Friday, September 30, 2011

Expect a change of tack from the #climate delayers. Soon.

The oil industry is having trouble on many fronts. It's losing its energy wars, it's losing its coalition of voters, and it's losing it corporate coalition.

Many corporations are finding their interests diverging from those of the oil industry.

The insurance industry, for one, is in a tricky place. It faces huge claims from climate disruption. It will not continue to toe the line on climate delayism for the oil companies. Expect a change soon.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Plenty of money for #transit, do not accept the lies to the contrary

If you read articles about public transit, you will see the terms "cash-strapped," "funding-difficulties," and "shortfall." Don't believe the hyperbole. There is a boatload of cash floating around. Why none available for transit?

The super-wealthy are caught in a squeeze. With no demand for goods, their individual interests are to stay in cash and oppose taxes for themselves. As a group, their interest is to keep the system alive by investing in public infrastructure.

Those wanting to invest in infrastructure are split between saving the auto-system of transport, or giving up on it. Problem is, giving up on the auto-system means throwing the oil-auto-and-sprawl industries under the bus. These industries are too powerful. Hence, no action from them.

Not only is there no action, the corporate media is toeing the line maintaining a news blackout on grassroots protest. To get around that blackout, go to and type in #occupywallstreet in the search.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Oil industry fears the public-#transit tipping point

Why is the oil industry so desperate to stop the growth of public transit? Because as more people ride buses and rail, the critical mass of the auto-system becomes precarious. Once a tipping point is reached, people will see the massive subsidies that prop up the auto-system as a burden instead of a necessity. So the oil industry is directing its trolls to attack public transit. But we love transit, and we are fighting back. This article is one example:
More Tea (Party) « MARTA Rocks!: "Why else would they lead off with how they are against it because it is a tax, but use every inch of supporting argument as anti transit? If they were really trying to make a case and a fiscally responsible, anti-tax awakening to the region they would protest the excessive tax money used to support roads and airports. "

Monday, September 19, 2011

Free-public-transport advocates win 9% in German election

‘Geeks’ sail into Berlin parliament - World News | IOL News | "Berlin - Free wireless internet and public transport; voting rights for over-14s: just some of the policies of the “Pirate Party”, which on Sunday spectacularly won its first seats in a German state parliament."

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Rallies planned around U.S. to support public #transit 20-Sept

Congress has proposed to cut more than one-third of federal funding across the board for public transit and surface transportation programs. If these cuts are implemented, transit riders can expect service delays, fare increases and over-crowding.

The proposed cuts to funding will increase unemployment and leave many Americans stranded without access to their jobs and basic services such as grocery stores, doctors and faith services.

Rallies and events are happening on September 20 in cities around the country. We’ll continue to post information about rally times and locations, so please watch this space for updates.

Click here to go to Website

Friday, September 16, 2011

So many wrong roads down which we seem to want to go

The European Union is overestimating the reductions in greenhouse gas emissions achieved through reliance on biofuels as a result of a “serious accounting error,” according to a draft opinion by an influential committee of 19 scientists and academics. NYTimes

Biofuels... not as great as they look. No surprise. Why are we looking for ways to create more energy instead of STOPPING THE WASTE. The auto-system is extraordinarily wasteful. You don't have to be a scientist to know this. The use of a consumer product to move people--it just jumps off the page--NOT good.

It is long past time to stop trying to save the profits of the oil-auto-and-sprawl industries and take the bull by the horns. The private auto is KILLING us. Let us kill it first.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

The hidden costs of cars - Things that go away with free transit

Public transport's a safe investment - Opinion - Editorial - General - The Canberra Times: "The widespread use of cars comes with growing direct and indirect costs to taxpayers. Governments must continually build new roads and maintain existing ones as they deteriorate. Valuable real estate must be set aside for car parks, rather than be put to more productive uses. Traffic gridlock costs businesses through lost productivity and, in some industries, significantly higher prices; the federal Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics estimates congestion losses in Australia will amount to more than $20 billion a year by 2020. And every year that the bureau has examined the social costs of road crashes - health-care expenses, infrastructure damage, legal bills and policing and emergency services - it has found the amount dwarfs the revenue raised through rego fees, fuel excises and all other motoring-related taxes. Cars are a far costlier habit than most of us realise, because we never see a bill that lists their true price."

'via Blog this'

Monday, September 12, 2011

Oil states get it, build transit. U.S.?

gulfnews : A great green solution to transport woes: "Fifty years ago, transport energy in the world was 15 to 20 per cent of total energy consumption. Today it is probably over 50 per cent and increasing. Therefore using public transport and the train systems in particular are the way to optimise energy consumption, not only to cut costs but to maintain and improve the environment and air quality and hence public health."

'via Blog this'

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Exxon Makes Billion-Dollar Bet Climate Change is Real, Here Now and Going to Get Worse But Keeps Funding Deniers | ThinkProgress

Exxon Makes Billion-Dollar Bet Climate Change is Real, Here Now and Going to Get Worse But Keeps Funding Deniers | ThinkProgress: "Large deposits of gas and oil have been known to exist in the Arctic Ocean for decades. So why did they make this deal now? One key thing has changed: the arctic ice is melting rapidly. The Kara Sea has typically been covered by ice floes nine months of the year or more, making commercial development of its resources unprofitable. But for the last several years, the extent and duration of the arctic ice has been diminishing, a phenomenon the vast majority of scientists believe to be caused by climate change. Suddenly, oil and gas exploration in the Arctic Ocean is looking far more attractive. Exxon has realized that a warming planet offers some new opportunities for profit and is adjusting its strategic decisions accordingly."

'via Blog this'

Saturday, September 10, 2011

The answer is blowin' in the wind

Firefighters in Smithville, Texas: Governor Rick Perry, has called climate change an 'unproven theory' while wildfires ravage his drought-scorched state. Photograph: Erich Schlegel/AP
Hurricanes, floods and wildfires – but Washington won't talk global warming | Jules Boykoff | Comment is free | "We're living in unconventional political times in the United States, so it's time to dispense with conventional political thinking. Climate scientists are telling us with increasing confidence that the impacts of climate change are already playing out, and not just in the Antarctic where photogenic ice shelves are clattering into the sea. Climate change is already expressing itself as wild weather. It's blowing in the wind."

'via Blog this'

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Manitoba Greens call for free public transit

Manitobans urged to vote 'green' - Winnipeg Free Press: "Beddome said that's the party's largest slate of candidates ever and he hopes to encourage more people to run before the Sept. 13 nomination deadline.
He said the party is focused on preserving wetlands, moving toward more organic agriculture practices and offering free public transit."

'via Blog this'

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Indiana group gets it. #Transit is the deal-maker for successful business

Indiana Citizens Alliance for Transit « Advocates for comprehensive transit options in communities across Indiana Indiana Citizens Alliance for Transit: "

  • Our alliance represents a wide spectrum of business and community interests, but we all agree that transit options are vital to the future of our community.
  • As business and community leaders, we understand the need to invest tax dollars wisely, and we firmly believe that improving our mass transit infrastructure would be a smart and much needed investment in the prosperity of our community.
  • The development of mass transit options in a community positively impacts energy consumption, the environment and public health (through decreased traffic crashes and vehicle pollution as well as increased physical activity).
  • Mass transit makes economic sense. It is a wise investment in our community’s prosperity – creating jobs and spurring growth and opportunity.
  • Every day, mass transit gives members of our community an affordable, convenient and safe transportation choice.
  • Mass transit gives many individuals who would otherwise be unable to travel around our city the access they need to be independent and self-sufficient.
  • Mass transit will provide this community with renewed freedom and mobility."

'via Blog this'

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

What is wrong with road pricing? Plenty.

The idea of road-pricing, aka congestion pricing, aka tolling, is that the free market should apply to roads, that users should pay, and they should pay more when demand is high.

This is a scam. The auto-system is unsustainable, has always been, will ever be. It exists solely by virtue of heavy subsidy, and the externalization and deferral of costs. Now the bill for deferred infrastructure maintenance is due, and there is no money. Things are bad, but the oil industry has great power and is insisting that the system be prolonged. One of their biggest trolls, Grover Norquist, says to keep the gas tax.

Road pricing is just a sneaky fake free-market way to raise money to save the already unsustainable auto system, locking us in to more misery in the future.

A much better solution is to gradually dismantle the auto system. This can be done by making public transit fare-free and increasing ridership. The increased ridership would lead to demand for more frequent service, which would lead to more ridership.

There would be no need for massive auto system infrastructure investment.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Race to the top in public transit -- how will your town fare?

More people are waking up to the fact that the auto-system grinds commerce to a halt. The auto system drains the resources of employees and employers alike. It makes the movement of people and goods expensive and time-consuming. This will only get worse, especially if more roads are built.

Communities that can offer freedom from the car have a distinct competitive advantage. As fossil-fuel prices go up this advantage will become greater until a tipping point is reached. This will mean a race to the top in public transit. Those who are taking action now will be the winners.

The fastest way to grow public transit is to make it fare-free. This will increase ridership and increase the political base of transit advocates. If you want your town to be a winner, talk to your mayor, join your local transit advocacy group. Study the places it has been done. Initial cost is 60 basis points of tax. The return on investment is immediate.

Better get started, businesses are already looking for public transit when deciding where to locate.