Category Archives: Pollution

Activists: Car-Free Days Are ‘A Waste’

Environmental activists on Monday urged the Jakarta Administration to temporarily halt its car-free days on selected city roads, saying a re-evaluation was needed because the event had failed to reduce air pollution and loose regulations have resulted in many violations, including those by senior officials.

“Legally, the car-free days cannot be stopped, but the city administration should halt them temporarily and conduct a review of what went wrong. Honestly, it’s been such a waste,” Selamet Daroyni, the executive director of the Jakarta branch of Indonesian Forum for the Environment, or Walhi, told a press conference.

Selamet said car-free days, generally on Sundays, had failed to achieve the short-term objective of minimizing air pollution and also had failed to encourage Jakarta residents to be more environmentally friendly and less dependent on cars.

“If we perceive this issue from the three success indicators, I’d say these events did not help much,” Selamet said.

He said the indicators were public participation, air pollution reduction and public obedience, including by government officials and law enforcers.

Ahmad Safrudin, of the Committee for Phasing Out Leaded Gasoline, said car-free days merely relocated traffic flow from one place to another without reducing air pollutants.

He said that a report by the Jakarta Environmental Management Board, or BPLHD, that air pollution has decreased significantly was unreliable.

“Jakarta has five air quality monitoring systems, but only one of them is working, so I doubt the report,” he said.

Ahmad said the inefficiency of car-free days had been proven by many violations, with some of the violators being government officials and policemen.

Responding to criticism, Rina Suryani, the BPLHD head of natural resources monitoring, said they had scientific measurements to prove that car-free days had in fact contributed significantly to air pollution reduction.

“In some parts of Jakarta, the air quality has gotten better because of this program,” she said.

Rina said the board could not enforce sanctions against violators because the 2005 bylaw enabling car-free days had not stipulated any.

Jakarta’s car-free days began in September 2007 and are held on the last Sunday of each month.

This year BPLHD has scheduled 22 road closure events.

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February 23, 2009, by Dessy Sagita


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Dry Winter Weather Results In Highest Particulate Pollution Levels From Traffic

ScienceDaily (Dec. 6, 2008) — Dry winter weather and low level mixing of pollutants from vehicle exhausts in cities leads to the highest concentrations of the tiny soot particles, known as PM10 particles, according to German scientists writing in the January issue of the International Journal of Environment and Pollution. Their findings suggest that traffic controls, other than an outright ban for several days at a time, would have little effect on levels.

Particulate matter of less than 10 nanometres across and smaller can penetrate the deepest parts of the lungs. PM10 have thus been associated with an increased incidence of breathing problems, asthma, and even lung cancer among city dwellers.

Jutta Rost of the Meteorological Institute, at the University of Freiburg, and colleagues there and at the Fraunhofer Institute for Transportation and Infrastructure Systems, in Dresden, and the Federal State Institute for Environmental Protection, in Baden-Wuerttemberg, have carried out a retrospective analysis of the atmospheric conditions that affected PM10 levels in four cities in South-West Germany during the period from 2001 to 2005.

For each city, the team obtained particular, PM10, data from roadside stations and Urban Background (UB) stations. This provided them with two distinct types of official urban air quality data against which they could validate their findings. They then looked at atmospheric exchange conditions as represented by sunlight levels, air temperature, wind speed, rainfall, and the height at which PM10 particles and other pollutants are mixing with the atmosphere.

The results of the statistical analysis indicate that precipitation and mixing-layer height are the two main meteorological variables that influencing concentrations of PM10 particles at road level within cities. “The absence of precipitation and low values of the mixing-layer height lead to comparatively high PM10 levels, particularly in winter,” the researchers say. The data from both types of measuring stations gave the same results.

The team hopes to develop a forecasting model of PM10 levels that could be used to advise people at most risk of breathing problems on when to avoid city centres and other urban areas. The work also has implications for ensuring that air quality in urban environments is maintained at levels safe for public health.

Adapted from materials provided by Inderscience, via AlphaGalileo.

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Air Pollution, Global Warming Costing California Billions Each Year

Global warming may impose high tolls on the state’s $2.5-trillion real estate assets, with extreme weather, sea level rise and frequent wildfires likely to cost it between $300 million and $3.9 billion a year, depending on warming rates and greenhouse gas emission efforts, warns a ”California Climate Risk and Response” report by University of California, Berkeley researchers Fredrich Kahrl and David Roland-Holst, while ”The Benefits of Meeting Federal Clean Air Standards in the South Coast and San Joaquin Valley Air Basins” study by a California State University, Fullerton team under Institute for Economics and Environment Studies (IEES) Co-Director Jane V. Hall shows air pollution in those two regions already costs the state about $28 billion each year due mostly to premature deaths.

”Our report makes it clear the most expensive thing we can do about climate change is nothing,” Berkeley Professor Roland-Holst told Los Angeles Times writer Margot Roosevelt. ”If we make the right investments, we can avert much of the damage in any scenario.”

Fullerton Professor Hall was equally explicit in her interview with Times writer Louis Sahagun.

”We are going to pay for it one way or the other. Either we pay to fix the problem or we pay in loss of life and poor health,” she pointed out. ”This study adds another piece to the puzzle as the public and policymakers try to understand where do we go from here.”

Released as the California Resources Agency’s six task forces — on biodiversity and habitat; infrastructure; oceans and coastal resources; public health; water; and forestry and agriculture — complete work on elements of its comprehensive Climate Adaptation Strategy to be published next month, and as the California Air Resources Board gets ready for its December 11 vote on rules that would force filter installation or engine upgrades in more than a million heavy-duty diesel trucks, the Berkeley and Fullerton research documents offer officials quantitative bases for their steps.

The Berkeley climate change report ”assesses the real, comprehensive statewide impacts for the first time,” said California Resources Agency Deputy Secretary for Climate Change and Energy Anthony Brunello.

The Fullerton findings will ”be useful to all of us,” said California Air Resources Board Chair Mary Nichols. ”Our board members hear on a regular basis from constituents who are concerned about the costs of regulations, and seldom hear from people concerned about their health because they are collectively and individually not as well organized.”

Coalition for Clean Air community engagement director Nidia Bautista called the Fullerton data ”staggering, and a reminder that health is too often the trade-off when it comes to cleaning the air.”

And East Yard Communities for Environmental Justice spokesman Angelo Logan added, ”At a time when government is handing out economic stimulus packages, we could use an economic relief package to help us deal with environmental impacts on our health, families and pocketbooks.”

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Satellic goes to town on tolls

Satellic Traffic Management is showing its first system for city or urban tolling, together with a new process for alerting drivers to their vehicle’s emission output.

The Germany-based company already operates the world”s largest satellite-based tolling system covering highways in its home country. Its new urban tolling system is being shown at the World Congress in a Volkswagen van that can give “live” demonstrations on New York’s roads.

Satellic says its system can use either satellite coverage, which involves placing an onboard unit in vehicles, or a booking system via the internet or other means for more occasional visitors to a city. The latter option is combined with automatic number-plate recognition for enforcement purposes.

“Both options use the same back-office system to handle customer relations and management, which enables users to start with one charging option then moving to another,” said Dr Marc-André Funk, Satellic’s director, innovation and research.

The emissions modelling system – being shown for the first time – is a value-added service that can run on the same onboard unit that would be used for the satellite-based tolling system. It monitors factors such as speed, rolling resistance, and how hard the engine is working to calculate the CO2 emissions and fuel consumption. This information is then delivered to the driver in the form of green, yellow or red lights to show how economically he or she is driving.

The data from thousands of vehicles can be collated, anonymised and used to create maps that show city authorities which streets create high energy consumption on vehicles. Measures such as re-sequencing traffic lights can then be implemented to improve traffic flow and thus fuel efficiency.

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Ribuan Warga Yogya Bersepeda ke Sekolah dan Kantor

Senin, 13/10/2008 10:50 WIB
Canangkan Sego Segawe
Ribuan Warga Yogya Bersepeda ke Sekolah dan Kantor

Bagus Kurniawan – detikNews

(foto: Bagus K)
Yogyakarta – Pelajar dan karyawan di Yogyakarta mencanangkan gerakan bersepeda ke kantor dan sekolah. Pencanangan gerakan ini diikuti oleh ribuan pelajar dan karyawan di kota tersebut.

Gerakan bersepeda ke kantor dan sekolah itu dinamakan Sego Segawe yang merupakan singkatan dari kalimat Sepeda Kanggo Sekolah lan Nyambut Gawe (sepeda untuk bersekolah dan bekerja). Peluncuran gerakan tersebut dipusatkan di Alun Alun Utara Yogyakarta, Senin (13/10/2008).

Acara yang digagas oleh Walikota Yogyakarta, Herry Zudianto itu diresmikan oleh Gubernur  Provinsi Daerah Istimewa Yogyakarta (DIY) Sri Sultan Hamengku Buwono X. Acara juga dihadiri oleh Wakil Walikota Haryadi Suyuti, Sekda DIY Tri Harjin Ismadji serta sejumlah pejabat Kota Yogyakarta dan Pemkot Yogyakarta. Para peserta yang terdiri dari pelajar SLTP, SLTA, guru, anggota TNI/Polri dan berbagai komunitas sepeda di Yogyakarta berkumpul di Alun Alun Utara Yogyakarta, sejak pukul 06.00 WIB.

Peresmian acara ini juga dilakukan cukup unik. Tidak ada suara sirine memekakan telinga yang biasanya dilakukan pada peresmian-peresmian berbagai acara. Peluncuran Sego Segawe ini ditandai dengan membunyikan bel sepeda ontel oleh Sri Sultan di atas sebuah panggung.

Herry Zudianto dalam sambutannya mengatakan, program Sego Segawe merupakan langkah nyata mengurangi polusi di Kota Yogyakarta dan pemanasan global. Dia juga menegaskan, bersepeda bukan identik dengan kemiskinan melainkan suatu kegiatan yang menyehatkan dan menyenangkan.

“Ini sebagai langkah nyata kita sebagai bentuk mewujudkan keistimewaan Kota Yogyakarta. Bersepeda juga mengurangi dampak pemanasan global di sekitar lingkungan kita,” katanya.

Seusai pembukaan, Herry Zudianto bersama wakil walikota Haryadi Suyuti dan rombongan pegawai Pemkot Yogyakarta berombongan menuju kantor di Balaikota Timoho yang berjarak sekitar 5 kilomter dengan bersepeda. Hal yang sama dilakukan para peserta lainnya menuju sekolah dan kantor masing-masing.

Konvoi panjang pengendara sepeda sempat memadati semua ruas jalan di Kota Yogyakarta. Sambil mengayuh sepeda mereka tak lupa membunyikan bel. Kring, kring, kring….(bgs/djo)

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Mobile phones to track carbon footprint

Carbon Diem's mobile phone carbon calculator

Carbon Diem’s mobile phone carbon calculator

Alok Jha, green technology correspondent,
Monday September 29 2008 10.23 BST

Keeping track of your carbon footprint could become as simple as slipping a mobile phone in your pocket: a London-based start-up company has developed software for mobile phones that uses global positioning satellites to work out automatically whether you are walking, driving or flying and then calculate your impact on the environment.

Carbon Diem’s inventors claim that, by using GPS to measure the speed and pattern of movement, their algorithm can identify the mode of transport being used. It can therefore calculate the amount of carbon dioxide that a journey has emitted into the atmosphere – without any need for input from the traveller.

The system’s inventor, Andreas Zachariah, a graduate student of the Royal College of Art in London and chief executive of the Carbon Hero company, said that Carbon Diem is the world’s first automated carbon calculator.

Because it keeps a constantly updated diary of a person’s carbon emissions, Zachariah said that a user can easily track their environmental impact and, if they choose, modify their behaviour to lower-carbon alternatives.

“We’re facilitating people to make little changes and allow those changes to be noted and registered and possibly shared,” he said. “If lots of people realise we’re in this marathon [in tackling climate change] and we’re not running alone, then we actually think people will be motivated to stick to changes.”

He has tested the software in Nokia and Blackberry phones, using computer algorithms to predict the kind of transport a person is taking. He claims that in tests over the past year, the software was almost 100% accurate in working out when people were on airplanes or trains; it was between 65-75% accurate at guessing when people travelled on buses.

Zachariah said he had the idea for Carbon Diem when he tried to work out his own carbon footprint using the many online calculators available. These usually involve manually entering the details of type of transport and the length of a journey.

“The whole process is so painful,” Zachariah said. “That’s when I realised it had to be effortless.”

Zachariah believes companies could also benefit from the software, as firms committing to reducing their environmental impact may need to collect travel data on their employees. He accepts there could be concerns over privacy but says the software can be used to record only the carbon impact, not the actual routes.

Friends of the Earth’s climate campaigner, Robin Webster, said: “Individuals have an important role to play in tackling climate change – and technologies like the Carbon Diem could help people cut their carbon footprint.”

The European Space Agency (Esa) gave the Carbon Diem software a regional award last year in its European satellite navigation competition. It will launch commercially in spring next year.

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Car Free Day, Polusi Pindah ke Kawasan Lain

Car free day di Jl MH Thamrin

Minggu, 12/10/2008 15:35 WIB
Chairina Fatia – detikNews

Jakarta – Car free day adalah sarana mengurangi polusi udara. Di daerah yang diterapkan program tersebut polusi memang berkurang. Tapi rupanya polusi berpindah ke kawasan pengalihan arus lalu lintas.

“Kalau untuk mengurangi pencemaran udara, ya. Di tempat itu akan berkurang. Tapi justru pencemaran itu akan terjadi di jalur alternatif,” ujar pengamat transportasi dari Intrans, Darmaningtyas, Minggu (12/10/2008).

Car free day ini, menurut Darmaningtyas, adalah langkah awal untuk mendorong masyarakat mengurangi pemakaian kendaraan pribadi. Ini juga bisa untuk mengajak masyarakat agar menggunakan kendaraan umum.

“Itu bagus untuk memperkenalkan orang meninggalkan kendaraan pribadi. Tapi, dengan syarat kendaraan umum harus dibereskan terlebih dahulu. Agar masyarakat tertarik untuk menggunakan kendaraan umum, ” urainya.

Menurut Darmaningtyas, sejauh ini pengaruh car free day sendiri pasti telah memberikan dampak positif walaupun belum terlalu signifikan.

“Teman-teman penyelenggara program ini pasti sudah melakukan monitoring dan evaluasi. Karenanya sekarang diperluas (ke Kuningan), minimal sudah ada dampak positifnya,” jelasnya.

Alternatif lain untuk mengurangi polusi selain car free day, bisa dilakukan seperti wacana yang dulu pernah ada yaitu penerapan kendaraan bernomor ganjil dan genap dan pembatasan kendaraan berdasarkan usia. Kemudian, bisa saja di tempat tertentu instansi pemerintah menggunakan angkutan umum.

“Misalnya Departemen PU, memakai angkutan umum semua. Sekarang ini Pemda DKI mulai antar jemput pegawainya menggunakan bus. Itu bukan hanya mengurangi kemacetan tapi menghemat BBM. Ketepatan karyawan tiba di kantor juga terjamin,” kata Darmaningtyas.

Pemprov DKI Jakarta secara rutin menggelar car free day di sepanjang Jl Sudirman-Jl MH Thamrin. Pada hari ini, kebijakan itu diperluas di Jl Rasuna Said, Kuningan, Jaksel.  (crn/nrl)

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