Friday, November 27, 2015

While cars waste energy, people have to go without "One in two low income households are struggling to afford their energy costs, despite being in work, according to new research by Turn2us, a UK charity which helps people in financial hardship gain access to welfare benefits, charitable grants and other financial help.

The report found that amongst the hardest hit were people with disabilities and families, with almost two-thirds of working parents (65%) saying they were unable to meet their energy costs.

Of those households who are struggling with energy costs, nearly half have done so for more than a year.

The knock-on effect is severe, with a third forced to skip meals and over a fifth experiencing stress and other mental health problems."

Monday, November 23, 2015

#Freetransit would literally take millions of cars off the road, but you won't hear about it at #cop21, here's why.

Oh you might hear about:
green cars
gas-powered buses
bike lanes
bike hi-ways (!)
complete streets
blah blah

But free public transport actually aims the arrow straight at the problem. Subsidized Sprawl. With sprawl, homes, schools, businesses, must be individually heated and cooled. Each home must have its own fix-up tools, snow blower, leaf blower, lawn mower, and such. Sprawl is where people go to raise kids away from city traffic, pollution, and crime. So subsidizing sprawl means subsidizing population growth.

So, to protect profits, the sacred subsidized car, whatever it burns, or however much "traffic calming" it has to put up with, will not be threatened by the profiteers who will control the outcome of COP21. 

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Renewables vs Degrowth

Yes, it is true that using current energy from the sun is better than burning concentrated ancient energy from the sun. But is that benefit delivered by renewables?

  • As long as there is growth, by population or development, energy saved in one place will be consumed in another.
  • Many renewable schemes intercept energy that would have been stored in plants or soil.
  • Renewables rely on a complex society, a complexity that depends on hi-net-energy fuel.

Humans cruising down the highway, sitting in traffic, or buying gadgets, are turning energy into heat, whether is came from kinetic, stored, or radiation. More humans, more heat, even if carbon emissions are stopped.

Degrowth is the best way to reduce heat and ghg emissions. Make cities car-free and birth rates will drop.   

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Around the world, fossil-fuels collecting huge welfare checks

MetalMiner: "A recent IMF report states that the fossil fuel industry has been and continues to be subsidized to such a degree that simply ending what it estimates to be the industry’s current subsidies would cut carbon emissions by 20%."

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

West out of spies

The grandchildren of colonial missionaries of the US, EU, and UK, have passed on. As children they learned to local languages of the world on the streets and playgrounds as they spoke English at home. With their intimate knowledge of idioms and vernacular, some became loyal spies for the west in the age of oil.

Now who can be trusted as interpreters as the west seeks to protect sources and routes for oil and gas around the world?

China has over 300 million English speakers who also understand the built-in encryption of the Chinese language. Who will be a trusted spy for the west against them?

It's time for a 180 degree turn. Bombs don't work. Empire doesn't work. The US should show the way and start dismantling sprawl and car-dependency [autosprawl] before this all blows up in its face.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

What did we do to be so viciously attacked?

The so-called civilized world has done what?

  • Built an economy on slavery and genocide
  • Had two world wars that killed millions
  • Dropped atomic bombs on civilians
  • Looted "undeveloped" lands of oil, diamonds, etc
  • Assassinated leaders and overthrew governments
  • Created a trash pile in the Pacific the size of Texas
  • Labeled anyone who objected as terrorist or uncivilized
  • Created a threat to all life on earth with carbon emissions

Now the "civilized world" has been attacked. How brutal!

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Collapsing Greenland glacier could raise sea levels by half a metre, say scientists

Guardian : "A major glacier in Greenland that holds enough water to raise global sea levels by half a metre has begun to crumble into the North Atlantic Ocean, scientists say."

Monday, November 9, 2015

Lower health costs with #publictransit -- #freeischeaper

TreeHugger: "The research included almost 6,000 adults in Osaka, Japan and compared bus/train commuters, walkers/bikers and drivers. The researchers adjusted for factors like age, gender, smoking, and others. Compared to those who drove themselves to work, people who took the bus or train were:

  • 44 percent less likely to be overweight
  • 27 percent less likely to have high blood pressure
  • 34 percent less likely to have diabetes"

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Pro-Transit Ballot Initiatives Continue Track Record of Success

APTA : "“In communities across the country, voters overwhelmingly voted to increase taxes to support public transportation in local and statewide ballot initiatives at a rate of 79 percent,” said American Public Transportation Association (APTA) President and CEO Michael Melaniphy.  “This local support for public transportation demonstrates how vital public transportation is for communities of all sizes.  Communities grow when public transportation is available and people have travel options.”"

Friday, November 6, 2015

Autosprawl a major block to labor-force participation. Autosprawlsubsidy built into US entitlement design.

Bloomberg View: "In the Financial Times this week, Martin Wolf offered a few possible explanations for the outlier status of the U.S. in labor force participation: For women, lack of affordable child care. For men, mass incarceration. For both, a shift in employment from jobs for prime-age adults to flex-work for teens and senior citizens, plus “low minimum wages and high transport costs for workers living in sprawling US conurbations.” I would add impossibly large distances between the rural areas and small towns where economic conditions are worst and the “conurbations” where the jobs are. Even in gigantic Canada, the population is much more concentrated around a few big cities than in the U.S.
...These [other, developed] countries do less means testing, and more broad-based spending (on public transportation, on education, on health, on social programs such as child-care)...."

Emphasis added.