Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Fare Free Friday in Quincy, Mass

Fare Free Friday in Quincy: "On Friday morning at 8 am, the Boston Fare Strike Coalition will be joining Occupy Quincy for a fare strike action at Quincy Center Station. We will meet on the platform between Red Line trains. There may also be a follow-up evening commute action depending on attendance and interest at the Thursday meeting."

Monday, July 30, 2012

Transit foes talk accounting. We need to think economics.

Transit foes, such as the oil industry and sprawl profiteers, would like you to think of public transit fares in terms of budget and expenses. They are successful in having the corporate media focus on taxes and the budgets of your transit authority.

But if you take the economic view and look at public transit as part of how we organize our means of survival, you can see that public transit mitigates the many costs of the car-system that are a drag on the economy: congestion, collisions, road repair, drainage, carbon emissions, obesity, oil wars... just to name a few.

Fares for public transit are for rationing, not revenue. Transit is a public investment. Removing fares increases ridership which lowers variable unit-costs per rider, and raises the return on fixed costs of investment in equipment. The costs of collecting fares are often more that 50% of the revenue collected--and if you include the security needed to prevent free riding--can be 100% of revenue.

Don't let the discussion be just about revenue and budgets. Ask how much is being saved when someone takes a trip on public transit -- whether they pay a fare or not.  

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Jeremy Leggett: [what if] descent hits an oil-dependent global economy years ahead of expectations

Monbiot says he was wrong on peak oil but the crisis is undeniable | Jeremy Leggett | Environment | guardian.co.uk: "There is more than enough potential oil resource below ground to create the climate disaster he refers to. Peak oil is not about that. It is about when global production falls never again to reach past levels: a disaster, if the descent hits an oil-dependent global economy years ahead of expectations. [our emphasis] This descent depends on flow rates in oilfields, not the amount of oil left. What worries those who believe the global oil peak is imminent is the evidence that the oil industry will not be able to maintain growing flow rates for much longer."
This is the essence of the peak oil concern. There is so much fixed capital invested in liquid fuels: refineries, ships, pipelines, trucks, highway systems, armies -- and there is so much denial, and so much propaganda. This bubble is bursting now and still nothing is being done. The pain of peak oil may even be greater than that of climate change. We don't need more science or technology. We need partisans! We need to occupy public transit and make it fare-free.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Why #peakoil matters - the liquid fuel infrastructure and steep #collapse.

Conventional [easy, sweet] oil has peaked. The #tarsands prove this. Tarsands actually use more energy than they produce, as do most unconventional fuels. The problem they are trying to solve is the need for liquid fuel to support the existing infrastructure which may be worth up to $100 trillion dollars. Those who profit from the liquid-fuel system will try to keep it as long as possible. They are ramping up their anti-peakoil propaganda to delay policy shift. The more successful they are at delaying transition, the more painful that transition will be.
Asia Times Online :: Oil, politics and resource wars: There is something like $50 trillion to $100 trillion of capital equipment worldwide that is built to operate on liquid fuels - and I am talking about cars, busses, ships, trains, airplanes, and golfcarts. You don't quickly convert those or replace them, particularly if the problem takes place in a worldwide recession - there is less money available, governments are already weakened because of the present recession, governments will not be able to afford to do this kind of a thing.

So it's going to be very difficult and it is going to take a considerable amount of time to either convert an existing piece of equipment to operate on something else or to build a whole new one and have it put into operation, because what we are talking about is a scale that is absolutely enormous as far as the world is concerned.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Defending pipelines requires massive military presence, hence democracy not an option

Explosion shuts down Iraqi-Turkish oil pipeline, authorities suspect sabotage - The Washington Post: "ANKARA, Turkey — An explosion and fire have shut down a pipeline that carries oil from Iraq to world markets, an official said Saturday. No one was hurt in the blast.

The explosion late Friday hit a section of a pipeline that takes oil from the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk to Turkey’s Mediterranean port of Ceyhan, near the southeastern town of Midyat, said an Energy Ministry official. A second line that runs parallel was not damaged, but was also briefly shut down as a precaution, the official said."

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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

People of Mexico fill the streets to protest rigged elections

Easy oil peaked in 2005, so oil has been redefined to keep investors fooled

Commentary: How Changing the Definition of Oil Has Deceived Both Policymakers and the Public : ASPO-USA: Association for the Study of Peak Oil and Gas: The limitations on oil supplies are now upon us. The salient issue is the rate of production, not the supposedly huge resources that optimists may conjure up in their imaginations. How much oil you can get out of the ground on a daily basis is what counts, and it’s getting harder and harder to extract the amount of oil we desire from the Earth’s crust each day. We extracted the easy stuff first. We cannot now expect to extract the difficult stuff at the same high rates as the easy stuff. And, we cannot expect that total percentage recoveries from the smaller, more complex and challenging reservoirs which we are now forced to exploit will be as high as those we’ve gotten from large, simple, straightforward reservoirs in the past.

Facing up to this reality will be difficult because it will require so many changes in our thinking and our society. And, it would require the immediate markdown of the value of one of the world’s largest and most powerful industries because it now faces contraction in the not-too-distant future. No wonder the powers that be decided to change the definition oil instead of accepting reality.


Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Free transit would save ten times what it costs

The Case for Public Transportation, in Infographic Form - Commute - The Atlantic Cities: ...the benefits of public transportation to individuals and to society. The very well-made display was created... by Boris at Credit Donkey, ... based on research by Kelly Teh.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Chunk of ice twice the size of Manhattan breaks off Greenland as sheet nears tipping point

Glacial Change Ain't What It Used To Be: Petermann Calves Another Huge Chunk of Greenland Ice | ThinkProgress: "Petermann Glacier has calved another gigantic ice island, larger than twice the size of Manhattan, not quite as large as the calving of two years ago. A study this month found that the melting of the Greenland Ice Sheet is nearing a critical “tipping point.”"

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Sunday, July 15, 2012

Many households have no car, depend on #publictransit

Public Transportation Struggles To Connect Workers To Jobs | Care2 Causes: "Access to both transit and a job might not be a big deal to the average car-owning American worker. For poorer Americans, though, the struggle to use public transportation to get to work restricts which jobs they can take. “The costs of owning and operating a vehicle are such that ten percent of American households in the nation’s largest metro areas do not have access to a private vehicle,” the report states. “Compared to their car-owning counterparts, zero-vehicle households are more likely to earn low incomes, live in cities, and take public transportation to work.”"

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Thursday, July 12, 2012

Easy oil is over. Without it, we cannot afford #tarsands, etc.

The Oil Drum | Tech Talk - The "Best of the Rest" in Saudi Arabia: "Fom the viewpoint of those who suggest that there is no problem, the discussion that swirls over the future of global oil supplies often seems to focus on the large volumes of oil that still remain in place around the world. The critical point, however, is not that this oil exists, but rather the rate at which it can be recovered. This is perhaps most obviously pertinent to the discussion of oil coming from the Bakken formation in North Dakota, where the rapid decline in individual well performance means that a great many wells must be developed and remain on line in the out years to sustain any significant flow past peak. As I noted last week, it is a point that clearly was missed by Leonardo Maugeri, and equally by George Monbiot, who has finally been swayed to the side of the cornucopians, after years of doubt."

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Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The Automatic Earth: The paradox of unconventional fossil fuels

Peak Oil: A Dialogue with George Monbiot | EnergyFinance can only temporarily allow people to ignore thermodynamics....
Unconventional fossil fuels are caught in a paradox - that their EROEI is too low for them to sustain a society complex enough to produce them.
Read more: http://theautomaticearth.org/Energy/peak-oil-a-dialogue-with-george-monbiot.html
To put another way. The unconventional fossil-fuels are only affordable as long as the clean and easy oil keeps flowing. The human economy will simplify. The population will contract. How will this happen? Will we make a smooth transition? When social upheaval comes will we have a plan? Regardless, cars will go away. Why not start getting rid of them now.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Expect a major bailout of Euro credit by the U.S. Federal Reserve

Default is the only thing that will work in Europe. The example of Iceland is right there for everyone to see.

But making bond-holders take major losses will shake the system in ways that LIBOR manipulation and MFGlobal-style outright theft have not.

Bond confidence must be maintained.

The US major banks "insure" a large chunk of Euro credit. These banks must be saved, so the Euro bubble must be addressed.

Expect a major bailout of the Euro zone by the US Fed.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Insurance industry understands the dangers of #peakoil and #climate -- next #oilshock due sooner rather than later.

Civilization and the Price of Oil  |  Peak Oil News and Message Boards: "The data he bases his talk on, all freely available on the Internet, checks out. In fact the scariest document I came across was from the world’s most famous insurance company, Lloyd’s of London. It advises the businesses they insure to begin “scenario-planning exercises” for the oil price spike they expect in the “medium term”"

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Thursday, July 5, 2012

War is not the answer? Well, if you have two or three cars in the driveway, then, well, war IS the answer.

The Long Emergency | James Howard Kunstler | Orion Magazine: "On facing the New Reality. We can begin to envision and to build a post-oil “American Way of Life.” But are Americans ready? (Are they even listening?)"

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

No money for #publictransit? Here is where it went.

The Scam Wall Street Learned From the Mafia | Politics News | Rolling Stone: "The defendants in the case – Dominick Carollo, Steven Goldberg and Peter Grimm – worked for GE Capital, the finance arm of General Electric. Along with virtually every major bank and finance company on Wall Street – not just GE, but J.P. Morgan Chase, Bank of America, UBS, Lehman Brothers, Bear Stearns, Wachovia and more – these three Wall Street wiseguys spent the past decade taking part in a breathtakingly broad scheme to skim billions of dollars from the coffers of cities and small towns across America. The banks achieved this gigantic rip-off by secretly colluding to rig the public bids on municipal bonds, a business worth $3.7 trillion. By conspiring to lower the interest rates that towns earn on these investments, the banks systematically stole from schools, hospitals, libraries and nursing homes – from "virtually every state, district and territory in the United States," according to one settlement. And they did it so cleverly that the victims never even knew they were being ­cheated. No thumbs were broken, and nobody ended up in a landfill in New Jersey, but money disappeared, lots and lots of it, and its manner of disappearance had a familiar name: organized crime.

Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/the-scam-wall-street-learned-from-the-mafia-20120620#ixzz1zfn1hk9h "

Monday, July 2, 2012

End of #peakoil? No.

The credit bubble is pulling out expensive oil. This will not last. A combination of default, deleveraging, and money-printing will be tried, but there are externalities which cannot be overcome.
  • War, first and foremost. There are plenty of oil wars on the drawing board. As the U.S. loses more and more it will go nuclear. Oil storage and shipping will be a major target. 
  • Food collapse. Drought and flood will destroy farmland and more oil will be needed to keep food production up. 
  • Ecological collapse. The resources needed to fix climate disasters will compete for "money" needed for oil. These disasters are just getting started.
Peak oil has never been solely about physical supply. The curve is about supply and demand, which is changing slightly right now. But there is a misunderstanding about what is affordable. There is an assumption that all the world can be like an American suburb. Not gonna happen.

Takes A Global Recession To Reduce Gas Prices By Just 40 Cents! :: The Market Oracle :: Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting Free Website

Takes A Global Recession To Reduce Gas Prices By Just 40 Cents! :: The Market Oracle :: Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting Free Website: "The main reason prices are dropping is the collapse in demand from Europe and the United States. The bumpy plateau of peak oil is in full force. Prices rise to the point where they push economies into recession, demand crashes due to the recession, and prices decline. The double whammy of oil prices reaching $111 a barrel in 2011 and $109 a barrel in 2012 have sapped the life out of the American consumer. This is reflected in the plunge in gasoline and petroleum usage since 2008, with a temporary leveling off in 2010, followed by a further nosedive since 2011. As this recession deepens over the next six months, prices will likely fall further. But this is where the Catch-22 kicks in. "

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Sunday, July 1, 2012

Humans Using Resources & Emitting Waste "52 Percent Faster than the Earth Can Sustain" - CleanTechnica

Humans Using Resources & Emitting Waste "52 Percent Faster than the Earth Can Sustain" - CleanTechnica: "Humanity is using resources and emitting waste (particularly carbon dioxide from fossil fuel burning) at a rate 52 percent faster than the Earth can sustain according to WWF’s Living Planet Report 2012.
The report was launched from the International Space Station on the 15th of May by AndrĂ©
Kuipers, a European Space Agency astronaut.
WWF International Director General Jim Leape said with the current trend of consumption, two planets will be needed by 2030 to support not just the human race but every living creature in it as well."

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