Celebrating Freedom, Independence and Liberty

Celebrating Freedom from Foreign Oil, Energy Independence and Liberty to Travel this July 4th, Independence Day in America, here are three things the Drive 55 Conservation Project needs you to do right now.

1. Buy a 10 pack of bumper stickers and give away at least 8. You can select neighbors and friends, but encouraging local elected officials to “Lead by Example” is also an excellent way to help spread our message.
http://www.cafepress.com/peacetrain/1780576

2. Login and click “Add Map Marker” to get your name on the website map. Include contact info and any comments you want to appear in the marker information bubble in the “Misc” field. Please note, all submissions must be approved and geocoded before they will appear on the map.
http://drive55.org

3. While you are logged in, sign up for the newsletter to insure you get all the latest news about the Drive 55 Conservation Project.

Enjoy a Safe and Sane holiday,

Tim Castleman
Drive55.org

This is modern day alchemy, change the lead in your right foot into gold in your pocketbook; simply observe ALL speed limits and never exceed 55 MPH to reduce consumption 20-50%.

Pedestrians Right of Way?

The motor vehicle code clearly states that pedestrians ALWAYS have the right of way. The lone exception, BY LAW, is the high speed roadways commonly known as ‘Freeways”.

We either need to change the law and say it is ok to strike pedestrians under some circumstances or enforce the law that says pedestrians ALWAYS have the right of way.

The burden falls on the operator and manufacturer of the heavy machinery to be responsible about how it is operated. If operating the machinery at night at high speeds leads to pedestrian death and or injury the operator, manufacturer and enabler (road builder) should be held accountable both legally and civilly.

Enforce or change the law.

Follow up letters to Matsui Staff

February 7, 2007

Dear Rob Leonard, Joe Trahern and John Young,

Following up on our meeting January 29th, I want to first thank all of you for the extraordinary investment of time and attention you gave us. You can all take pride in your professional demeanor and presence that has helped restore my hope in our system of government. Though it was very disappointing to not be able to actually meet my representative in congress, the staff did a fantastic job and gave us over two hours of their time.

However, I remain even more deeply disappointed at the lack of action taken by Ms. Matsui in response to our request that she publicly confirm her intention to vote NO on the pending supplemental funding request for the military. It is imperative that Ms. Matsui join the courageous members of congress that have made clear their intention to vote NO on the president’s supplemental funding request.

Will Ms. Matsui vote NO on the pending supplemental request for more funding of the war on Iraq?


February 7, 2007

Dear Rob Leonard, Joe Trahern and John Young,

Following up on our meeting January 29th, I want to first thank all of you for the extraordinary investment of time and attention you gave us. You can all take pride in your professional demeanor and presence that has helped restore my hope in our system of government. Though it was very disappointing to not be able to actually meet my representative in congress, the staff did a fantastic job and gave us over two hours of their time.

I want to congratulate and thank Ms. Matsui for the flood protection funding announced in the president’s budget. This is long overdue and vital to not only Sacramento, but the entire state of California for protection of our fresh water supplies. It was disappointing to once again see no mention of the Natomas area, and the suggestion that everyone should have flood insurance is a bit late, IMHO. Fortunately we do have flood insurance but I know most don’t, and those living in Natomas are faced with rates about 4 times what we pay, so it seems to me some significant leadership is required to bring Natomas into the fold of 100 year protection.


February 7, 2007

Dear Rob Leonard, Joe Trahern and John Young,

Following up on our meeting January 29th, I want to first thank all of you for the extraordinary investment of time and attention you gave us. You can all take pride in your professional demeanor and presence that has helped restore my hope in our system of government. Though it was very disappointing to not be able to actually meet my representative in congress, the staff did a fantastic job and gave us over two hours of their time.

I am very glad to note Ms. Matsui’s record of support for public transportation. As you know, the president’s budget once again falls far short in funding for Amtrak. It seems his administration is dedicated to dismantling this national treasure and we need even more leadership from Ms. Matsui to not only fully fund Amtrak, but to encourage expansion of the system to help reduce energy consumption and the greenhouse effect caused by jet contrails and emissions.

Will Ms. Matsui support full funding for Amtrak?

Will Ms. Matsui take a leadership role in shifting subsidy funding from the airline industry to expanded rail transportation?

On a local level, will Ms. Matsui support the Solar Steam Train project described at www.SolarSteamTrain.com ? This would be a fantastic project for Sacramento and the world to advance alternative forms of energy efficient transportation powered by the sun!


February 7, 2007

Dear Rob Leonard, Joe Trahern,

Following up on our meeting January 29th, I want to first thank all of you for the extraordinary investment of time and attention you gave us. You can all take pride in your professional demeanor and presence that has helped restore my hope in our system of government. Though it was very disappointing to not be able to actually meet my representative in congress, the staff did a fantastic job and gave us over two hours of their time.

I am happy to know that Ms Matsui recognizes the medicinal value of cannabis to thousands of Californians. It is my understanding that Ms. Matsui supported THE HINCHEY-ROHRABACHER MEDICAL MARIJUANA AMENDMENT TO THE 2006 COMMERCE-JUSTICE-STATE APPROPRIATIONS BILL and I would urge her to support this important legislation when it comes up again. It is long past time to reign in the DEA and make them call off the raids on legal patients and their caregivers/suppliers.

Will Ms. Matsui take a leadership role to call off the DEA’s war against medical cannabis in California?

Will Ms. Matsui co-sponsor new legislation similar to the Hinchey-Rohrabacher amendment or the States’ Rights to Medical Marijuana Act H.R.2087 introduced in the 109th congress?

Dear Sir Richard Branson,

In response to your announcement of a $25 million dollar prize for ideas to stop global warming, here is my entry.

Dear Sir Branson, here is my entry to your contest for ideas to stop global warming.

Peace Training

How ‘Green’ Festival Funds War

Noting the growing popularity of ‘green’ products and ‘eco awareness’ it seems important to do a reality check from time to time. How ‘green’ is a festival that is giving away a car to promote itself? How ‘eco aware’ is it to fly in a jet aircraft? Read on for answers to these and other important questions.

Thousands of small business vendors rely on these festivals and travel thousands of miles every year to attend them. Tens of thousands, even millions, of people attend them for entertainment and to spend money, thus stimulating the economy while giving people a break from the routine. Seemingly, this is all good, right?

Sadly, this is not all good, and here is why.

First, transporting all these people and goods increases energy consumption. It is no secret that most of the oil consumed in the US is imported, and that war rages worldwide to secure future supplies. Put simply, a portion of every dollar spent on petroleum will wind up in a petroleum warlords bank account. So all this festival travel increases our daily contribution to funding wars for oil.

Second, pollution increases. Emissions from burning fossil fuels are just part of the story. Pipelines rupture, tanks leak and spills happen allowing millions of gallons of toxic chemicals to commingle with groundwater supplies, which have been linked to a Frankenstein’s workshop of disfigurement and disease. Bottled water is no longer a luxury item.

Third, local community suffers. Though a tomato grown 300 miles away may SEEM to taste/look/smell/feel better, in fact it probably is not. Transporting a carload of kids a few hundred miles to swim or ride on carnival rides doesn’t make much sense when these very same attractions are going on nearby. Local relationships suffer simply due to neglect. Societal disconnect from each other increases, we become ever more strangers to each other, anonymous consumers racing from one entertainment extravaganza to the next, rarely pausing long enough to develop relationships, much less community that is not dependent on a steady flow of cheap petroleum.

It is important to avoid Black and White thinking – I am advocating moderation. Trade and diversity is crucial to healthy community. What I am suggesting is to moderate consumption of fossil fuel, to use less. It is already a consideration when making plans, how about raising the priority to not only include the immediate cost of the fuel, but also to take into consideration the true costs involved, namely taking responsibility for our individual funding of petroleum warlords and damage to the environment. How about if each of us focused on reducing personal consumption by 50%? We can do this by deciding to participate in half as many festivals, or to reduce our travel to half as much. This will require some thought and commitment. Will you write down how many miles/festivals/gallons of petroleum you consumed in the past during the year? Will you keep track of how much you consume this year? Are you ready to take responsibility for your support of petroleum warlords and damage to the environment?

Learn how to reduce petroleum consumption right now by 20%-50%.
http://Drive55.org

Average BTU consumed Per Passenger mile by mode of travel:

SUV: 4,068
Air: 3,476
Bus: 4,415
Car: 3,553
Train: 2,100

Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics
http://199.79.179.77/publications/nts/index.html

Per AMTRAK website, 09/19/2006:
Mode of Transportation Energy Used (BTUs)
Bus 4,160
Airliner 3,587
Car 3,549
Trucks (Light and Heavy) 3,228
Train 2,935

Sources:
National Association of Railroad Passengers Press Release on U.K.-California Global Warming Pact
National Association of Railroad Passengers – Oak Ridge Data on Fuel Efficiency

Note: BTU stands for British Thermal Unit, a standard unit of energy. Figures listed refer to BTUs used per passenger mile.

Sulfur in the air (flying to a warmer climate)

Jet Fuel 3000+ ppm Sulfur
Off-road diesel 500+ ppm Sulfur
Regular on-road diesel 15-500 ppm Sulfur
Ultra Low Sulfur diesel less than 15 ppm Sulfur

The MISSION of the PEACE TRAIN to DC is to deliver a message of PEACE THROUGH CONSERVATION to the WORLD.
http://PeaceTraintoDC.com

Sacramento Solar Train

SOLAR TRAIN

I was thinking about how a steam locomotive could be converted to use solar
thermal energy to replace or supplement other fuels to provide the heat and
found two articles that seem to indicate all of the major technical issues
have been solved for decades.

Building on the Solar Train concept, we are raising funds for a
demonstration project in Sacramento, California. Proposed is to use the
existing rail yards to support a fireless locomotive that would be used in
rotation on the tourist line in Old Sacramento.

Once again the region will lead the world in developing a system for mass
transportation using simple, well proven technology to provide high quality,
clean, renewable energy more efficiently than any other by taking the
shortest path from the sun to the drive wheels.

Thermal solar energy collectors will be erected over portions of the site
having deed restrictions for industrial use only, thus converting a toxic
problem into a renewable energy production facility. This energy will be
used to charge and recharge the fireless locomotive, which then has a very
short distance to service on the popular tourist train.

More details at http://timcastleman.com/sst/

Thanks for looking!

New Athena National Passenger Rail System (NANPRS)

A project to upgrade the nation’s passenger rail transportation system.

Riding home from Washington DC last year on the Empire Builder, I had a conversation with a long time railroad employee regarding his perception of the original intent of the national highway system.

He told me that the original plan included right of way for passenger rail along the same corridors used for the highways. My first reaction was that this seemed unlikely, but that has changed now and I believe it to be a fantastic idea.

This project would finally separate passenger rail from freight by laying all new tracks along right of ways that already exist, the national highway system. The new railway will be built to accommodate high speed travel with reduced consumption of energy and increased employment and business opportunities.

I believe there are plenty of smart people that would love to get to work on something BIG, that will do a LOT to reduce oil consumption and provide JOBS while engaging TECHNOLOGY for a ‘man on the moon’ level effort to turn back climate change without sacrificing the quality of life we enjoy now. In fact, freed from the stress of ‘The Daily Commute’ people will be happier, healthier and more productive.

New Athena National Passenger Rail System (NANPRS)

Join Cindy Sheehan in Crawford, Texas – $263-$515 roundtrip travel

Cindy SheehanLooking for a way to get to Crawford Texas?

Step off the Amtrak train in McGregor Texas just 6.7 miles from the center of Crawford to join Cindy Sheehan and get back on board the next day or any day following, subject to availability, call Amtrak to schedule your trip.

Purchase the Explore America pass and enjoy riding the rails of America, often to the very spot you wanted to get to at one low flat rate price based on 4 regional zones.

Travel Within | Adults | Children | Seniors & Disabled
1 Region – $309.00 – $154.50 – $262.65
2 Regions – $412.00 – $206.00 – $350.20
3 or 4 Regions – $515.00 – $257.50 – $437.75
Florida Region Only – $134.00 – $67.00 – $113.90

Visit WWW.AMTRAK.COM and navigate to Hot Deals > Rail Passes & Programs > Explore America Fares or just call 1-800-USA-RAIL to get on board.

Note: McGregor is NOT a baggage stop, plan to carry ALL luggage with you on board. Luggage racks are ample but follow Amtrak regulations to avoid a hassle.