Sunday, April 23, 2017

Et tu, Kos?

dailykos: "That alone would have created a big splash, but Musk was not done.  He followed up with a tweet stating that Tesla would be unveiling a pick-up truck in 18 to 24 months.  Since this has become an ever more important segment of vehicle sales and auto industry profits and is a segment currently devoid of production electric vehicles, this could have a huge impact and would, once again, place Tesla far ahead of the competition."
Autosprawl is collapsing because of falling net energy in oil. It costs more joules to extract and produce liquid fuel than joules gained. One way to extend the life of sprawl is to generate electricity from natural gas and run cars on electricity. This will keep sprawl going a few more years -- years that we desperately need to reduce sprawl and growth. Electric vehicles simply make more certain the arrival of heat disaster.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Once elected, Trump turns against #publictransit, standard US operating procedure

TheHill: "But somewhere between the campaign trail and the White House, President Trump’s understanding of the importance of public transportation got lost. 

Rather than investing in public transit, his proposed 2018 budget slashes support for transit projects in communities across the country."

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Oil still in the driver's seat

Oil is still the blood of capitalism. Though you are being flooded with news of "alternatives" and "renewables," there is really nothing else that can keep the trillions of dollars of infrastructure going. 

It might have been possible to make a gradual change if we started 30 years ago, but now affordable oil is running out (yes, running out) and the current system is already unsustainable. 

Americans are living in a dream world where they can have both cars and democracy.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Americans are confused, angry

The rise of the internet and social media has not reduced the power of corporate propaganda in the US.

Too many Americans cannot make the connection between the traffic jams in their town and the bombing in the towns of others.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Are you ready for panic selling over sea-level rise?

The New York Times: "she was paying nearly $6,000 in flood premiums on top of her mortgage every year, nearly always more than she could make in rent. “I decided to cut my losses and get out,” she said. “The flood insurance kept going up, and I was drowning in it.” A real estate agent she consulted told her that she’d be lucky to sell the house for $180,000, barely more than half of what she paid for it and significantly less than what she still owed on the mortgage. Everyone looking at places near the river, the agent said, asked about flood insurance first. It wasn’t the risk of high waters that spooked buyers; it was the certainty of high premiums."

Monday, April 17, 2017

Biggest threat to humans is wishful thinking

The current economic system is racing us toward biosphere destruction and mass death. Those who profit from this system are still exuding optimism and easy solutions.

We humans would like to believe that there is a technology solution to global warming. We are being fooled, and we are going to pay a heavy price.

Thermodynamics tells us there is a limit to how much heat can be released into space. Currently we are generating heat faster than that. Negative CO2 emissions would help, BUT NOT SOLVE, the problem of heat.

What is worse, many people accept renewable energy as the way to reduce CO2 emissions. But renewables promote economic growth. Growth means more heat. Heat means more natural release of carbon. So renewables actually lead to more emissions.

Only by reducing human activity -- degrowth -- can we reduce heat. 

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Sumatra -- 6.5M acres of peat and wildlife in danger. #methane

Alternet : "The Leuser Ecosystem (pronounced low-sir) is a vast tropical landscape on the island of Sumatra. Spanning over 6.5 million acres of lowland jungle, montane rainforests and teeming peat swamps, Leuser’s forests are among the most ancient on earth. This is a realm where volcanic eruptions, fluctuating sea levels and species migrations over uninterrupted millennia have enabled one of the most biodiverse landscapes ever documented to evolve.

... But today, Leuser’s forests are under constant and escalating threat. Despite being protected by Indonesian law, the Leuser Ecosystem is under siege for short-term profits. Corporate interests such as industrial pulp and palm oil plantations, mining and logging operations, energy projects, and all the roads and infrastructure that are built to support them, are eating away at every corner of the Ecosystem."

Saturday, April 15, 2017

The Banality of the Anthropocene

ENTITLE blog: "Iowa is objectively one of the most ruined landscapes in the United States, but its ruination garners surprisingly little notice. Less than 0.1 percent of the tallgrass prairie that once covered much of the state remains. ... Between 1830 and 1910, Iowa lost a whopping 97 percent of its prairie acreage. At one time 85% of Iowa was covered by tallgrass prairie. Source: iowapublicradio.org.

But this is only the tip of the iceberg. The reorientation of Iowa’s landscape toward capitalist agricultural production has resulted in the obliteration of worlds that once occupied it. The American Indians who carefully tended the prairie through burning and bison management have been forced out of the state. Nearly every acre has been privatized. Today Iowa ranks forty-ninth out of the fifty U.S. states in public land holdings."

Friday, April 14, 2017

Permafrost more vulnerable than thought: scientists

yahoo.com : "Even stabilising the world's climate at two degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels -- the daunting goal laid down in the 196-nation Paris Agreement -- would melt more than 40 percent of permafrost, or an area nearly twice the size of India, they reported in the journal Nature Climate Change.

That could take centuries or longer, but would eventually drive up global temperatures even further as more gases escaped into the air."

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Cars mostly just sit, and in the city, don't fit

Cities Today : "Political winds are also evolving to reflect citizens’ concerns about air quality and health, meaning a gradual shift away from car-focused urban development to policies favouring active transport.

For cities with long-established infrastructure, increasing space for cars is simply not an option. On average, private cars are parked 95 percent of their lifetime and when they are driven, are much less space-efficient compared to public transport, walking and cycling."

No progress on #climate. None.

25 years since the global summit on climate in Rio, there has been no progress. Not one bit. Car sales are up, air travel is up. CO2 levels are up. World governments have done nothing but make promises for you to believe while they fight wars to get and burn more oil.

Only 3 EU Countries Pursuing Policies In Line With Paris Climate Agreement | CleanTechnica: "Despite all of the fanfare that went on at the time, it seems that there are currently only 3 European Union countries pursuing climate policies that put them in line with the agreements made at the Paris Climate Change Talks, according to recent reports."
It is up to us. We can take action on the local level. To decide what is good action to take, ask some questions. What will reduce sprawl, growth, and energy demand? What things cause birth rates to fall?

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Ending Energy Povery

Energy is unfairly used. A small percent of humans uses much more than their share. Reducing their use would be the most effective way to reduce heat and its damage to the biosphere.

So what is the plan of world leaders? They want to put roads and solar panels throughout undeveloped areas to eliminate "poverty."

Don't fall for this. Our problem is heat. It is caused by wasteful suburban autosprawl, the lifestyle of a relatively small percentage of world population. 

A lot of money being bet on Kirkuk oil and demise of Islamic State

Rosneft said to prepay about $1bn for Iraqi Kurdistan oil: "The Russian state-run producer’s trading arm will buy Kurdish oil from now until 2019, Rosneft said in February, without specifying how much crude it would take. At $1bn, Rosneft would account for about a third of the prepayment deals the Kurdish Regional Government negotiated with oil traders.
Rosneft’s press service didn’t immediately comment when contacted by phone on Thursday. An adviser to the KRG’s Natural Resources Minister Ashti Hawrami didn’t immediately respond to a call and e-mail seeking comment.
The KRG is selling oil in advance to help finance government spending, including the military campaign against Islamic State, during a period of relatively low oil prices. For Rosneft, the deal brings a guaranteed flow of crude into its expanding trading business and is another example of its expansion into the Middle East following deals in Libya and Egypt.
Rosneft chief executive officer Igor Sechin said in February that the company will be “developing new markets worldwide for Kurdish crude oil.” Rosneft hasn’t previously worked with the KRG, which in recent years has struggled to maintain payments to international producers shipping oil from the region.
"

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Overpopulation Denial

un-Denial: "If I am right, it is ironic that economic growth slowed due to the overpopulation related depletion of non-renewable resources which then required a further population increase to maintain some economic growth to avoid collapse. It’s analogous to the positive feedback loop of rising temperatures causing ice loss and methane release."

Friday, April 7, 2017

Thousands Of Trees Around The World Threatened By Extinction

Science World Report : "The researchers discovered that about 9,600 types of trees all around the world are at risk of extinction. Scientists blamed deforestation and global warming as the cause of the extinction."
Solution. Reduce human population. How. Falling birthrates.

What factors cause birth rates to fall?
  • education - studies show consistently that education drops birth rate
  • urbanization - people discover education more important than more farm hands
  • health - child survival has immediate impact on birth rate
Make cities #carfree. Invest in education and health.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

US attack on Syria a sign of weakness

The whole world wants the oil in Kirkuk, Iraq. It is the last major reserve of easy-to-get oil. The Islamic State stands in the way, hence the 60-something coalition attacking them.

Only problem, Syria is ripe for IS takeover. It almost happened in 2014, but Russia and the US intervened along with their clients and proxies.

The world powers cannot defeat IS. The more they bomb it, the more it grows.

The US wants to turn up the heat, but the 9-11 lie is wearing thin. Russia has already openly called it out a few times in their media. Fortunately for the US, Russia's credibility is low. So the US, after ignoring Syria regime atrocities for six years, now is playing up the latest one to create cover for more forceful intervention.

This plan will go on the pile of failed previous plans.

There is another way. While the world fights over oil, the clathrates are melting, the peat is drying out. The biosphere is in great danger. Why not leave MENA and focus on getting off oil?

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

People, including Trump voters, want #publictransit, Trump does not

theringer: "Together, these moves offer a window into the types of projects that the Trump administration may put on the chopping block. This matters now because at the same time Trump is choking off transit projects, urban dwellers are voting for some of the most ambitious public transportation expansions in memory. Seattle passed a $54 billion expansion to its light rail system, one of the largest local transit projects in U.S. history. Los Angeles voters agreed to a tax hike that will generate $120 billion for transportation projects. Around the country, voters in Atlanta, Charleston, and Raleigh also approved mass transit expansions. As cities swell with more people, urban dwellers are demanding more efficient transportation options, and are even willing to open their wallets to pay for them. “If you see a plethora of new transit initiatives, then that’s a reflection of what the sentiment is,” says P.S. Sriraj, director of the Urban Transportation Center at the University of Illinois at Chicago."

The United States Is Bombing First, Asking Questions Later

Wow. 9-11 is the legal basis of all the US killing in Syria and Iraq. What a wake-up call when people apply basic physics to the 9-11 event.

Foreign Policy: "All U.S. military strikes have been carried out under the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) passed by Congress just days after the 9/11 attacks. The Pentagon says the same is true of the anti-Islamic State campaign, even though the group broke with and has fought al Qaeda. In Syria, the United States makes use of an expansive definition of so-called associated forces of al Qaeda — a phrase that was not included in the AUMF, but that has been adopted by the Pentagon and successive U.S. administrations. More than 15 years after 9/11, it could now apply to thousands of fighters in the Syrian civil war, many of whom may care little about striking the West."
In case you ask "what physics?" There is not enough potential energy in a building to bring it down and crush it into powder. Not even close.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

All wars are for energy

Humans have fought each other over the years for power. But power for what? Power to control energy -- food, labor, resources -- all these are needed to provide joules for life.

Economists talk about energy as just a commodity but energy is actually above economics.

Today, many people are being killed, jailed, tortured, starved, and chased from their homes so that a few people can waste energy.

The system of cars and sprawl wastes energy by spreading things out and requiring a lot of running back and forth and individual heating and cooling of buildings.

Wouldn't it make more sense to stop the waste before killing to get more?

We have been taught that human tribalism was brutal and modern life is civilized. But can you imagine a tribe throwing all its food in the river and then attacking a neighbor to take theirs?

A hundred reasons for #freetransit

There are at least 100 reasons why you should advocate fare-free public transit/transport in your town.

First of all, your town saves money. because free is cheaper. It is currently spending a lot of money managing autos and supporting sprawl development. When buses are fare-free these costs can be reduced. Combined with heath savings, the money saved is much more than the lost fares.

Cities can become free of cars. This will attract people and as they urbanize birth rates will fall. When people move to the city, they find that education is more important than creating more farm hands.

To get started, eliminating fares would cost about $100 per person per year for a medium-size city in the US. A family that could reduce by 1 car could save $7,000 per year. Those who cannot sell one car would still benefit by the reduction of congestion.

It's really an obvious solution to problems of city budget, over population, and congestion. 

Friday, March 31, 2017

Rising cost of finding and pumping oil

Our Finite World: "Oil companies tend to extract the cheapest and easiest to extract oil first. Eventually, they find that they need to move on to more expensive to extract fields–even with technology enhancements, costs are rising. "

Humans reaching peak water

BBC News: "The global market for foodstuffs is depleting water sources in many parts of the world quicker than they can naturally be refilled."

Monday, March 27, 2017

Warming earth threatens to release huge amounts of carbon

United Nations : "21 March 2017 – Rising temperatures could release massive amounts of carbon trapped in the Earth's soil, the United Nations agricultural agency today reported, warning that soil management could make or break climate change response efforts."
While many are focused on reducing emissions, heat continues to be generated by human activity. Living uses energy, converting it to heat. The source does not matter, if activity grows, heat increases. This heat now threatens to release tons of carbon. That will make of mockery of attempts to reduce emissions.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Bloomberg explains why #IslamicState must be fought

Bloomberg: "The semi-autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government says the area’s reserves could total 45 billion barrels, more than Nigeria’s, and Kurdish crude is generally cheap to extract. When foreign investors tramped into the region’s oil fields after the fall of Saddam Hussein’s regime, the crude was so abundant it seeped from the ground beneath their feet. Tony Hayward, former BP Plc boss turned wildcatter, called Iraqi Kurdistan “one of the last great frontiers” in the oil and gas industry as his new company Genel Energy Plc started prospecting there in 2011. Ashti Hawrami, natural resources minister for the KRG, has spoken of increasing exports to 1 million barrels a day or more."

The faulty thinking behind "decoupling"

World Economic Forum: "But we would argue that what people are observing (and labelling) as decoupling is only partly due to genuine efficiency gains. The rest is a combination of three illusory effects: substitution, financialisation and cost-shifting.

...Many other factors that are not captured by GDP affect well-being. These include the distribution of wealth and income, the health of the global and regional ecosystems (including the climate), the quality of trust and social interactions at multiple scales, the value of parenting, household work and volunteer work. We therefore need to measure human progress by indicators other than just GDP and its growth rate.

The decoupling delusion simply props up GDP growth as an outdated measure of well-being. Instead, we need to recouple the goals of human progress and a healthy environment for a sustainable future."

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Paris Accord Could Make the World Richer - and therefore hotter

Bloomberg Quint: "Investments in renewable power and energy efficiency will add about 0.8 percent to global gross domestic product by 2050, the International Renewable Energy Agency, or Irena, said Monday in a report produced for the German government... "
Focus on emissions ignores heat. Human activity generates heat. Greenhouse gas emissions need to be negative, but renewables generate growth which means more human activity which means more heat. Efficiency runs into the Jevons problem -- it also encourages growth.

The only policy that addresses both heat and emissions is managed degrowth. We should encourage falling birth rates with:
  • education
  • child health
  • urbanization
Make cities car-free, educate all children, and provide good healthcare.

Friday, March 24, 2017

People want #publictransit, Govt wants cars. #autosprawlsubsidy

masstransitmag: "The 2017 Infrastructure Report Card, released by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), gave U.S. public transportation a D- grade, even as it acknowledged the growth of demand for public transit."

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Oil caught in fallacy of composition

There is no good price for oil. If high, economy slows and demand drops. If low, individual producers increase production to keep cash flowing, driving price below cost.

Why can't voluntary production cuts work? Two reasons.

1. No one wants to volunteer to lose money selling oil under cost.

2. Oil is the fuel of transport and sprawl, the essence of consumer capitalism. Trillions in infrastructure is dependent, and there is no easy substitute. Price hikes needed by producers trickle through the entire economy.

So the obvious solution is to get off oil.

But capitalism won't do it, can't do it. Because of its competitive nature, it will exploit any profit seam until collapse.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

81% of Trump voters oppose #publictransit cuts

Trump Administration's 'Skinny Budget' Cuts Infrastructure Investment: "According to a recent APTA poll, most Americans, including President Trump supporters, would not support these cuts to public transportation. A 2016 poll showed that 3 out of 4 Americans support increased public transportation investment. Additionally, a November election poll found that 81 percent of Americans who voted for Donald Trump oppose any cuts to the current levels of public transportation investment."
The autosprawl industry has fooled voters for many years with various coalitions of racism, religious extremism, and phony fiscal conservatism. One elected, they resume the attack on public transit. Public transit, implemented properly, exposes the subsidy of the autosprawl system. Once people have choice of travel they see that subsidy of cars is an unnecessary burden.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

China proving that #renewables mean #growth

ABO: "Today the country's total installed capacity from coal is over 900 GW, and another 200 GW will soon be added. According to Laura Cozzi, the IEA’s principal analyst, coal will continue to supply over half of Chinese energy consumption at least until 2030. Nonetheless, a new course is being charted for Chinese coal, with plans to cut 2,400 million t from obsolete plants by 2020 and develop "clean coal" through the use of carbon capture and storage technology (CCS) for an annual output of 500 million t. At the same time, the government is betting on renewables by bringing their share of China's energy mix up to 30% during the same period."

GOP to America, "Get in the car. Now"

Rail News : ""From San Diego to Los Angeles to numerous projects in the Bay Area, Californians across the state have benefited from a strong federal presence in public transportation,” said Michael Wiley, chair of the California Transit Association's Executive Committee and former general manager of the Sacramento Regional Transit (RT) District, in a press release. "Sacramento RT's south line light rail project, which was built in two phases, received two federal grants totaling $245 million. Without those funds the 15,000 people that ride that line daily to work, school, shopping and to the new Golden 1 Arena, would be stuck in traffic adding to congestion.""

Saturday, March 11, 2017

US still bombing Muslims for oil, while #publictransit decays

progressiverailroading: "The report noted that the nation's transit systems have been "chronically underfunded" and collectively face a $90 billion backlog of infrastructure rehabilitation needs. This year, the report's transit section included commuter rail, which was included in the "rail" chapter in the 2013 report card.

"Transit in America continues to grow, carrying 10.5 billion trips in 2015 and adding new lines and systems every year," the report stated. "Yet the symptoms of overdue maintenance and underinvestment have never been clearer.""

Thursday, March 9, 2017

#Degrowth debate?

There should be no debate about degrowth.

The laws of physics supersede all human effort.

Humans have surpassed the limits of growth and degrowth has begun.

The purpose of a degrowth movement is to reduce the pain.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Cause of current mass extinction? Roads

Mother Nature Network: "The No. 1 cause of modern wildlife declines is habitat loss and fragmentation, representing the primary threat for 85 percent of all species on the IUCN Red List. That includes deforestation for farming, logging and settlement, but also the less obvious threat of fragmentation by roads and other infrastructure."

Sunday, March 5, 2017

US Govt theory of 9-11 building collapse is physically impossible

Europhysics News Indeed, neither before nor since 9/11 have fires caused the total collapse of a steel-framed high-rise—nor has any other natural event, with the exception of the 1985 Mexico City earthquake, which toppled a 21-story office building. Otherwise, the only phenomenon capable of collapsing such buildings completely has been by way of a procedure known as controlled demolition, whereby explosives or other devices are used to bring down a structure intentionally. Although NIST finally concluded after several years of investigation that all three collapses on 9/11 were due primarily to fires, fifteen years after the event a growing number of architects, engineers, and scientists are unconvinced by that explanation.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Oil and gas impossible to protect without totalitarianism

Bombs target oil pipeline in Iraq's Kirkuk, one killed | Reuters: "Four bombs went off on Saturday near a minor pipeline from an oilfield close to the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk, security and oil industry sources said."
Why are world governments increasing totalitarianism? Oil and gas source areas and pipelines are impossible to protect.

Cheap oil has peaked. Every day it takes more joules to get a joule of energy. And what is left in the ground is already borrowed against. Massive debt defaults and recession are at stake.

There is a way to get out of this mess. Every day many gigajoules of energy are wasted on cars and other consumer products. By getting rid of cars, we could save energy, cut emissions, reduce heat, and create a simple, but comfortable life.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Fuel efficiency for cars estimated at 1%

theconversation : "If we assume that the average car weighs roughly 20 times more than its driver, we can estimate that for a single-occupant car journey, with no significant other cargo, the effective fuel efficiency drops to just 1% (adding a passenger only raises this to 2%). And that’s before we take into account the broader resource and infrastructure requirements, as mentioned above, for that journey to take place."

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Expect to see more emergencies like Oroville Dam in a hotter world

skepticalscience : "Like many extreme events, the Oroville emergency is a combination of natural weather likely intensified by climate change. California regularly sees “atmospheric rivers” that deluge the state with rainfall, but in a hotter world, scientists anticipate that they’ll be amplified by an increase in the amount of water vapor in the atmosphere."

Clean coal exposed as fraud, now we have clean cars

Soup-to-Nuts Review Finds CA Clean Cars Program Working | NRDC: "The California Air Resources Board (ARB) released a soup-to-nuts review of its Advanced Clean Car (ACC) program today. The 658-page report confirms that the popular program, which establishes smog-forming and carbon pollution limits for new cars and trucks, can be met on time, with known technologies, and at reasonable cost. Agency-experts recommend that the Board stay the course on the standards, pointing to a large body of evidence showing the auto industry is already exceeding standards and are on-track to meet 2025 targets.  "
It doesn't matter if cars burn water and exhaust perfume -- they are still wasteful consumer products that promote sprawl and growth. More cars means more buildings and homes spread out. Each one individually heated and cooled. Each with its own leaf blower, snow blower, riding mower, electronic entertainment center, web-connected refrigerator, hedge clipper, power tool set, ladder, ping pong table, etc. This is why the oceans are full of junk, rare earths running out, species going extinct, wetlands filled, etc.

The private auto enables the end of the biosphere. Why are so-called environmentalists trying to improve it and make it more effective for its task?

False debate on cost of #publictransit

The so-called "debate" about whether to invest in public transit is framed incorrectly. The failure to break away from the accounting-style framework to an economic framework is the result of many years of dominance by the profiteers of autosprawl.

Public transit funding is framed in budget terms. How much does it cost? What is the minimum we can invest and still function as a community.

If the actual costs of the autosprawl system were included in this discussion it would be easy to show that the reduction in car and sprawl costs would more than justify robust investment in public transit. Even fare-free public transit.

We have shown in our spreadsheet that if a city realized only very small reductions in the costs of the car system, it could easily afford fare-free public transit. 

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

No silver bullet?

There is one main problem in today's cities. It is the private auto. How did this happen. Was it just free market forces? No, by now you should know that free markets are a fairy tale believed only by honest libertarians... and good luck finding one of those!

Car dominance started in the US, with the premeditated destruction of the street car.

It would be nice to paint some lines on the road and suddenly go back to cycling, but that's not going to happen.

The car system, autosprawl, is much more that just cars. It is a massive infrastructure that cost trillions to build and costs trillions to maintain. It is heavily subsidized. People do not see the subsidy. They think cars came from the Garden of Eden and have always been the only way to get around.

When buses are fare-free, it will begin a snowball effect undermining the critical mass of autosprawl. The subsidy will be seen as a burden and cars will lose political power.

Bang.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Half of carbon emissions come from wealthy 10%

It's more than just climate change: ""However, these human impacts can only truly be understood within the context of economic inequality," pointed out political scientist and co-author Jorge Rivas of the Institute for Global Environment and Society. "The average per capita resource use in wealthy countries is 5 to 10 times higher than in developing countries, and the developed countries are responsible for over three quarters of cumulative greenhouse gas emissions from 1850 to 2000."

University of Maryland geographer and co-author Klaus Hubacek added: "The disparity is even greater when inequality within countries is included. For example, about 50 percent of the world's people live on less than $3 per day, 75 percent on less than $8.50, and 90 percent on less than $23. One effect of this inequality is that the top 10 percent produce almost as much total carbon emissions as the bottom 90 percent combined.""

Cars are literally killing us every day

Dangerous by Design 2016 | Smart Growth America: "Between 2005 and 2014, a total of 46,149 people were struck and killed by cars while walking in the United States. In 2014, the most recent year for which data are available, 4,884 people were killed by a car while walking—105 people more than in 2013. On average, 13 people were struck and killed by a car while walking every day in 2014. And between 2005 and 2014, Americans were 7.2 times more likely to die as a pedestrian than from a natural disaster. Each one of those people was a child, parent, friend, classmate, or neighbor. And these tragedies are occurring across the country—in small towns and big cities, in communities on the coast and in the heartland."

Wrong solutions are wasting valuable time, energy

There are so many wrong solutions for energy and climate, we had to create another blog to try to address them. These are more than just mistakes, they are absorbing critical activist energy and wasting precious time. Before you back a solution, think it through. Check the math. Here is a link to a list of some of the problems with solutions that are being put forward.

Wrong Solutions for Energy, Climate

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Capitalist failure brought Trump, which will bring more failure

insurge-intelligence: "As the London-based development charity ActionAid showed in a 2013 report, a more realistic poverty measure lies between $5 and $10 a day. World Bank data shows that since 1990, the number of people living under $10 a day has increased by 25 percent, and the number of people living under $5 a day has increased by 10 percent. Today, 4.3 billion people — nearly two-thirds of the global population — live on less than $5 a day.
So really, poverty has worsened in the Age of Progress. And now the unsustainability of this equation is coming home to roost even in the centres of global growth, where wealth is most concentrated."

Friday, February 10, 2017

Russia is just an oil company with an army

The Nearly Now: "People who are looking to understand what the Trump gang is up to would do well to consider his gang’s actions through the lens of the Carbon Bubble. Understand that the amounts of money at stake are vast, nearly inconceivable to most of us, and highly concentrated in the hands of the people in Trump’s cabinet and their close friends and business allies."

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Americans want more buses, including 65% of Trump voters

Make public transit a big part of infrastructure investment: Guest commentary: "Nearly 70 percent of voters polled following the presidential election support investment to repair and improve public transportation. A large majority who voted for Trump — 65 percent — feels similarly."

The Cost of Auto Orientation

Strong Towns: "In the United States we've proceeded for sixty years with reconfiguring our public spaces to accommodate the automobile. The built in assumption of this approach, especially when it comes to commercial property, is that the more cars driving by the better. What we've overlooked in our haste to "modernize" is the lower return on investment we get from this approach, even under ideal conditions. Today we need the humility to acknowledge that our ancestors -- who built in the traditional style -- may have known what they were doing after all."

Sunday, February 5, 2017

China leads the #climatechange fight

World GWP is about $90Trillion, growing at 4%. At that rate in 2034 it will be $180Trillion. No matter what happens with emissions, how much heat will be generated to service this base of human installations and activity?

For example China oil use grew 2.5% last year. That means total oil use will double in 28 years. Since oil allows sprawl and growth. How much energy converts to heat to run all that stuff?

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Unsafe at any price. Falling net energy and global debt guarantee collapse on current course

How global economic growth will drown in Trump’s oil glut after 2018 – INSURGE intelligence – Medium: "This has led to a number of devastating consequences. To maintain economic growth, we are using ingenious debt mechanisms to finance new economic activity. The expansion of global debt is now higher than 2007 pre-crash levels. We are escalating the risk of another financial crisis in coming years, because the tepid growth we’ve managed to squeeze out of the economy so far is based on borrowing from an energetically and environmentally unsustainable future.
And this is also why there has been an unmistakeable correlation between long-term global net energy decline, and a long-term decline in the rate of global economic growth."

#Renewables promote growth and therefore heat

The following tweet sums up what is wrong with renewables. They just promote growth.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Democrats want $1 Trillion Transportation Infrastructure Spending

Sounds good, create jobs, fix bridges and such. But it's just another bailout for the unsustainable autosprawl system. And this to be done with printed money.

masstransitmag: ""Nothing is more important today than investing in the backbone of our nation -- our lifeblood -- in roads, bridges, rail, ports, airports, schools, our electric grid, broadband ... the list is almost endless," Blumenthal said. "But the truth is very simple: The background of our nation is crumbling and decaying before our eyes because we have failed to invest.""
Don't wait for the federal government to help you. Join your local public transit advocates and get more buses in your town or city. The quicker we reduce cars, the sooner we can tame sprawl.

IEA: In 2040, annual CO2 emission rises will still be greater than zero. If so, we are cooked.

IEA's webinar: The Outlook for Renewable Energy: "Implementation of the climate pledges will slow down the projected rise in energy-related CO2 emissions from an average of 2.4% per year since 2000 to 0.5% per year to 2040. 
What about heat? Unless greenhouse gases are decreasing, heat will continue to rise. We have already had heat waves over 40C that have killed hundreds.

What will be the GDP in 2040. What will be the population. We are growing -- and maintaining what we have already developed will make more heat.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Which infrastructure?

Will there be a real national debate in the US? Judging by recent events. Not likely.

The chattering class is caught up with the loss of rights that workers never had. Meanwhile autosprawl meltdown is hitting cities and towns. The costs of subsidizing cars and sprawl are now due and unpayable.

So what will happen? The US federal government will invest more printed money in bridges, roads, and other needs of the car.

Why?

Because public transit leads to nicer cities, and people will like them better than sprawl suburbs. When people urbanize birth rates fall. When birth rates fall, growth falls, profits fall.

We can fight back. Don't be distracted by antics at the national level. Join your local public transit advocates who are doing the hard work of getting more buses. Or better, become an advocate of fare-free transit and make more political space for them to operate.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Supply-side environmentalism has failed. Give it up.

A majority of Trump voters want more buses. But the anti-Trump forces are focused on such things as stopping pipelines, calming traffic, and divesting.

Trump and his likes get power from hate and profit-seeking, true, but there is a much more powerful force behind him that is openly discussed, but not in front of the public.

That force is the tsunami of people, at least a billion, who want to live like suburban Americans. What if you got a billion retweets for cutting emissions? You wont.

People do not want to hear that they have to cut back. They don't see rich people doing it.

There is a solution. Give people an alternative to sprawl. Give them car-free cities. This can be accomplished at the local level.

Socialist Party implements #freetransit in Hungary town

Smog Alert Brings Various Injunctions In Hungary - Hungary Today: "The opposition Socialist Party has joined calls by other opposition parties to make use of public transport free of charge during smog alerts. The Budapest arm of the Socialists said that car registration certificates should be valid for use on public transport or travel should be made completely free of charge in times of smog. Earlier, the Dialogue, Liberal and Együtt parties made a similar demand. Budapest’s mayor, István Tarlós, ordered a heightened smog alert on Sunday and banned cars that lack an environmental registration code from the streets from 6am.

There already exists a good example of this in Hungary. In Szeged, Mayor László Botka (Hungarian Socialist Party) put the city on highest alert for smog. For the duration of the alert, the city is offering free public transport services to decrease air pollution caused by traffic in the southern Hungarian city. People can take free rides on the buses and trams of the city from Tuesday to Sunday in Szeged."

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Trump tells it like it is!

Monday, January 23, 2017

The problem of falling net energy -- the elephant in the room

@NafeezAhmed openDemocracy: "Over the last century, the net value of the energy we are able to extract from our fossil fuel resource base is inexorably declining. The scientific concept used to measure this value is Energy Return on Investment (EROI), a calculation that compares the quantity of energy one extracts from a resource, to the quantity of energy used to enable the extraction.
...
.... Because we need energy to produce and consume, we need more energy to increase production and consumption, driving economic growth. But if we’re getting less energy over time, then we simply cannot increase economic growth.

This has led to a number of devastating consequences. To maintain economic growth, we are using ingenious debt mechanisms to finance new economic activity. The expansion of global debt is now higher than 2007 pre-crash levels....

As global net energy is declining, to keep the endless growth machine running, the imperative to drill like crazy to get more energy out only deepens. So instead of scaling back our exploitation of fossil fuels, we are accelerating it. As we are accelerating fossil fuel exploitation, this is accelerating climate change. That in turn is driving more extreme weather events like droughts, storms and floods, which is putting crops in major food basket regions at increasing risk.

As climate and food instability ravages regions all over the world, this has fueled government efforts to task their militaries with planning for how to deal with the rising instabilities that would result as these processes weaken states, stoke civil unrest and even inflame terrorism. And that escalating breakdown of regional states coincides conveniently with a temptation to use military force to consolidate control of more fossil fuel resources."

Saturday, January 21, 2017

What's wrong with electric cars?

  • Sprawl. All cars promote sprawl. Sprawl means each house with its own leaf-blower, snow blower, heating and cooling, etc. Sprawl wastes energy.
  • Growth. More cars enables more babies.
  • Manufacture:
Tesla’s Electric Cars Aren’t as Green as You Might Think | WIRED: "...At this mine, those rare earths amounted to 0.2 percent of what gets pulled out of the ground. The other 99.8 percent—now contaminated with toxic chemicals—is dumped back into the environment. That damage is difficult to quantify, just like the impact of oil drilling...."
But the biggest problem with electric cars is that many people see them as a solution to climate and energy problems. By the time the hype has cleared, precious time will be lost, time needed to implement actual solutions.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Trump's Plans for Fossil Fuels Will Shrink the Economy

Motherboard: "It all comes down to physics: the laws of thermodynamics. Economies need energy to function. And to grow, they need extra energy to fuel that growth in production and consumption. But as more energy is required just to extract new energy from fossil fuels, there is less “energy surplus” available to continue driving economic growth—to ramp up even more production and consumption. And increasingly, more and more energy is being used just to maintain the existing infrastructure of society as it is, leaving less room for further growth."

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

What really happens when you go all-renewable?

A physicist calculates the costs of switching to electricity powered by renewables. Few people are actually "doing the math" as he does. Scientists have been heroic fighting against the denier/delayers. Now we need them to run the numbers on the "solutions."

A Nation-Sized Battery | Do the Math: "What about cost? At today’s price for lead, $2.50/kg, the national battery would cost $13 trillion in lead alone, and perhaps double this to fashion the raw materials into a battery (today’s deep cycle batteries retail for four times the cost of the lead within them). But I guarantee that if we really want to use more lead than we presently estimate to exist in deposits, we’re not dealing with today’s prices. Leaving this caveat aside, the naïve $25 trillion price tag is more than the annual U.S. GDP. Recall that lead-acid is currently the cheapest battery technology. Even if we sacrificed 5% of our GDP to build this battery (would be viewed as a huge sacrifice; nearly a trillion bucks a year), the project would take decades to complete."
When you actually calculate what it takes to switch to renewables, degrowth seems a lot more reasonable.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Outgoing Transportation Secretary Says Private Funding Isn't the Answer

Save this quote. This is exactly what is going to happen. A lot of money will be spent by new US administration on infrastructure and things will get worse.

Outgoing Transportation Secretary Says Private Funding Isn't the Answer – Skift: "But Foxx also cautioned that “you could put $5 trillion into America’s transportation system and if the money isn’t directed in the right way, we will still have congestion, still have problems.”"

Wealth and energy are locked together, decoupling is a fraud

Economics: "The core finding is that simply maintaining our current economic wealth requires continual energy sustenance. Like a living organism, civilization requires energy not just to grow but also to maintain its current size or wealth.  All components of civilization, whether human or physical, have no innate value; instead they acquire economic value through mutual connections since these enable the circulations that define humanity. These circulations between and among us and our stuff require a consumption of energy. Viewed very generally, our total civilization wealth is directly tied to this energetic power through a constant. "
So even if emissions are zero, growth will increase the amount of installed human infrastructure and human activity, which means there will be more heat. No matter what fuel is used. No. matter. what. fuel. is. used. At 2.3% growth, human infrastructure/activity will double in 30 years. Due to 2nd Law of Thermodynamics, energy cannot depart earth faster than a fixed rate based on [fixed] surface area and [fixed] energy transfer rate.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Even emission-free, growth will burn our living space

Solar advocates like to say that the energy from the sun is plentiful and free. That's true. But what should we be doing with it? Is it dangerous? Could we burn ourselves? Is there a lab to test in?

Yes, we are in the lab, and have a big experiment already with concentrated sunlight. We have been burning old sunlight that was concentrated into coal, oil, and gas. We have increased the amount of heat on earth's surface, both land and water.

Fossil fuel has allowed us to become over 7 billion in number.  We have over 350ppm of gases in the air that are trapping more energy every day and will continue for a long time. We have a complex way of living that demands energy use to double about every 30 years. These three things generate heat faster than the earth's infrared radiation can dissipate it into space.

Even if we stop adding heat trapping gases to the air, our activities will turn incoming solar energy to heat, and yes, we will burn ourselves.

Said another way, even if we convert to emission-free energy, we will still cook the biosphere.

What to do? The sunlight coming in must be stored, not used in heat-generating activity. We must reduce our numbers. We must simplify our complexity.  

Sunday, January 15, 2017

2nd Law of Thermodynamics prevents decoupling

Why economics is just a physics problem: "Stepping back to see the world economy as a simple physical object, one where people are only part of a larger whole, would be a stretch for a traditional economist hung up on the idea that wealth must be restricted to physical capital. But, crucially, unlike traditional models, it is an idea that can be rigorously tested and potentially disproved. It is a hypothesis that is falsifiable. If the above is correct then we should expect to see that summing up the inflation-adjusted of GDP all nations, over the entirety of history, this very general expression of inflation-adjusted global economic wealth is tied to global primary energy consumption through a numerical constant, independent of the year that is considered. "

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Brave candidate calls out false eco "leaders"

The neoliberals are moving heaven and earth to keep the lid on the eco activists who are trying to stop climate change and save the biosphere. They provide "leaders" who misdirect the energy of honest activists. Why do so few eco organizations openly call for free transit? The answer is because they get that phone call from their "funders" re-directing them to a goal that does not threaten growth.

Here a candidate in Scotland openly calls for free public transport and calls out the "green" party to stop misleading.

Natural carbon-capture in peat. 100's of millions of tons of carbon in danger of being released

While we scramble to discover ways to capture and store carbon, development, growth, and climate change are threatening to release billions of tons of naturally stored carbon. Growth and development must stop.
Carbon Brief: "Peat soils are susceptible to climatic changes if they cause the peat to dry out, which starts the decomposition process again, releasing the stored carbon back into the atmosphere. Protecting peat soils – along with other ecosystems that store carbon – is an important part of the global effort to cut carbon emissions. And the first step in peatland protection is knowing where they are."

Friday, January 13, 2017

Here are the numbers on how #autosprawl has bankrupted America

Strong Towns : "The median household income in Lafayette is $41,000. With the wealth that has been created by all this infrastructure investment, a median family living in the median house would need to have their city taxes go from $1,500 per year to $9,200 per year. To just take care of what they now have, one out of every five dollars this family makes would need to go to fixing roads, ditches and pipes. That will never happen.

Thus, Lafayette has a predicament. Infrastructure was supposed to serve them. Now they serve it."

Climate deniers have morphed into "decouplers"

When the term climate "denier" came to be, it would have been better named climate "delayer." Because their purpose was to delay action that might hurt corporate profit. So it should have been expected that as they lost one argument they would morph into something slightly different. They sound like a boy caught with his hand in the cookie jar, making up lies. Here are their stages.

  • there is no global warming
  • ok, there is, but it's not man-made
  • ok, there is, and it's man-made, but it's not a problem
  • ok, it's a problem, but we can decouple!

Decoupling means separating carbon emissions from economics so growth can continue while emissions go down.

Now we will be delayed another 10 years while we expose this canard.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Writer runs the numbers on the decoupling hoax

Resilience : "Central in the ecomodernist gospel is the claim that the economy can be “decoupled” from nature, from resource demands and ecological impacts. That is, technical advance can enable output and consumption to go on growing, presumably for ever, while resource demands and ecological impacts are reduced way down to tolerable levels. The previous critiques of Phillips and ecomodernists in general that I have seen (e.g., by Hopkins 2015, Caradonna et al., 2015, Crist, 2015 and Smaje, 2015a, 2015b) have not focused on this numerical issue, i.e., on the evidence indicating what the rate of “decoupling” is and might be in future. A glance at this realm makes ecomodernism, to be polite, extremely implausible."

Neoliberalism means growth, and the end of the biosphere

Resource Insights: To confront power, one must first name it: Neoliberalism and the sustainability crisis: "This message is inconvenient for both right and left in that it suggests that we must dispense with the growth economy and structure our economic lives based on other principles, say, sustainability above all and solidarity through shared sacrifice. These principles have the possibility to be inspiring, but they simply do not fit into the neoliberal vision of perpetual growth and concentration of wealth in the hands of the few."

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Neoliberalism, left and right, is destroying the biosphere, know your enemy

Resource Insights : "Scott Walker may be an egregious example on the right. But politicians on the left should not be let off lightly. The insistence, for instance, that the deployment of renewable energy will solve the climate change problem is disingenuous at best. It should be obvious to those who understand climate science that only drastic reductions in overall energy use and major changes in our infrastructure and in our daily routines can hope to bring down greenhouse gas emissions sufficiently to avoid catastrophic climate outcomes. And again, the marketplace alone isn't going to do these things for us."

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Another hard punch coming from #peakoil

via @NafeezAhmed
Brace for the oil, food and financial crash of 2018 – INSURGE intelligence – Medium: "A report by HSBC shows that contrary to industry mythology, even amidst the glut of unconventional oil and gas, the vast bulk of the world’s oil production has already peaked and is now in decline; while European government scientists show that the value of energy produced by oil has declined by half within just the first 15 years of the 21st century."
The US has $Trillions in auto and sprawl infrastructure, and is investing more every day for maintenance, repair, and new construction. Plans for undeveloped areas of the world are mainly road-building. Something has to break. Cheap oil peaked in 2005.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

The Myth of Renewable Energy and Climate Change

Fair Observer: "This culture will not act to stop or significantly slow global warming. This culture will sacrifice—read kill—the planet rather than question the socioeconomic system that is killing our only home.

How do we know that? Well, here are a few good reasons.

Let’s start with Donald Trump. No, even though the president-elect of the United States thinks climate change is a hoax, he and his hot air—and what we can presume will be his policies—are not by themselves sufficient to kill the planet.

More significant is that his position on global warming is representative of his contempt for the natural world. And even more significant than this is that his contempt for the natural world is representative of the attitudes of much of this culture. He received almost 62 million votes, meaning Trump is far from alone in what he feels about the real world."

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Mass destruction from US Iraq Invasion - just a mistake, oh well. Move on.

The Cipher Brief: "It turns out that the real mistake in the Iraq war was not the judgment that they came to, but the fact that if they had really thought about it, the analysts would have only said that they only had low confidence in that judgment that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction.  That would have been a completely different message, right? 

That was a mistake, so the lesson learned from Iraq was to really focus on your level of confidence in the judgment you’re making. "
This shows the power of oil. They are so contemptuous of people they think they can pass off mass murder as a "mistake."

Sunday, January 1, 2017

CO2 Emissions Flat? - Reality Check

CO2 Emissions Flat for 3 years. What does that mean?
  • study is about CO2 only, does not include methane, other ghg's
  • flat does not mean zero emissions, CO2 still pumping into the air 63% faster than in 1990
  • amount of CO2 in atmosphere is still growing
  • study does not include emissions from deforestation
greencarreports : "The study focuses solely on CO2 emissions, and does not include emissions of other greenhouse gases, including methane.
It also does not include releases of CO2 from nonindustrial sources like deforestation.
Nonetheless, the study hints at the possibility that global CO2 emissions are plateauing.
The next step, then, would be working to ensure that they start to decline significantly."