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 "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."