Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Seattle Transit Riders Union

Seattle Transit Riders Union: "The Transit Riders Union is a democratic organization of working and poor people, taking control over our own lives, and building up the power we need to change society for the good of humanity and of the planet. We will fight to preserve, expand, and improve the public transportation system in Seattle and beyond, so that every human being has access to safe, affordable, and reliable public transit.

1. We believe that every human being has a right to safe, reliable, affordable, and accessible public transit.

2. We recognize that, for the future of humanity and of the planet, we must move beyond the car- and fossil fuel-based economy.

3. We believe that the public transit system must be expanded and improved, not merely preserved."

Read more here

USD 34 Billion in oil wealth evaporates. When will oil investors lose their nerve?

Businessweek: " Batista and OGX had to admit that their much-hyped “new frontier” of oil off the Brazilian coast was actually a collection of mediocre-to-dud oil wells. Production would come nowhere close to paying off the billions he had borrowed in the bond market to finance exploration and production."

'via Blog this'

Monday, October 28, 2013

'The ocean is broken'

smh : "''In a lot of places we couldn't start our motor for fear of entangling the propeller in the mass of pieces of rope and cable. That's an unheard of situation out in the ocean,'' Ivan Macfadyen recalls. ''If we did motor we couldn't do it at night, only in the daytime with a lookout on the bow, watching for rubbish. In the waters above Hawaii, you could see right down into the depths. I could see that the debris isn't just on the surface, it's all the way down. And it's all sizes, from a soft-drink bottle to pieces the size of a big car or truck. We saw a factory chimney sticking out of the water. ''We were weaving around these pieces of debris. It was like sailing through a garbage tip.''"

Sunday, October 27, 2013

911, false flags, disinformation, provocateurs, and the general public

Do you know what was the "Gulf of Tonkin" incident? It was the supposed attack on a U.S. vessel in 1964 by North Vietnam. It was used to justify the wholesale massacre and poisoning of millions of innocent people. It was later admitted by the U.S. secretary of defense to be a faked incident.

False flags, staged incidents, provocateurs, and the like have been used throughout history to justify violence against innocent people.

The 911 "terror" attacks were clearly not carried out according to the official tale. A simple application of physics proves that a building cannot fall straight down at free-fall speeds unless the bottom floors are removed by controlled demolition.

It is irresponsible to keep silent if you see this truth which is out in plain sight for all to see. Many people have suffered and many more will suffer because of this deceit. If you are reading this, you are in a small minority of people who not only are interested in world affairs, but also seek out alternatives to corporate media. The vast majority of people are "low-information" thinkers. Tricks like agents-provocateur, (e.g., disguised police throwing rocks at police) make the general public disinclined to get involved in political activity. The use of these tricks will continue, and exposing them is just as important as promoting your policy aims.

If you disagree, and want to campaign for free transit, you are welcome to publish your opinion here. You may say "I believe the official story on 911, but I think we should implement free transit."

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Climate change could put $6 trillion in fossil fuel reserves at risk

Climate change could put $6 trillion in fossil fuel reserves at risk - Quartz: "The International Energy Agency last year warned that if humanity is to have any hope of avoiding catastrophic climate change, a third of the world’s fossil fuel reserves must be put off limits until 2050. That prompted HSBC Global Research to estimate that some oil giants could lose up to half their market value. In other words, we’re talking about trillions of dollars in revenues going up in smoke if governments ever get their act together and issue a no-burn order."

'via Blog this'

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Financial system is the weakest link in the #peakoil chain

Rising Energy Costs Lead to Recession; Eventually Collapse | Our Finite World:
"...the financial system is the most vulnerable part because of the system because it ties everything else together. Debt in particular is vulnerable because the time-shifting aspect of debt “works” much better in a rapidly growing economy than in an economy that is barely growing or shrinking.

The problem that now looks like it has the potential to push the world into financial collapse is something no one would have thought of—high oil prices that take a slice out of the economy, without anything to show in return. Consumers find that their own salaries do not rise as oil prices rise. They find that they need to cut back on discretionary spending if they are to have adequate funds to pay for necessities produced using oil. Food is one such necessity; oil is used to run farm equipment, make herbicides and pesticides, and transport finished food products. The result of a cutback in discretionary spending is recession or near recession, and less job availability. Governments find themselves in  financial distress from trying to mitigate the recession-like impacts without adequate tax revenue."

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Tallinn Extends Free Public Transport Law to Trains

Photo: Postimees/Scanpix
ERR: "Rewarding its voter base and rubbing in election defeat for opponents, the Center Party has followed through on a pledge to extend Tallinn's free public transport law to commuter trains, effective Monday.

The City of Tallinn and Elron, the nationally owned train company, have signed an agreement waiving train tickets for trips within Tallinn for passengers who are residents of the city."

Monday, October 21, 2013

The economy is driven by demand, supply responds.

In North America, and spreading around the world, is a cancer: sprawl. Sprawl is not economic, which means it costs more to live in sprawl than people can afford. Sprawl survives based on massive subsidy.

This subsidy is direct and indirect, through tax deductions for home mortgage in the U.S., direct price subsidy for motor fuel in other countries, and mainly the deferral of ecological costs resulting from the extraction, transport, protection, and burning of fossil fuel.

Sprawl is very wasteful of energy as buildings are spread out and must be heated and cooled separately and much transport is needed from one to the other. This waste generates artificial demand for energy.

It doesn't matter what kind of energy. As long as this wasteful system continues, energy demand will be high. It will consume all solar and wind energy and keep right on growing.

Currently fossil fuels provide most of the energy. Because of the large existing infrastructure, of pipelines, tankers, roads, and gas stations, it is still the highest in net-energy.

Trying to block fossil-fuels, or create alternative fuels, are supply-side solutions. Think for a moment about how supply-side solutions work for stopping illegal drug trade. As long as demand is high, suppliers always find a way. In addition, they are so profitable, that they have little trouble getting political support.

What we need to do is address demand. First, we have to expose sprawl as uneconomic and subsidized. The best way is to provide an alternative. People want sprawl to get away from the unpleasant aspects of the city. Why not make cities carfree. This will provide something that will be better and more economic. 

Saudi oil is running out, U.S. pivots to Iran over Caspian Gas

Israeli and Saudi leaders could lose out if Iran deprives the US of its enemy - Middle East News | Latest News Headlines | The Irish Times - Sun, Oct 20, 2013: "They are to reconvene in three weeks, encouraging speculation that a larger geopolitical shift might be possible if agreement is reached on Iran’s nuclear programme and economic sanctions are lifted. Relations between the US and Iran, frozen since the 1979 revolution, could be transformed – putting in question fundamental US policies and alignments in the Middle East."

'via Blog this'

Friday, October 18, 2013

Canada's War with the Mi’kmaw Nation at Elsipogtog

Feathers verus Guns : "The Mi’kmaw have spoken out against hydro-fracking on their territory for many months now. They have tried to get the attention of governments to no avail. Now the Mi'kmaw are in a battle of drums and feathers versus tanks and assault rifles - not the rosy picture painted by Canada to the international community."
People are fighting back against fracking and the destruction that it causes to health, land, and water. This fight must be joined with a campaign to end the subsidy of sprawl. Sprawl is an unsustainable, energy-wasting way of life. It is uneconomical, but survives because taxpayers pick up the tab. A huge demand for energy is created by this subsidy. This demand then gives power to the energy providers and provides huge profits to those who can deliver high net-energy products. This industry: coal, oil, and natural gas, then uses government power to crush people and drill and mine where they please. 

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Happy Motoring is over

James H Kunstler on Peak Prosperity: "Similarly, the public investments going into "shovel-ready" highway projects, although the fiscal outlays are more transparently based on money that doesn't really exist. The public, as well as leaders all across society, serenely believe that the Happy Motoring matrix will find a way to go on forever, and that therefore we must make provision for it, not to mention the beneficial side of effect of "job creation" for all the additional workers. Yet the dynamic at work must be obvious: oil will never be cheap again; it will impair future capital formation; there will be far fewer car loans; there will dwindling public funds to maintain the roads; and there is no practical substitute for gasoline that scales to the existing system, nor any prospect of one within a time frame that makes sense -- not to mention the gigantic background problem of pouring evermore carbon into the sky."

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Democracy is over, but voting still matters

The abandonment of working people by the Labor Party in the UK is a clear example of how years of political hard work can seem to be for nothing.

The 1% is in big trouble with the peaking of cheap oil. Oil is what moves the economy, and the infrastructure is so big that they are faced with massive losses.

To keep in power, and keep their wealth, they hope to convince people through right-wing politics to accept mass unemployment and poverty by demonizing the unemployed and the poor.

Even if change through voting is effectively blocked, we cannot allow these right-wing parties to win large electoral victories. This would only send a chilling message around the world.

Government #debt fight is a symptom of the end of growth

Our Finite World: "We are kidding ourselves if we think that we can decide to slowly reduce oil and fossil fuel usage over the next 40 or more years. If oil prices drop to, say, $30 barrel because of debt defaults, oil production will drop very quickly–not based on some slow decline curve. Natural gas and coal prices will drop dramatically too, essentially putting an end to their production. Jobs will disappear with the lack of fossil fuels. Eighty or ninety percent of us will again need to work in manual food production without fossil fuels. Education, government, and services of all kinds will shrink rapidly."

Monday, October 14, 2013

Shell abandons kerogen prototype

Resource Insights: Geology beats technology: Shell shuts down oil shale pilot project: "A clue comes from one sentence in coverage in The Denver Post: "Full-scale production would probably have required building a dedicated power plant." In simple terms, it takes energy to get energy. Shell's process requires copious amounts of electricity to heat the rock in place through boreholes in order to release the waxy hydrocarbons embedded in it. In this pilot project, the subterranean rock was heated for three years before liquids were captured and brought to the surface for further processing."

'via Blog this'

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Poland campaign for free public transport -- another city adopts #freetransit

August 80: "- Free public transport is by all means worth it! To a large extent help residents access to education, culture, sport and recreation, as well as improve the availability of jobs. Reduce the amount of traffic in the city, so you do not have to every now and then to finance a costly repair roads. Plugs would be smaller, and the air cleaner. Disappear expenditure on printing of tickets and maintenance of ticket machines - says campaign coordinator, Luke Ługowski.

Ługowski announces that the campaign "No to increases in ticket prices - YES for free public transport" will soon cover more cities."

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Taxpayers are paying at least $7,000/year #autosprawl welfare for each car on the road

A Tale of two Subsidies - Strong Towns: "The total cost is difficult to estimate on the driving side, but in the case of roads the subsidy probably comes to around $100 billion a year. It's even more challenging to get a reliable estimate for the cost of protecting our oil interests in the Middle East and elsewhere, and estimates range anywhere from $30 billion a year to $225 billion a year since 1976. Even worse is the human cost of lives lost by our military servicemen and women.

And anyone reading this blog is well-acquainted with the many societal and personal ills associated with being dependent on a car for every trip in your life, so I won't get into that here.

Per car, that amount is something to the tune of $7,000 per year."

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Saudi Arabia will run out of water for agriculture in 2016

Interview with Lester Brown of
  • Photosynthesis limit has been reached in advanced agriculture
  • 95% of corporate food cost is unrelated to actual growing of food
  • People should be asking themselves "do I really need a car?"
  • 26 million agricultural wells in India quickly drawing down aquifers
  • Saudi agriculture will shut down in 3 years for lack of water

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Rosy IMF predictions can't overcome #degrowth

Zero Hedge: "The chart below, showing the historical change in the IMF's periodic revisions of world growth and revised for today's just released latest World Economic Outlook, shows that much taxpayer money can be saved if the monetary fund's staff was replaced with dart-throwing chimps."

Thursday, October 3, 2013

#Freetransit so popular in Bangkok, even right-wing government declined to cancel it

Khaosod Online: "The program had proven so popular that the preceding government of Ms. Abhisit Vejjajiva repeatedly renewed it, in spite of the Democrats′ self-proclaimed opposition toward "populist" policies of Mr. Samak.

Since the program started in July 2008, successive governments had spent over 14 billion baht to support the free transports by subsidising 10 billion baht to the Bangkok Mass Transit Authority (BMTA) and over 3 billion baht to the State Railway of Thailand."

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Old people need #publictransit. U.S. leaves them stranded.

Al Jazeera America: "The U.S. ranks lower than Slovenia on “enabling environment” – social connections, safety, civic freedom, and access to public transport."

“...We, as Americans, need to imagine what it means to grow old,” Brown said. “We need to decide how, as a society, we want to treat people who grow old … What kind of roads we’re going to put in. What kind of public transportation.”