Thursday, August 20, 2015


The Pope recently raised global consciousness to respond to the intensifying climate threats that science tells us are real. This month international Muslim group declared that there are serious flaws in way we use natural resources.  This should be helpful in gaining support for podcars from mosques and churches -- synagogues and temples too.  

Cities are living organisms.  
- courtesy of Ethel Vrana of Ithaca NY

With more than half of humankind now urban, increasingly concentrated in huge metro, regions, the Pope admonishes city planners and transport policy makers: Awkwardly translated from Latin, here is a quote from Pope Francis’s Laudato Si:

The quality of life in cities has much to do with systems of transport, which are often a source of much suffering... Many cars, used by one or more people, circulate in cities. … This makes it necessary to build more roads and parking areas which spoil the urban landscape. Many specialists agree on the need to give priority to public transportation.Yet some measures needed will not prove easily acceptable to society unless substantial improvements are made in the systems themselves.

Papal Perspectives

Those who see civilization in terms of millennia, not centuries know that mass ownership of cars, trucks and planes is new. Abraham, Moses, Zoroaster, Jesus and Mohammad didn’t have to deal with highway issues. This came as the 20th century began. Car culture became widespread after World War-II. It became global as that century closed. This and other factors -- aviation, power generation and sloppy agriculture -- have made Mother Earth quite sick.

Will Sikh leaders now embrace a PRT
proposed in Amritsar, India?

Billions of carbon-emitting vehicles operating daily have adversely affected our climate. They kill and maim millions of people every year. They poison our lungs. The Pope, the Dalai Lama and countless other religious leaders around the world have declared this -- if not criminal -- immoral.
Deeply feeling the pain to the poor, the Pope goes beyond good words. Last month he invited sixty mayors from around the world to Rome. One of the eight from the USA was Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges. She had an epiphany there, stunned that outside the USA climate issues are actionable.

Minnesota Leadership

Minnesota has a long and deep history in PRT technologies -- from the 1970s, off and on over the decades.  It is home to Ed Anderson’s PRT International and the independent Taxi 2000 led by Mike Lester. It is also home to PRT Minnesota and Jpods. Twin Cities debated PRT, and PRT issues sparked into state party politics spawning virulent attacks from a Luddite blogger. Mayor Hodges last year won with a platform to bring 21st century solutions to create a 21st century city.

Highways make for ugly walkways.

So far Hodges is not known to favor PRT projects. Will her new climate transformation launch a round of podcar initiatives? With calls for modern mobility being voiced in Austin, Greenville, Ithaca, Los Angeles and now Minneapolis, a podcar breakthrough is looking eminently real.

Power brokers in Boston, New York and Washington are taking note. They're collecting beans to count. Many will come to PCC9 in Silicon Valley Nov 4-6.

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