Air Pollution and Transportation

Rising fuel prices are causing mainstream awareness and interest in alternative transportation technology. This section has articles about the development of sustainable transportation alternatives.
Air pollution hovers at ground level with immediate health impacts, but greenhouse gasses rise into the atmosphere creating irreparable damage for generations to come. Air pollution has been directly linked to asthma and other health problems, especially in children.  The Air Resources Board of California also has more information about the health effects of air pollution, which includes vehicle exhaust and household air quality.

Lots of people are driving hybrids, but not everyone has a fully-electric vehicle.  Information on charging stations in Monterey and what the City is doing to create a carbon-conscious vehicle fleet.

Support sustainability initiatives in your Community, City, County, State, and Country!  You can start making a difference by signing up for the Personal Climate Action Pledge!
Reduce Carbon Footprint
Eat less meat & dairy. Make vegetarian meals a family tradition.

Compost your food scraps at home for your garden.

Pledge to ride your bike or carpool at least once per week.

Choose a carbon offset option with your next flight.

Check out the carbon footprint of your favorite stores and products.
How is Carbon Produced?

The three main ways that C02 is produced is through the following:

  1. Deforestation
  2. Fossil Fuels
  3. Global Warming

When trees die and decompose, CO2 is released. This is part of the normal carbon cycle. When trees are cut down and used for fuel, the CO2 is also released. The rate at which CO2 is released as a result of using trees for fuel is increased. However, when trees are used for building construction, furniture, etc, the carbon is not released rapidly into the environment. One would suspect then that harvesting trees for this purpose would result in less CO2 release into the atmosphere for any given period. That might be correct, except that the tropical forests are being depleted, and with a reduction in vegetation, there is a reduction in photosynthesis. As a result, the carbon cycle is interrupted and the CO2 is not being converted into sugars and oxygen. CO2 accumulates. According to University of Maryland researchers (3), the UN reported that deforestation had decreased between 1980s and the 1990s, when, in fact, it had increased, and the CO2 emissions from deforestation had increased. If CO2 is increased due to deforestation, one would expect the oxygen level to decrease as a result of decreased photosynthesis.

Fossil Fuels
A third source of carbon dioxide comes from stored CO2. The carbon found in fossil fuels was laid down over millions of years. Because the organisms did not decay completely, the carbon was never released into the atmosphere as CO2. Instead, it was stored up in the earth. Once fossil fuel has been recovered, processed and burned, the CO2, which would normally have been released over tens of millions of years, is suddenly all released within a period of a few hundred years, thus increasing the amount of CO2 in the environment.

Global Warming
Some scientists have suggested that ocean warming is resulting in increased CO2 and not the other way around (5). This is based on the idea that there is a lot of CO2 trapped in the oceans, and as the temperature rises, the CO2 is released, since the solubility of gases is inversely proportional to temperature. Oceans have long been considered to be a sink for atmospheric carbon. If it is releasing CO2 as a result of warming temperatures, the CO2 should be decreasing in the oceans.

Carbon Calculator

Calculate your Carbon Footprint Interested in finding out what your environmental impact is? Use one of the calucators below to find out what you are doing now and what you can change to help reduce your impact on our local and global climate.

Bike Locker Rentals
BicycleBike lockers are available to rent at several public parking garages! Rent on a quarterly or monthly basis.

Learn about
Bicycle Locker Rentals

Electrical Vehicle Charging

Electric Vehicle

The City has four electric vehicle charging areas:
1. Downtown West Parking Garage, 340 Tyler Street; 2 Stations, Free 4 hour maximum parking.
2. Calle Principal Garage,440 Calle Prinicpal Street, 2 Stations, $0.75 per hour to park, 4 hour maximum.
3. Behind City Hall on Dutra Street. (120 volt plug in)
4. On Pearl Street and Camino El Estero, next to the cemetery across from the Youth Center. (120 volt plug in)
Energy & Climate Action Plan

Energy & Climate Action Plan