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 "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 "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 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."