Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Oil companies no longer have time or money for safety as another oil train explodes

From BBC
BBC News - Explosions as North Dakota freight train derails: "Wagons from a mile-long train carrying crude oil have burst into flames as they derailed after a collision in the US state of North Dakota.

A plume of thick black smoke could be seen many miles away and explosions were heard."

'via Blog this'

Monday, December 30, 2013

Corporate media concedes cars cause #climatechange

USA Today: " Cars are now known contributors to the modern-day scourge of climate change. Their heat-trapping emissions have helped warm the planet beyond its natural variability. So sea levels have risen, and drought, heat waves and hurricanes have intensified — as USA TODAY explored in a year-long series, "Weathering the Change.""

'via Blog this'

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Where is the money coming from to pay for $100/bbl oil? Cheap labor

SFGate: "An estimated 1.3 million people will be cut off when the federally funded unemployment payments end Saturday."
High unemployment means downward pressure on wages. This is one way to have more money for oil. Since oil is essential to transport, business cannot afford to go without--even if it means hurting the overall economy.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

China juggling asset bubbles

People should prepare for more oil shocks. China has built a lot of high-speed rail, but has also been putting additional cars on the road at worrisome rate. This demand for oil is unsustainable and exists by virtue of the expectation of return on credit. A crash will come, demand will plummet, and oil projects will be abandoned. After much pain and suffering, the cycle will be repeated.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Warm atmosphere holds more water, hence bigger ice storms

Thousands left without power across US and Canada - seattlepi.com: "Trees frozen in ice cripple a section of power lines on Maplehurst Drive in Belgrade, Maine, Tuesday, Dec. 24, 2013. From Michigan to Maine, hundreds of thousands remain without power days after a massive ice storm _ which one utility called the largest Christmas-week storm in its history _ blacked out homes and businesses in the Great Lakes and Northeast. Photo: Michael G. Seamans, AP"

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Former BP geologist: peak oil is here and it will 'break economies'

Nafeez Ahmed theguardian.com: "A former British Petroleum (BP) geologist has warned that the age of cheap oil is long gone, bringing with it the danger of "continuous recession" and increased risk of conflict and hunger."

'via Blog this'

Friday, December 20, 2013

Oil industry caught between high and low, will need more government subsidy

Low price means they can't afford to drill, high price means more recession and demand destruction. They need money but have to pay more dividends to keep nervous investors from deserting. The next step will be more government subsidy.
The Real Oil Extraction Limit, and How It Affects the Downslope | Our Finite World: "Because of diminishing returns, the cost of oil extraction keeps rising. It is hard for oil prices to increase enough to provide an adequate profit for producers. In fact, oil prices already seem to be too low. Oil companies have begun returning money to stockholders in increased dividends, rather than investing in projects which are likely to be unprofitable at current oil prices."
Prepare your city now. Join the campaign for free public transit.  

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Your city could jump ahead economically by making cars less necessary

What if your city were to implement free public transit. What could happen?

  • Immediate savings from lower traffic congestion
  • Parking enforcement could be abolished
  • Police and ambulance costs would drop
  • Labor market would be more fluid
  • Deliveries would be more efficient
  • Urban living would become more desirable
  • Less noise, cleaner air, more space
  • Less money exported for gasoline and cars
  • Walkable neighborhoods start to blossom
  • Street and bridge maintenance costs go down
  • Parking lots turn into parks
  • Medical costs of collisions would go down
  • People would walk more and be healthier
  • Many more good things

More people move in. The economy jumps. Other cities see it and want to copy. A race to the top ensues.

Simply stop welfare for cars by making buses free. Use the savings for more buses, better schools, and healthcare.

New #climatechange study raises more cause for alarm

'Whole world at risk' from simultaneous droughts, famines, epidemics: scientists | Nafeez Ahmed | Environment | theguardian.com: "The series of papers published by the Proceedings for the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) shows that policymakers might be underestimating the social and economic consequences of climate change due to insufficient attention on how different climate risks are interconnected."

'via Blog this'

Monday, December 16, 2013

Pope gives out #freetransit tickets, is called communist

Entertainment & Stars: "For Christmas, the Vatican has announced that they will be distributing 2,000 envelopes that contain free public transport tickets and telephone cards to the poor. The envelope will also include the Pope's signed Christmas picture and a stamp from the Vatican's post."


Sunday, December 15, 2013

U.S. using #climate as excuse to re-invade Vietnam

Kerry Returns To Vietnam To Address New Common Threat -- Climate Change | ThinkProgress: "There is also some activity to reduce the carbon emissions that are driving the greenhouse effect causing much of the changes in the first place. On Saturday when he visited Ho Chi Minh City, Kerry was present for the signing of a $94 million contract between General Electric and Vietnamese construction firm Cong Ly to build 52 wind turbines in nearby Bac Lieu Province."

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Do you want #freetransit? Should this blog continue?

We need to get people to see that the autosprawl system is subsidized. A lot of things that people don't like such as traffic, pipelines, pollution, climate change, and economic waste are actually being subsidized by deferred [externalized] costs and taxes. That is like paying a high heating bill in the winter, but leaving the front door open all the time.

The most important people to reach are Americans. Because this is where autosprawl has had the most support and impact. If Americans can make a significant change away from wasting energy, that will send a strong message to the rest of the world.

You can help by tweeting blog posts that you like, or better, by blogging yourself. There is no commitment, you need not give your name, and there is no money involved. Simply send us an email at fpteditors at gmail; we will give you access. When you write or find an article or opinion that shows how cars are subsidized, the benefits of public transit, or how people are taking action, simply post a few sentences and a link. You certainly may link your own site. Even if you post only once a year, you are helping. Especially if you have specific local information.

Friday, December 13, 2013

How to make cities #carfree

Car Free Day - every Sunday in Jakarta. Gunawan Kartapranata
How cities of the future could see cars parked for good: "Is a car-free city possible? In many European cities walking and cycling already account for more than half of all journeys. In Britain, the Sustainable Travel Demonstration Towns project between 2004-08 showed it’s possible to increase the number of people getting out of the car, encouraging sometimes up to nine times more journeys by foot or bike."

'via Blog this'

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Why an obvious solution like #freetransit is so hard to sell

The oil industry is the blood of the oil-dependent economy. There is so much infrastructure involved that the unwinding is going to be long and tortuous.

One problem. Because of the competitive nature of capitalism, bubbles can almost never be slowly deflated. A dramatic reduction in oil demand, as would occur with a significant increase in public transit, would mean that $trillions in infrastructure would be under used, meaning rate of profit falls. Investors would panic and the government will have to bail out the oil industry. Yes. Bail. Out.

We can't stop the crashes and the bailouts, but your city can prepare now for the next oil shock. Join your local public transit advocates. 

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Oil-dependent economy driving on the the fumes of debt

Diminishing Returns, Energy Return on Energy Invested, and Collapse | Our Finite World: "The situation we are facing now is different. High oil prices–even in the $100 barrel range–tend to push the economy toward contraction, making debt hard to pay back. (This happens because we are borrowing from the future, and the amount available to repay debt in the future will be less rather than more.) The problem can be temporarily covered up with deficit spending and Quantitative Easing, but is not a long-term solution. If interest rates rise, there is likely to be a large increase in debt defaults.

...Stagnation of wages is happening despite attempts by governments to prop up the economy using deficit spending, artificially low interest rates, and Quantitative Easing. Without these interventions, the results would likely be even worse. If QE is removed, or if interest rates rise on their own, there seems to be a distinct possibility that these countries will be reaching the “crisis” phase as described by Turchin and Nefedov."

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Climate change 'tipping points' imminent

Climate change 'tipping points' imminent: "Abrupt changes are already apparent, the authors noted: the number of serious wildfires has increased dramatically over the past decade, farmers are noticing hotter average temperatures that affect their crop yields, animals and plants are moving up mountainsides to reach cooler temperatures, and the Artic sea ice is melting back more and more each summer."

'via Blog this'

Friday, November 29, 2013

To understand economics, understand demand

There are two parts to the problems we face. One, fossil fuels have high net energy. Two, how we have used that energy. The second is more important.

We have not allowed for the full cost of fossil fuels. Much profit has been made, but the consequences are now coming due. We have created a monster of demand with seven billion people all wanting to live in a leafy US-style suburb.

The problem is not net energy, the problem is not supply. The problem is demand.

How can we reverse the process? Instead of facing the tsunami head-on, let us divert it. Give people carfree cities. With the money saved by abolishing cars, educate all children and provide health care. Birth rate will drop.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Organization in France launches attack on free public transport

"Free is a dangerous idea": "Currently held national meetings of public transport in Bordeaux. From day one, stakeholders are engaged in an all out attack of free public transport."
First, they ignore you. Then they ridicule you. Then they fight you. Then you win. Are we at step three already? Wow.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Economic myths keep Americans confused

Myth: Private money is smarter than public money.

Reality: The self-driving car by itself should be enough to put this one to rest. But here is more anyway. People in the U.S. have been fed a steady stream of "government-waste" and "government-is-the-problem" propaganda. But in these messages, government projects are compared only with successful business. There is a vast wasteland of failed business which is not considered. Of course, there is such a thing as government waste -- corporate welfare -- but the propaganda rarely mentions it.

Myth: We have the automobile because people made a "market choice."

Reality: This one is laughable. The video "Taken for a Ride" details the premeditated destruction of the U.S. street car. In addition, the subsidy for autos and sprawl has been going for 100 years. We try to document it here and here.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Here is the case for coming out of the 911truth closet

Most people would rather not talk about the 911 false "terror" attack. They know there is something fishy about it, but they don't want to be marginalized and ridiculed.

But stop and think. There is nothing the oil companies would like more than a big "terror" attack on public transit in the US. They want to force people back to driving cars more. It has already been done in Spain and the UK. Do you want that? No. Then, if you know that buildings do not fall down at free-fall speed into their own footprint except by controlled demolition, then it is time to speak up and speak out.

Here is a good place to start -
ReThink911 Around the World: "We have an opportunity to both reflect and move forward. In communicating with a number of activists around the world, I’ve discovered that there is a great deal to feel enthusiastic about – change is in the air!"

Friday, November 22, 2013

What does peak oil look like? Here's an example.

Mohammed Salem/Reuters
Raw Sewage and Anger Flood Gaza’s Streets as Electricity Runs Low - NYTimes.com: "GAZA CITY — Raw sewage has flooded streets in a southern Gaza City neighborhood in recent days, threatening a health disaster, after a shortage of electricity and cheap diesel fuel from Egypt led the Hamas government to shut down Gaza’s lone power plant, causing a pump station to flood."

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Imminent peak oil could burst US, global economic bubble - study

Nafeez Ahmed: "The study notes that "oil shortages pose a high risk for economies" and points to evidence that high oil prices were a "partial cause" for the 2008 global financial crisis. Focusing on the US economy - the biggest consumer of oil and oil-based products in the world - the study found that all major industrial sectors were at risk, including food and food processing, primary agriculture, metals and metals processing, and transport:"

'via Blog this'

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Majority of red-state Americans believe climate change is real, study shows

Photograph: Tony Gutierrez/AP
theguardian.com: "A vast majority of red-state Americans believe climate change is real and at least two-thirds of those want the government to cut greenhouse gas emissions, new research revealed on Wednesday."

'via Blog this'

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Crazies, trolls, and tea baggers, all part of a plan

With 24-hour television news and mass communication on social media and the web, how can the 1% keep people confused and docile?

Maybe you are interested in learning about false flags. Immediately, on the web and social media, you are immersed in craziness. Think about it. Why?

Maybe you want to watch TV news and learn something. But all they talk about is silly tea bag antics. Think about it. Why?

Maybe you want to have a discussion on social media, but you are attacked with scatology and non sequiturs. Think about it. Why?

Welcome to the age of disinformation. They will try to tweak your emotions, disgust you, or intimidate you.

Don't let their plan work, keep seeking wisdom and reality will assert itself in time.

see Recognizing Trolls in the tabs at the top of the blog. It's a list of characteristics to identify trolls. Nothing is 100%, but it might help. 

Monday, November 11, 2013

911 lie not so big, historically

Which of these is the biggest lie by your own criteria:
  • humans have races and they have different worth
  • car culture is and was a free market choice
  • 911 was a terrorist attack from abroad
  • Columbus discovered America
So, why all the fuss about 911? If you can believe that people bomb countries for power and money, why would you not believe that they can do a false flag?

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Dubai free transport day proves effective at reducing CO2

Dubai free transport day cuts CO2 emissions by 10% | GulfNews.com: "Dubai: An estimated 900,000 people travelled by public transport on Friday, taking advantage of unlimited free trips to mark the fourth edition of the Roads and Transport Authority’s annual Public Transport Day.
Many roads in Dubai were free of traffic as people left their cars at home for a day to use other modes of transport, which resulted in an estimated 10 per cent reduction in Dubai’s CO2 emissions generated through vehicular traffic."
While governments, pundits, and planners wring their hands over CO2 emissions, an obvious solution, #freetransit, is ready, proven, and available now. Only loser? Those who are profiting from the #subsidy of #autosprawl.

Two decades of recession predicted for areas dependent on oil

Saturday, November 9, 2013

This CAR Game Will Drive You Crazy

Dr. Lorraine: "Freeways are places where players are free to toss their fast food trash out their windows while they’re on their way. These free-to-litter-ways are expensive to build and maintain. Taxes cover the cost of the government employees who build and maintain them and the prisoners who clean up the garbage. Most players don’t feel bad about this, however, because the prisoners are given meals, housing and health care. They qualify for more benefits than the working poor."

Read the whole post here

Friday, November 8, 2013

Could cities of the future have free public transport?

Getty images
cnbc : ""The other two benefits would first of all be to low-income people, whose mobility would be improved, giving them access to jobs, health facilities and so on by removing financial constraints," he added. "Secondly, there would be some prospect of a modal shift, in particular diverting people from cars to a mode of transport with less energy use and emissions.""

'via Blog this'

Monday, November 4, 2013

Does the Earth need saving?

Resource Insights: "We humans are almost certainly in overshoot, a term from population biology that means we've exceeded the long-term carrying capacity of the Earth for humans given our current technology and consumption habits. So, here's the solution. Bring the per-capita consumption of humans down drastically or drastically reduce the number of humans consuming at our current rate. The first seems nearly impossible given our system of governance and technology and the fact that there are so many poor people who aspire to higher levels of consumption. The second seems impossible even though we have highly effective and cheap contraceptive technology that would over the course of the next century enable us to reduce our numbers down to one billion. (This assumes that average fertility is no more than one child per couple.)

There is a third solution. And, that is simply to let nature take its course and thin human numbers through plagues, food and resource shortages, climate-related catastrophes and the collapse of our complex global economic network that might ensue."

'via Blog this'

Sunday, November 3, 2013

How economic growth has become anti-life

theguardian.com: "Limitless growth is the fantasy of economists, businesses and politicians. It is seen as a measure of progress. As a result, gross domestic product (GDP), which is supposed to measure the wealth of nations, has emerged as both the most powerful number and dominant concept in our times. However, economic growth hides the poverty it creates through the destruction of nature, which in turn leads to communities lacking the capacity to provide for themselves."

'via Blog this'

Friday, November 1, 2013

We've know for a long time that #publictransit is one of the best economic stimulators

  • Transit capital investment is a significant source of job creation. This analysis indicates that in the year following the investment 314 jobs are created for each $10 million invested in transit capital funding.
  • Transit operations spending provides a direct infusion to the local economy. Over 570 jobs are created for each $10 million invested in the short run.
  • Businesses would realize a gain in sales 3 times the public sector investment in transit capital; a $10 million investment results in a $30 million gain in sales.
  • Businesses benefit as well from transit operations spending, with a $32 million increase in business sales for each $10 million in transit operations spending.
  • The additional economic benefits from the transportation impacts of transit investment in major metropolitan areas are substantial. For every $10 million invested, over $15 million is saved in transportation costs to both highway and transit users. These costs include operating costs, fuel costs, and congestion costs.
  • Business output and personal income are positively impacted by transit investment, growing rapidly over time. These transportation user impacts create savings to business operations, and increase the overall efficiency of the economy, positively affecting business sales and household incomes. A sustained program of transit capitalinvestment will generate an increase of $2 million in business output and $0.8 million in personal income for each $10 million in the short run (during year one). In the long term (during year 20), these benefits increase to $31 million and $18 million for business output and personal income respectively.
  • Transit capital and operating investment generates personal income and business profits that produce positive fiscal impacts. On average, a typical state/local government could realize a 4 to 16 percent gain in revenues due to the increases in income and employment generated by investments in transit.
  • Additional economic benefits which would improve the assessment of transit's economic impact are difficult to quantify and require a different analytical methodology from that employed in this report. They include "quality of life" benefits, changes in land use, social welfare benefits and reductions in the cost of other public sector functions.

Oil investors starting to get nervous

CBC News: "“There is a deep concern that the industry, especially the oil and gas industry, is betting vast amounts of capital contingent on a future of ever-increasing demands for ever-more expensive fossil fuels and the companies that I work with are concerned that that future is looking increasingly less likely,” said Andrew Logan, director of oil and gas programs at Ceres."

'via Blog this'

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Seattle Transit Riders Union

Seattle Transit Riders Union: "The Transit Riders Union is a democratic organization of working and poor people, taking control over our own lives, and building up the power we need to change society for the good of humanity and of the planet. We will fight to preserve, expand, and improve the public transportation system in Seattle and beyond, so that every human being has access to safe, affordable, and reliable public transit.

1. We believe that every human being has a right to safe, reliable, affordable, and accessible public transit.

2. We recognize that, for the future of humanity and of the planet, we must move beyond the car- and fossil fuel-based economy.

3. We believe that the public transit system must be expanded and improved, not merely preserved."

Read more here https://www.facebook.com/SeattleTRU

USD 34 Billion in oil wealth evaporates. When will oil investors lose their nerve?

Businessweek: " Batista and OGX had to admit that their much-hyped “new frontier” of oil off the Brazilian coast was actually a collection of mediocre-to-dud oil wells. Production would come nowhere close to paying off the billions he had borrowed in the bond market to finance exploration and production."

'via Blog this'

Monday, October 28, 2013

'The ocean is broken'

smh : "''In a lot of places we couldn't start our motor for fear of entangling the propeller in the mass of pieces of rope and cable. That's an unheard of situation out in the ocean,'' Ivan Macfadyen recalls. ''If we did motor we couldn't do it at night, only in the daytime with a lookout on the bow, watching for rubbish. In the waters above Hawaii, you could see right down into the depths. I could see that the debris isn't just on the surface, it's all the way down. And it's all sizes, from a soft-drink bottle to pieces the size of a big car or truck. We saw a factory chimney sticking out of the water. ''We were weaving around these pieces of debris. It was like sailing through a garbage tip.''"

Sunday, October 27, 2013

911, false flags, disinformation, provocateurs, and the general public

Do you know what was the "Gulf of Tonkin" incident? It was the supposed attack on a U.S. vessel in 1964 by North Vietnam. It was used to justify the wholesale massacre and poisoning of millions of innocent people. It was later admitted by the U.S. secretary of defense to be a faked incident.

False flags, staged incidents, provocateurs, and the like have been used throughout history to justify violence against innocent people.

The 911 "terror" attacks were clearly not carried out according to the official tale. A simple application of physics proves that a building cannot fall straight down at free-fall speeds unless the bottom floors are removed by controlled demolition.

It is irresponsible to keep silent if you see this truth which is out in plain sight for all to see. Many people have suffered and many more will suffer because of this deceit. If you are reading this, you are in a small minority of people who not only are interested in world affairs, but also seek out alternatives to corporate media. The vast majority of people are "low-information" thinkers. Tricks like agents-provocateur, (e.g., disguised police throwing rocks at police) make the general public disinclined to get involved in political activity. The use of these tricks will continue, and exposing them is just as important as promoting your policy aims.

If you disagree, and want to campaign for free transit, you are welcome to publish your opinion here. You may say "I believe the official story on 911, but I think we should implement free transit."

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Climate change could put $6 trillion in fossil fuel reserves at risk

Climate change could put $6 trillion in fossil fuel reserves at risk - Quartz: "The International Energy Agency last year warned that if humanity is to have any hope of avoiding catastrophic climate change, a third of the world’s fossil fuel reserves must be put off limits until 2050. That prompted HSBC Global Research to estimate that some oil giants could lose up to half their market value. In other words, we’re talking about trillions of dollars in revenues going up in smoke if governments ever get their act together and issue a no-burn order."

'via Blog this'

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Financial system is the weakest link in the #peakoil chain

Rising Energy Costs Lead to Recession; Eventually Collapse | Our Finite World:
"...the financial system is the most vulnerable part because of the system because it ties everything else together. Debt in particular is vulnerable because the time-shifting aspect of debt “works” much better in a rapidly growing economy than in an economy that is barely growing or shrinking.

The problem that now looks like it has the potential to push the world into financial collapse is something no one would have thought of—high oil prices that take a slice out of the economy, without anything to show in return. Consumers find that their own salaries do not rise as oil prices rise. They find that they need to cut back on discretionary spending if they are to have adequate funds to pay for necessities produced using oil. Food is one such necessity; oil is used to run farm equipment, make herbicides and pesticides, and transport finished food products. The result of a cutback in discretionary spending is recession or near recession, and less job availability. Governments find themselves in  financial distress from trying to mitigate the recession-like impacts without adequate tax revenue."

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Tallinn Extends Free Public Transport Law to Trains

Photo: Postimees/Scanpix
ERR: "Rewarding its voter base and rubbing in election defeat for opponents, the Center Party has followed through on a pledge to extend Tallinn's free public transport law to commuter trains, effective Monday.

The City of Tallinn and Elron, the nationally owned train company, have signed an agreement waiving train tickets for trips within Tallinn for passengers who are residents of the city."

Monday, October 21, 2013

The economy is driven by demand, supply responds.

In North America, and spreading around the world, is a cancer: sprawl. Sprawl is not economic, which means it costs more to live in sprawl than people can afford. Sprawl survives based on massive subsidy.

This subsidy is direct and indirect, through tax deductions for home mortgage in the U.S., direct price subsidy for motor fuel in other countries, and mainly the deferral of ecological costs resulting from the extraction, transport, protection, and burning of fossil fuel.

Sprawl is very wasteful of energy as buildings are spread out and must be heated and cooled separately and much transport is needed from one to the other. This waste generates artificial demand for energy.

It doesn't matter what kind of energy. As long as this wasteful system continues, energy demand will be high. It will consume all solar and wind energy and keep right on growing.

Currently fossil fuels provide most of the energy. Because of the large existing infrastructure, of pipelines, tankers, roads, and gas stations, it is still the highest in net-energy.

Trying to block fossil-fuels, or create alternative fuels, are supply-side solutions. Think for a moment about how supply-side solutions work for stopping illegal drug trade. As long as demand is high, suppliers always find a way. In addition, they are so profitable, that they have little trouble getting political support.

What we need to do is address demand. First, we have to expose sprawl as uneconomic and subsidized. The best way is to provide an alternative. People want sprawl to get away from the unpleasant aspects of the city. Why not make cities carfree. This will provide something that will be better and more economic. 

Saudi oil is running out, U.S. pivots to Iran over Caspian Gas

Israeli and Saudi leaders could lose out if Iran deprives the US of its enemy - Middle East News | Latest News Headlines | The Irish Times - Sun, Oct 20, 2013: "They are to reconvene in three weeks, encouraging speculation that a larger geopolitical shift might be possible if agreement is reached on Iran’s nuclear programme and economic sanctions are lifted. Relations between the US and Iran, frozen since the 1979 revolution, could be transformed – putting in question fundamental US policies and alignments in the Middle East."

'via Blog this'

Friday, October 18, 2013

Canada's War with the Mi’kmaw Nation at Elsipogtog

Feathers verus Guns : "The Mi’kmaw have spoken out against hydro-fracking on their territory for many months now. They have tried to get the attention of governments to no avail. Now the Mi'kmaw are in a battle of drums and feathers versus tanks and assault rifles - not the rosy picture painted by Canada to the international community."
People are fighting back against fracking and the destruction that it causes to health, land, and water. This fight must be joined with a campaign to end the subsidy of sprawl. Sprawl is an unsustainable, energy-wasting way of life. It is uneconomical, but survives because taxpayers pick up the tab. A huge demand for energy is created by this subsidy. This demand then gives power to the energy providers and provides huge profits to those who can deliver high net-energy products. This industry: coal, oil, and natural gas, then uses government power to crush people and drill and mine where they please. 

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Happy Motoring is over

James H Kunstler on Peak Prosperity: "Similarly, the public investments going into "shovel-ready" highway projects, although the fiscal outlays are more transparently based on money that doesn't really exist. The public, as well as leaders all across society, serenely believe that the Happy Motoring matrix will find a way to go on forever, and that therefore we must make provision for it, not to mention the beneficial side of effect of "job creation" for all the additional workers. Yet the dynamic at work must be obvious: oil will never be cheap again; it will impair future capital formation; there will be far fewer car loans; there will dwindling public funds to maintain the roads; and there is no practical substitute for gasoline that scales to the existing system, nor any prospect of one within a time frame that makes sense -- not to mention the gigantic background problem of pouring evermore carbon into the sky."

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Democracy is over, but voting still matters

The abandonment of working people by the Labor Party in the UK is a clear example of how years of political hard work can seem to be for nothing.

The 1% is in big trouble with the peaking of cheap oil. Oil is what moves the economy, and the infrastructure is so big that they are faced with massive losses.

To keep in power, and keep their wealth, they hope to convince people through right-wing politics to accept mass unemployment and poverty by demonizing the unemployed and the poor.

Even if change through voting is effectively blocked, we cannot allow these right-wing parties to win large electoral victories. This would only send a chilling message around the world.

Government #debt fight is a symptom of the end of growth

Our Finite World: "We are kidding ourselves if we think that we can decide to slowly reduce oil and fossil fuel usage over the next 40 or more years. If oil prices drop to, say, $30 barrel because of debt defaults, oil production will drop very quickly–not based on some slow decline curve. Natural gas and coal prices will drop dramatically too, essentially putting an end to their production. Jobs will disappear with the lack of fossil fuels. Eighty or ninety percent of us will again need to work in manual food production without fossil fuels. Education, government, and services of all kinds will shrink rapidly."

Monday, October 14, 2013

Shell abandons kerogen prototype

Resource Insights: Geology beats technology: Shell shuts down oil shale pilot project: "A clue comes from one sentence in coverage in The Denver Post: "Full-scale production would probably have required building a dedicated power plant." In simple terms, it takes energy to get energy. Shell's process requires copious amounts of electricity to heat the rock in place through boreholes in order to release the waxy hydrocarbons embedded in it. In this pilot project, the subterranean rock was heated for three years before liquids were captured and brought to the surface for further processing."

'via Blog this'

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Poland campaign for free public transport -- another city adopts #freetransit

August 80: "- Free public transport is by all means worth it! To a large extent help residents access to education, culture, sport and recreation, as well as improve the availability of jobs. Reduce the amount of traffic in the city, so you do not have to every now and then to finance a costly repair roads. Plugs would be smaller, and the air cleaner. Disappear expenditure on printing of tickets and maintenance of ticket machines - says campaign coordinator, Luke Ługowski.

Ługowski announces that the campaign "No to increases in ticket prices - YES for free public transport" will soon cover more cities."

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Taxpayers are paying at least $7,000/year #autosprawl welfare for each car on the road

A Tale of two Subsidies - Strong Towns: "The total cost is difficult to estimate on the driving side, but in the case of roads the subsidy probably comes to around $100 billion a year. It's even more challenging to get a reliable estimate for the cost of protecting our oil interests in the Middle East and elsewhere, and estimates range anywhere from $30 billion a year to $225 billion a year since 1976. Even worse is the human cost of lives lost by our military servicemen and women.

And anyone reading this blog is well-acquainted with the many societal and personal ills associated with being dependent on a car for every trip in your life, so I won't get into that here.

Per car, that amount is something to the tune of $7,000 per year."

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Saudi Arabia will run out of water for agriculture in 2016


Interview with Lester Brown of earth-policy.org.
Highlights:
  • Photosynthesis limit has been reached in advanced agriculture
  • 95% of corporate food cost is unrelated to actual growing of food
  • People should be asking themselves "do I really need a car?"
  • 26 million agricultural wells in India quickly drawing down aquifers
  • Saudi agriculture will shut down in 3 years for lack of water

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Rosy IMF predictions can't overcome #degrowth

Zero Hedge: "The chart below, showing the historical change in the IMF's periodic revisions of world growth and revised for today's just released latest World Economic Outlook, shows that much taxpayer money can be saved if the monetary fund's staff was replaced with dart-throwing chimps."


Thursday, October 3, 2013

#Freetransit so popular in Bangkok, even right-wing government declined to cancel it

Khaosod Online: "The program had proven so popular that the preceding government of Ms. Abhisit Vejjajiva repeatedly renewed it, in spite of the Democrats′ self-proclaimed opposition toward "populist" policies of Mr. Samak.

Since the program started in July 2008, successive governments had spent over 14 billion baht to support the free transports by subsidising 10 billion baht to the Bangkok Mass Transit Authority (BMTA) and over 3 billion baht to the State Railway of Thailand."

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Old people need #publictransit. U.S. leaves them stranded.

Al Jazeera America: "The U.S. ranks lower than Slovenia on “enabling environment” – social connections, safety, civic freedom, and access to public transport."

“...We, as Americans, need to imagine what it means to grow old,” Brown said. “We need to decide how, as a society, we want to treat people who grow old … What kind of roads we’re going to put in. What kind of public transportation.”

Friday, September 27, 2013

IPCC says we must stop digging

Oil Change International: "What does this mean? We must keep the vast majority of known fossil fuels in the ground and there is simply not rationale for the continued exploration of new fossil fuel reserves."

'via Blog this'

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

More evidence condemning supply-side environmentalism

Resource Insights: Climate, Keystone and the problem of fossil fuel demand: "If this is the goal, then this strategy must be labeled an instant failure. The tar sands oil companies are already exploring alternate routes for shipping synthetic crude derived from tar sands via other proposed pipelines. One such pipeline, Energy East, would move oil from western Canada to eastern Canada, finally ending the bizarre situation in which Canada, one of the world's largest oil exporters, must import close to 40 percent of its oil needs. The country currently lacks sufficient pipeline capacity to bring oil from western Canada where it's found to eastern Canada where it's mostly consumed.

These developments take nothing away from what has been a very successful strategy by climate change activists to rally people behind fighting against something concrete as a way of advancing political awareness and action on climate policy. But this does point up a problem with attempts to reduce fossil fuel consumption by organizing people to oppose specific distribution projects."

'via Blog this'

Saturday, September 21, 2013

“Peak Oil Demand” = Peak Oil

"So the correct framing of our situation is this: Falling production of conventional oil is pushing prices higher, and high prices are driving demand down. “Peak demand” is peak oil by another name—de-fanged and de-clawed.

Euphemisms don’t change reality, except by first changing people’s perceptions of reality, and hence their actions."

Read whole post here....

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Money-printing masking the effects of #peakoil, for now

Figure 2. US Ten Year Average Real GDP growth, based on BEA data.
Our Finite World: "When the amount of resources is not expanding rapidly, printing money can temporarily inject pseudo resources into the system, making things temporarily look better than they are. Of course, when this money printing stops, the temporary improvement is likely to disappear."

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Albert Bartlett: "The greatest shortcoming of the human race is our inability to understand the exponential function."

Resource Insights: "Albert Bartlett might have been another obscure physics professor had he not put together a now famous lecture entitled "Arithmetic, Population and Energy" in 1969. The lecture, available broadly on the internet, begins with the line: "The greatest shortcoming of the human race is our inability to understand the exponential function."

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Human carbon release is endangering the ocean food chain

Deep Green Resistance News Service: "Globally, Earth’s ocean surface is becoming acidified due to absorption of man-made carbon dioxide. Ocean acidification models show that with increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide, the Arctic Ocean will have crucially low concentrations of dissolved carbonate minerals, such as aragonite, in the next decade."

'via Blog this'

Friday, September 13, 2013

How to implement free public transit in a U.S. city of 1 million

First announce that the bus fares will be gradually reduced to zero. If a monthly bus pass already exists, you could announce that it will be $1 less each month, and other passes and tokens somewhat proportionally. This will give you time to respond to demand.

Free public transit will save your city much more than it costs. Much of the savings will be things like reductions in traffic congestion, medical cost of collisions, noise, costs of pedestrian safety, etc. Also much less of citizens' money will be exported for gasoline, and cars. These savings will not show directly on the city budget. Where your city already collects data on such things, make the savings public to win and keep support for the free bus program. For example, if the average delivery truck can make 10 deliveries in the time it used to make 8, this should be publicized.

There are however, quite a few things that are directly on the city books. Parking is a big one. Gradually reduce the parking allowances for city departments. City employees, especially high-profile ones, would have to gradually pay more of their official parking out of their departmental budgets. Of course, they have the option to avail themselves of the cheaper and cheaper buses and save money.

Gradually reduce your parking department. It is nothing but a hidden tax on business anyway. Move the budget money to buses.

Police and fire costs. Road traffic collisions absorb a lot of time and energy of police and fire services. As this goes down, move the money to pay for more buses.

After buses have been at zero fare for a while, you should make them free to all, no fare box at all. This will promote tourism and eliminate the costs of collecting fares.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

People are happier when they live near public transit

Salon.com: "Cao believes this high quality of life emerged primarily through the quality of the light rail. When he controlled for transit service and regional access, for instance, the advantage in life satisfaction disappeared — a clear sign, to him, that service and access were responsible for this satisfaction in the first place. Contentment with travel was leading to contentment with life."

'via Blog this'

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Supply-side environmentalism will fail, has failed

The Flip Side Of Obama’s Keystone XL Delay: "The reaction to pressure against building Keystone XL’s northern half has been – put simply – “build more and faster.” Simple math and geography shows – as The Wall Street Journal boasted – project permitting parameters have tilted more and more in Big Oil’s favor under President Obama’s watch."

Peak oil is alive and well, and costing the earth

theconversation.com: "If people had listened to the warnings of the peak oil school, we could have broken our addiction to oil and had this money to spend on other things. I, for one, can think of better things on which to spend US$2.6 trillion dollars per year – such as renewable energy, bike lanes, better public transport, and local food production.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Our energy future: "They'll think of something"

Resource Insights:"...We are slowly beginning the transition to electric vehicles. But it is at a very slow rate compared to the rate we need. And, private automobiles are almost certainly not the answer for the future. Electric trains, trolleys and buses are a better alternative.

...The only sensible response ... is to begin reducing our energy use now in earnest. If we do that, we have a much better chance of making a successful transition to a renewable energy economy--a transition which will happen whether we like it or not."

We cannot depend on high-profile organizations to stick to #degrowth

There are two ways to go for the human race. Gentle degrowth and harsh degrowth.

The forces of growth will fail at growth, because it is impossible. But they will keep some growth going at the expense of harsher degrowth for the poor and voiceless. So they are the side of harsh degrowth. Their policies will continue the bubble and bust experiences of the past.

The forces of gentle degrowth are the people fighting back through dispersed leaderless movements like occupy and local civic groups.

The established, high-profile environmentalist organizations and NGO's have mostly been compromised by the harsh-degrowth forces. Add to that list Resilience.org and the Post Carbon Institute, now selling geo-engineering and biofuels respectively.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

U.S. new car market "in total euphoric mode, up 17% year-on-year"

The Truth About Cars: "... the US new car market is in total euphoric mode, up 17% year-on-year in August to return to annual rates not seen since 2007, ..." 

Friday, September 6, 2013

How capitalism handles #degrowth

On paper, capitalism can exist without growth. In reality, not. Why. Because capitalism is unfair, and only fends off socialism by holding out hope of progress through growth, convincing just enough people that they are better off trying to get rich than trying to change the system. Before fossil fuels, capitalism did exist, but you can hardly compare it with today's system. The change back will be sharp in contrast to expectations.

Degrowth is here. So what is being done. As you might have expected, the same as before, but more of it. Intense competition, war, currency manipulation, election fraud, mass unemployment, and heavily armed riot police preparing their skills by practicing on even small, peaceful protest.

There is a lot we can do. Start changing your town to survive without oil. Cut back on meat. Grow food locally. Ask yourself, what would life be like without internet or electricity. Get independent from the private auto. Many of these things are compatible with goals of people who still believe growth is possible, and they will join with you.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Per capita oil production peaked in 1979, and will drop 50% from 2012 to 2050

@nelderini SmartPlanet: "Oil production per capita peaked in 1979 at 5.5 barrels of oil per person per year, Laherrère calculates. That rate that can never be matched again, he says, because population continues to grow even as global oil production has hit a plateau, soon to be followed by an inevitable decline. By 2050, Laherrère calculates that the global per-capita oil consumption will have to fall to around half the 2012 level."

Direct #autosprawl #subsidy calculated at $7,000/yr per car

Strong Towns: "Per car, that amount is something to the tune of $7,000 per year. By that measure, the annual cost of every household in the U.S. owning just one car (less than half the actual vehicle ownership rate) comes to more than $800 billion—almost double the amount we spend trying to get people to invest their housing money more wisely. Spending on roads also has at least one other negative impact on housing policy: homes within 1,000 feet of a freeway are 59% more likely to default on their mortgage."

Monday, September 2, 2013

A visit to “Summer School – The Capital of Free Public Transport” in Tallinn

Free public transport: "Before Tallinn removed the fares, the share of public transport commuters had slowly but steadily shrunken. And even though they had spent a lot of money on new buses and trams that trend did not change, but this year 21 percent more of the Tallinners have used the public transport, out of which eight percent had never used it before. 68 percent of the citizens use public transport as their main way of getting around, a number that has grown by 13 percent while the share of people who mainly drive cars to get around have shrinked with nine percent."

Humans using up biosphere, cannot last past end of century

Humanity's life support - Sustainable Food Trust - Sustainable Food Trust: "Recognising that ‘Earth is rapidly approaching a tipping point,’ and ‘human impacts are causing an alarming level of harm to our planet,’ it warns that we must begin to address these harms if we hope to continue living on this earth past the end of this century."

Sunday, September 1, 2013

#Stopwatchingtv, the war in #Syria is over control of oil supply

Resource Insights: What Syria tells us about world oil supplies: "There are three reasons for this: First, right now the United States imports just under half its oil needs. We produce a little over 7 million bpd and consume about 14 million bpd. Second, no realistic nonindustry assessment of future U.S. oil production suggests we'll stop needing substantial imports. Third, oil is traded in a world market, and its price is determined by world supply and demand. Any disruption in Middle Eastern oil supplies would lead to much higher prices which would ripple through the U.S. economy no matter how much we produce domestically.

The worldwide concern over Syria tells us that oil supplies remain tight and consuming nations remain very concerned about disruptions to supply. The oil price continues to hover near all-time highs when compared to the average daily price in 2011 and 2012, both record years. As the United States prepares plans for intervening militarily, there is not only much at stake in human terms, but also most assuredly in terms of critical oil supplies."

Friday, August 30, 2013

Climate delayers are costing us big bucks - drought bill comes in. #agw

U.S. government paid $17 billion for weather-withered crops last year | Grist: "The federal government forked out a record-breaking $17.3 billion last year to compensate farmers for weather-related crop losses — more than four times the annual average over the last decade.

The losses were mostly caused by droughts, high temperatures, and hot winds — the sizzling harbingers of a climate in rapid flux."

'via Blog this'

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Why not stop fighting over energy, and just stop wasting it? Capitalism, that's why.

Net energy
Living things need energy to survive. Humans follow the path of higher net energy. With fossil fuels, we have gained so much net energy that we have created a system in which we spend 10 units of energy to produce 1 unit of food energy, exactly backwards. This cannot go on.

Capitalism and waste
Why not use high net energy sources carefully and make them last longer. This is not possible in a competitive economy. The same short-term profit is gained whether the energy is used wisely or wasted. Since wasting is quicker and easier, it has come to dominate.

World market control
High net energy fuels are in a world market. There is a large concentration in the Middle East/Caspian region. A competitive economy leads to competition between regions. If China and Russia combine to control this region they can cause economic chaos in the United States.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Oil is being rationed by price - proof of supply constraint, aka #peakoil

Our Finite World: "These [western, developed] countries also have much less growth in oil consumption than the rest of the world, indicating that when it comes to oil consumption, citizens and businesses of the US, EU and UK are being outbid by businesses and workers elsewhere.

Workers elsewhere may use less oil per person, but because they have jobs, they are able to purchase new scooters and other goods they want. Their employers also use oil to make and ship goods, keeping their demand high."

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Fire, flood, drought, unemployment... no time for that now, must bomb Syria...... Huh?

(AP Photo/Jae C. Hong) Yosemite
Why? The U.S. has no choice. Like a tractor-trailer with no trailer brakes being pushed by its load, the U.S. government has no choice but to get more militarily involved in Syria. Oh, there will be protests, yes, but as long as the U.S. economy is dominated by car-dependency, control of energy resources is not negotiable. If Russia and China get enough power in the middle east to control world gas and oil prices, they will have the U.S. at their mercy.

What can we do? If you are driving your car to a peace march, pull over and think. Then, go back to your town and fight for free public transit. Or, move to the city if you can, sell your car. Join your local transit riders union, write a blog post (we will post it) exposing sprawl subsidy in your region. If you are a multi-car family, you might get rid of one car and use car-sharing occasionally. There is plenty to do.

Either we end the demand for #autosprawl and its consequent energy waste, or we will go down in blazes of constant war.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Having gotten away with 9/11, false flags becoming a way of life for US

Deleted Daily Mail Online Article: “US Backed Plan for Chemical Weapon Attack in Syria to Be Blamed on Assad” | Global Research: "In January 29, 2013, Britain’s most popular Daily Newspaper, in its online version Dailymail.co.uk published an article titled:

U.S. ‘backed plan to launch chemical weapon attack on Syria and blame it on Assad’s regime’

A few days later they pulled the article."

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Dave Olsen in the Tyee, 17 reasons to stop charging people to ride the bus

Why Fare-Free Transit? The Tyee – 17 Reasons 5-July-2007:
Perhaps the skeptic in you is saying: without fares, public transit would run out of money and break down. Or you worry that a free ride would attract riff-raff threatening other passengers' safety and comfort. Or you doubt that sober, number crunching officials would ever take the idea seriously.
By the time you are done reading this series, I will have shared real life examples and expert findings to counter all those concerns.
Fare-free transit brings many benefits, some of which include:
  1. a barrier-free transportation option to every member of the community (no more worries about exact change, expiring transfers, or embarrassment about how to pay)
  2. eliminating a "toll" from a mode of transportation that we as a society want to be used (transit is often the only way of getting around that charges a toll)
  3. reducing the inequity between the subsidies given to private motorized vehicle users and public transport users
  4. reducing, and in some cases eliminating, the need for private motorized vehicle parking
  5. reducing greenhouse gas emissions, other air pollutants, noise pollution (especially with electric trolleys), and run-off of toxic chemicals into fresh water supplies and ocean environments
  6. reducing overall consumption of oil and gasoline
  7. eliminating the perceived need to spend billions on roads and highways (now up to $7 billion for the proposed Gateway Project in Vancouver)
  8. eliminating the perceived need to spend billions on bigger car-carrying ferries ($2.5 billion for BC Ferries' new super-sized boats and ramps)
  9. contributing significantly to the local economy by keeping our money in our communities
  10. reducing litter (in Vancouver, the newer transfers/receipts have overtaken fast food packaging for most common garbage found on our streets)
  11. saving trees by eliminating the need to print transfers and tickets
  12. allowing all bus doors to be used to load passengers, making service faster and more efficient
  13. allowing operators (drivers) to focus on driving safely
  14. giving operators more time to answer questions
  15. providing operators a safer work environment since fare disputes are eliminated
  16. eliminating fare evasion and the criminalization of transit-using citizens
  17. fostering more public pride in shared, community resources

US/UK looking to escalate war in Syria. Energy wars will continue until we dramatically decrease demand.

BBC News - Syria: Cameron and Obama threaten 'serious response': "The UK and the US have threatened a "serious response" if it emerges Syria used chemical weapons last week.

Prime Minister David Cameron and President Barack Obama spoke on the phone for 40 minutes on Saturday, Mr Cameron's office said.

Both were "gravely concerned" by "increasing signs that this was a significant chemical weapons attack carried out by the Syrian regime".

The Syrian regime and opposition have accused each other over the attacks."

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Demand is not falling from voluntary effort, it is being destroyed. An important distinction.

The peaking of cheap oil has meant that societies that are heavily dependent on oil are unable to afford to grow as before. High oil prices affect transport, which affects all areas of developed economies. The U.S. and Europe are now at the end of growth and oil demand is falling.

It would be nice if it were falling because we had seen the light and decided to implement free public transit and such to stop the waste. But unfortunately the demand is being destroyed in a most painful way--through unemployment and the stranding of people who can't afford to drive to work or move closer.

A few oil trolls have jumped on this falling demand to declare that peak oil has been obviated by peak demand. Not so. The fall in demand is exactly the pain of peak oil that has been predicted: price rationing. Those who have money, get oil.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Did you know that three buildings collapsed at the WTC on 9/11?

Building 7 fell at free-fall rates for several seconds. That means there was no resistance to the fall. That is only possible through planned demolition. For more of the physics of it: Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Oil industry propaganda war is a desperate fight for its own existence

How could something as big and powerful as the oil industry be in trouble, you may wonder. Well here is how.

The oil industry is part of a complex system characterized by hard, fixed assets that cannot be easily moved, modified, or ignored. The oil flows through this system of wells, pipelines, ships, trains, refineries, gas stations, etc. More volume means lower unit costs, higher profit. But what if the volume falls below what is profitable? The answer is money-losing assets which are only usable for oil and have no buyers.

Consequently, even though oil is more expensive to extract every day, they have to keep seeking more and more. This will continue until collapse.

At the same time, the oil industry is besieged on other fronts. People are demanding action on climate. Legislation restricting the burning of fossil-fuel could convert much of the oil currently being counted as reserves (assets) as only resources (non-assets). Actually most governments have already agreed to such a goal. see http://www.carbontracker.org/carbonbubble

In addition, in Europe and North America, more people are using public transit and demanding better service. Many can no longer afford the car culture.

Investors are getting nervous. The amount of new fixed capital to get a little more oil is daunting. See this linked article by Kurt Cobb for more on this:
Resource Insights: The hype cycle: How the oil and gas industry manipulates investors and the public: "Prepare yourself for another hype cycle in the U.S. oil and gas industry. "

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Why #freetransit?

Our complex society is made up of systems. Many of these systems, autosprawl, for one example, consist of fixed, hard, assets that cannot quickly be changed: oil fields, refineries, tankers, highways, cul-de-sacs, automobile manufacturing plants, and much more.

In order for a system to return economy-of-scale, there must be a significant use of that system -- critical mass.

This system is based on waste -- the auto is intuitively a wasteful way to move people -- and the system generates waste -- each single home in the cul-de-sac must have its own lawn-mower, ping-pong table, leaf blower, etc.

So how does a wasteful system maintain critical mass? By subsidy, no other way. The costs the the system are ignored, deferred, passed to the taxpayer, the biosphere, or the future.

Cheap oil has peaked, climate change is here, and the bill for such waste is due.

Why do we advocate free public transit? Because it does two things. It reduces demand for oil more quickly than it can be replaced. This will take money and hence political power away from the oil industry. Second, it directly addresses the critical mass of the autosprawl system. When public transit is free, people will move to urban areas, sell their cars, and demand that cities be clean and safe. The auto will become a niche item. No one will want to spend millions on superhighways for a handful of cars.

While alternative fuels are important, we should keep in mind that putting solar panels on sprawl may extend its life and allow autosprawl to retain critical mass longer than what is safe for the biosphere.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Why We Drive: The Past, Present, and Future of Automobiles in America - Andy Singer

Amazon.com: Taking the position that America’s love affair with cars and highways is not a cultural phenomenon but a problem of entrenched economic and political forces, this manifesto chronicles the rise of the U.S. highway system from its orchestrated genesis to our current alarming reliance on automobiles. With a format that incorporates a blend of cartoons, historic photographs and minimal text, this handbook reveals the players, the money and the politics that have led to our petroleum dependence and endless miles of asphalt. It begins by analyzing the environmental impact of driving and ends by offering a blueprint for rebuilding a more sustainable transportation system that could save American cities and the planet.

International conference on free public transport, Tallinn, Estonia, 22-24 August 2013

Fare-Free New Zealand: "The 150 participants registered in the summer school taking place in Tallinn University include regional, state and European level planners of politics, members of non-governmental associations, experts and representatives of interest groups who are fascinated by the closely intertwined issues of transportation, environment, social cohesion, economy, budget and spatial planning.

Foreign journalists from China, Russia, New Zealand, South Korea and various countries of the European Union shall also take part."

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

JH Kunstler and Richard Heinberg: "We have to stop living like Beverly Hillbillies"

"Thu, 8 August 2013 - Snake Oil: Richard Heinberg on the Great Shale Snooker
JHK yaks with Richard Heinberg about his new book, Snake Oil: How Fracking's False Promises of Plenty Imperils Our Future. Richard is also the author of the great peak oil primer, The Party's Over, and many other books about the converging dilemma's of our time, including Peak Everything and The End of Growth. He's a founder and senior fellow of the Post Carbon Institute.
The KunstlerCast music is called “Adam and Ali’s Waltz” from the recording Waiting to Fly by Mike and Ali Vass.

Click here to listen

Saturday, August 10, 2013

The Third Carbon Age: How To Fry A Planet

Michael T. Klare: "For all President Obama’s talk of a green technology revolution, we remain deeply entrenched in a world dominated by fossil fuels, with the only true revolution now underway involving the shift from one class of such fuels to another. Without a doubt, this is a formula for global catastrophe. To survive this era, humanity must become much smarter about this new kind of energy and then take the steps necessary to compress the third carbon era and hasten in the Age of Renewables before we burn ourselves off this planet."

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Tired of hearing about #peakoil? Get over it, it's not going away.

We will be brief:
  • Peak oil is here. It peaked in 2005 as predicted. Data manipulated since then.
  • Peak oil hurts. People are suffering right now. Corporate media doesn't connect the dots.
  • Peak oil pain now and future will not be fair. Those with no voice suffer most.
  • Peak oil is about supply. The idea of peak demand is a hoax.
What to do:
  • Stop wasting oil on cars.
  • Stop wasting coal on sprawl.
  • Stop subsidizing waste.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

International Energy Agency manipulated oil supply numbers to please "the Americans."

The Guardian: ""Many inside the organisation believe that maintaining oil supplies at even 90m to 95m barrels a day would be impossible but there are fears that panic could spread on the financial markets if the figures were brought down further. And the Americans fear the end of oil supremacy because it would threaten their power over access to oil resources," he added.

A second senior IEA source, who has now left but was also unwilling to give his name, said a key rule at the organisation was that it was "imperative not to anger the Americans" but the fact was that there was not as much oil in the world as had been admitted. "We have [already] entered the 'peak oil' zone. I think that the situation is really bad," he added."

Petroleum Truth Report: Shale Plays Not Working For Big Oil

Petroleum Truth Report: Shale Plays Not Working For Big Oil: "I believe that we are seeing the slow liquidation of these organizations but they cannot let the investment public know that this is what is occurring, hence the cornucopian rhetoric about the shale revolution and North American beoming the next Saudi Arabia--pure poppycock, of course.  Will the recent write-downs and announcements affect investors?  Probably not for now."

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Oil #peakdemand is latest propaganda, don't fall for it

The London Economist recently published a very sneaky new attack on #degrowth. A thinly disguised cornucopian, gas-as-bridge, piece of propaganda. The unwary reader will come away with a relieved smile and thoughts of plenty. Suddenly this is the talk of the chattering classes. Even some Stanford scientists are on board, to their eternal shame.
It is true that oil demand has been falling in rich countries, mainly due to recession. But this decline is more than made up by demand growth elsewhere. Humans add 70 million people a year to the world.

Don't fall for the lies of cornucopians. They are just trying to squeeze the last profits before collapse. The longer they delay action, the harder the fall.

How much #degrowth is enough? This video does the numbers

Friday, August 2, 2013

IEA: Two-thirds of fossil fuels cannot be burned

The Irish Times - Wed, Jun 12, 2013: "About two-thirds of all proven reserves of oil, gas and coal will have to be left undeveloped if the world is to achieve the goal of limiting global warming at two degrees Celsius, according to the chief economist at the International Energy Agency."

Buying cornucopian snake oil could mean the end of civilization

Grist: "We are starting the energy transition project of the 21st century far too late to altogether avert either devastating climate impacts or serious energy supply problems, but the alternative — continued reliance on fossil fuels — will ensure a future far worse, one in which even the bare survival of civilization may be in question. As we build our needed renewable energy system, we will also need to build a new kind of economy, and we must make our communities far more resilient, so as to withstand environmental and economic shocks that are inevitably on their way.

Meanwhile the fossil fuel industry is doing everything it can to convince us we don’t have to do anything at all — other than simply keep on driving...."

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Supply-side environmentalism will fail, because #itsthedemand

Let's say a solar project uses x units of energy. That project is promoted as "saving" x units of fossil fuel. But the x units that were not purchased on the fossil fuel market are now available for purchase for another use. This means that the solar project has either 1. allowed more growth with no change to fossil fuel use, or 2. has freed up x units of fossil fuel energy for use, reducing pressure for price increases.

In either case, nothing was done to reduce demand for energy.

As long as humans believe that growth is good, there will be strong demand for energy, and higher net energy sources will be used first. As long as there is demand, all efficiencies will be consumed per the Jevons principle.

What to do? First let's decide what best reduces demand. Then, let's ask how to get there with the least pain for the 99 percent.

Why free transit?

The current autosprawl system, which is spreading like cancer around the world, is heavily subsidized by deferring costs and externalizing them from corporate balance sheets and passing them to the taxpayer, the biosphere, and the future. This subsidy allows demand to grow. It is false demand.

But this system has an Achilles heel. It depends on a consumer product, the private auto, having critical mass as the mode of human transport. Free buses are the main thing that can break this critical mass. Once broken, cars will lose economy of scale, and the subsidy will be seen as subsidy, and not as necessity.

We can then redirect the resources wasted on autosprawl subsidy to making cities attractive. We can provide more services such as education and health more easily with the economies of urban density. Carfree cities with good education and health services will cause birth rates to drop.

Demand-side environmentalism is the key to the future.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Fare increases for public transport are self-defeating

Scoop News: "Today's revelation of fare increases proposed for Auckland buses after the rollout of Auckland Transport’s Hop card are particularly senseless and self-defeating.

This proposal will INCREASE traffic congestion as passengers swap to their cars to avoid the higher fares – up to three times as much in some cases.

It’s a senseless proposal and the opposite of what Auckland Transport should be doing.

We could end transport congestion in less than 12 months and at half the cost of new roads with Minto for Mayor’s plans for free and frequent public transport.

At the moment we have two bad alternatives – expensive travel by bus or car.

However making buses and trains fare-free will give Aucklanders two great choices – either take a free bus or train with free wifi or drive your car on a congestion-free road.

The road to the future is with Minto for Mayor."

Saturday, July 27, 2013

The peak demand fantasy

fcnp.com: "There is considerable discussion in energy optimist circles these days about how “peak demand” might occur, thereby slowing oil production to some kind of false peak. This of course is always tied to the increased efficiency with which we use oil and not to economic hard times during which fewer will be able to afford the increasingly expensive stuff. No one ever mentions the circa 70 million people that are being added to the world’s population each year who might like a little energy in their lives."
Can increased efficiency, or renewables reduce oil demand enough to ease the pressure on supply? So far, there has been no sign of it. Demand destruction has only happened due to economic recession. That is simply the effect of the correctly predicted peak of cheap oil in 2005.

And as long as capitalism continues, and population grows, demand for any energy will continue. What happens when that demand cannot be satisfied? We already know. Economic recession, mass unemployment, homelessness.

That leaves the question. Will there be a hard crash? The answer is that crashes come from bubbles being ignored. Right now, a new bubble of oil supply optimism is being inflated. The longer the bubble goes, the harder the crash.

Is there a solution? Yes.

make public transit fare free
make cities attractive, car-free, and safe
educate all children

This will cause birth rates to fall.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Growing global energy demand will negate all progress on #climatechange

Peak Oil News and Message Boards: "Global energy consumption will grow by 56 percent between 2010 and 2040, according to the report, released Thursday by the US Energy Information Administration (EIA). Renewable and nuclear energy are projected to grow the fastest, but fossil fuels will continue to dominate, making up 80 percent of world energy use through 2040.

...The result is increasing emissions. Worldwide, energy-related carbon dioxide emissions will rise from about 31 billion metric tons in 2010 to 36 billion metric tons in 2020, according to EIA, and then to 45 billion metric tons in 2040. That’s a 46 percent increase over 30 years."