Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Ocean warming threatens our oxygen supply

TakePart : "Marine plants such as phytoplankton are estimated to produce more than half the Earth’s atmospheric oxygen, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. For the study, Sergei Petrovskii, an applied mathematics professor at the University of Leicester in the United Kingdom, calculated how unrestrained global warming could affect phytoplankton and thus the ocean’s ability to generate breathable air. He ran computer models that looked at what would happen to phytoplankton’s ability to photosynthesize at different temperatures."

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

More welfare for cars planned. #kickcarsoffwelfare

Plan to switch cars from oil to electric is a cover for massive #autosprawlsubsidy. Cars generate sprawl and growth regardless of what they burn.
Carlos Ghosn: It's time to get serious about getting the carbon out of our cars: "
The number of vehicles on the world’s roads will more than double from about 800 million today to more than 2 billion by 2050. We cannot continue to rely on fossil fuels to power those vehicles if we are going to avoid the worst effects of climate change.
...Just as significantly, governments around the world are helping stimulate EV demand with various incentives, from cash for trading in old, polluting cars, to free parking and EV access to bus and high-occupancy lanes. The industry is committed to advocating for these and other policies that place a priority on greenhouse gas reduction, including better urban planning that reduces travel growth."

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Cars already choking our cities, but industry plans to sell millions more

degrowth.de: " is there really anybody who wants to live on a planet that is slowly but surely being choked by cars? Over the last ten years, global car production has almost doubled from 44,554,268 in 2004 to 87,037,611 in 2014. According to recent projections, the total number of cars on earth will increase from 1,2 billions in 2014 to about 2 billions in 2035. The environmental and social impacts of such growth rates cannot be simply compensated by technological solutions, even if all cars were electric and ran on renewable energies. In average, the production of a car causes as many emissions as its (petrol-fueled) usage over the whole lifetime."

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Try to imagine your town with no cars

resilience: "The adverse impact of our car-centeredness on the living conditions in the world’s cities is yet another issue hardly ever considered. The massive amount of urban space that cars and their road structures require, the noise that they make and the danger they pose on pedestrians, especially children, are heavily underestimated stress-factors severely affecting our well-being. "

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Richest 10 per cent ‘produce half the world’s CO2 emissions

The Independent : "The richest tenth of the world’s population produce half the CO2 emissions, while the poorest half generate just 10 per cent of them, the Oxfam report says."

Friday, December 4, 2015

US Congress votes to continue #autosprawlsubsidy

The Washington Post: "Congress did not embrace the obvious solution. Instead, lawmakers resorted to a variety of gimmicks, one-time funding sources and flat-out bad policies to raise the $70 billion they needed to supplement revenue from a frozen gas tax."

Why cooler heads are not prevailing

More bombing ... for what?

There are several problems. Financial debt. Infrastructure. Ecological debt.

Ecological debt is what the common people are worried about. Humans have over-used the biosphere and are in grave danger. Seems obvious that to address this would be first. But all we get are charades like COP21.

Financial debt. This is a problem for the elites. We can erase with a keystroke and not miss it.

Infrastructure. Here is the real reason we get nothing but bombing. The world economic system is dependent on liquid fuel and becoming more so. Meanwhile that fuel is costing more energy. But the infrastructure is so massive: tankers, refineries, suburbs, pipelines, highways, and such, that undoing it is a major task. No group of elites is willing to risk losing power by engaging this task.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Sunday, November 29, 2015

By way of assiduous research, academics discover that destroying the biosphere is profitable

Are the 1% eating the planet? (Alex Cobham): "The paper’s parting shot is to note that HNWIs’ investment behaviour, on which even less data seems likely to be readily available, may actually represent the greater part of their footprint."

Capitalists plan to pave Africa to as a way to address #climate. Not a joke.

un.org : "At the Sustainable Development Summit held at the United Nations in New York in September, various African leaders forcefully made the case for a strong climate change agreement in Paris. They said extreme weather variations on the continent had led to devastating human costs, affecting livelihoods. Taking action to address climate change is essential for promoting sustainable development, the leaders told the UN, as they joined in adopting a new global agenda — the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) — to end poverty, promote prosperity and protect the environment."


Friday, November 27, 2015

While cars waste energy, people have to go without

PoliticsHome.com: "One in two low income households are struggling to afford their energy costs, despite being in work, according to new research by Turn2us, a UK charity which helps people in financial hardship gain access to welfare benefits, charitable grants and other financial help.

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

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

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

Monday, November 23, 2015

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

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

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

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

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Renewables vs Degrowth

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

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

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

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

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Around the world, fossil-fuels collecting huge welfare checks

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


Wednesday, November 18, 2015

West out of spies

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

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

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

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

Sunday, November 15, 2015

What did we do to be so viciously attacked?

The so-called civilized world has done what?

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

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


Saturday, November 14, 2015

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

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

Monday, November 9, 2015

Lower health costs with #publictransit -- #freeischeaper

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



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

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Pro-Transit Ballot Initiatives Continue Track Record of Success

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


Friday, November 6, 2015

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

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



Emphasis added.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Oil-industry #climate delayers did their job well. Human race lost many crucial years due to intentional disinformation.

TheHill: "It may be hard to accept, but a single company may have set back all of humanity.

Had Exxon Mobil listened to its own scientists rather than spread disinformation on climate change, the world might not have wasted three crucial decades during which global warming went from a prediction to a fact."


Wednesday, November 4, 2015

US vs Islam

People who were around in the 1950's in the US will remember that Islam was just another religion then. Saudi Arabia was a good friend--only lightly criticized occasionally.

Then, in 1970, US oil production peaked.

Since then, the US has waged a constant and escalating war on Islam.

But Islam is fighting back, and the old 9/11 false flag is getting tattered. What to do. Well, the corporate media frame is: "Islam is brutal! "Now the US has to "save the Yezidis." Huh? A tribe that Americans have never heard of, that just happens to live on top of the largest remaining reserve of easy-to-get oil. Don't think too many took that seriously.

Islam, in the face of global economic and climate collapse, is offering a path to heaven.


The US is offering? What? End brutality by bombing hospitals?

Another path is possible. The US could make urban buses and trams fare-free. What would happen? Immediately demand for oil would drop. The oil industry would lose customers. People would find cities more desirable, with room for permaculture. The birth rate would fall faster, meaning less energy converted to heat. US would be a shining example to the world.

photo from twitter

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Oops! Low oil prices are related to a debt bubble

Our Finite World: "Why is the price of oil so low now? In fact, why are all commodity prices so low? I see the problem as being an affordability issue that has been hidden by a growing debt bubble. As this debt bubble has expanded, it has kept the sales prices of commodities up with the cost of extraction (Figure 1), even though wages have not been rising as fast as commodity prices since about the year 2000."

Monday, November 2, 2015

Islamic State threatens oil. The forbidden topic on corporate media.

RT Business: "The IS advance has resulted in Iraq losing up to 400,000 barrels of oil daily, said the Iraq Oil Ministry spokesman Assem Jihad in an interview with the Sputnik news agency.
"The Islamic State destroyed Iraqi oil enterprises and pipelines…causing damage estimated at billions of dollars. Iraq has been losing 300,000-400,000 barrels of oil daily due to IS actions," said Jihad.

...According to the OPEC Monthly Oil Market Report, Iraq produced 4.14 million barrels per day in September. The country is the cartel's second biggest crude producer after Saudi Arabia."

Friday, October 30, 2015

Even ignoring externalities, cars are heavily subsidized

Planetizen: : "Perhaps more commonly understood is that the direct costs of vehicle use—namely, the maintenance and construction of roads—is covered by gasoline taxes. A new report from the Frontier Group—in partnership with the U.S. PIRG Education Fund—cracks this myth wide open. The price paid by car drivers does not come close to covering even the direct costs of road use."

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Corporations Undermined Public Transportation

Dissident Voice: "But the biggest automotive scandal was much worse than the smog alliance. It was a conspiracy that changed the face of urban landscapes across North America. In 1922, Alfred P. Sloan, head of General Motors, created a working group charged with undermining and replacing the electric trolley. The group’s first act was to launch a bus line that arrived a minute before the streetcar and followed the same route. The trolley line soon shut down. At the time, there were hundreds of trolley lines in Los Angeles so it was not particularly noteworthy when one shut down. But it was a harbinger of things to come."

Saturday, October 24, 2015

World set to lose fifth of remaining natural habitat

Dev.Net: "The world could lose a fifth of its remaining natural habitat by 2050 through population growth if current trends in land use continue unabated, a study warns.
 
The effects of population growth on land use will be particularly dire in Africa and South America because of increases in agriculture, mining and urban sprawl, according to an analysis published this month (7 October) in PLOS One.
 
The world’s population is predicted to soar to 9.6 billion by mid-century, increasing demand for resources, the study says. “This is an issue that is global in nature and potentially rivals other global conservation issues like climate change,” says Joe Kiesecker, an ecologist at US charity the Nature Conservancy and one of the study authors."

Friday, October 23, 2015

Cheap-oil party is over, and the bill is now due

By @kurtcobb Resource Insights: Goldilocks and the three prices of oil: "Now, oil demand actually went up somewhat in the face of recent lower prices. But if Tverberg's thesis is correct, then demand won't hold up when the economy sinks into a recession or stalls close to zero growth. If the world economy shrinks or merely stalls, as it now appears to be doing, we may be in for a long stagnation for other reasons as the world works off debt built up previously in a long 30-year credit boom.
...Of course, we could rework our infrastructure and daily practices to use less oil or even to begin to phase it out altogether...."

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Want #degrowth? Good #publictransit and low fertility rates go together

Cities with good public transit are more attractive. When people move to the city they don't need more farmhands in the family, and good education is more important than many children. Lowest fertility rates in the world associated with urbanization and good public transit.

These areas have the lowest fertility rates in the world. They also have some of the most extensive public transit coverage. 

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Malta studying #freetransit proposal to fight traffic congestion

MaltaToday : "Piscopo told MaltaToday that “it is an interesting proposal that Transport Malta will actively look into”.
Parliament had recently discussed the ever increasing traffic problem and the lack of traffic management, following a motion filed by the PN.
According to the PN, daily traffic congestions – both in the morning and afternoon – were the source of inconvenience for businesses, and was reducing competitiveness, increasing environment, social, health, logistical and mobility problems."

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Replace the suburban dream with #carfree cities

You can't tell people not to want a better life. But you can show them one. If cities were carfree, there would be more room, less noise, and better air. People would want to live there.

When people move to the city, they find that having more farmhands is no longer an issue. Education, they find, is the way to a better life.

Voila, falling birth rates. Degrowth.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Renewables promote growth, do not replace fossil fuels

The problem is growth. Renewable energy sources are just more fuel on the fire. They do not reduce fossil-fuel use.

carbonbrief: "The rapid rise of renewables has been somewhat overshadowed, though, by huge increases in global energy demand in recent decades (chart, below)."

Friday, October 9, 2015

Continued growth impossible - REGARDLESS of energy source

Do the Math: "...Let me restate that important point. No matter what the technology, a sustained 2.3% energy growth rate would require us to produce as much energy as the entire sun within 1400 years. A word of warning: that power plant is going to run a little warm. Thermodynamics require that if we generated sun-comparable power on Earth, the surface of the Earth—being smaller than that of the sun—would have to be hotter than the surface of the sun!

...Chiefly, continued energy growth will likely be unnecessary if the human population stabilizes. At least the 2.9% energy growth rate we have experienced should ease off as the world saturates with people. But let’s not overlook the key point: continued growth in energy use becomes physically impossible within conceivable timeframes. "

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Can Economic Growth Last?

World economic growth for the previous century, expressed in constant 1990 dollars. For the first half of the century, the economy tracked the 2.9% energy growth rate very well, but has since increased to a 5% growth rate, outstripping the energy growth rate.

Do the Math: " I have used physical analysis to argue that sustained economic growth in the long term is fantastical. Maybe for some, this is stating the obvious. After all, Adam Smith imagined a 200-year phase of economic growth followed by a steady state.  But our mentality is currently centered on growth. Our economic systems rely on growth for investment, loans, and interest to make any sense. If we don’t deliberately put ourselves onto a steady state trajectory, we risk a complete and unchoreographed collapse of our economic institutions."

The private auto is a war on the poor, a killing machine in so many ways

The Washington Post: "Traffic fatalities in the United States have been plummeting for years, a major victory for regulation (strict drunken driving laws have helped) and auto innovation (we have safer cars). But that progress obscures a surprising type of inequality: The most disadvantaged are more likely — and have grown even more likely over time — to die in car crashes than people who are well-off."

Monday, October 5, 2015

Brookings Institution sums up the growth position very succintly

Brookings Institution: "With the world’s population forecast to rise by 1.6 billion people by 2035, do we really think global oil demand won’t continue to rise? While I recognize that we must do everything to limit the growing use of fossil fuels to attack climate change, do we really have no moral obligation to help countries emerge from poverty, which will almost certainly involve continued use of fossil fuels?"
This is the growth position well stated:
  • We need more oil to "help poor people"
  • The fact that our system wastes oil is not worth mentioning
And later on, a key point
  • If US doesn't drill in the arctic, Russia will
  • Also not worth mentioning... encourage falling birth rate
The article is right about one thing. With business-as-usual, liquid fuel shortages are imminent.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

First 'car-free' day in Paris sees massive drop in pollution and noise

road.cc: "Airparif, which measures city pollution levels, said levels of nitrogen dioxide dropped by up to 40% in parts of the city on Sunday 27 September - and there was almost one-third less nitrogen dioxide pollution on the busy Champs Elyées than on a similar Sunday.

Bruitparif, which measures noise, said sound levels dropped by half in the city centre.

...City mayor Anne Hidalgo said on Twitter: “We might envisage days without cars more often … perhaps even once a month.”"

Friday, October 2, 2015

How much would #freetransit cost the US?

To replace revenue lost by ending fares would be about $100 per year per person in areas served added to current public transit budgets. A one-percent saving in a handful of areas such as health costs, collisions, and traffic congestion would more than cover this amount. See free-is-cheaper.

The benefits would start immediately with reduced traffic congestion, cleaner air, fewer collisions, more exercise, etc. See 100 reasons.

Ridership would increase, so this number would go up to pay for more equipment and service. At the same time the benefits would also increase.

What is the cost of NOT removing fares, in other words, continuing to restrict use of public transit? More spent on cars leads to more cars--an increase in public cost, with no benefit to the public. A subsidy to private profit.

Think of it this way. Adding insulation to a poorly insulated house in a cold climate gives the immediate benefit of comfort, lower costs, and public benefits from reduced waste of energy. But encouraging more cars is like ripping out the insulation that you already have, increasing costs and waste.


Tuesday, September 29, 2015

All world powers now united in the cause of wasting energy on cars

UN summit gathers all the kings horses and all the kings men. They have been terrorizing people for years to steal oil. Now they are getting a little pushback and can't handle it. The irony is, when they get the oil, they waste in on cars. Human progress? It's pathetic. How about just stop the waste first?

Monday, September 28, 2015

The collapse of Saudi Arabia is inevitable - via @nafeezahmed

Middle East Eye: "....They were right. From 2005 to 2015, Saudi net exports have experienced an annual decline rate of 1.4 percent, within the range predicted by Brown and Foucher. A report by Citigroup recently predicted that net exports would plummet to zero in the next 15 years.

...About a quarter of the Saudi population lives in poverty. Unemployment is at about 12 percent, and affects mostly young people – 30 percent of whom are unemployed.

Climate change is pitched to heighten the country’s economic problems, especially in relation to food and water.

...Yet the Saudi government has decided that rather than learning lessons from the hubris of its neighbours, it won’t wait for war to come home – but will readily export war in the region in a madcap bid to extend its geopolitical hegemony and prolong its petro-dominance."

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Falling net-energy, money-printing cannot stop its fall

Resource Insights: "But hidden from the view of most is the role that increasingly expensive energy has played since the beginning of this century in slowing economic growth. The shorthand way of understanding this is that in the last century we extracted all the easy-to-get fossil fuels. Now we are going after the hard-to-get remainder which are costly to extract. That takes resources away from the energy-consuming part of the economy and creates a drag on economic growth. Hence, a dramatically slower economy in 2015 after four years of record or near record average daily prices for the most critical fossil fuel, oil. (The recent drop in oil prices is primarily a reflection of slowing demand that comes from a slowing economy.)"

Saturday, September 26, 2015

How corporate media spin works with #publictransit

Just a quick look at this article and the spin is obvious. The theme is: oh, if only poor people could have more buses, they could "escape poverty." As if poverty were some sort of disease that mysteriously appears from nowhere and traps people. Actually, what traps people is the subsidized autosprawl system that was forced upon them and for which they are forced to pay. The article goes on... but alas! there is no money for public transit. Meanwhile the US spends billions terrorizing people around the world to keep the oil flowing so suburbs will not become cement wastelands.

Here is a better title: People have been trapped with no buses and forced to support a wasteful autosprawl system that destroys the biosphere. Read for yourself and see the bias.
The Road out of Poverty Is Paved With Better Transportation | TakePart: "Transit access is the No. 1 factor in escaping the cycle of poverty"

The cause of global warming has been standard science since 1970's, Exxon included.

Democracy Now!: "A new report by InsideClimate News reveals how oil giant ExxonMobil’s own research confirmed the role of fossil fuels in global warming decades ago. By 1977, Exxon’s own senior experts had begun to warn the burning of fossil fuels could pose a threat to humanity. At first, Exxon launched an ambitious research program, outfitting a supertanker with instruments to study carbon dioxide in the air and ocean. But toward the end of the 1980s, Exxon changed course and shifted to the forefront of climate change denial. Since the 1990s, it has spent millions of dollars funding efforts to reject the science its own experts knew of decades ago."

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Musical chairs played before default allowed. First, they have to make sure poor people are left out.

Many people are looking forward to a default on debt where the billionaires lose tons of money. Ha. Don't hold your breath. They are just moving and shaking to the music until there is no chair left for pensioners and unemployed. Have you heard of the carbon bubble?  That's where fossil fuel companies are counting carbon deposits as reserves when they are actually not marketable. It's $trillions. As soon as the right patsies are holding the debt, the billionaires will allow default.

Guardian: "Millions of social workers, teaching assistants and other council employees have over £3,000 each in coal, oil and gas investments as part of their pension pots - assets that are at risk of falling in value as the world tackles climate change."

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Half of cars trips less than 5 miles

CityMetric: "About half of all car trips in countries like the UK, the Netherlands, and the US are fewer than five miles long. Replacing cars with other modes of transport for these short journeys would be a colossal step in the right direction."

Monday, September 21, 2015

Mandatory Breathalyzers = more #autosprawlsubsidy

The bottom line is, cars don't work. In a desperate attempt to keep this pathetic system going, more money will be spent to try to make it less of a killer. Cars are not necessary. Use the money to make buses fare-free and save more lives that way.

antimedia: "The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers is currently working on a plan to put alcohol detection systems in every vehicle. The plan, called Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety (DADSS), is still in its early stages, and they have not yet decided exactly how it will be implemented."

New Silk Road just more cancerous growth

Capitalism must grow or die. Massive worldwide default would extend its life, but only delay the day of reckoning. That's because no matter what we humans do with economics and finance, if we don't repay the biosphere, we will find nature's debt collector to be unmerciful.

The problems of debt and wealth inequality are small compared to the problem of the complex infrastructure we have built that constantly drains the resources needed to sustain life.

China is now jumping on the development bandwagon with big plans to connect and develop eurasia. This will just add to the problem.

The more 10-story glass and steel malls we build, the sooner we will perish.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Want a stable housing market? Get more buses.

Center for Neighborhood Technology: "Strong communities are built around a diverse transportation network that connects people with jobs, schools, retail shops, and more. Our work makes public transit more convenient, destinations more walkable, and housing more affordable."
  • Greater sense of community and of place
  • More sustainable and efficient use of land, energy, and resources
  • Less reliance on cars, resulting in lower gas consumption and greenhouse gas emissions
  • Reduced household spending on transportation
  • Increased foot traffic for local businesses
  • Increased property values which can be leveraged for future development
  • Improved public health through increased walking and biking
  • Opportunities for mixed-income housing
  • Expanded transit ridership
  • Lower public expenditures on roads, water and sewer infrastructure, and police and fire protection

Thursday, September 17, 2015

You Call this Progress?

Do the Math: "One of the prevailing narratives of our time is that we are innovating our way into the future at break-neck speed. It’s just dizzying how quickly the world around us is changing. Technology is this juggernaut that gets ever bigger, ever faster, and all we need to do is hold on for the wild ride into the infinitely cool. Problems get solved faster than we can blink.

But I’m going to claim that this is an old, outdated narrative."

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Public Transportation saves you money, #freetransit saves your whole town money

APTA studies show that your household can save up to $13,000 a year by using public transit, much more if you can reduce the number of cars you own. But there are even bigger savings to be had. If your town makes buses and trams fare-free, there are many hidden savings in municipal budget and savings in health costs, that will more than cover the lost revenue. See our page Free is Cheaper.

Public Transportation Saves Up To $16,000 Per Year - Gas 2: "We are all aware of the financial argument for using public transportation — it is way, way cheaper. Weighing out the costs and benefits is tricky, but the American Public Transportation Association’s (APTA) monthly Transit Savings Reports have made it beautifully clear. Ranking the savings for the 20 cities with the highest rates of public transportation use, the latest report finds that they span from $1,343 per month (New York, #1), to $877 per month (Dallas, #20). These figures are calculated by comparing the cost of a monthly transit pass to the cost of gas, parking, and other variables such as insurance, tires, and maintenance. Parking costs alone average almost $2,000 annually, according to APTA."

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

What should be done first?

Let's suppose you want to save money on your heating bill, so you have your house inspected for that purpose. The inspector advises 3 things:

  • double glaze the windows
  • increase wall and attic insulation
  • replace the door missing from your front doorway
You only have budget for one of these for now. Which to choose?

This is why we advocate free public transit. The private auto is draining civilization by wasting energy. It matters what we do first.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Kurdish nationalism plus big power need to control Kirkuk oil leads to ethnic cleansing

Most Kurds are Sunni Muslim. So why is nationalism so strong? Because they live on top of two important liquids, oil and water. Consequently foreign powers that want control of these two liquids, encourage nationalism in order to create Kurdish "leaders" that they can manipulate. The oil under Kirkuk is the last major reserve of easy-to-get oil. So you can expect more meddling and manipulation of Kurds.

The National: "Last summer when ISIL swept in from the west, many Iraqi Army forces, which were at that time in control of Kirkuk and the oil flats to the south, abandoned their posts. Kurdish Peshmerga flooded south to keep Kirkuk – and its oil – from ISIL’s clutches. They defended the city of 400,000, but it was close: by autumn the frontline with Isis was a just sniper’s shot west of the highway that cuts from Kirkuk all the way to Baghdad, 150 miles to the south."

Saturday, September 5, 2015

US deliberately killing people to control oil

Physics wins over economics

If you want to understand the world, go back to school and refresh your physics. The age of information is the age of disinformation and there is a lot of confusing propaganda out there. Physics, though, doesn't lie. It is not religion. It is based on evidence.

Here are some things we know about how our home, the biosphere, works.

  • Animal life generates heat. 
  • Complex animal life that uses million-year-old deposits of carbon generates lots of heat.
  • Certain gases in the atmosphere slow the release of heat from the biosphere.
  • Energy comes in every day from the sun.
  • Life depends on temperatures being in certain narrow range.

Wouldn't it be wise to pay attention to the balance?

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Prepper meme is a marketing scam, a dangerous one

Preppers, people preparing for system collapse, are an invention for marketing products related to survival during system collapse.

This is a dangerous business for the customers and society in general.

First of all, the idea that you will sit out in the country with a gun and be safe, is ridiculous. When systems collapse, gangs will form. What will you do when twenty SUV's full of armed thugs drive up to your hideout?

The safest place is among people who are aware, active, and united. Being armed guarantees nothing. Unity brings out the power of people. With this power, you can get guns if you need them.

Currently, people are watching corporate news on TV and getting brainwashed by a steady stream of anecdotal events. Anecdotal thinking makes you stupid.

We should encourage people to turn off the TV and get involved in the community.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Fall of petrodollar will not save humanity

The petrodollar is in trouble. It will fall sometime, sooner or later. What does that mean?

Many are hoping for this fall. They want to see the arrogant, hypocritical US empire humiliated. But what will this fall actually bring?

The world economic system is carrying a burden. That burden is the world financial system. The financial system is essentially debt. The interest owed on this debt must come from the energy provided by fuel or labor.

The problem is that a certain fuel, oil, is very high in net energy and has no ready replacement. It is also the fuel with the fastest falling net energy. Every day it takes more units of energy to extract, transport, refine, and distribute, than the it did the day before to produce the same units.

Oil production and use, especially use, has generated a massive fixed infrastructure. It cannot be quickly undone. So even if all debt is wiped clean in one day, there is still a mess left behind.

People should not expect this mess to be cleaned up by the US elites. We have to unwind the auto-and-sprawl infrastructure ourselves. The more we do the less painful the collapse will be. 

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Isis in Gaza: 100 Hamas Members Pledge Allegiance to Islamic State

ibtimes : "In a development that could have a far-reaching consequence for the entire Middle East, a new report says that 100 Hamas members have joined the Islamic State (Isis) in Gaza..."
The US war on the Islamic State is a waste of money. Estimates of the cost of killing one IS soldier vary from 1/4 to 1/2 million dollars. Meanwhile, 100's of new soldiers are recruited every day. Even if the story quoted here turns out to be false in particular, it is true in general. Many join every day, and the areas in which they can join are bigger or more numerous each month.

The US has tried to train and equip militias, or make alliances with existing ones, to try to have ground forces to oppose IS. Problem is, as soon as a group is considered a US proxy, it loses all its credibility. Wonder why.

So, here is an idea. Spend the money in the US on free buses. As more buses are free, more people will ride. As more ride, fewer vehicle miles will be driven, and more people will get exercise walking to and from bus stops. Oil demand will drop, and the US can cut back on all the terrorizing of people for oil.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Pentagon expects many years of #oilwars and #climate disaster

@nafeezahmed Middle East Eye: "Two research documents published in recent months by the US Army reveal the military establishment’s latest thinking in startlingly frank terms. The research not only lends credence to environmental warnings about how climate change will fuel political instability, but also vindicates concerns about how looming resource shortages could destabilise the global economy."

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Falling oil prices not helping world economy

Resource Insights: "As the world's central energy commodity, oil is a good indicator of economic activity. With the nearly universal conviction that the previous bounce in oil prices to around $60 signaled a stronger economy and thus stronger oil demand, logic would dictate that we now consider the opposite: That the new slide in oil prices is signaling new weakness in the world economy. If so, it's the kind that ought to frighten even the optimists this time."

Because burning up energy in traffic does not feed, house, or clothe anyone. Fossil fuels have been used to create a wasteful #autosprawl economy. Even if all the debt were to be defaulted, we would still be left with this mess. Even if all the energy wars were to stop tomorrow, we would still have this millstone on our necks. Future generations, if any, will be furious with the way we wasted all this bounty.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

We are in harsh #degrowth now. Let's soften it with #freetransit.

There are no more profits. Capitalism wasted all the cheap energy. We are left with a complex, unsustainable society. Cash is hoarded, while debt sucks the last blood of the working class.

People are fighting back. But those still employed by the capitalist system can help. Simply become a public transit advocate. They are not putting people in jail for that ... yet.

As cities have fewer cars, urbanization will accelerate. People will demand safety and education. Birth rates will drop faster.

Making buses fare-free will speed this process and ease the pain of collapse.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Atomic bombing of #hiroshima #nagasaki was #terrorism, pure and simple.

The Boston Globe: "compelling evidence that it was the Soviet entry into the Pacific conflict, not Hiroshima and Nagasaki, that forced Japan’s surrender. His interpretation could force a new accounting of the moral meaning of the atomic attack. It also raises provocative questions about nuclear deterrence, a foundation stone of military strategy in the postwar period. And it suggests that we could be headed towards an utterly different understanding of how, and why, the Second World War came to its conclusion."

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

G20 countries pay over $1,000 per citizen in fossil fuel subsidies, says IMF | Environment | The Guardian

Guardian: "“In particular, these figures reveal that the G20 countries are wasting trillions of dollars each year on subsidies for fossil fuel pollution,” Stern said. “It is time for the G20 to recognise that the extent of subsidies is far greater than has been previously understood, and to honour their commitment.”"


Sunday, August 2, 2015

Low birth rate is best way to save the biosphere, but capitalism needs growth

Here is the admission. Capitalism must grow or die. This means that degrowth needs another system.

DW.COM: "We estimate by today's standard, that by the year 2018 the economic development will decrease by 0.56 every year provided the fertility remains at a similar level. In only 10 years time, Taiwan will be a super-ageing society. One fifth of the population will be elderly, above 65 years of age. Our pension and health care systems will be in danger because we cannot support such a big elderly population without young people entering the labor market. It will be a big problem for our society."

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Free public transport, an international campaign

New York, London, Shanghai underwater in 50 years?

Resource Insights: "In 1896 Svante Arrhenius, a Swedish chemist, was the first person to realize that human-created fossil fuel emissions might change the climate. He calculated that it would take 2,000 years to double the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. The latest calculations suggest a doubling by 2050, only 154 years after Arrhenius' realization. The Hansen research also reminds us that the pace of warming is increasing: "[T]wo-thirds of the 0.9 degrees C global warming (since 1850) has occurred since 1975.""

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Recognizing framing tricks

When you see the phrase "get people out of their cars" -- what do you think?

implications:

  • manipulation, social engineering
  • no threat to car ownership
  • worries for people who are car dependent
  • people, not system, are the problem

Purpose is to turn people against public transit and signal autosprawl bosses the writer is on their side.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

We’re Now Entering the Earth’s Sixth Great Extinction

Earthjustice: "According to a new study published last month in the journal Science Advances, Earth has entered its sixth period of large-scale extinction. Scientists from universities in the U.S. and Mexico found that species are disappearing at a rate 114 times faster than normal. The last time extinction rates were this high was when dinosaurs were wiped off the face of the Earth more than 65 million years ago."


Ecovillage concept a failure

The Ecologist: "Take the Findhorn Ecovillage in Scotland, for example, probably the most famous ecovillage in the world.
...An ecological footprint analysis was undertaken of this community. It was discovered that even the committed efforts of this ecovillage still left the Findhorn community consuming resources and emitting waste far in excess of what could be sustained if everyone lived in this way.
...based on my calculations, if the whole world came to look like one of our most successful ecovillages, we would still need one and a half planet's worth of Earth's biocapacity. Dwell on that for a moment."
...Even after five or six decades of the modern environmental movement, it seems we still do not have an example of how to thrive within the sustainable carrying capacity of the planet.
It should be no surprise that the author of the above has no answers to the problems of #climate and #energy since his transport plan is "ride bikes more."

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Oil-dependent areas collapse first

Our Finite World: "We all know one thing that Greece, Cyprus, and Puerto Rico have in common–severe financial problems. There is something else that they have in common–a high proportion of their energy use is from oil."

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

U.S. Mayors alarmed as #autosprawl profiteers run US cities into the ground

transportation.gov : "When the residents of our cities can't get where they need to go without crossing a structurally deficient bridge, that's a problem mayors need to solve.  When businesses can't get access to the deliveries, markets, customers, or employees they need to grow, that's a problem mayors need to solve."

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Poland has figured out that #freetransit is cheaper than fares

Free public transit saves your town much more money and headache than the loss in fare revenue. The people of Poland have figured this out and town after town is adopting the idea.

More about #freetransit in Poland.

Why free is cheaper, we have the numbers.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

via @nafeezahmed, US-Saudi desperate power grab as cheap oil runs out

Middle East Eye: "Since 2000, this has meant that the oil industry’s investments have risen by 180 percent, generating a puny global oil supply increase of just 14 percent – two-thirds of which comprises unconventionals.

Therefore, Saudi Arabia’s accelerated supply output to keep prices low cannot last for long. In 2012, a Citigroup report predicted that more and more of Saudi oil production would be allocated to meeting rapidly rising domestic electricity demand, forcing Saudi Arabia to increasingly reduce its exports.

By 2030, within just 15 years, the kingdom’s exports would drop to zero, making it a net importer. The report thus showed that Saudi Arabia’s capacity to maintain its high level of exports onto global markets is likely to end well before then in coming years."

Thursday, June 18, 2015

It's all about demand

Are you involved in supply-side activism? For example:
  • stopping pipelines
  • protesting drilling
  • opposing big box stores
  • promoting "renewables"
Time to rethink. What goals not only reduce demand, but also change lifestyle to make that reduction permanent? Here is what free transit does.
  • increases demand for transit
  • makes urban living more attractive
  • reduces demand for fossil-fuel
  • exposes the fraud of sprawl subsidy
People will move the city, focus on education instead of creating more farm-hands, and birth rate will fall faster. End result - less-painful degrowth.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Western powers panic as #Islamicstate gets closer and closer to "their" oil.

Bloomberg Business: "Islamic State strengthened its hold in central Libya, seizing territory near the country’s largest oil terminal, as the United Nations warned that time is running out on its efforts to broker a deal among warring factions."

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

US people cannot afford cars, creating new debt bubble

Zero Hedge: "Average loan term for new cars is now 67 months — a record.
Average loan term for used cars is now 62 months — a record.
Loans with terms from 74 to 84 months made up 30%  of all new vehicle financing — a record.
Loans with terms from 74 to 84 months made up 16% of all used vehicle financing — a record.
The average amount financed for a new vehicle was $28,711 — a record.
The average payment for new vehicles was $488 — a record.
The percentage of all new vehicles financed accounted for by leases was 31.46% — a record."

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

If autosprawl companies are worried about car-sharing, imagine what they think of #freetransit

Carmakers need to fear for their lives—and it’s not just about getting electric cars right - Quartz: "When you put the two together, you get urban-dwellers tooling around in shared, autonomous vehicles, and—reckons Bill Ford, executive chairman of Ford Motor—buying far fewer cars. Ford has said the company is already having to adapt because of shared driving, and predicts that autonomous functions just short of self-driving will be installed in most vehicles within five years."


Monday, June 1, 2015

Free Public Transport - Southeast Asia

Free Public Transport - Southeast Asia: "paultan: "The Selangor government is set to begin its free bus service in Shah Alam, Subang Jaya and Klang this coming July. The public service is expected to help alleviate ever-worsening traffic conditions and provide transport alternatives to around 24,000 residents in three of the aforementioned townships"
"

Government 9/11 claims contradicted by factual evidence

The 9/11 Consensus Points | Consensus 911: "The official claims regarding 9/11 are contradicted by facts that have been validated by a scientific consensus process, and which include the following points of “best evidence”."


Saturday, May 30, 2015

The fall of Saudi Arabia to #IslamicState will be sudden, like Mosul

ISIS Sets Its Sights on Saudi Arabia, and That’s Bad News for Washington - Defense One: "What these attacks say is that Riyadh doesn’t have the comforting control over its land that Americans like to believe it does. And if the royal family doesn’t have its territory as buttoned down as Washington assumed, what other weaknesses has it been masking? What other vulnerabilities are now on view?"

How much #degrowth is enough?

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Chevron expects December UN #climate summit to be toothless

theguardian.: "They also hinted that Chevron did not believe political leaders convening in Paris in December for a UN climate change summit will do much to interrupt the growing demand for fossil fuels.

“Notwithstanding the intent of nations to do so, the level and pace of global policy action indicates a low likelihood of a global accord to restrict fossil fuel usage to the levels referenced by the proponents [of the resolution].”"

Friday, May 22, 2015

Millions took to the streets in 2002 and 2003 demanding the US not invade Iraq

The US, against the advice of millions around the world, invaded Iraq in March 2003. Car-dependency was the driving force. Little has been done the mitigate it.


Now the US is spending over $8M a day bombing the Islamic State, which has grown to cover more square miles than Great Britain and is less than one year old.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

The long list of confessed #falseflag operations gets longer

Zero Hedge: "In the following instances, officials in the government which carried out the attack (or seriously proposed an attack) admit to it, either orally, in writing, or through photographs or videos:"

Monday, May 18, 2015

More about the panic over falling birth rates. Falling faster than expected.

Peak Population Growth? | Zero Hedge: "Such forecasts, however, misrepresent underlying demographic dynamics. The future we face is not one of too much population growth, but too little.
One could argue that this is a good thing, in view of the planet’s limited carrying capacity."
Capitalism must have growth to survive. By that metric, big changes are coming. The author says that falling birth rate "could be seen as good" but, in truth, capitalism cannot handle it.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

US is the most dangerous country in the world due to autosprawl dependent economy

The US economy includes trillions of dollars in fixed autosprawl assets. Refineries, cul-de-sacs, pipelines, pedestrian overpasses, parking lots, big box stores, military hardware, -- almost everything in the US is related to cars and sprawl.

Now oil is no longer cheap. Never mind the price, look and the number of energy units, joules, calories, BTUs. From now on it costs more energy to produce oil every day. In some cases, such as tar sands, more energy goes in than comes out. Huh? Yes, if you count all the costs including pollution, cancer, and carbon dioxide emissions. But the need for liquid fuel to too strong to stop.

The US can no longer even afford the maintenance costs for roads and bridges. In addition, it cannot afford to allow others to control supply sources and routes. As it gets more desperate it will turn to nuclear weapons to fight the oil wars.

The only way out is to start unwinding sprawl as quickly as possible. This could be done with car-free cities, but the oil industry is too powerful to allow this to happen at the federal level. It is up to the people to make buses free at the local level.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Dangerous wishful thinking about renewables

Renewable energy sources like solar and wind do not solve the problem of human growth. In the last 200 years, we have released heat of fossil-fuels that took millions of years to store. This has allowed the human population to grow very fast and develop a complex energy-dependent society.

It seems logical that if we can use the energy that is coming in from the sun before it is stored, we can stop using fossil-fuels. The problem is, we haven't so far, and we won't.

Why?

There are many reasons, but here is what may be the main one.

Too many people think it will work with little or no change to the current growth-is-good thinking.

We still have at least two billion people who are being told it is possible to live like suburban America. That is an extremely powerful force that will keep the oil and gas companies in power for many years to come.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

The key to getting out of poverty? Good public transit

New York Times: "Transportation drives social mobility more than many other factors, including crime, elementary school test scores and the concentration of two-parent households in a community, according to researchers at Harvard.

A separate study conducted at New York University came to similar conclusions. Neighborhoods where people depended on public transportation but the network had poor service tended to be poorer than other neighborhoods, according to the researchers' findings. "

Sunday, May 3, 2015

US trying to win hearts and minds with bombs. Might work. Not.

FT.com: "Air strikes by the US-led coalition in Syria killed more than 50 civilians, activists said, in what they believe to be the deadliest non-combatant toll since the international force began its campaign against jihadi militants in the country."

Saturday, May 2, 2015

The solar artificial heart

The artificial heart is a good example our irrational belief in technology. The time and energy put into inventing, designing, manufacturing, and installing artificial hearts would be better spent stopping tobacco subsidies.

The same is being done with solar energy. We think we will create magic batteries that will allow us to replace fossil fuels with solar energy. The time and energy would be better spent stopping the autosprawl subsidies.

Monday, April 27, 2015

In Baltimore, expect #falseflag operations.

Police will dress as protesters, with masks, and throw stones, break windows, or set vehicles afire. You can count on something of this nature happening.

They want to create a "backlash" by peaceful citizens. The narrative will be that everything is ok, just a few extremists and unreasonable people to deal with.

Profits are over. Cheap oil has peaked. We are entering harsh degrowth. If you want gentle degrowth then join us to stop wasting energy.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Saudi Arabia, besieged on all sides, gambling with last of its cheap oil

oilprice.com: "Saudi Arabia is not trying to crush U.S. shale plays. Its oil-price war is with the investment banks and the stupid money they directed to fund the plays. It is also with the zero-interest rate economic conditions that made this possible."
Saudi Arabia, forced into a gamble, precipitated the fall of expensive oil. Why? Demand in the west was falling and China teetering on edge of recession, while Russia and Iran taking market share. The US was propping up production way too long on printed money. It was time to take action to preserve market share. Saudi Arabia is gambling it's last cheap reserves to hold on to power -- as the three pillars are wobbling and the Islamic State will take it over in a sweep like the fall of Mosul.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Falling birth rate, good for humans, bad for capitalism

Zero Hedge: "Japan's population continues to fall (4th year in a row) but what is worse, there are now 33 million people over the age of 65 (a record 26%), more than double the number under the age of 14 (16.2 million). The ministry says the population will likely continue declining for some time as fewer babies are born and society ages."
The tone of this article from Zero Hedge is unmistakable. Falling birth rate is causing panic for capitalism. As people urbanize, they see less need for more farm hands, and focus on having fewer and better-educated children. A way to speed up this process would be to make cities car-free.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Ocean acidity rise linked with mass extinction event in Late Permian period

The Pioneer: "There have been five mass extinctions over the course of life on earth. The largest one, known as the Great Dying, occurred at the end of the Permian period, 252 million years ago. Around 96 percent of earth’s marine species, 70 percent of terrestrial vertebrates and 57 percent of all insect families were completely killed off."

Carbon tax, bad idea

Want to know how a carbon tax will work? Look at current taxes. Years to get approved, then laden with exceptions, then many loopholes found. Why would a carbon tax be different?

It is worse than that. A carbon tax CAN NOT work.

The price of carbon necessary to have a real effect would be too high. Corporations would correctly argue that the nation that implements it would harm its own ability to compete. A tax would have to international, with all the big powers at least.

A carbon tax addresses the supply-side of energy. It does nothing to discourage growth. By the laws of thermodynamics, humans, at current growth, will cook the planet regardless of what we burn. We need a demand-side solution.

We could at least stop wasting energy on autos and sprawl. Autos are consumer products which are unsuitable for a major transport system. They take up too much room and pollute before they turn a wheel. Sprawl, the partner of the auto, is the most wasteful way to live. Each house must have its own set of consumer products, there is no economy of scale from sharing that a city has.

Let's make cities a pleasant place to live. Start by getting rid of cars. Make buses free.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Hiding in plain sight, the big secret of capitalist economics: Externalities

Grist: "The notion of “externalities” has become familiar in environmental circles. It refers to costs imposed by businesses that are not paid for by those businesses. For instance, industrial processes can put pollutants in the air that increase public health costs, but the public, not the polluting businesses, picks up the tab. In this way, businesses privatize profits and publicize costs."

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Permafrost, a vicious cycle

carbonbrief : "Scientists are concerned that permafrost thaw and the subsequent release of carbon will fuel a positive feedback loop, which will accelerate climate change. Warmer conditions cause the release of carbon dioxide and methane from permafrost, which means more warming, which in turn causes more permafrost to thaw and so on.

Calling this cycle a 'positive' feedback might be misleading. It's more of a vicious cycle."

Monday, April 13, 2015

How the climate change debate got hijacked by the wrong standard of proof

Resource Insights: "Some people wrongly treat the fossil fuel industry and carbon dioxide itself as if they are both somehow involved in a quasi-criminal proceeding. They think any one piece of evidence--even in isolation--that might suggest, however tenuously, that neither is implicated in climate change leads to reasonable doubt and a verdict of not guilty."

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Tax Breaks for Pedestrians

The Stranger: "Now, recall that Section 179 of the United States Internal Revenue Code still (in the age of Obama) gives Americans money for buying SUVs (the expense limit: $25,000; weight of vehicle: 6,000 lbs; business use: 75% ). With this in mind, let's consider the most eco-friendly mode of transportation in our uncertain times of climate change: "

Thursday, April 9, 2015

US people want #publictransit, Congress does not

Transit advocates plan to 'Stand Up For Transportation' | TheHill: "Public transit advocates are holding rallies across the country on Thursday to push Congress to approve a new transportation spending bill this year."

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

The liquid fuel problem

The US has trillions of dollars of infrastructure and systems that depend not just on fossil-fuel, but oil in particular. Everyone knows that these systems are unsustainable, but they cannot be dismantled without tremendous loss of wealth. People are so dependent on these systems of auto and sprawl, that they are forced to allow more subsidy and wars.

The oil industry controls most government, but they can't be everywhere. You can fight back by helping to advocate #freetransit. If there is a strong movement for free public transit, that will embolden public transit advocates in general.

The only thing that will break the critical mass of #autosprawlsubsidy is free urban buses.

Monday, April 6, 2015

ExxonMobil CEO Says Arctic Oil Is Needed to Meet Future Demand

Peak Oil News: "An Energy Department advisory council study adopted last week said the U.S. should start exploring for oil and gas in the Arctic soon in order to feed future demand, and that the industry is ready to safely exploit the Arctic’s huge reserves, despite recent mishaps."

Friday, March 27, 2015

The pension hoax

Corporate media has been pushing a lie. They are saying that we can't afford grandma and grandpa's pensions because they don't have enough grand children. Hmm. Here are some responses to that.

First, what about all the profits generated by the years of labor? Those who profited should pay for those who created the profits.

Second, we live in a wasteful sprawl system. Why should old people starve while other people speed around in subsidized $80,000 SUVs on subsidized roads, and park in subsidized lots? 

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Can't have both

Oceans are turning acid, methane is releasing, currents are changing. There may still be time to save our species, but, unfortunately, the profit system still has the upper hand.

The hope of renewable energy seems logical, until you look at the details. Most renewable energy systems require quite a bit of fossil-fuel support. But there is a more dangerous problem. Hoping for technology breakthroughs is giving a false sense that solutions are coming.

As renewable energy is added to the for-profit inputs, it extends the life of the current system. It does not reduce the use of fossil-fuel, because all savings are immediately absorbed into the growth machine.

There is a solution that hits the Achilles heel of growth. First, make urban buses fare-free. Second, make cities car-free. This will break the critical mass of the private auto and sprawl. As people urbanize, the birth rate falls. There will be room for permaculture in the city, and the suburbs can become organic farms. 

Monday, March 23, 2015

US will use nuclear weapons before giving up on #autosprawl

US test-fires intercontinental missile in California (VIDEO) — RT USA: "An intercontinental ballistic missile was fired early Monday from a facility in California, the US Air Force announced, saying the tests were a message to the world about Washington's nuclear capabilities."
The US economy has $trillions in auto-sprawl hard assets and systems: roads, tankers, refineries, pipelines, suburbs, and more. To make a significant change would mean a huge loss of profits for many rich and powerful people. They have already shown the willingness to kill. They now are losing on all fronts and will turn to nuclear weapons as needed.

There is another way. You can start now. Become a free-transit advocate, and start unwinding auto-sprawl in your hometown.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Paris pollution prompts free public transport call

The Local: "For a few hours this week Paris became the most polluted city in the world, according to one particular ranking. The city's mayor has responded by calling for free public transport and driving restrictions to be put in place on Friday."

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Buffet doubles down on #autosprawl - signaling the end of US captialism

Death by Car: "There is very close to a zero percent chance that anybody will be selling automobiles to ordinary households 100 years from now. The reasons for this inhere in the extreme mismatch between the automobile as a devourer of resources and planet Earth’s limited supply of resources. Obviously, this mismatch does not register on even the sharpest of corporate capitalist minds.

To amplify Upton Sinclair, it is impossible to persuade somebody to understand something, when that somebody’s fortune depends upon not understanding it."


Monday, March 16, 2015

Coming soon: the 'Big Heat' by @nafeezahmed

The Ecologist: "Global warming has been on vacation for a few years, writes Nafeez Ahmed. But that's only because the excess heat - two Hiroshima bombs-worth every second - has been buried in the deep ocean. But within a few years that's set to change, producing a huge decade-long warming surge, focused on the Arctic, that could overwhelm us all."

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Oil production numbers went up 10mbpd by changing definition of oil

Resource Insights (2012): "It's wrong not because the range quoted above can't be found in official sources. It's wrong because the numbers include things which are not oil such as natural gas plant liquids and biofuels. If you strip these other things out, then world oil production has been running around 75 mbpd this year. The main thing you need to know about the worldwide rate of production of crude oil alone is that it has been stuck between 71 and 75 mbpd since 2005 (calculated on a monthly basis). And, that has already had huge negative effects on the world economy and world society through high energy prices that are partly responsible for our current economic stagnation."

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Gas and Oil Party (GOP) wants to end federal funds for #publictransit

TheHill: "The remarks also come as some Republican lawmakers suggest eliminating federal funding for public transportation systems as Congress struggles to pay for a new highway bill. "

Monday, March 9, 2015

If there is an oil glut, why drill in the arctic? #netenergy

Utne Reader: "The problem, however, is that the major oil company Royal Dutch Shell wants to drill in the Chukchi Sea this summer and that could, in the long term, spell doom for one of the last great, relatively untouched oceanic environments on the planet. Let me explain why Shell’s drilling ambitions are so dangerous. Just think of the way the blowout of one drilling platform, BP’s Deepwater Horizon, devastated the Gulf of Mexico. Now, imagine the same thing happening without any clean-up help in sight."

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

A Major Surge in Atmospheric Warming Is Probably Coming in the Next Five Years - @NafeezAhmed

Motherboard: "So at some point in the near future, the PDO will switch from its current negative phase back to positive, reducing the capacity of the oceans to accumulate heat from the atmosphere. That positive phase of the PDO will therefore see a rapid rise in global surface air temperatures, as the oceans' capacity to absorb all those Hiroshima bomb equivalents declines—and leaves it to accumulate in our skies. In other words, after years of slower-than-expected warming, we may suddenly feel the heat."

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Because of competition, capitalism is incapable of doing the right thing. Even when more profitable.

Investing in Energy Efficiency Pays Off - NYTimes.com: "Nationally, the potential savings from energy conservation investments are astounding. In a 2012 study, Deutsche Bank and the Rockefeller Foundation found that retrofitting buildings for energy conservation in the United States could save $1 trillion over a decade, reduce American greenhouse gas emissions by 10 percent, and spur employment across the country."
Even non-profits are managed to the quarter. Investments that have better return are ignored if the return is over a long period, or spread over many beneficiaries. Investment managers are forced to think small and short-term. This is why capitalism is destroying the biosphere.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Saudi oil running out, hence desperate grab for market-share, increased importance to US of Kirkuk

Resource Insights: What is Saudi Arabia not telling us about its oil future?: "If the Saudis are acting now to cripple U.S. and Canadian production for the reasons my friend suggests, it means world oil supplies are going to be much more problematic after 2020 than many people suppose. It implies that at some point in the next 10 years OPEC will cease to be able (rather than cease to be willing) to balance world oil supplies. And, it suggests that no one else will be ready to act in that role when the time comes."
Over 30% of what comes up from Saudi oil fields is water that was injected to bring up the oil. The oil is running out, getting more expensive. They are desperately trying to gain market share by putting rivals out of business with low prices. This just makes the oil under Kirkuk more important to the US.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

US spends 2.3 billion dollars trying to make car culture work in the snow. #autosprawlsubsidy

NBC News.com: "Winter road maintenance swallows 20 percent of state department of transportation maintenance budgets nationally, according to the Federal Highway Administration. State and local agencies spend more than $2.3 billion on snow and ice control operations annually."


Wednesday, February 18, 2015

More roads, more bombs. US still doesn't get it.

US Transportation Secretary Touts Public Works Plan | WFSU: "Foxx began a four-day, five-state bus tour Tuesday at the Tallahassee regional Airport.  He’s working to highlight infrastructure projects that would benefit from Obama’s transportation budget proposal.  In Tallahassee, he pointed to a project to expand Capital Circle Southwest from two lanes to six. 

“But of the $120 million needed for this project,” Foxx says, “right now it has $9 million.  You need 120; you have nine.  And without the rest of the money, the city won’t be the economic hub it could be.”"


Tuesday, February 17, 2015

There Is No Free Market In Energy

D. Ray Long: "Remember, if you ever hear a politician preaching an "all of the above" energy policy and that we can't "pick winners and losers" - what they're really advocating is business as usual. And they're advocating for avoiding difficult choices.

Because our policies absolutely prioritize certain fuels over others. 

If someone ever, really, advocated for a true free market in energy, where no one receives subsidies, tax breaks, or special deals - that's a deal the renewable energy lobby would accept in a heartbeat, and a deal the fossil fuel lobby would violently reject."

Sunday, February 15, 2015

The green illusions and false promises of the electric car (including Tesla)

Better By Bicycle: " Just the production of each new electric car will cause far more greenhouse emissions and pollution than they can "save" over their lifetime. "


Tuesday, February 10, 2015

People want neighborhoods where they can walk

MainStreet: "More people are opting to live in neighborhoods where they can walk often, if not daily. Walking is becoming more important as car ownership decreases and becomes less of a priority, especially for younger people, said Stuart Eisenberg, real estate practice leader and partner at BDO USA, the Chicago professional services firm. From 2007 to 2011, the number of cars purchased by people ages 18 to 34 fell almost 30%, according to a study from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety."

Friday, February 6, 2015

Oil majors fail to find reserves to counter falling output

Reuters: "Four of the world's six biggest oil firms by market value - Royal Dutch Shell, Chevron, BP and ConocoPhillips - released provisional figures showing together they replaced only two-thirds of the hydrocarbons they extracted in 2014 with new reserves."

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Nothing says #degrowth like a falling birth rate

There is plenty of compelling evidence that we humans are destroying the only home we have. Even if we were to end fossil fuels completely, we would bring our oceans to a boil in just 400 years if we continue growing at the current rate.

Population will be reduced one way or another. We have a chance to make it painless if we want.

Education and urbanization causes birth rate to fall. When people move to the city, they realize that education is more important than plowing skills and extra farm hands. By making cities car-free, we could make them much safer, roomier, and more pleasant and thus more attractive.

Imagine a city with no cars--plenty of room for parks, bicycles, and permaculture.

First, we need to break the critical mass of the private auto as a method of moving people. This system is unsustainable and heavily subsidized. The good news is, we can do this at the local level. Simply get involved in supporting your local bus system. The quickest way to grow it is to make it fare-free.

Once the private auto becomes a niche player, it will lose its subsidies. Society will gradually evolve back to more sensible ways of locating and moving people.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Competition for young talent heating up. Got transit?

U.S. PIRG: "These services make it easier to conveniently get around without owning a car. That is increasingly what city dwellers – and Millennials especially – say they want. These services individually help travelers, but more importantly, they work together to become more than the sum of their parts."

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Oil industry desperate to keep cars on welfare

Grist: "The Kochs make their money largely in fossil fuels. They, and other backers of conservative pressure groups, oppose the gas tax because they see it as a disincentive for driving. The Kochs especially hate public transportation because it gives their consumers an alternative to driving. Taxing emissions is the way to recover some of those costs from the polluters themselves. Taxing just gasoline is a poor substitute for taxing CO2, but it’s a start. The gas tax should be set high enough to bring in more revenue than we need for highway construction and maintenance, because it should also give us money to compensate for the cost of car pollution. That extra revenue should go towards programs that liberate us from dependence on cars, like mass transit. Without an adequate gas tax, we’re all subsidizing driving, first by paying for the roads with general tax revenues and then again by sticking society with the health care and lost business costs from smog and climate change."

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Car culture hurts the poor, unemployed, disabled, young, and elderly. Anyone care?

Reporter-Times: "For the working poor, one of the hardest things about their jobs can be getting there.
Owning a reliable car can be expensive, and having limited public transportation options in Martinsville and the rest of the county means the area’s most vulnerable sector of the labor force often has to improvise to get to work on time.
Steve Gerber, the director for Coordinator Aging Services for Morgan County, said people often walk or turn to friends or relatives to hitch a ride.
“A lot of people in Morgan County are very resourceful,” Gerber said. “If they can get a job close enough, they will get a bicycle.”
Regardless, he said, the daunting task of always searching for a way to work and back, coupled with variables such as inclement weather and the availability of sidewalks, takes its toll."