Tuesday, April 30, 2013

China oil consumption growing faster, and not price-sensitive

Early Warning: "If we note that Chinese population is four times larger than the US population, and 2011 US consumption was almost 19mbd, we see that Chinese per-capita consumption is still only something like 1/8 of that of the US.  So there's a lot of room to grow still.  Also, China is in the middle of building an expressway system that will be substantially larger than the US freeway system."

Monday, April 29, 2013

Keeping up oil production is like walking up the down escalator

Resource Insights: "Production from all existing oil fields worldwide is believed to be declining at a rate of about 4 to 5 percent. We are trying to make up that decline from tight oil fields that decline around 10 times faster, and we are only just succeeding for the moment."

APTA: #Publictransit the best way to reduce carbon emissions

Commuting by Public Transportation—One of the most Significant Actions to Reduce household
Carbon Emissions

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Is your community ready for the net-energy cliff? We are moving faster toward it

Peak oil isn’t dead: An interview with Chris Nelder: "And there’s a turning point on this — it’s called the “net energy cliff.” When the ratio of energy output to energy input gets down to about 6, then you fall off this cliff, and it’s just not worth doing. In the early days of oil production, that ratio was about 100 to 1. Globally, right now, it’s approaching 11 to 1. And it’s even lower for some newer sources. The return on investment for heavy oil from the Kern River field in California is about 4 to 1.
The point is that the net energy available to society has been declining radically. Researchers have done a number of papers on this. If you want to run a society, your net energy for oil production has to be at least 5. And if you want to run a modern complex society, with televisions, iPads, highly advanced medicine, etc., then you probably need an EROI closer to 10. So it’s reaching the point where we’re in the danger zone."

'via Blog this'

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Around the world, fuel subsidies are economic ticking time-bomb

Indonesia seeks to tackle explosive fuel subsidies | Free Malaysia Today: "JAKARTA: The Indonesian government’s pledge to reduce generous fuel subsidies which will push up prices for motorists has taken it onto politically treacherous ground before elections in 2014."
Due to competition, many countries around the world subsidize transport fuels. This has spurred their local economies, but made them dependent on cheap fuel. Now that peak oil is here, there will be great suffering and upheaval. Nigeria recently narrowly escaped revolution recently and had to roll back subsidy cuts. Look for this process to continue.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Why is urban planning so hopelessly complicated?

Municipal governments are besieged by business interests. If they put in light rail here, business X wins, there, Y wins. So sometimes it seems nothing will be done. So they bring in the urban-planning consultants with complex charts. Everyone dozes off, and business X or Y wins.

Urbanization is the future. Degrowth is the future. We have to make cities liveable, walkable, and pleasant. All the scrambling for profit is getting in the way.

Simply make the buses fare-free. Gradually eliminate cars. Then all the charts will have to be re-done.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

There is no plan for #peakoil, so, denial is the current strategy

Resource Insights by Kurt Cobb: "... most of the world's governments have no plausible plan for addressing the consequences of a persistent decline in world oil production. So, given that, it hardly seems advisable to them to inform the public about a danger for which there is no response.

...As a practical matter, we would have to reduce our energy consumption drastically over time to make it possible for renewable energy to supply the lion's share of our needs. Even a very rapid and large build-out of renewable energy infrastructure would not allow us to consume the colossal amounts of energy that we do today, at least not any time soon."

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Scottish Socialist Party makes the case for free public transport #yesscot

• Free fares would be the biggest single pro-environment policy enacted by any national government anywhere on the planet, dramatically slashing car use and CO2 emissions.• Free fares would be the biggest anti-poverty, pro-social inclusion policy enacted in Scotland, or anywhere else in the UK. It is mainly people on low incomes who rely on public transport

• Free fares would cut the number of road accidents, reducing human suffering and relieving pressure on the NHS and the emergency services. The Scottish Executive estimates that road accidents cost £1.4 billion a year to the Scottish economy. (On an average day in Scotland there is one fatal road accident; another 8-10 involving serious injury; and 250-300 minor accidents. The vast majority involve cars.)

• Free fares would be help to reduce the levels of asthma and other respiratory illnesses, which have risen steeply in line with the expansion of road traffic

• Free fares would potentially increase the spending power of over a million workers by between £40 and £100 a month, boosting the overall economy.

• Free fares would increase business efficiency and productivity: the CBI estimates that traffic congestion costs business across Britain between £15 and £20 billion a year.

• Free fares would be a major tourist attraction, bringing hundreds of millions of pounds into the Scottish economy every year from increased visitor numbers. An increase in tourism of just 20 per cent would bring an extra £1 billion into the Scottish economy.

• Free fares would attract worldwide support, especially from the global environmental movement, and would bring pressure to bear on governments throughout Europe and the wider world to adopt a similar policy.

• Free fares would reduce Scotland’s reliance on depleting oil reserves; 67 per cent of all oil produced globally is used for transport.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Oil industry gambling $6 Trillion, including your pension, that nothing will be done for #climate

Bill McKibben and Jeremy Leggett | Environment | guardian.co.uk: "Six trillion dollars is what oil, gas, and coal companies will invest over the next ten years on turning fossil fuel deposits into reserves, assuming last year’s level of investment stays the same. Reserves are by definition bodies of oil, gas or coal that can be drilled or mined economically. Regulators allow companies, currently, to book them as assets, and on the assumption that they are at zero risk of being stranded - left below ground, "value"unrealized - over the full life of their exploitation. Yet a report published today shows they are at very real risk of being stranded, and in large quantity. "

Whidbey Island for 20 years #freetransit on 0.6% tax

From The Tyee 2007 by Dave Olsen: "Have you ever imagined a world where riders of public transit pay no fares, the atmosphere on board every bus is calm and friendly, and all buses not only have bike racks and are wheelchair accessible, but are completely free of advertisements?

Do you want to experience the real thing? Then come along on my visit to Whidbey Island in Northwest Washington State."

Island Transit (includes vanpool)BC Transit in Nanaimo
Service Population79,25292,300
Ridership1,101,711 (902,793 for buses; 198,918 for vanpools)2,317,763
Service Kilometres4,548,706 (2,804,721 for buses; 1,743,984 for vanpools)2,263,992
Service Hours71,031 (all buses)94,333
Vehicles in Service56 buses; 101 vans31 buses
Operating Budget$8,392,677 ($0 from fares; all from a 0.6% sales tax collected in Island County)$6,906,910 ($3,065,488 from fares)

Monday, April 15, 2013

Alternative energies only encourage more growth, which means more fossil fuel demand.

Power Shift Away From Green Illusions: "The high cost of wind and solar technologies brings to light the fossil fuels behind the curtain. If we want to address climate change and the many other consequences of energy production, there's no evidence that lower energy costs and growth are a step in the right direction. The answer is straightforward, really. We'll need to greatly reduce both consumption and the number of people consuming over time."

'via Blog this'

Here are the details on why U.S. public transportation is so pathetic

Chris Hedges - Truthdig: "WASHINGTON, D.C.—The deterioration of the nation’s public transportation, like the deterioration of health care, education, social services, public utilities, bridges and roads, is part of the relentless seizing and harvesting of public resources and programs by corporations."

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Split widens in 1% as Washington Post publishes Chris Nelder

Peak oil isn’t dead: An interview with Chris Nelder: "Chris Nelder: There has always been a lot of confusion about this point. Peak oil was never about “running out of oil.” The only people who characterized it that way either didn’t know what they were talking about or were trying to confuse the issue. Peak oil has always referred to the production rate of oil — it’s about finding the point where that production rate peaks."

'via Blog this'

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Forty years of MPG improvements have not lowered per capita gasoline use

Figure 8. US per capita consumption of oil products, split between gasoline and other.
 Total consumption from BP’s 2012 Statistical Review of World Energy.
 Gasoline consumptionfrom EIA. (Amounts include biofuels.) Difference by subtraction.

Our Finite World: "The amount of fuel used for gasoline has stayed in the 10 to 12 barrels a year per capita band, since 1970, in spite of huge improvements in vehicle efficiency."

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Power Shift Away From Green Illusions

Power Shift Away From Green Illusions: "Subsidies for electric cars are ultimately a subsidy to car culture and the infrastructure that goes with it. Car culture is not sustainable within the limits we face to growth. The more durable transportation options are cycling and walking. But the United States Congress has nearly eliminated bike lane and pedestrian funding - even while it pays out thousands of dollars to every wealthy electric car buyer. And Congress staged this tragic national embarrassment with the full support of the nation's leading environmental organizations."

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Leading economist warns we could be going back to 30 million-year-old climate

Economist warns of 'radical' climate change, millions at risk - FRANCE 24: "Without changes to emission trends, the planet has roughly a 50 percent chance that temperatures will soar to five degrees Celsius (nine degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial averages in a century, he said.

"We haven't been above five degrees Centigrade on this planet for about 30 million years. So you can see that this is radical change way outside human experience," Stern said in an address at the International Monetary Fund."

'via Blog this'

One photo worth a thousand blogs

#Autosprawl fouls its own nest

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Developed countries export GHG emissions, then claim to have lowered them

Overseas Demand Breathes New Life into U.S. Coal | Climate Central: "“Without a meaningful cap on global carbon emissions, the exploitation of shale gas is likely to increase total emissions,” said the report. “For this not to be the case, consumption of displaced fuels must be reduced globally and remain suppressed indefinitely. In effect displaced coal must stay in the ground.”"

'via Blog this'

Tallinn, Estonia - #freetransit boosting the economy, paying for itself

Estonia's capital gives residents a free ride - Chambersburg Public Opinion: A recent opinion poll commissioned by the city showed that nine out of 10 Tallinn residents are satisfied with the project.

"People now move around the city more frequently during weekends," Aas said. "This means they also spend more money, which boosts the economy."

... the program is expected to boost the city's tax revenue because the registration requirement is essentially winning the city more taxable residents.

... Tallinn is the first capital and the largest city after Changning City in central China to introduce free public transport, Aas said.

He said the project's two risks—insufficient capacity and the risk of derelicts spending entire days in buses—have not materialized so far.

..."It gives you freedom," said Tulp, as she boarded a bus on her way home to a suburb of Tallinn. "It's not just money."

Reserves and production rate are not the same thing

SmartPlanet: "But reserves are meaningless if they don’t amount to an increasing rate of production. If you had a billion dollars to your name, but could only withdraw $1,000 a year, would you be worried about running out of money or paying your bills?"

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Replace the private auto with #publictransit

Transit Riders for Public Transportation | The Labor Community Strategy Center: "The urgency and magnitude of the global warming crisis demands a scale of cuts in greenhouse gases that defies the imagination. The United States is one of the world's largest historical greenhouse gas emitter and must reduce its emissions by at 60% immediately on the way to a 90% cut by 2050-based on 1990 levels. With the U.S. emitting 45% of the world's automotive greenhouse gas emissions, can we envision moving towards a 90% reduction in U.S. greenhouse gases by virtually eliminating the auto and replacing it with a nationwide system of public transit?"

'via Blog this'

Monday, April 1, 2013

Cars don't work

This photo provided by the Virginia State Police shows the scene following a 75-vehicle pileup on Interstate 77 near the Virginia-North Carolina border in Galax, Va., on Sunday, March 31, 2013. Virginia State Police say three people have been killed and more than 20 are injured and traffic is backed up about 8 miles. Photo: Virginia State Police, Sgt. Mike Conroy

Read more: http://www.seattlepi.com/news/us/article/I-77-reopens-following-pileup-at-Va-NC-line-4399403.php#ixzz2PCms5QPR