Monday, March 31, 2014

Free is cheaper #freeischeaper

It is cheaper to run buses fare-free than to charge fares:
  • costs of collecting fares and preventing dodging are a large percent of amount collected
  • fares reduce ridership -- increasing the cost of moving each person
  • costs to a city of people not riding are more than the costs of riding
  • transit riders already pay more to subsidize auto drivers than vice versa
  • fares promote inequality, discriminating against those whose are unable to drive

Saturday, March 29, 2014

What does #climatechange look like? "Bangladesh, with its low elevation and severe tropical storms, is among the countries most vulnerable to the effects of climate change, though it has contributed little to the emissions that are driving it. Credit Kadir van Lohuizen for The New York Times"

Fitch Ratings: Failure to Invest in Transit Could Hurt the Whole Economy

Streetsblog USA: "One of the country’s leading financial ratings agencies is warning that if America doesn’t change how it invests in transit, the whole economy could suffer."

Friday, March 28, 2014

CHP candidate Sarıgül vows to bring free transportation to many in Istanbul

hurriyetdailynews : "The main opposition Republican People’s Party’s (CHP) Istanbul mayoral candidate, Mustafa Sarıgül, has vowed to make public transportation free of charge for students, teachers, disabled people and elderly people in the city.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

The biggest threat to business is capitalism

Most people think of business and providing a product or service that people need while providing jobs and of course happily paying taxes to prepare the next generation of workers to be healthy, educated, and mobile.

Reality is much different. Businesses are quickly absorbed into chains, loaded with debt, or liquidated. Entrepreneurs often find themselves in a situation of can't-sell/can't-make-money.

Banks are roaming the globe like old-west train robbers, looking for suckers to enslave with debt. Instead of horseback, they ride on free trade agreements, and when they need guns, their politicians oblige.

They privatize public services. No more public support for a healthy, educated, mobile work force. That's someone else's problem.

You can do something. Localize. Stop sending money out of town. Reduce the use of cars. Appealing to national governments is a waste of time.

Capitalism has collapsed, taxpayers keeping it on life-support

New Report: Fortune 100 Companies Have Received a Whopping $1.2 Trillion in Corporate Welfare Recently | Alternet: " And what they found is shocking: between 2000 and 2012, the top Fortune 100 companies received $1.2 trillion from the government. That doesn't include all the billions of dollars doled out to housing, auto and banking enterprises in 2008-2009, nor does it include ethanol subsidies to agribusiness or tax breaks for wind turbine makers. "

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Population debate misses the point, on purpose.

Population talk is taboo. Why? Simple reason. Falling birth rate threatens capitalism.

Sure, there are conspiracy theories about genocidal ambitions of "developed" countries against the undeveloped. But why does one need a conspiracy theory. The exploitation and murder of the southern hemisphere are noted even in the corporate media.

Urbanization means falling birth rate. The extra child means more field hands in the country, but another mouth to feed in the city.

Make cities attractive. Remove cars. This will solve the "population problem."

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

How Transit Pays for the Automobile’s Sins

Dial-a-ride - Photo City of Delano
Streetsblog USA: "But here’s the thing. Comparing spending on transit with spending on highways per trip or per mile is an inherently misleading exercise. In part, that is because it fails to recognize an important fact: Much of the transit service we provide in the United States is designed specifically to cover for the failures of our lavishly subsidized car-centered transportation system."

Monday, March 24, 2014

The wages of sprawl

Landslide Kills 8 People In Washington As Climate Change Makes Them More Likely In The Future | ThinkProgress: "A fatal landslide on Saturday morning tore down a small community in northwest Washington state, killing at least eight people."

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Legislation introduced for #freetransit in Trento, Italy

Free Public Transport: "The main objectives of the law so far discussed are:

- Drastic reduction of motorized private transport and pollution;
- Promotion of local public transport and mass transit;
- No charge of public transport;
- Participation of the citizenship policies of mobility;
- Establishment of a system of priority investments in sustainable mobility;
- Planning and reorganization of the system of provincial mobility;
- Reduction of financial costs, social and environmental aspects of current mobility."

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

End of cheap oil presents an opportunity to reject competition and save our species

by @nafeezahmed "The new emerging paradigm is premised on a fundamentally different ethos, in which we see ourselves not as disconnected, competing units fixated on maximising consumerist conquest over one another; but as interdependent members of a single human family."

Monday, March 17, 2014

Greenland Ice Melt ‘Accelerating,’ Climate Change Awakens ‘Sleeping Giant’

ibtimes : "The ice melt in the northeast region of Greenland is particularly troubling because the ice stream there, known as Zachariae, stretches more than 370 miles into the island’s center where it joins the heart of Greenland’s ice reservoir. This “river” carries melting ice water from Greenland’s interior to the oceans.

"The Greenland ice sheet has contributed more than any other ice mass to sea-level rise over the last two decades and has the potential, if it were completely melted to raise global sea level by more than seven meters,” Jonathan Bamber, a professor at Britain's University of Bristol, told AFP."

Need more room in your city? Get rid of cars.

Streetsblog Network: "This is what we mean when we say cars are not "spatially efficient""

Subways are used as a weapon against #publictransit.

Subways send people underground to make room for private autos on the street above. In addition, subways are extremely expensive and use up public transit funds which are hard to get through political systems dominated by friends of oil, auto, and sprawl. Subways encourage long commutes.

Fare-Free New Zealand: ""Our idea, however, has been discarded by the city in place of a costly subway construction project and we're still trying to find out why," said Ghidini."
If you reduce or eliminate cars from your city, you will have plenty of room for buses and light rail. New subway construction will not be needed.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Shale gas and oil boom "not a revolution; it's a retirement party."

North Denver News: "The majors have shown that they cannot replace reserves. They talk about return on capital employed (ROCE) these days instead of reserve replacement and production growth because there is nothing to talk about there. Shale plays are part of the ROCE story–shale wells can be drilled and brought on production fairly quickly and this masks or smoothes out the non-productive capital languishing in big projects around the world like Kashagan and Gorgon, which are going sideways whilst eating up billions of dollars.

None of this is meant to be negative. I’m all for shale plays but let’s be honest about things, after all! Production from shale is not a revolution; it’s a retirement party."

Friday, March 14, 2014

Follow the net energy

Energy comes to us from the sun, some is stored temporarily, all eventually dissipates. We capture and use it for life as it dissipates. It takes energy to capture and use energy. The ratio of useful energy to to the amount for capture and use is net energy.

In calculating net energy for fossil fuel, economists usually do not count all the costs. Many costs such as health damage, climate disruption, waste disposal, clean up, and resource depletion are ignored. It is likely that if the full costs of the Canada tarsands were calculated, we would find the net energy ratio to be less than 1. That means that we spend more energy than we get. Why do it? Because we want the energy in a liquid form.

The liquid fuel problem has us literally eating and riding on net energy that is not only lower than we thought, but at the same time falling due to increasing extraction costs.

A lot of so-called solutions are being offered. Most of them are attempts to pass the pain to the powerless, such as exporting pollution to poor areas, or cutting social spending and such. The goal of these is to preserve the current system as long as possible. We do not have time to waste on wrong solutions.

What are the characteristics of solutions take us in the right direction?

must be doable now
must reduce energy use or waste
must have the support and engagement of millions of people
must lead to a smaller human footprint on earth

Thursday, March 13, 2014

DOT Report on Infrastructure Needs Overstates Future Increases in Driving

A post-automobile world : " For nine years in a row Americans have decreased their average driving miles. We haven’t seen an annual increase of even one percent in total vehicle miles since 2004. Yet, US DOT forecasts that total vehicle miles will increase between 1.36 percent to 1.85 percent each year through 2030."

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Investment in #publictransit saves money for middle class

The Week: "Dumping more funds into mass transit could alleviate the burden of transportation costs. Between 2000 and 2009, median income families living in areas with diverse transportation options saved $200 per month in transportation costs compared to similar families in less-transit-friendly areas, according to the Department of Housing and Urban Development."

Monday, March 10, 2014

Oil industry propaganda cannot defy gravity much longer

This video explains how the US oil production increase is very short-term and will only make the long crash worse, and how the US federal government is of no help. However, when it comes to solutions, peak prosperity is fixated on the "cost of pensions" and has a blind spot for the cost of autosprawl subsidy.

What if the trillions being pumped into the obsolete autosprawl system were locally redirected to local farming and sharing schemes. Is this possible? Yes. Here is how to do it. Make the buses fare-free in your town. Gradually abolish the need for the private auto. People will move to town and give up their cars. Farmers can retake the suburbs.

Use the savings from abolishing car welfare to educate all children. Birthrate will drop.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Right wing economists can't see the low-hanging fruit, the private auto.

Reasons for our Energy Predicament – An Overview | Our Finite World: "A lot of “peak oilers” would like to think that somehow it is possible to “get off at the mezzanine,” and have a viable economy similar to today’s with a small amount of expensive renewables, plus a continuing supply of fossil fuels. I have a hard time seeing this actually happen. One problem is the likelihood that fossil fuel supply will decline quickly because of low price. Another potential problem is a major cutback in credit availability making transactions difficult; a third issue is governmental problems, as taxes fall short of what is needed to fund programs."
This writer is brilliant, but not completely correct. It is actually possible to mitigate collapse. We say mitigate, because collapse is already ongoing for millions of people. If the private auto were abolished, as fast as practicable, there would be such a savings it would make the conventional economist's head spin.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Waiting for collapse? It is well under way, turn off the TV

Post peak countries: the collapse of Yemen: "What is perhaps most startling of the news that you read on the "Yemen Times" is that crude oil is rarely mentioned - except to say that everything is fine and production will soon increase. It seems that the real reason of collapse must remain hidden from those who are experiencing it. Yemen, surely, is not the only case."

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

People of Ukraine caught in energy war - their legitimate grievances used by big powers

What natural gas has to do with conflict in Ukraine | "But Russia isn't the only country with natural gas. Why can't Europe just get natural gas from someone else? Like the U.S., for example?

Because, unlike oil, shipping natural gas is expensive and extremely labor intensive. It has to be liquified.

"The reason that natural gas is primarily a continental market is because it’s pretty cheap to move it through pipelines, but it’s very expensive to liquefy it and ship it by tanker," explains James Bushnell, an economist at The University of California, Davis.

Russia's natural gas pipeline to Europe goes through Ukraine."

Sure-fire way to stop #kxl type pipelines. Reduce demand.

Here are the youth pointing to the future. Since this campaign for free public transport started in Poland, 11 towns have adopted it and 3 are planning to do so. If all the anti-pipeline effort were put into establishing free transit we could stop the kxl and all future pipelines.

Don't try to stop transport of oil, just stop buying oil. 

Monday, March 3, 2014

Cars move 10% of commuters, but create 75% of pollution

Hitting The Poor, Pampering The Rich - Kashmir Times: "Cars, which account for less than 10 percent of commuter trips in Indian cities, contribute roughly three-fourths of the urban air-pollution load. Car sales have been rising by 10 percent or more every year for the past two decades.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

All the tools you need to be a #publictransit advocate

Voices for Public Transit - APTA - Advocate: "Whether you ride or not, public transportation benefits all of us. It reduces pollution, eases traffic congestion, and helps our communities thrive. In cities, suburbs, and rural America, public transit provides vital connections to jobs, education, medical care, and our larger communities."

USA went from streetcars to cars by force, not via the "free" market

Taken for a Ride: "Why does America have the worst public transit in the industrialized world, and the most freeways? Taken for a Ride reveals the tragic and little known story of an auto and oil industry campaign, led by General Motors, to buy and dismantle streetcar lines. Across the nation, tracks were torn up, sometimes overnight, and diesel buses placed on city streets. The highway lobby then pushed through Congress a vast network of urban freeways that doubled the cost of the Interstates, fueled suburban development, increased auto dependence, and elicited passionate opposition. "