Friday, May 24, 2013

Lawmakers form public transit caucus

The Hill: "“Buses, trains, and light rail that run safely and reliably reduce congestion on our roads, improve travel times across all modes, cut down on air pollution, and make our communities more attractive places to live, work, and own businesses,” Lipinski said in a statement. "

'via Blog this'

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Oil production should be measured in energy units, not volume.

Resource Insights: Will the International Energy Agency's oil forecast be wrong again?: "as the world considers yet another rosy oil supply forecast, this time from the Paris-based International Energy Agency (IEA), it is worth reviewing the agency's record.

Back in the year 2000, the IEA divined that by 2010, liquid fuel production worldwide would reach 95.8 million barrels per day (mbpd). The actual 2010 number was 87.1 mbpd. The agency further forecast an average daily oil price of $28.25 per barrel (adjusted for inflation). The actual average daily price of oil traded on the New York Mercantile Exchange in 2010 was $79.61."

'via Blog this'

Growing Scandal Brings Nation To The Brink Of Ruin

ThinkProgress: "Scandalous: Projected warming this century (in red, via recent literature) if humanity allows current carbon pollution trends to continue compared to the temperature change over past 11,300 years (in blue, via Science, 2013)."

'via Blog this'

Private auto just keeps on killing. Make it stop. "DAMASCUS, Va. (AP) — Witnesses described a frantic scene and close calls after an elderly driver plowed into dozens of hikers marching in a small Virginia mountain town's parade. Investigators were looking into whether the motorist had suffered a medical emergency before the accident."

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Report Finds Americans Are Driving Less, Led by Youth "People tend to drive less during recessions, since fewer people are working (and commuting), and most are looking for ways to save money. But Phineas Baxandall, an author of the report and senior analyst for U.S. Pirg, said the changes preceded the recent recession and appeared to be part of a structural shift that is largely rooted in changing demographics, especially the rise of so-called millennials — today’s teenagers and twentysomethings. “Millennials aren’t driving cars,” he said."

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

U.S. and Russia struggle to control surrogates in Syria pipeline war

Peak oil, climate change and pipeline geopolitics driving Syria conflict | Nafeez Ahmed | Environment | "But the US, Israel and other external powers are hardly honest brokers. Behind the facade of humanitarian concern, familiar interests are at stake. Three months ago, Iraq gave the greenlight for the signing of a framework agreement for construction of pipelines to transport natural gas from Iran's South Pars field - which it shares with Qatar - across Iraq, to Syria."

We need demand-side environmentalism

A lot of current environmentalism is supply-side. It goes like this: 
  • Demonize fossil-fuel producers
  • Interfere with fossil-fuel production and transport
  • Divest from fossil-fuel producers
  • Create non-fossil-fuel sources of energy
This is akin to trying to stop Niagara Falls with umbrellas. And creating more energy just adds to the volume of water coming over.

Here is a simple plan for demand-side environmentalism:
  • Stop wasting energy
  • Expose now-unseen subsidy of autos and sprawl
  • Change how people live
  • Lower the birth rate
Making public transit fare-free starts us on that path. The good news is, you don't have to wait for the federal government. You can have free transit in your town or city for about 60 basis points of tax.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Climate change 'will make hundreds of millions homeless'

Climate change is amplifying risks from drought, floods, storm and rising seas. Photograph: Simon Maina/AFP
The Observer: ""When temperatures rise to that level, we will have disrupted weather patterns and spreading deserts," he said. "Hundreds of millions of people will be forced to leave their homelands because their crops and animals will have died. The trouble will come when they try to migrate into new lands, however. That will bring them into armed conflict with people already living there. Nor will it be an occasional occurrence. It could become a permanent feature of life on Earth.""

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Fossil fuel policy: Use it faster to get price up, to produce more, to use it faster.

Peak Prosperity: "Imagine if the Americans of 100 years ago had figured out a way to export all of the U.S.'s natural gas bounty, and we were now struggling with the aftermath of those actions.  I, for one, would look quite unfavorably on those who so utterly failed to appreciate the limited nature of that abundance that they literally wasted it.

...[future generations] will thank us for giving them efficient buildings and rational transportation systems at a time when energy finally becomes truly scarce – and proportionally expensive.

The time has come to give greater weighting to energy matters than to economic and political desires. To continue to be energetically wasteful at this time in history, when so much data is telling us that the effluent of our activities is measurably altering our support systems, is beyond embarrassing. It's tragic."

Monday, May 6, 2013

Scientists: Climate change causing Arctic Ocean to acidify at alarming rate

The Raw Story: "Scientists with the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (AMAP) warned Monday morning that the Arctic Ocean is acidifying much more rapidly than previously thought, adding that it will be “tens of thousands of years” before the worst effects of climate change on the Arctic Ocean can be mitigated."

'via Blog this'

Climate change will increase extreme rainfall; drought, NASA says | GlobalPost

Climate change will increase extreme rainfall; drought, NASA says | GlobalPost: ""In response to carbon dioxide-induced warming, the global water cycle undergoes a gigantic competition for moisture resulting in a global pattern of increased heavy rain, decreased moderate rain, and prolonged droughts in certain regions," said lead author William Lau of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, in a statement."

'via Blog this'

Friday, May 3, 2013

First they ignore you, ...

The campaign for free public transit has done nothing but grow. There are active groups or websites in over 20 countries. There have been many breakthroughs: Bangkok, Chengdu, Illinois, Zagreb, Tallinn are just a few of the many locations that have introduced some sort of free transit in the last few years.

Free transit is a solution that addresses energy waste, climate, and energy demand in general. It introduces culture change, taking us on a path compatible with a limited biosphere. As more people ride, it becomes more in demand, more frequent ... starting a virtual cycle.

The only losers with free transit are those who profit from energy waste. Now they are attacking it. This is a sign of our progress, and just encourages us to keep going.

Join us.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Except for U.S. bubble, world oil production flat from 2005 "Excluding the US, rest-of-world crude oil production in the 2nd half of 2012 was on the same level as in the 2nd half of 2005, despite 85% higher oil prices. "

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Why Motorists Should NOT Pay for Crash Investigations

This Streetsblog article starts out well. Calling out the autosprawl externalities.
Streetsblog New York City: "The same problem applies to private motoring, the costs of which are, in many cases, spread across non-drivers or society at large. The curb lane in front of my home provides free storage for my car-owning neighbors’ vehicles. A portion of my taxes go to maintaining highways I rarely use, caring for uninsured crash victims and asthma patients in city hospitals, bailing out the auto industry because it’s too big to fail, and fighting wars to keep oil cheap."
But then advocates pricing one of those externalities, the costs of collision administration. Adding fees likes this, road-pricing (tolls), and congestion pricing are not good ideas.

We need to take responsibility for our society as a whole, not create more bureaucracy trying, like hypocritical libertarians, to attach fees everywhere in until everything is "fair." Let's face it we have autosprawl. It's horribly expensive and wasteful. We should change it at the root cause, not apply bureaucratic band-aids.

Make public transit fare-free. Carbon dumping, collision costs, and oil wars have been free for autosprawl profiteers for many years. Free transit will shove the rudder in the right direction.