Arlington County begins posting new trail "wayfinding" signs

Arlington County has started installing the first of the 250 "wayfinding" signs it has planned for along the Rosslyn-Ballston corridor (as detailed here).  I have blogged on trail signs in the past--mostly negative, because they either tend to not exist or fail to function well.

So it's great that these are finally going up.  I'm sure I will have criticisms (see below), but signs of almost any kind are better than the absence of signs.  So all in all, this is a great step forward.

 I took pictures of them and their exact locations are shown on this map:
This one is mounted on the sound wall at the entrance of the trail  It is excellent that the signs indicate the name of the trail.  In the past, this has often been a problem.  Signs would point towards destinations but would fail to tell you where you were.  Now someone using Google Maps and given the direction "Turn Right on the Custis Trail" will have confidence they are in the right place when they reach the trail.
The East Falls Church distance indicator is swapped with the one on the sign below.  This sign is actually closer to East Falls Church than the sign below, but indicates that it is farther away.

New member of Car2Go

I just joined Car2Go, a new car-sharing concept that has just debuted in Washington DC.  I was able to join for free during a promotional period (if you are in the area, try the promo word "capital").

I'm not sure when I'll try it out, but since it was free to join and there are no costs until I actually use a car, there's no downside.

I saw some tweets suggesting that Car2Go will supplant Zipcar.  No doubt there will be competition, but Zipcars can hold more passengers and they are available outside the city of DC, which is where I live.  So for now, I can see opportunities to use both.

And the cars are cute.

Observations at Powering the People 2.0

The Edison Foundation held their 1-day meeting, Powering the People 2.0, on Thursday, March 22.  I was able to visit for a short while, visiting the electric vehicles outside, listening to the introductory speakers and first panel, and visiting the area they called "Innovation Avenue."

My favorite moment of the entire meeting was when the President of Pepco Holdings greeted everyone by saying, "I want to take credit for the early blooming of the cherry blossoms."  I'm pretty sure he did not realize the irony of his own statement, what with the significant contribution the electricity sector makes to climate change.  (One could point out the Pepco owns no generation, but I still found his statement amusing.)

Verizon's short-sightedness on saving energy

Today's Environmental Leader included a story entitled: Verizon Aims to Cut Carbon Intensity by Half by 2020 (also reported by Tree Hugger).
"We're going to reduce our carbon footprint fifty percent," Lowell McAdam, Verizon's CEO, said in a sit-down with Bloomberg's Alix Steel. "We are now beginning to install solar arrays for powering our cell tower sites, and we've got our first data center powered by geothermal going in."
I am a FIOS customer of Verizon in Northern Virginia.  When we had Fios service installed, they placed a backup box unit in my house that draws a continuous 20 watts. 24/7/365. It does not power down when the battery is charged nor when there is no call for service. Just a constant 20 watts. That costs me (and all customers) about $20 per year.   Not a lot, but a nice lunch.
I cannot turn this box off.  If I unplug it, then it just draws down the battery until it's used up, which is senseless.  I could pull the battery out, too, but that's a lot of effort--not as easy as pushing a power strip switch, which I can do with my wireless router.

Five years of blogging on Transform to Sustainability

Without realizing it, the 5-year anniversary of my original blog passed by last month.  Since then I have posted 368 posts here.  Many of these have also been featured on other blogs, including:
So what has been popular?  Below is the list of my all time top ten blogs by number of views:

Declines since 1982!!! (A global warming analogy)

I get the occasional email from my skeptic friend highlighting the latest study he's seen on Watt's Up With That and how the entirety of global warming science is thrown into question.  He included this statement in his last email:
". . .the earth has been cooling now for the last 15 years, while CO2 is still rising."
This is a common meme among the skeptics: that there has been no warming recently despite increasing CO2, therefore global warming has stopped.

The main problem with this argument is that 15 years is too short a period to make any definitive statements about long-term trends.  It also fails to take into account other forcings, such as solar intensity (down), ENSO (more La Nina lately) and increased aeresols from Chinese coal burning (study here).

For today, though, I want to show this: