Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Is the Tea Party anti-business?

The article below is more evidence that the tea party is a creation of, by, and for the oil industry. Their job is to shore up the the failing "gays-guns-god-[and-racism]" coalition that has traditionally allowed the oil-auto-sprawl industry to keep its trolls in office. Public transit is a huge threat to oil, but most other businesses want more of it.
The price of tea party politics in Troy, Michigan: investors walking away « Blogging for Michigan: "Lots of talk these days from conservatives and tea partiers in particular about too much government spending. Rather than seeing government spending as the investment that it often is, they see nearly all government spending as waste to be eliminated. As I wrote yesterday, tea party mayor of Troy, Michigan, Janice Daniels, led a coalition of like-minded tea partiers to kill off a transit center project that was a decade in the making, kissing off $8.4 million in federal investment funds to help make the project happen."
If you want to help speed up the demise of oil-power, join the campaign for free public transit.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Methane plumes 1 kilometer in diameter, shooting methane into the air. #agw

Melt of Artic seabed methane accelerating dramatically | ClimateSignals: "The scale and volume of the methane release has astonished the head of the Russian research team who has been surveying the seabed of the East Siberian Arctic Shelf off northern Russia for nearly 20 years.In an exclusive interview with The Independent, Igor Semiletov, of the Far Eastern branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, said that he has never before witnessed the scale and force of the methane being released from beneath the Arctic seabed."

'via Blog this'

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

How can we stop the #oil and #gas wars?

Oil and natural-gas wars are consuming tremendous amounts of resources. The U.S. occupation of Iraq has been estimated at USD 1 trillion in direct costs alone.

Meanwhile people are sitting in their cars, sitting still in traffic jams, and the cheap oil is going up in smoke.

It is time for a change.

Communities should invest in public transit. To maximize return on that investment, do not have fares. The more people ride, the less money your town will be exporting for cars and fuel.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

George Monbiot – No Bail-Out for the Planet

George Monbiot – No Bail-Out for the Planet: " as soon as the banks said they wanted help, they got it. On just one day the Federal Reserve made $1.2tn available – more than the world has committed to tackling climate change in 20 years."

'via Blog this'

Thursday, December 15, 2011

In current system, #peakoil equals #peakfood

Soaring oil and food prices threaten affordable food supply: "The current global food system is highly fuel- and transport-dependent. Fuels will almost certainly become less affordable in the near and medium term, making the current, highly fuel-dependent agricultural production system less secure and food less affordable. It is therefore necessary to promote food self-sufficiency and reduce the need for fuel inputs to the food system at all levels."

'via Blog this'

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Why #occupywallstreet must succeed, and soon. Corporatism is destroying the biosphere.
Methane feedback-loop is accelerating
Dramatic and unprecedented plumes of methane – a greenhouse gas 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide – have been seen bubbling to the surface of the Arctic Ocean by scientists undertaking an extensive survey of the region.
The scale and volume of the methane release has astonished the head of the Russian research team who has been surveying the seabed of the East Siberian Arctic Shelf off northern Russia for nearly 20 years.

#occupy responds to evictions - shuts down ports

Sunday, December 11, 2011

U.S. oil dependency raising risk of world war

The U.S. is dependent on imported oil. It's best allies, the UK and the EU, also so dependent, are dependent on imported natural gas as well. In addition they are in serious financial trouble and heading into prolonged recession. The price of energy is critical.

Russia has plenty of oil and gas. Caspian gas is still up for grabs, but Russia and China have the upper hand in this region. Pakistan moves a step toward China every day. Mideast oil is still under U.S. control, but keeping it that way is getting more expensive.

As western financial collapse progresses, the U.S. is left with military power as its only tool. It has already been overused and the U.S. conventional war threat is losing credibility. That leaves the nuclear threat.

The U.S. will have to try to ally with China against Russia. Currently the war of words between the U.S. and Russia is flaring up.

There is, however, one other path that could be taken. The U.S. could make all urban public transit fare-free and start the gradual elimination of the private auto. This would save $trillions and lead the world into a new way of life.

Friday, December 9, 2011

There is no housing crisis. There are more empy houses than homeless. #occupyhomes

... there are around 3,000 empty homes in Rochester and 500–1,000 homeless people on any given night. “There’s no real housing crisis,” Acuff explained. “When you have three times more housing than homeless people, it’s not a housing crisis, it’s a political crisis. Something’s happening systemically to have all these empty houses and people sitting outside on the street...”

Try to get one near public transit, though. More oil shock to come.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Where Is The 22 Trillion? | The Forest a Progressive Political Blog

Where Is The 22 Trillion? | The Forest a Progressive Political Blog: "The 22 trillion surplus revealed by Susan Swain should carry Social Security far into the future, so why are politicians so eager to place it on the chopping block? The answers to this question will have to come from Washington, but we can go back to 1983 to reveal what might be motivating the politicians to now come after the federal insurance policy that Americans have been paying into starting with their first real jobs."

'via Blog this'

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Why #collapse will not stop

Bond failures and bailouts will continue because it is not how much money you have, it is how much you have relative to your competition.

Different countries have different amounts of labor, military, resource, production, and financial power.

The first four require some effort to wield. The last does not. There is no braking effect.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Friday, November 25, 2011

Mother Nature makes a comment on consumerism

Water surrounds factories at a flooded industrial estate in Ayutthaya province November 14, 2011.
Credit: Reuters/Damir Sagolj
Thailand's surreal industrial park: crocodiles but no chips | Reuters: "(Reuters) - Knee-deep in foul-smelling water, workers are piling office equipment, documents and food onto fibre boats that ferry them from one building on Hana Microelectronics' 12-acre company site to another with more space on higher floors."

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thanks to #occupywallstreet, some anti-oil crumbs fall from the table

APTA Commends Congress for Passing Fiscal Year 2012 Appropriations Bill Which Increases Funding for Public Transportation - Mass Transit: "Although current public transportation infrastructure needs far exceed the appropriated funds, we applaud Congress for taking this action which will address important transit and highway needs and put Americans back to work. Every $1 billion in public transportation investment supports or creates 36,000 jobs. Also, for every $1 invested in public transportation, $4 is generated in economic returns."

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Autosprawl => energy waste => energy wars => dictatorship => rebellion

The Syria dictatorship is a proxy for big powers trying to control a region full of oil and gas, their sources, and their transport routes. People have had enough of dictatorship. But is the desire for suburban car-dependent life too strong? The energy waste required for the auto-system is too great to allow for democracy. Humans need to choose. Now. 

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Watch as more and more corporations diverge from oil coalition

Cars and trucks are the single largest users of petroleum, consuming about 43% of the total and about 16% of the total energy used in the U.S.
Help Reduce Air Pollution By Using Public Transportation Systems — Cereplast: "As a daily commuter, public transit can help you to save gas and money. According to an APTA study, access to bus and rail lines can reduce driving by 4,400 miles per household annually. Americans living in areas served by public transportation save 640 million gallons of fuel annually in congestion reduction alone. Public transportation’s overall effects save the United States 4.2 billion gallons of gasoline annually. This green community transportation provides an affordable, and for many, necessary, alternative to driving. Households that are likely to use public transportation on a given day save more than $10,000 every year. Free public transportation makes them save even more money."

Friday, November 11, 2011

Auckland could be a leader of world cities

Auckland too could be transformed into a modern, clean & green world-class city by implementing an efficient, integrated, publicly-owned fare free public transport network. Free & frequent low (or no) emission buses criss-crossing the city and linking up with free electric rail services and ferries, would free up the roads and allow people to move about easily, and leave their cars at home.

One councillor inevitably asked "How would it be paid for?" Fowler noted that no one seems to ask who pays for all the extravagent motorways, tunnels, and flyovers that continue to be built - only to be encourage more traffic that soon gets clogged again. Not to mention the high costs to people's health from exhaust pollution and accidents.

Government & Council funding for decent public transport should be a public service priority. Free public transport would make Auckland a world leader and attract a large influx of visitors, who could be levied a special tourist tax. Companies who profit from the resulting increased business could be levied too. And Auckland would be spared the excessive costs of building more motorways.
Fare-Free New Zealand

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

U.S. oil desperation increases

The oil-controlled U.S. government is in a jam and it will get much worse before better. They are simultaneously begging China for mercy and rattling the nuclear-strike sabre.

Why? Oil.

As soon as the economy tries to recover, oil prices, which are artificially low to begin with, will crush it right back down.

Military adventures to control oil and gas sources and routes have been a disaster, and puppet dictators are not working out so well. So they plan to have their proxy in the middle east execute a nuclear strike on Iran to show the world that the U.S. still has some bite left.

Meanwhile, they plan to create jobs by building more roads and cars. They must be stopped.

Friday, November 4, 2011

AAA knows, it's not just your car that's broke, it's the whole auto system

AAA: Fatal motor vehicle crash costs $6 million – "The emotional toll for Americans who lose a friend or loved one in a motor vehicle crash has a steep financial counterpart — an average $6 million per fatal accident, according to auto club AAA."

'via Blog this'

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

1% depending on misdirection of #occupywallstreet

The occupy movement has the 1% baffled so far. They tried ignoring it. They tried ridiculing it. They tried intimidating it. So far, no success.

The best hope of the 1% is provocateurs, trolls, and careerists inside of the movement.

Provocateurs make sure there are plenty of pictures of vandalism for the corporate media. They may attack police and provide cover for the 1% to order a police attack.

Careerists will think of ways to direct people into actions that coincide with actions decided in the GA but which divert attention from the the main focus. They will split and weaken. They might push dead-end goals, such as constitutional amendments or such. They seek notoriety to further their careers.

Trolls seek to annoy and confuse. They make debate so unpleasant that people are turned away from engagement. We have given tips on how to identify trolls here.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Free is cheaper

When fares are removed from urban buses and streetcars, the savings are big.

Increased return on investment. Public transit involves large fixed costs. When fares are gone, there are more riders per vehicle, getting more value from the investment.

Reduced parking costs. With free transit, fewer people will park downtown. City parking authorities can cost $180 million a year, paid by fines, which are just a tax on customers and delivery services.

Reduced traffic congestion. Studies have shown that the time lost in traffic costs urban economies hundreds of millions of dollars.

Less money exported for gasoline. A medium sized city can export 1 million dollars a day in gasoline money for cars. Free buses will reduce this considerably.

Better quality of life, priceless. In Hasselt, Belgium, when fares were removed, people in hospital started receiving more visitors.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Thai Flood May Lead Insurance companies to speak against #climatechange

Chrisophe Archambault/AFP/Getty Images 
Thai Flood May Lead to $2.5 Billion Payout by Japan Insurers - Businessweek: "Oct. 27 (Bloomberg) -- Japan’s casualty insurers may face about 190 billion yen ($2.5 billion) in net payouts to cover damages from Thailand’s floods, according to Deutsche Bank AG."
Expect a sudden change of tack by climate delayers. The insurance industry will soon be forced to split with the oil industry -- flipping the "debate" to the side of real science.

Monday, October 24, 2011

How to identify trolls on #ows and #agw

In the #occupywallstreet campaign, and #climatechange struggle, we are plagued by provocateurs and agents of oil and the 1% which attack from the outside and from within. Here are some tips on how to identify them.
  • high tweet/follower ratio on twitter (amazingly useful metric)
  • super-radical terminology with confusing array of targets
  • insistence on moral absolutes, one must be for/against x
  • focus on divisions in the 99%
  • focus on any path (money, law, celebrities) except mass unity 
  • obsession with corporate media coverage
  • focus on conspiracy or implying explosive hidden truth
  • asserting belief required for understanding
  • asking for money (unless homeless, then give)
  • saying "I support your cause, but..." (if they really support, it's their cause)
  • always criticizing 99% leadership or persistently negative
  • ad hominem attacks, or scatology (to make new people give up in disgust)
  • generalized misanthropy - "all people are greedy," "all politicians are crooks"
  • claiming all the answers are in one document or candidate
  • blaming government for everything
  • never directing comments against the banks or oil industry
These characteristics apply to both internal and external trolls. Use common sense and trust your instincts. There are always honest people who are misled and temporarily fall for scams. Some are just people trying to sell something.  Just keep shining daylight on the subject and the trolls will scatter.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Oil prices. Too high? No, too low.

In the article quoted below. Senator Sanders correctly points out that the American people are being fleeced by commodity gambling. No matter which gambler wins, the people lose. But we need to ask ourselves why such high prices are plausible enough to make such a game possible. The fact is we are on the downward side of oil. The long emergency is well underway. While there will be great fluctuation, the only way for oil price is up. That may be expressed in terms of price, subsidy, externalities, or wars. Or, of course, human die-off.
What Wall Street doesn’t want us to know about oil prices - Newsroom: Bernie Sanders - U.S. Senator for Vermont: "A June 2 article in the Wall Street Journal said it all: "Wall Street is tapping a real gusher in 2011, as heightened volatility and higher prices of oil and other raw materials boost banks' profits." ExxonMobil Chairman Rex Tillerson, testifying before a Senate panel this year, said that excessive speculation may have increased oil prices by as much as 40 percent. Delta Air Lines general counsel Richard Hirst wrote to federal regulators in December that "the speculative bubble in oil prices has concrete detrimental consequences for the real economy." An American Trucking Association vice president, Richard Moskowitz, said, "Excessive speculation has caused dramatic increases in the price of crude oil, which harms end-users like America's trucking industry.""

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Why I’m hooked on being carfree! - Getting There - Capital Region development - - Albany NY

Why I’m hooked on being carfree! - Getting There - Capital Region development - - Albany NY: "The first thing I noticed about not driving everywhere was an immediate connection to my neighborhood and my community that just wasn’t there when I drove all the time. To put it simply, being a pedestrian feels more human than being a driver. Walking connects me visually to my surroundings: I notice the interesting architectural details I never saw when driving at 30 mph, and I watch the scurrying squirrels or look at the intricacies of the plants, flowers and lichens growing on tree bark. Walking connects me auditorily : I hear the chatter of the birds that changes with the seasons, I listen to the wooshing of the passing vehicles, and hear snippets of the conversations of passing pedestrians and puppies. Walking connects me to other people: it’s an opportunity to get to know neighbors and folks at the bus stop whose path I never crossed when I was rolling around town in that isolated metal box."

'via Blog this'

Wednesday, October 19, 2011 » The $125,000 Commute: Not as Uncommon as You’d Think

That suburban dream home comes with a hidden cost: $125,000 in transportation costs each decade. Photo: Flickr, Remodeleze » The $125,000 Commute: Not as Uncommon as You’d Think: "Well, wonder no more. A personal finance blogger who goes by the name Mr. Money Mustache has done the math. Calculating at the federal reimbursement rate of 51 cents per mile, a car commute can get pricey fast. In fact, a 19-mile SOV car commute translates into $75,000 in costs for that commuter over 10 years, plus about 1.3 years of work time wasted in traffic. For a two-car household driving financed cars, that’s $125,000 and almost 3 years of potential working time wasted every decade."

'via Blog this'

Monday, October 17, 2011

#occupywallstreet bearing fruit. Feds release $928M for #transit

FTA grants will support more than 300 transit projects across America - Welcome to the FastLane: The Official Blog of the U.S. Secretary of Transportation: "I was happy to tell Governor Snyder and Mayor Bing that 16 Michigan transit projects were awarded a total of $46.7 million as part of the $928.5 million in total Federal Transit Administration Alternatives Analysis, Bus Livability, and State of Good Repair grants announced today for transit projects across the country."
The #occupywallstreet movement has widened the split the U.S. elites. The oil-companies are losing political clout. They can't get religious conservatives to reject environmental concerns. Social conservatism is failing as young people reject racism and homophobia. Their tea party is a national embarrassment. Other wealthy corporations are less and less willing to put their own interests second to oil. They know that transit investment is one of the best stimulants. They are more and more ready to throw their oil buddies under the bus.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

1% Stupidly orders crackdown on #occupyboston

Occupy Boston: "At 1:30 this morning hundreds of police in full riot gear brutally attacked Occupy Boston, which had peacefully gathered on the Rose Kennedy Greenway. The Boston Police Department made no distinction between protesters, medics, or legal observers, arresting legal observer Urszula Masny-Latos, who serves as the Executive Director for the Massachusetts branch of the National Lawyers Guild, as well as four medics attempting to care for the injured."

'via Blog this'

Monday, October 10, 2011

U.S. fighting over $8B for #transit for whole country, while France commits $30B for one city

France - Paris Project Is Approved - "The project, whose approval was noted in an official decree published Friday, will include the construction of more than 100 miles of automatic subway lines and 57 new stations, linking the suburbs around Paris in a massive figure 8. "

'via Blog this'

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Is your local #transit authority "cash-strapped?" Here's why...

Occupy America: protests against Wall Street and inequality hit 70 cities | World news | The Observer: "One of the favourite messages of the protesters is that almost 40% of US wealth is held in the hands of 1% of the population, who are taxed more lightly than the majority of Americans. Steinkamp was holding a sign saying "I am the 99%". And there is widespread anger that ordinary people have born the brunt of the financial crisis with dire job losses and house repossessions."

'via Blog this'

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Saudi Arabia Vows Collective Punishment - A War Crime

Saudi Arabia Vows ‘Iron Fist’ After Attack in Oil Province - Businessweek: "The government called on “rational members of their families, those of whose loyalties we have no doubts, to bear their responsibilities towards their sons,” the interior ministry said. “Otherwise, all will bear the consequences of their actions.”"

'via Blog this'

Growth Trends Propel Public Transit to $55 Billion Industry

Growth Trends Propel Public Transit to $55 Billion Industry: "The report shows that America’s public transit systems carried more than 10 billion passenger trips for the 5th consecutive year in 2010, the highest levels since 1957. It also shows support for better public transportation through public approval of transit ballot measures. These ballot measures have a 73 percent approval rate over the past 12 years."

'via Blog this'

Monday, October 3, 2011

Rochester NY, exporting $1.5M per day for gasoline

RECONNECT ROCHESTER » Ride RTS FREE On ‘Critical Mass Transit Day’ — October 20 ...Go Transit!: "Critical Mass Transit is a joint effort by Regional Transit Service (RTS) and Reconnect Rochester, a transit advocacy group that suggests by using public transit as an alternative to driving a car, Rochesterians have the power to reinvest those dollars back into Rochester’s economy.

THE SAVINGS ARE VERY REAL! According to, those who drive to work everyday alone can incur costs that exceed $1 per mile. That includes fuel, maintenance, parking and depreciation, and depends on vehicle type and driving habits. By comparison, a ride on an RTS bus costs one dollar.

In addition to the personal savings, every one-dollar invested in public transportation can generate $4 in economic returns for our area. Conversely, nearly every dollar we burn on gasoline leaves Rochester."

'via Blog this'

Sunday, October 2, 2011

People arrested for walking, while wall street thieves ignored

Thousands of people want to go the same way at the same time. They choose to walk. They spill into the street naturally as a way to move more people efficiently. They are arrested for blocking auto traffic.

If each of these people had a car. How long would the blockage have lasted? We don't know. But there would have been no arrests.

Next time, gamble with other peoples money, cause financial meltdown, bring a car, and you will be safe from arrest.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Expect a change of tack from the #climate delayers. Soon.

The oil industry is having trouble on many fronts. It's losing its energy wars, it's losing its coalition of voters, and it's losing it corporate coalition.

Many corporations are finding their interests diverging from those of the oil industry.

The insurance industry, for one, is in a tricky place. It faces huge claims from climate disruption. It will not continue to toe the line on climate delayism for the oil companies. Expect a change soon.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Plenty of money for #transit, do not accept the lies to the contrary

If you read articles about public transit, you will see the terms "cash-strapped," "funding-difficulties," and "shortfall." Don't believe the hyperbole. There is a boatload of cash floating around. Why none available for transit?

The super-wealthy are caught in a squeeze. With no demand for goods, their individual interests are to stay in cash and oppose taxes for themselves. As a group, their interest is to keep the system alive by investing in public infrastructure.

Those wanting to invest in infrastructure are split between saving the auto-system of transport, or giving up on it. Problem is, giving up on the auto-system means throwing the oil-auto-and-sprawl industries under the bus. These industries are too powerful. Hence, no action from them.

Not only is there no action, the corporate media is toeing the line maintaining a news blackout on grassroots protest. To get around that blackout, go to and type in #occupywallstreet in the search.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Oil industry fears the public-#transit tipping point

Why is the oil industry so desperate to stop the growth of public transit? Because as more people ride buses and rail, the critical mass of the auto-system becomes precarious. Once a tipping point is reached, people will see the massive subsidies that prop up the auto-system as a burden instead of a necessity. So the oil industry is directing its trolls to attack public transit. But we love transit, and we are fighting back. This article is one example:
More Tea (Party) « MARTA Rocks!: "Why else would they lead off with how they are against it because it is a tax, but use every inch of supporting argument as anti transit? If they were really trying to make a case and a fiscally responsible, anti-tax awakening to the region they would protest the excessive tax money used to support roads and airports. "

Monday, September 19, 2011

Free-public-transport advocates win 9% in German election

‘Geeks’ sail into Berlin parliament - World News | IOL News | "Berlin - Free wireless internet and public transport; voting rights for over-14s: just some of the policies of the “Pirate Party”, which on Sunday spectacularly won its first seats in a German state parliament."

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Rallies planned around U.S. to support public #transit 20-Sept

Congress has proposed to cut more than one-third of federal funding across the board for public transit and surface transportation programs. If these cuts are implemented, transit riders can expect service delays, fare increases and over-crowding.

The proposed cuts to funding will increase unemployment and leave many Americans stranded without access to their jobs and basic services such as grocery stores, doctors and faith services.

Rallies and events are happening on September 20 in cities around the country. We’ll continue to post information about rally times and locations, so please watch this space for updates.

Click here to go to Website

Friday, September 16, 2011

So many wrong roads down which we seem to want to go

The European Union is overestimating the reductions in greenhouse gas emissions achieved through reliance on biofuels as a result of a “serious accounting error,” according to a draft opinion by an influential committee of 19 scientists and academics. NYTimes

Biofuels... not as great as they look. No surprise. Why are we looking for ways to create more energy instead of STOPPING THE WASTE. The auto-system is extraordinarily wasteful. You don't have to be a scientist to know this. The use of a consumer product to move people--it just jumps off the page--NOT good.

It is long past time to stop trying to save the profits of the oil-auto-and-sprawl industries and take the bull by the horns. The private auto is KILLING us. Let us kill it first.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

The hidden costs of cars - Things that go away with free transit

Public transport's a safe investment - Opinion - Editorial - General - The Canberra Times: "The widespread use of cars comes with growing direct and indirect costs to taxpayers. Governments must continually build new roads and maintain existing ones as they deteriorate. Valuable real estate must be set aside for car parks, rather than be put to more productive uses. Traffic gridlock costs businesses through lost productivity and, in some industries, significantly higher prices; the federal Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics estimates congestion losses in Australia will amount to more than $20 billion a year by 2020. And every year that the bureau has examined the social costs of road crashes - health-care expenses, infrastructure damage, legal bills and policing and emergency services - it has found the amount dwarfs the revenue raised through rego fees, fuel excises and all other motoring-related taxes. Cars are a far costlier habit than most of us realise, because we never see a bill that lists their true price."

'via Blog this'

Monday, September 12, 2011

Oil states get it, build transit. U.S.?

gulfnews : A great green solution to transport woes: "Fifty years ago, transport energy in the world was 15 to 20 per cent of total energy consumption. Today it is probably over 50 per cent and increasing. Therefore using public transport and the train systems in particular are the way to optimise energy consumption, not only to cut costs but to maintain and improve the environment and air quality and hence public health."

'via Blog this'

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Exxon Makes Billion-Dollar Bet Climate Change is Real, Here Now and Going to Get Worse But Keeps Funding Deniers | ThinkProgress

Exxon Makes Billion-Dollar Bet Climate Change is Real, Here Now and Going to Get Worse But Keeps Funding Deniers | ThinkProgress: "Large deposits of gas and oil have been known to exist in the Arctic Ocean for decades. So why did they make this deal now? One key thing has changed: the arctic ice is melting rapidly. The Kara Sea has typically been covered by ice floes nine months of the year or more, making commercial development of its resources unprofitable. But for the last several years, the extent and duration of the arctic ice has been diminishing, a phenomenon the vast majority of scientists believe to be caused by climate change. Suddenly, oil and gas exploration in the Arctic Ocean is looking far more attractive. Exxon has realized that a warming planet offers some new opportunities for profit and is adjusting its strategic decisions accordingly."

'via Blog this'

Saturday, September 10, 2011

The answer is blowin' in the wind

Firefighters in Smithville, Texas: Governor Rick Perry, has called climate change an 'unproven theory' while wildfires ravage his drought-scorched state. Photograph: Erich Schlegel/AP
Hurricanes, floods and wildfires – but Washington won't talk global warming | Jules Boykoff | Comment is free | "We're living in unconventional political times in the United States, so it's time to dispense with conventional political thinking. Climate scientists are telling us with increasing confidence that the impacts of climate change are already playing out, and not just in the Antarctic where photogenic ice shelves are clattering into the sea. Climate change is already expressing itself as wild weather. It's blowing in the wind."

'via Blog this'

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Manitoba Greens call for free public transit

Manitobans urged to vote 'green' - Winnipeg Free Press: "Beddome said that's the party's largest slate of candidates ever and he hopes to encourage more people to run before the Sept. 13 nomination deadline.
He said the party is focused on preserving wetlands, moving toward more organic agriculture practices and offering free public transit."

'via Blog this'

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Indiana group gets it. #Transit is the deal-maker for successful business

Indiana Citizens Alliance for Transit « Advocates for comprehensive transit options in communities across Indiana Indiana Citizens Alliance for Transit: "

  • Our alliance represents a wide spectrum of business and community interests, but we all agree that transit options are vital to the future of our community.
  • As business and community leaders, we understand the need to invest tax dollars wisely, and we firmly believe that improving our mass transit infrastructure would be a smart and much needed investment in the prosperity of our community.
  • The development of mass transit options in a community positively impacts energy consumption, the environment and public health (through decreased traffic crashes and vehicle pollution as well as increased physical activity).
  • Mass transit makes economic sense. It is a wise investment in our community’s prosperity – creating jobs and spurring growth and opportunity.
  • Every day, mass transit gives members of our community an affordable, convenient and safe transportation choice.
  • Mass transit gives many individuals who would otherwise be unable to travel around our city the access they need to be independent and self-sufficient.
  • Mass transit will provide this community with renewed freedom and mobility."

'via Blog this'

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

What is wrong with road pricing? Plenty.

The idea of road-pricing, aka congestion pricing, aka tolling, is that the free market should apply to roads, that users should pay, and they should pay more when demand is high.

This is a scam. The auto-system is unsustainable, has always been, will ever be. It exists solely by virtue of heavy subsidy, and the externalization and deferral of costs. Now the bill for deferred infrastructure maintenance is due, and there is no money. Things are bad, but the oil industry has great power and is insisting that the system be prolonged. One of their biggest trolls, Grover Norquist, says to keep the gas tax.

Road pricing is just a sneaky fake free-market way to raise money to save the already unsustainable auto system, locking us in to more misery in the future.

A much better solution is to gradually dismantle the auto system. This can be done by making public transit fare-free and increasing ridership. The increased ridership would lead to demand for more frequent service, which would lead to more ridership.

There would be no need for massive auto system infrastructure investment.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Race to the top in public transit -- how will your town fare?

More people are waking up to the fact that the auto-system grinds commerce to a halt. The auto system drains the resources of employees and employers alike. It makes the movement of people and goods expensive and time-consuming. This will only get worse, especially if more roads are built.

Communities that can offer freedom from the car have a distinct competitive advantage. As fossil-fuel prices go up this advantage will become greater until a tipping point is reached. This will mean a race to the top in public transit. Those who are taking action now will be the winners.

The fastest way to grow public transit is to make it fare-free. This will increase ridership and increase the political base of transit advocates. If you want your town to be a winner, talk to your mayor, join your local transit advocacy group. Study the places it has been done. Initial cost is 60 basis points of tax. The return on investment is immediate.

Better get started, businesses are already looking for public transit when deciding where to locate.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Man's Greatest Mistake

Man's Greatest Mistake: "It is an issue that cuts across many aspects of modern society, it costs billions, it kills millions and maims millions more, it is a key factor behind the obesity epidemic, it criminalises hundreds of thousands of UK citizens, it eats up vast tracts of land, it is an anti-social menace that blights communities, particularly poorer communities, and it is deeply socially divisive. It is so resource hungry that it pushes up the price of food and other world commodities, it even causes developed nations to go to war."

'via Blog this'

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Oil-industry death grip is killing the U.S. economy

These are the people the city is currently neglecting, and your action will make it worse. These are the people we are now neglecting because public transit is not running when our citizens, who service customers for minimum wage, need it most.

Poverty is growing. Transportation is shrinking.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Why Libya is different

Daily Kos: NATO's Game Plan in Libya: But the case of Libya in different. Because of the peculiar nature of Qaddafi's "green revolution", because military-to-military relations between Libya and the US are only a few years old, and for a host of other reasons, the imperialists have no ready-made fall-back position in Libya should Qaddafi go. That is why the contradiction has become so sharp in Libya. That is why Libya became the first country in the string of revolts in which military power was used to put down the rebellion. In the beginning there were no strong sanctions against Qaddafi for using what was an unprecedented level of violence, such as war planes, against mass protests. The imperialist were secretly happy that someone was trying to staunch the fall of dictators with massive violence. Although they had made millions selling Qaddafi precisely the weapons he was using, like the cluster munitions from Spain, they were glad that the massive violence was being tried by someone they were not generally publicly associated with.

Growth is death

As the dream of economic growth dies, a new plan awaits testing | George Monbiot | Comment is free | The Guardian: To sustain the illusion, we have inflicted more damage since 1950 to the planet's living systems than we achieved in the preceding 100,000 years. The damage will last for centuries; the benefits might not see out the year. Ireland, again, points a withered finger at the future. Among other iniquities, the government forced a motorway through the Gabhra Valley, part of a site – the Hill of Tara complex – comparable in its importance to Stonehenge. It was both an act of wilful vandalism and a notice of intent: no consideration would impede the economic miracle. The road hadn't opened before the miracle collapsed.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

US/UK/EU fear that democracy might bloom as they dump their oil-puppet in the garden

The brave people of Libya are about to depose a big-power oil-puppet. The US/UK/EU will have the upper hand in "guiding" the new government, having invested millions in the clean-up of their own mess. They will talk a lot about the danger of "anarchy." (democracy and independence). The western governments are controlled by fossil-fuels and have put all their eggs in that basket. An independent Libya will control its oil. Loss of access to even this small amount of oil could tip the balance and throw the US economy into a death spiral, further weakening the western alliance.
Large Anti-Gaddafi Protests Erupt in Tripoli - TIME: (TRIPOLI, Libya) — Anti-regime protests erupted Sunday in several Tripoli neighborhoods where thousands braved the bullets of snipers perched atop high buildings, residents and opposition fighters said. At the same time, hundreds of rebel forces advanced to within 15 miles west of the capital and were rushing forward in pickup trucks and on foot.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Free Transit - Red states are lovin' it

Germanna students, employees now can get free FRED rides - Transportation: "Germanna Community College has joined forces with FREDericksburg Regional Transit to provide free rides on any regular route for its students and employees."

Monday, August 15, 2011

How does the private auto hate us? Let us count the ways...

20 million deaths from road accidents in 15 years, for example; that’s more than were killed in World War One. And don’t forget the 200 million people seriously injured. The majority of them our children and youngsters. It is a truly, truly horrific mass slaughter. And entirely avoidable.

Or our lost sense of community; the constant noise and the danger from cars stops kids playing and parents chatting. Cars physically prevent communication between people. They are by far the most conspicuous symbol of wealth and so are deeply divisive.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Persuading people to ride bikes?

Persuading people to ride bicycles or be pedestrians without addressing the private auto is like asking people to swim in the ocean with sharks. Some things are not compatible. Do we want more cyclist memorials? More cases like Raquel Nelson?

Bicycles. Really?

#movingplanet has a great video about what is wrong with human transport. Their proposed solution? bikes, jogging, walking. Um.... not. Only fare-free buses can break the critical mass of the #autosprawl system. Is this movement serious? or is it another #phonysolution.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Green Party of Manitoba - "no down sides to fare-free bus service"

Green Policy Asks: To Make Public Transportation Fare Free! | Green Party of Manitoba: "“Everyone who chooses to ride the buses will immediately find more money in their pockets to spend in the local economy, and at the same time they will be doing their part to lower our impact on this planet.” said Beddome.
“Even those that choose to continue driving & bicycling will benefit through smoother commutes and less stress from traffic congestion,” he said.
“Literally everyone wins! There are just no discernible down sides to a Fare Free Bus service in Winnipeg, Brandon, or any other Manitoba community for that matter,' added Beddome."

Capitalism is a trickle-up system

Meet the Global Financial Elites Controlling $46 Trillion In Wealth | | AlterNet: "In total, US millionaire households have at least $45.9 trillion in wealth, the majority of this wealth is held within the upper one-tenth of one percent of the population."

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Oil industry tightens its grip on US government

Super Congress stacked with climate zombies | Grist: "Even with the three House Democrats left to be named, seven of the 12-member committee are known to be climate zombies. Every Republican on the so-called Super Congress, as well as Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.), have voted to reverse the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) work to limit greenhouse-gas pollution. Most of the Republicans named to the committee are proud torchbearers of global warming denial:"

Subsidized private auto system crushes poor people

Mass Transit Is Good For Poor People | ThinkProgress: "According to the report, the average cost of owning a car is just shy of $9,500. That may not sound like much until you realize the federal poverty level is $22,350 for a family of four. One-third of low-income African-American households do not have access to an automobile. That figure is 25 percent among low-income Latino families and 12.1 percent for whites. Racial minorities are four times more likely than whites to use public transit to get to work.
Yet the federal government allocates 80 percent of its transportation funding to highways."

Thursday, August 4, 2011

How much lead is needed for the electric car?

Wind + Solar = A Cubic Mile of Lead - Death by Car: "How much lead would it take to build enough lead-acid batteries to enable construction of an all-wind-and-solar electrical grid to power the present energy use of the United States?"

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Oil industry tightens its grip on the U.S.

Debt Be Not Proud: Lame Deal Cements Cement Shoes on Energy and Climate Investment for Foreseeable Future | ThinkProgress: "We not only have no policy to prevent catastrophic climate change, our “leaders” have stopped talking about the problem and the House is trying to stop anyone from even planning for it."

Friday, July 29, 2011

Duke Offers Free Pass To Ride Public Transit | Duke Today

Kristina Troost boards a Triangle Transit bus on Chapel Drive for her afternoon commute back to Raleigh.

Duke Offers Free Pass To Ride Public Transit | Duke Today: "GoPass allows for unlimited rides on DATA, Triangle TraAdd enclosure linknsit, Capital Area Transit and C-Tran, the town of Cary's transit service, at no charge.

'I'm thrilled that now I can say that Duke is encouraging public transport in this way,' said Troost, who plans to use GoPass to commute by bus four to five days per week.

Duke partnered with Triangle Transit to provide GoPass."

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Oil companies see to it that transit sucks

Attention America. Suburban life is heavily subsidized. Without urban transit-riding workers, your 401k would be even more pathetic than it is. Urban transit riders are paying taxes to support the auto system, fighting in its oil wars, and dodging cars in the crosswalks. They are happy to take transit, but we don't even give them good service. Meanwhile we give billions to oil companies. How stupid is this country?

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Cars are killing people, community, and now, common sense.

Photo credit: Ulybug via Flickr/CC BY
Communities Designed For Cars Aren't Just Unsustainable, They're Deadly : TreeHugger: "Outrageous absurdities abound in this case; punishing a mother for walking her family across the street chief among them. But then there's the absurdity of building and maintaining communities in which it's not only difficult to walk, but downright dangerous to do so -- and propagating an attitude which supports such design in popular culture. As Grist's Sarah Goodyear points out, bad city design literally kills."

Monday, July 25, 2011

  “Zero Emissions”: Total Fraud - Death by Car

  “Zero Emissions”: Total Fraud - Death by Car: "As the slightest thought reveals, this is a 100 percent deceptive claim. We know, for instance, that manufacturing the battery pack for a so-called electric car releases 3.8 tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. And that is before the so-called electric auto has been driven an inch, i.e. before accounting for the emissions from the coal and nuclear power plants that make the electricity that drive the car’s motor."

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Texas Drought Now Far, Far Worse Than When Gov. Rick Perry Issued Proclamation Calling on All Texans to Pray for Rain | ThinkProgress

Texas Drought Now Far, Far Worse Than When Gov. Rick Perry Issued Proclamation Calling on All Texans to Pray for Rain | ThinkProgress: "The tropics and much of the Northern Hemisphere are likely to experience an irreversible rise in summer temperatures within the next 20 to 60 years if atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations continue to increase, according to a new climate study by Stanford University scientists…. “According to our projections, large areas of the globe are likely to warm up so quickly that, by the middle of this century, even the coolest summers will be hotter than the hottest summers of the past 50 years,” said the study’s lead author, Noah Diffenbaugh"

Monday, July 18, 2011

Car Sharing comes to St Louis

Car Sharing- the WeCar program for downtown St Louis: "Car sharing has arrived in Downtown St. Louis. The program will be known as WeCar an initiative of Enterprise Rent-A-Car based in St. Louis and the St. Louis Car Sharing Cooperative formed by Citizens for Modern Transit and six other sponsors.

Car sharing provides a big benefit to transit riders, enabling them to get along with fewer cars. Transit riders also can use WeCar for the CMT Guaranteed Ride Home program rather than a taxi for that emergency ride.

For those who ruled out transit because they need their car during the middle of the day for errands or meetings, WeCar is the perfect answer - providing them an option and an even bigger incentive to use transit."

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Because of pipeline vulnerability, fossil-fuel powers will try to crush democracy

Energy proxy-wars are raging. The great powers are desperate to control fossil-fuel energy sources and routes to market. Their problem -- pipelines are almost impossible to secure. That is why they are not even considering any system except totalitarianism. People who want democracy must realize this and not be fooled by their propaganda.
Flames rise from a pipeline distribution station after an attack in Sinai July 12. It was the fourth attack on facilities supplying Egyptian gas to Israel this year. (Photo: REUTERS)
Gas pipeline to Israel and Jordan bombed yet again - Politics - Egypt - Ahram Online: "A short while ago, a huge explosion inside the natural gas inspection station near Al Arish City International Airport rocked the capital of Northern Sinai. The explosion has ignited a huge fire in the pipeline, which Egypt uses to export natural gas to both Israel and Jordan."

Monday, July 11, 2011

We do have heroes -- though mostly ignored by corporate media

Meet Americas Most Creative Climate Criminal | Rolling Stone Politics | RS Politics Daily | Rolling Stone Writers and Editors on Political News: "Well I’m a climate-justice activist, and I’m actively pushing for things, like a renewable-energy economy, that are a real threat to those in power today. I think we’ve tried to make our ideas palatable to those in power but it’s never really worked, because shifting away from fossil fuels is actually a threat to our current economic system and to our current political system."

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Social Security to be cut, oil-auto-sprawl subsidy to continue recent weeks, congressional aides, strategists, and advocates have been floating, or warning of, a stealth change to the Social Security benefit structure that has quietly been placed on the negotiating table.

read more here...
The U.S. Government, enslaved to fossil-fuels and the autosprawl system, is ready to chop social services rather than give up its hopeless energy wars.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Car-culture is cruel - public transit is humane

Sarah S. Anker
Suffolk County Legislator 6th District
620 Route 25A Suite B
Mount Sinai, NY 11766                                 

Dear Sarah,                                                                                                                       June 29, 2011

It was great to see you again today at Stop and Shop and I am thrilled you are now my legislator.  I know that you will do well.

What I am writing you about are the buses presently running in Suffolk County.  I find this system to be pathetic.  Why do I say that? There are no buses which run into the evening hours or on Sundays and that hurts working people and those with medical challenges who are not allowed to drive.  I fit the former.  I am epileptic and there is many times where I must take a cab on Sundays to get me to and from work.  So, instead of paying $3.00 for a bus, I must pay $20 for a cab to and from work.  As you know, grocery store workers do not make a lot of money so it is financially devastating.

I have been outspoken on the Internet writing columns of this subject as well as calling Newsday’s attention to it via  Yet, it seems that the working class and the medically challenged are left to fend for themselves.  I have often challenged politicians to go without their cars and ride buses for at least a week and see if they are able to attend their business.

I am strongly urging you to look into this matter and become the voice of those who must take buses as their way of getting around.

Mary MacElveen [facebook]

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Hydrologic cycle in serious trouble - Gas & Oil Party and corporate media engaging in distracting circus

AP/Nati Harnik
The Fort Calhoun nuclear power station, in Fort Calhoun, Neb., is surrounded by flood waters from the Missouri River, earlier this month.

How Bad is the Texas Drought? “In Austin, They are Praying for a Hurricane” | ThinkProgress: "More than 6.8 million acres in the central United States have been swamped after record spring rainfall overwhelmed rivers already swollen from the melting of a heavy winter snow pack….
Meanwhile, the southern United States is dealing with one of the most extreme droughts since the dust bowl of the 1930s, and the dry conditions have led to massive and uncontrollable wildfires."

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Free 'Big Society' bus service for Bristol due to start | Bristol24-7

Free 'Big Society' bus service for Bristol due to start | Bristol24-7: "A free bus service launching this Saturday in Bristol, and funded entirely by local residents, aims to provide a glimpse of what David Cameron’s ‘Big Society’ should look like.
Freebus is the first group in the UK to offer community funded public transport that is free at the point of use. The project is launching further services across the city later this year and aims to develop a model for communities across the country to take control of their public transport systems.
The initial service links Temple Meads station with the city centre. Chair Jack Phillips said the group were “amazed” by the interest the project had generated."

Corporations Sitting On A Record Amount Of Cash | ThinkProgress

Corporations Sitting On A Record Amount Of Cash | ThinkProgress: "CORPORATIONS SITTING ON A RECORD AMOUNT OF CASH | CNBC reports that “the current members of the S&P 500 are sitting on about $800 billion in cash and cash equivalents, the most ever, according to data by Birinyi Associates, even as the unemployment rate has ticked back above 9 percent.”"

Thursday, June 23, 2011

The American suburbs are a giant Ponzi scheme | Grist

Not real wealth, just the illusion of wealth.Photo: John "K"
The American suburbs are a giant Ponzi scheme | Grist: "The reason we have this gap is because the public yield from the suburban development pattern -- the amount of tax revenue obtained per increment of liability assumed -- is ridiculously low. Over a life cycle, a city frequently receives just a dime or two of revenue for each dollar of liability. The engineering profession will argue, as ASCE does, that we're simply not making the investments necessary to maintain this infrastructure. This is nonsense. We've simply built in a way that is not financially productive."

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Just as in Egypt, cops disappear, thugs appear.

Former Sen. Dave Zein in the wheelchair, alleged right wing extremists standing with him. Photo: Anna Liska, Facebook.
Man arrested for battery in Capitol altercation - JSOnline: "Madison - A Green Bay man was arrested for battery for an altercation in the Capitol involving members of a pro-union singalong and a former state senator.

Around 1 p.m. Tuesday, a group of protesters was participating in their daily singalong in the Capitol rotunda, when two men along with former state Sen. David Zien began interrupting their singing."
More here:

The people of Wisconsin are fighting the Koch-puppet Governor who has said he has considered using agents-provocateurs against them. To keep up follow #wiunion on twitter or see fare-free Wisconsin.