit, carpooling, cycling and walking; acting as
media spokesperson; and general organisational administration. Excellent
opportunity for motivated individual looking to work proactively to make a
difference to local traffic and smog woes. Deadline is May 13th, August 1st
is potential start date. E-mail <info@...> for more information and a
full job description.
13) ERRATA: MEXICO CITY CORRECTION
Bulletin reader Rilme Suterwalla spotted an error in last months story on
Mexico City. The story stated that the 42 millions of litres of petrol burned
daily in Mexico City produce 2,100,000 tons per year of toxic emissions.
With the second level's increase of speed the emissions could be reduced
*to* 5,292 tons/year. The storys author has confirmed with us that it
should have read ...could be reduced *by* 5,292 tons/year. If you still
dont understand what all this really means, dont worry; you are not alone.
14) BIKE SUMMER 2002 IN PORTLAND
[submitted by Ayleen Crotty]
Bike Summer is a month long festival of bike-related activities to celebrate
cycling and encourage more folks to bike. It started in San Francisco, USA,
in 1999. Since then it has been held in Vancouver, Canada; and Chicago,
USA. This summer it will blast off in Portland, Oregon, USA. From Bicycle
Ballet and Bike Polo to workshops, actions, lectures and more, Bike Summer
2002 will be an incredible month. For more information, check out
<http://www.Bikesummer.org> or e-mail <bikesummer@...>.
15) STREET SHARING IN BRUSSELS
[submitted by Max]
Following the December 18, 2001 debate around the citys mobility policy, a
new Street Sharing action is on its way. On April 15, members of the
Pentagone Neighbourhood Committee, along with other members of Street
Sharing, addressed the City of Brussels communal council about the
mobility policy in the Pentagone quarter. On May 5 action replaced words.
The Street Sharing platform and petition are available at
More action coming up:
Sunday, May 12: Dring Dring bike parade: Departure from Cinquantenaire at
5 pm <www.provelo.org>.
Thursday, May 16: Dring Dring demonstration at 8.30 am, place Stéphanie,
in front of Cabinet Chabert.
Thursday, May 16, 6 pm: Apéro-vélo. Meet at Maison des Cyclistes, rue de
Friday, May 17, 5 pm: Demo on rue de la Loi before the Dring Dring closing
ceremony, (to be confirmed) Rusted Nail Award ceremony.
Saturday, May 18: Closing action of Dring Dring with Fietsersbond. Meet at
Gare du Nord at 2 pm <www.fietsersbond.be>.
Friday, May 31: fourth 2002 Critical Mass ride. Meet at 6 pm, Place de
Namur, Square du Bastion. <http://placeovelo.collectifs.net>.
16) DEMONSTRATION AGAINST THE RETURN OF
THE TRUCKS IN THE MONT-BLANC TUNNEL
[submitted by Renate Zauner, Initiative Transports Europe]
Chamonix-Courmayeur, May 13: Support the locals in their fight against
trucks. Prior to this demonstration the Chamonix valley population so
vehemently asked for 0 trucks that even the government got frightened
(especially in the light of upcoming elections of course) and the French
transport minister offered to only allow 19-ton lorries back in the tunnel.
This compromise was accepted by the population and these trucks thus
returned on April 8. However, the French transport minister later changed
his mind and announced that there would be two more phases: trucks with
up to four axles on May 13 and opening to all kinds of traffic by June 25.
Let's stop those trucks: 9 pm: La Vigie, Chamonix, France, where the road
leaves for the Mont Blanc tunnel; 9 pm: Courmayeur, Italy. As of midnight,
people on both sides of the tunnel will be on the watch-out for trucks.
There is no disclaimer this month. Car Busters feels completely responsible for every letter, word and
paragraph in this bulletin. And we will take responsibility for anything that might happen to readers while
reacting to the bulletin. Its all our fault: if you drop your toast butter side down while reading, blame it on us;
if your pants get caught in the fence while escaping from a factory at night, please accept our humble
apologies; if a limping, five-legged duck from the nuclear plant next door randomly attacks children
in your neighbourhood... well, that one was Auto-Free Times fault.
CAR BUSTERS Magazine and Resource Centre
Kratka 26, 100 00 Praha 10, Czech Republic
Tel: +(420) 2-7481-08-49 ; Fax: +(420) 2-7481-67-27