Germany to Put First Zero-Emissions Train Into Service This December

❝ Trains, buses and trucks are all vital to the modern world, but the vast majority of them use huge amounts of fuel and create tons of air pollution. What’s even worse is that they represent a (thus far) missed opportunity for making the world’s cities greener.

While buses reduce the need for cars, trains are capable of hauling huge amounts of goods, as are trucks, AND moving huge amounts of people. Imagine if we could convert all of these big vehicles to run on hydrogen, which is the most basic of all molecules…

❝ Many of the world’s advanced nations, namely Norway, Japan and Germany, are investing heavily in the technology in order to move away from their dependence on fossil fuels. The Norwegians, for instance, are going about implementing a new hydrogen-powered train network right now, saving $67 million a year in fuel in the process.

❝ Germany is going even further. It will launch the world’s first hydrogen-powered commuter rail service in December 2017. The hydrogen-powered trains will be used on smaller interurban routes initially, however it’s the first step towards a cleaner, zero-emissions future.

Nice to see some nations – like some cities and states here in the US – press ahead with technology combatting climate change. Something for the next administration [or Congress] to get to work on.

Trump wants to give police more military weapons

The Trump administration is taking steps to ensure more police officers can equip themselves with camouflage uniforms, bayonets, and even grenade launchers.

All the things your community-oriented coppers need to get along with everyone.

On Monday, President Donald Trump issued an executive order reversing rules by former President Barack Obama that restricted police departments’ ability to obtain surplus military weapons. The Obama-era restrictions curtailed programs, such as the 1033 program, that effectively let police obtain excess military gear from federal agencies for free or through federal dollars.

Obama’s 2015 rules were a response to protests in Ferguson, Missouri, over the police shooting of Michael Brown, in which cops used military-grade equipment to counter the protests — a move that many critics at the time considered excessive, given that the demonstrations were mostly peaceful.

The Trump administration argues that blah, blah, blah, blah!

The Obama administration’s restrictions weren’t about making the police’s job more difficult. They were about changing the mentality and reputation that still surrounds law enforcement — and, ultimately, pulling back the “us versus them” view that can make policing far too aggressive, contributing to distrust toward law enforcement in many US communities…

“The Obama…restrictions were about telling both cops and the communities they serve: The police are public servants, not an occupying force,” Radley Balko wrote. “They’re there to protect and serve, not to harass and intimidate. It was a modest attempt to address the ‘us vs. them’ mentality.”…

The Trump administration…doesn’t give a shit! They couldn’t care less about communities in the broadest sense. Herr Trump wants an obedient nation and coppers loyal to him personally.

RTFA for lots of history, detail and understanding about what this creep wants.

U.S. Military Marches Toward Energy Independence


Hill AFBOfficial White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson

The U.S. is at a transformative moment in electricity. And the military is helping us move toward a new era of independence.

❝ The U.S. electrical grid was ranked by the National Academy of Engineering as the greatest achievement of the 20th century, and it was this vast infrastructure that helped to power our economy, enhance our communities and light up our lives. But the centralized power grid is not perfect, and it faces an array of risks from natural disasters to human and cyber attacks.

As electricity becomes more and more critical in our lives, wide-ranging blackouts won’t just be a personal annoyance — they could cripple our economy. A diversified energy portfolio that includes renewable generation creates a more resilient grid. A recent draft of a report from the Department of Energy also concluded that wind and solar energy create a more reliable grid.

❝ The added security provided by renewables is why everyone — from the military to Fortune 100 companies — is finding ways to use clean reliable distributed power systems to support their operations.

RTFA to learn how this understanding makes sense. Moving forward.