Stephen Rees's blog

Thoughts about the relationships between transport and the urban area it serves

This blog renews a friendship

with one comment

I had a delightful lunch today with someone I have not seen for over four years, and frankly, did not expect to hear from again. I am sorry if this seems immodest but I was delighted to hear that someone in another city far away reads this blog to find out what is going on here – and to catch up with what I am doing – and finally figures out a way to call me.

We also caught up on developments at the place where we used to work together, and I must say that things there have been changing in ways I did not expect. I will refrain, however, from predicting what might happen next. For one thing, I have had to take my crystal ball back to Canadian Tire for repair. Again.

It is possible to work out from the information you can find on here how to email me. It is not spelled out clearly simply because of the dreadful little software programs that trawl the web looking for email addresses to send spam too. Look at the top right under the words “about and contact information” – or click on about and there you will find a slightly less cryptic explanation. I also have another blog. Since no-one has ever posted a comment to that and I think the hit counter is broken I do not think anyone reads it. It is not about the relationship between transport and urban areas. My idea was that I would take the “off topic” posts from here and put them there. But I understand that for some readers these irrelevant posts are part of the attraction. So I am not going to mess with what limited success I have had so far – certainly not to send you to a blog that apparently no reads but me.


And from there, on a clear day, you can see into Washington state. The curious effect that this image captures of the tip of Mount Baker seemingly floating above the ground is actually the result of transport pollution. Ground level ozone (confusingly known here as “smog”) is created by the action of sunlight on the combination of nitrous oxides (NOx) and hydrocarbons (HC). Since it has suddenly turned nice here, the effect is more pronounced today. No photoshop trickery here I promise you. Since much of the industry in the region has moved away, most of the NOx comes from vehicle tailpipes. HC is mainly the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) which these days are more likely from natural sources like pine trees or cranberry beds (hence the famous quote from President Reagan that trees cause air pollution). Since we abandoned carburettors for fuel injection, put vapour capture into gas pumps and now check gas caps regularly, VOCs from cars are much less than they were once.

I think it is worth remembering that while greenhouse gases are the major concern now, air pollution is by no means solved.

Written by Stephen Rees

July 4, 2007 at 3:57 pm

One Response

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  1. Hey I read your other blog!

    Paul Hillsdon

    July 4, 2007 at 6:15 pm

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