Sunday, April 22, 2018

Free Public Transit: And Why We Don't Pay to Ride Elevators

Black Rose Books : "In an age of increasing inequalities and ecological crisis, movements for free public transit are proposing a profound rethinking of urban transport as a fundamental human right and public good. Research shows that, if the bus were free, people would ride it as much as 50% more in the first year, dramatically reducing car use, traffic, and pollution, while redistributing wealth and increasing social inclusion for poor and working people. But free public transport alone is not enough; it must also be combined with much better service and reserve bus lanes to be effective.

In its twelve chapters, this book explores the winning strategies and pitfalls of case studies ranging across the United States, Montreal, Toronto, Estonia, Greece, Italy, Sweden, Brazil, Poland, China, and Mexico. As much a manifesto as a guide, this explosive book, the first ever on the topic in English, is written for those who want to truly revolutionise their city and move it forward."

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Confused about #Syria?

Start with energy. If you don't think energy runs the world, turn off all electricity while reading this.

Energy runs economics. The most useful energy is oil. There is a large reserve of easy-to-drill oil under Kirkuk, Iraq.

The world powers have been fighting through proxies to get control of that oil.

The US has no friends left on the ground in the region, and has made defacto alliance with every thug imaginable.

There is a small fake left, who represent no workers, who are largely correct about US crimes, but simply promote alternative bullies.

What is Antifa

The capitalist system is in growth/collapse. The rich are growing, the poor collapsing.

A thought experiment.

Pretend you are at the top of elites. Is there a mechanism to find out who among the oppressed will violently oppose you?

Well, you know that if you want to chase bugs away, you provide a scent they don't like. But if you want to kill bugs, you provide something that attracts them, e.g. a bright blue light.

This is Antifa. A bright light to attract and kill.

Monday, April 9, 2018

The fallacy of supply-side eco activism

Fake eco-activists: "No pipelines, keep it in the ground"
Saudis: "Here's $10 billion to make more petrol"
Saudi Aramco signs contracts worth $10 bln to expand U.S. refining: "Saudi Aramco signed agreements with Honeywell UOP and TechnipFM valued at $US8-10 billion for expanding chemical production and potentially building a complex along the U.S. Gulf coast."
There will be no "keep it in the ground" until there are no customers.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

What's all the fighting about? #oilwars

Iraq aims for 6.5 mil b/d crude oil production capacity by 2022 - Oil | Platts News Article & Story: "Iraq has adjusted its crude oil production capacity target and is now aiming to achieve 6.5 million b/d by 2022, oil minister Jabbar al-Luaibi said Monday."

Sunday, April 1, 2018

#Renewables literally throwing fuel on the fire

Energy demand grows 2.1 pct in 2017 – IEA report: "Fossil-fuels met over 70 per cent of the growth in energy demand around the world. Natural gas demand increased the most, reaching a record share of 22 per cent in total energy demand. Renewables also grew strongly, making up around a quarter of global energy demand growth, while nuclear use accounted for the remainder of the growth. The overall share of fossil fuels in global energy demand in 2017 remained at 81 per cent, a level that has remained stable for more than three decades despite strong growth in renewables, IEA said."

Friday, March 30, 2018

Seven thousand #methane bulges (pingos) in Siberia

siberiantimes: "The problem is extensive.

‘Based on satellite data, we have marked 7,000 bulges (pingos) - or even more,' he said.

‘It doesn't mean that every pingo carries danger - but it is still clear that we can draw certain conclusions.'

A dozen new craters have been identified in three years. "

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Another pathetic attack on #freetransit from corporate media. [they got nothin']

Alternet: "Which leads to the question: Just who is taking public transit on the free days? If those cities’ citizens are anything like New Yorkers, the folks riding for free are probably the same people who would rather walk or ride a bike than pay nearly $3 to get somewhere."
Probably? That's all you got. We have a whole library listing the benefits of public transportation. One of the main ones is more physical activity.

Sunday, March 25, 2018

When is the #marchforourlives against cars?

Death by Car: "In 2016 in the United States, a total of 65,284 people under the age of 25 died, from all natural and artificial causes. Of these children, 24,005, or 37 percent, were killed in automotive collisions. This result was not an anomaly. It is a feature, not a bug, of our socio-economic order. Car crashes are the clear, long-standing #1 killer of American children. It is not a close contest, either."

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Opponents of free public transport: "We need that money!"

Paris mayor proposes free public transport to reduce pollution | KTIC Radio: "Valerie Pecresse, head of the Ile-de-France region around Paris and a member of the Conservative Party, criticized Hidalgo, pointing out that “ticket sales bring in 3 billion euros ($3.7 billion) a year.”

“We need that money,” Pecresse told French Radio Classique, adding that if travelers did not pay, taxpayers would have to do so."
What is the main objection to the implementation of fare-free public transport? It is the "loss" of revenue from fares. But what is not said is that the reduction in car costs will be far more than the loss of revenue. The list of the externalities, or hidden costs, of the private auto is very long, and represents a lot of money, many millions more that the little bit from payment of public transport fares.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Paris [again] ponders free public transport

connexionfrance: "Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo is considering making the capital's public transport free to all Parisians in a bid to reduce air pollution - but her plan faces opposition from the head of the regional transport authority, who said the move would hit taxpayers.

Ms Hidalgo has launched a study into the feasibility of free city-wide transport, and told French daily Les Echos she wanted to debate the issue ahead of municipal elections in 2020. She told the paper: "The question of free transport is one of the keys to urban mobility in which the place of the polluting car is no longer central"."

Monday, March 19, 2018

Syria regime too weak, US changing plan

The US has been standing by, hoping the regime in Syria can keep "stability" ... meaning access to oil in Kirkuk, Iraq.

But the regime cannot even conquer its own capital city.

Now the US has to be more aggressive, maybe take it down and install another puppet.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Friday, March 16, 2018

The Curse of Energy Efficiency: The #jevons paradox

The Curse of Energy Efficiency | The Tyee: "Jevons concluded that: “It is wholly a confusion of ideas to suppose that the economical use of fuel is equivalent to a diminished consumption. The very contrary is the truth.”

The idea that using fuels and resources more efficiently leads to greater environmental ruin became known as Jevons Paradox. Oil-fired and electrical driven technologies have honoured the paradox with panache.

Modern economists don’t talk much about Jevons Paradox, but they do admit that the problem exists and refer it to “rebound.” Just when you think you’ve actually solved a problem, shit rebounds on you, they calculate with their math formulas. When energy efficiency wipes out 100 per cent of the energy savings, economists call the rebound a total “backfire.”"

Thursday, March 15, 2018

What everyone knows, but few will say

The automobile took over US by force before WWII. After the war, it was expanded to create a subsidized, unsustainable, empire of sprawl.

Now it has spread to the world.

Capitalism has all its eggs in this basket.

They plan to bomb, slaughter, starve, and torture until the whole thing collapses.

Everything else is distraction.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Mayor of German city believes fares deter car owners from trying #publictransport

German Cities To Trial Ambitious Free Public Transport Plans | HuffPost: "“If you ask them, they don’t know how the system works and are not prepared to pay 5 euros when they have a car in the garage and can ‘do it free.’ In attracting these people, the price barrier is very important.”

The aim in Tübingen, he says, is twofold: to lower emissions and reduce travel costs for people on low incomes. A municipal memo reportedly put the cost of zero-fee public transport for all at 14.5 million euros ($18 million)."

Fare-free public transit is good. It's intuitively obvious, and studies back it up.

Just stand by a busy highway and watch the traffic. Unless you have been brainwashed it should be obvious that something is wrong.

Recently some major cities have turned to fare-free public transit to reduce pollution. There are many other benefits as well, and mayors are wondering why they can't have them.

But those who profit from the auto system are many and powerful. Sprawled out homes need many more energy-wasting consumer products.

They have launched attacks in the corporate media against fare-free public transit. What is their best argument? They say it doesn't work, that it attracts people who would have walked.

We have a whole library of links that show the many benefits of public transit. There is plenty of evidence that it generates more physical activity. Over 90 percent of bus riders walk to the bus stop.

The anti-transit forces have no legitimate arguments. We even can show that your city will save more money with fare-free public transit than the "lost" revenue. 

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Follow truth wherever it leads

The US empire is in deep trouble. It has bet everything on an unsustainable investment of trillions in autosprawl hard assets. Highways, pipelines, ocean tankers, highway tankers, rail tankers, refineries, parking lots, spread out water systems, sewer systems, electrical grid, bridges, and tunnels.

Now they have miscalculated in MENA and cannot guarantee control over the last of the cheap oil, the oil in Kirkuk.They cannot control the transmission of gas from the Caspian to the markets of South Asia.

They cannot care for their own people. They fear rebellion and are working hard to promote racism and other divisions.

This is what is driving US policy. Ignore the corporate media. Turn off the TV.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Monetary policy broken now that cheap oil is over

Our Finite World: "Also, feedbacks don’t come quickly enough to make necessary course corrections. This makes raising interest rates way too much like playing with physics reactions we don’t fully understand. Interest rate increases (like fission reactions) start chain reactions. In an open environment such as the world economy, we have limited understanding of the outcome of these chain reactions."

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Seoul City caves in to pressure, chooses capitalist profit over human survival

KBS World Radio: "Seoul City has eventually scrapped its fine dust reduction policy of providing free public transport on buses and the subway during rush hour.

This comes two months after the measure was first introduced.

The measure was disputed as wasting municipal budget as it cost nearly five billion won a day for the free rides."
Free public transport is much more than clean air. It threatens to break the monopoly that the auto has on moving people. When that happens people will no longer tolerate the huge subsidies needed to keep the auto system going.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Brussels to Make Public Transportation Free – On Bad Air Pollution Days

goodnewsnetwork : "The legislators of Brussels have announced that public transportation and bike-sharing systems will be free for use on days when air pollution exceeds quality limitations set by the European Union.

On such smoggy days, city authorities also plan on banning the use of wood stoves and cutting automotive speed limits by one third."

Health or cars? Capitalism chooses cars. No surprise. It's a war.

German Cities Refuse to Launch Free Public Transport - - Sofia News Agency: "Five cities in Germany did not approve the idea of ​​providing free public transport to improve air quality, calling it unrealistic, DPA reported."
The automobile provides subsidized profit. Even they will sacrifice health and the biosphere to keep them running. They twist into pretzels finding ways to keep the car system going.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Free Public Transit Cheaper Than Unmitigated Climate Change

Care2 Causes: "But the German government is pragmatic. If three ministers are backing this, you can safely assume that free transit is possibly one of the cheapest solutions to the complex but well-understood problem of vehicle emissions. Emissions from fossil-fuel burning vehicles are a public health problem, an environmental problem, and a national security problem. The cost of either inaction or insufficient action is markedly higher than the economic costs of much more dramatic action now."

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Disingenuous attack on #freetransit ignores auto subsidy

Seoul City spends W4.8b to reduce 0.8 ton of fine dust: "The city government spent 14.5 billion won ($13.4 million) to offer free public transportation during morning and evening rush hours on Jan. 15, 17 and 18 as part of emergency measures to combat high levels of fine dust.

This means it cost the city 4.8 billion won to prevent 800 kilograms of fine dust, or 6 million won per kilogram."
Corporate media ignores the fact that pollution exists because of subsidy to the auto system. For them, it is ok to spend tax dollars creating pollution, but "too expensive" to do anything that reduces it.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

#crisisactors, racism, #autosprawl meltdown

The US empire is in decline. There is no money to pay for the upkeep of all the highways, bridges, and cul-de-sacs. 

A recent uptick in oil price caused a sudden correction in the stock market, while borrowed billions are spent on wars to keep the oil coming.

The staged school "shootings" are designed to ramp up racism and division. The elites want to divide us into "liberals" who call for more government control, and "conservatives" who want more guns for racist reasons.

They are working hard at dividing and distracting us. They will need us fighting each other when unemployment is suddenly 30 percent.

Nem mais um cêntimo para os transportes públicos : "Transportes públicos gratuitos exigem, para começo de conversa, um fortíssimo investimento em redes de mobilidade. Qual é o ponto de tornar gratuito o que não funciona agora? É preciso investir em novas redes: mais modernas, mais abrangentes, mais confortáveis. Levar o transporte público para próximo dos cidadãos e dar-lhes oportunidade de escolha é decisivo.  "

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Germany considers making public transport free to fight air pollution

The Local : "The German government is considering several measures for improving the quality of air in major cities, including making all inner city public transport free to use."

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Free public transport reduces depression

deccanchronicle : "Researchers found that increased eligibility for a free bus pass led to an 8 percent increase in the use of public transportation among older people, and a 12 percent decline in depression symptoms among those who started taking the bus when they became eligible for the program."

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Why Is Fare-Free Transit The Exception Rather Than The Rule?

Planetizen : "What I did learn was that there is only one way to run a transit system. And that, I believe, begins to explain why Fare-Free Transit is the exception rather than the rule.

I'm not sure from whence the idea of Fare-Free Transit came to me, but I've since discovered that it not only works but works extremely well when implemented with the same vigour as fare-based systems."

Friday, February 9, 2018

Capitalists fight over oil and gas, as mass murder of civilians continues nearby

Global Daily News : "Iranian forces attempted to advance towards energy fields held by the PYD/PKK terrorist group in eastern Syria, to which the U.S. responded with fierce airstrikes late Wednesday.

Iran launched an attack on PYD/PKK forces — which the U.S. refers to as the “Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF)” — in Syria’s eastern Deir ez-Zour province with the aim of capturing a Conoco gas plant and the Al-Omar oilfield.

The attack reportedly included artillery barrages and rockets."

Thursday, February 8, 2018

US makes lightning strike on Syrian forces to protect oil. But protect civilians? meh.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

US and Russia proxies clash in Syria. Nuclear weapon use not far off.

The US and Russia have been avoiding direct conflict while manipulating proxies in MENA. Now the US policy of backing PKK and PMU has left it with no friends who have significant boots on the ground.

This has emboldened Russia and they have allowed their clients to attack a PKK area where US forces are present.

As policy goes from bad to worse, we can expect the US to turn to nuclear weapons soon.

There is another path the US could take.

The US could make urban buses fare-free, and begin the decommissioning of autosprawl. 

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

15 years since US invasion, now US needs Iran to help steal Iraq oil

After 15 years of chaos and death, bombing civilians, and flattening cities, the US still struggling to get control of Kirkuk oil.
pipelineoilandgasnews: "Iraqi forces are preparing to launch military action to take control of Hamrin mountain range near the Iran border to secure the transit of Iraqi oil, Reuters reported, quoted officials.

The military operation could start this week, two officials told Reuters.

The area lies between the Kirkuk oil fields and the town of Khanaqin at the Iranian border.

Iraqi oil officials announced in December plans to transport Kirkuk crude by truck to Iran’s Kermanshah refinery."

Monday, February 5, 2018

Last year, Americans took 10.4 billion trips on public transit, or 35 million every weekday.

Houston Chronicle : ..."Over the past two decades, public transportation ridership has grown by 34 percent. Last year, Americans took 10.4 billion trips on public transit, or 35 million every weekday.

Those who use public transit don't miss driving. Typically citing convenience and cost, six in 10 riders prefer public transit to other modes of transport.

Americans are giving up their car keys because buses and trains fit seamlessly with the ride-sharing, car-sharing, and bike-sharing services that have revolutionized how we get around.

Consider a survey taken last year of commuters in Austin, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington, D.C. Researchers surveyed 4,500 people about their use of public transit, car-shares, bike-shares, and rideshares. They then identified a subset that regularly uses several of these modes of transportation. Nearly six in ten of these "super-sharers" reported that more often than not, they travel on a bus or a train.

These variations of ways to get around -- public transit among them -- are allowing more households to go car-free, or at least car-lite."

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Mayors love #freetransit #freepublictransport .... until they get that phone call

Many mayors and mayoral candidates have called for fare-free public transit in their cities... a few examples:
  • New York City
  • Houston
  • Dayton
  • Durham
  • San Fransisco
  • Auckland [candidate]
  • Hartford [candidate]
  • Paris
  • Seoul
  • Mexico City
  • Chennai
  • Tallinn
  • many more
Some have had success, and some have been able to implement based on pollution rates.
But in many cases they suddenly go quiet. Mayor Bloomberg was notable example. He said on radio that "of course" fare-free is the way to go. Then he went silent, and has been silent on the topic ever since. 

Free transit is an obvious solution to the headaches and pain of the auto and sprawl, but it threatens to expose massive autosprawl subsidies. When cars no longer have critical mass, people will no longer tolerate their subsidy. Politicians are told by their masters that free transit is a career ender.

Friday, February 2, 2018

Automobile debt bubble still expanding #autosprawl #meltdown

Bloomberg: "It’s all happening in the market for subprime auto bonds, where loans to American consumers with some of the patchiest credit histories are packaged into securities to be sold to big investors. A decade after risky mortgage lending toppled the U.S. financial system, the securities have rarely been so popular. But the collateral behind the bonds is getting less safe: car-owners are increasingly falling behind on bigger loans with longer repayment terms made against depreciating assets."

US policy for: 1-transport 2-economy 3-foreign affairs 4-climate 5-health

Thursday, February 1, 2018

#Parisagreement temperature limit already passed

Arctic News: 2017 was hottest year on record: "When determining which year was the hottest year, care should be taken to avoid bias due to temporary conditions such as the El Niño that was present in 2016 and the La Niña we're now experiencing now. Above image uses NASA land+ocean January 2012-December 2017 anomalies from 1951-1980, adjusted by 0.59°C to cater for the rise from preindustrial to 1951-1980, to calculate a linear trend that goes some way to smooth out variability due to El Niño/La Niña events. The trend shows that 2017 was significantly warmer than 2016.

The trend also shows that 1.5°C above preindustrial was crossed back in 2016. This 1.5°C (or 2.7°F) was set at the Paris Agreement as a guardrail that was not to be crossed. The trend further shows that we've meanwhile crossed 1.6°C above preindustrial and we look set to cross the 2°C guardrail within years."

Seoul mayor pushes back on critics and reiterates support for #freepublictransport to fight pollution

The Straits Times: "While acknowledging the fierce debate sparked by the city's decision to provide free public transport on three days when the air was very bad two weeks ago, the mayor insisted there is a need to "take as many measures as possible" to ease air pollution."

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Oil trolls terrified of #freepublictransport #freetransit

Cities are turning to fare-free public transit to fight pollution. Capitalists are panicked. What if it catches on? In Paris they managed to stop it. But in Korea, they are having trouble. They dug out this old canard about free buses reducing walking.
Can Free Public Transit Fix South Korea's Smog Problem? - The Atlantic: "The lure of “free,” the report implied, attracted the “wrong” crowd—the “right” crowd, of course, being wealthier people with cars, who aren’t very sensitive to price changes … Free subway rides entice people who would otherwise walk, not people who would otherwise drive."
Studies consistently show that this is false. That public transit users actually walk more.

Former RIPTA board member calls for #freetransit for Rhode Island

Fare-Free New England: "There would be no need to print, market, and distribute transfers and passes. It would speed up trips by speeding up boarding, thus both using buses and drivers more efficiently, and attracting more riders. It can truly put Rhode Island on the map and get the attention of potential progressive employers attracted by the idea of the one statewide free transit system."

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Study calls sprawl called wasteful

New Climate Economy: "High levels of sprawl create economic inefficiency and dependence on motor vehicles, leading to higher carbon emissions."

Friday, January 26, 2018

Hopkins mayoral candidate says light rail would bring 'trash from Minneapolis'

KMSP : ""All the Chicago and Detroit riff raff who have moved into 'Welfare-apolis', they are going to get on that train and you know where they are going to end up - at The Depot with yours and yours and yours' granddaughters and grandsons," Ivers said during the forum."
Reasons for #publictransit. Fight racism.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Polish City of Krakow Offers Again Free Public Transport to Fight Pollution

Latin American Herald Tribune: "
WARSAW – The Polish city of Krakow, where high levels of air pollution have been reached in recent winters, offered on Tuesday free public transport to travelers in a bid to reduce the use of private vehicles, local authorities said on Radio Poland.

The city’s government also called on residents to go outdoors as little as possible due to high pollution levels.

Poland has 33 of the 50 most polluted cities in Europe, with worryingly high levels of airborne particles, according to a report by the World Health Organization published in 2017."

Saturday, January 20, 2018

An excellent resource about freedom from cars

Carfree Times: September 2017: ""If given just one word to describe climate change, then 'unfairness' would be a good candidate. Raised levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere are expected to cause deadly heatwaves for much of South Asia. Yet many of those living there will have contributed little to climate change.""

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Imagine there's no cars

Seoul offers free public transport to tackle excessive air pollution

The Independent : "Emergency measures have been introduced in the South Korean capital of Seoul to combat a thick layer of smog that is covering the city.

Public transport is free during rush-hour as of Monday 15 January, in the hopes that car use will be reduced.

The measures were introduced after the average daily density of ultra-fine dust hit more than 50 micrograms per cubic metre, an amount that is considered harmful."

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Less than 10 years to human extinction, from mostly peer-reviewed submissions

Climate-Change Summary and Update – Nature Bats Last: "If you’re too busy to read the evidence presented below, here’s the bottom line: On a planet 4 C hotter than baseline, all we can prepare for is human extinction (from Oliver Tickell’s 2008 synthesis in the Guardian). Tickell is taking a conservative approach, considering humans have not been present at 3.3 C or more above baseline (i.e., the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, commonly accepted as 1750). I cannot imagine a scenario involving a rapid rise in global-average temperature and also retention of habitat for humans."

Saturday, January 13, 2018

#freetransit #freepublictransport - An international campaign

Here is how #renewables make things worse

Assume today all fossil-fuel use ended. The following heat and emission generators still exist.

  • human activity - moving, building, fixing, fighting, maintaining body temperature
  • drying peat
  • melting permafrost
  • melting clathrates (ocean methane)
  • soil emissions from agriculture
  • forest destruction reducing co2 capture
  • wildfires
  • reduced ice melt latency
  • reduced ice solar reflection
  • tectonic activity from ice melt
  • tectonic activity from geothermal energy use
  • etc
All of these are doubling every 30 years.

Renewables do abolutely nothing to slow growth. Even without fossil-fuel we will cook the bioshere. Only degrowth reduces both heat and emissions.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Reducing emissions is ambiguous

Let's leave aside the second derivative, the rate of growth of the rate of growth, or acceleration of emission growth.

The rate of growth, even if it were a steady percent, is still exponential. If emissions grow, for example, 2.3 percent per year, then the amount of carbon in the atmosphere will double every 30 years.

Let's say that emissions are brought to zero. The amount of carbon already emitted is still not being reduced. It stays the same. This is the state which China aspires to reach in 12 years. That means they plan to continue adding carbon until that time.

Many technofixers are saying X reduces carbon emissions. But people read it as X reduces carbon. This needs to be made clear.

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Unfolding Arctic Catastrophe

Arctic News: "Warm water will melt the sea ice from below, which keeps the water at greater depth cool. However, when there is little or no sea ice underneath the surface, little or no heat will be absorbed by the process of melting and the heat instead stays in the water, with the danger that it will reach sediments at the bottom of the Arctic Ocean, as illustrated by the image below."