Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Oil companies no longer have time or money for safety as another oil train explodes

From BBC
BBC News - Explosions as North Dakota freight train derails: "Wagons from a mile-long train carrying crude oil have burst into flames as they derailed after a collision in the US state of North Dakota.

A plume of thick black smoke could be seen many miles away and explosions were heard."

'via Blog this'

Monday, December 30, 2013

Corporate media concedes cars cause #climatechange

USA Today: " Cars are now known contributors to the modern-day scourge of climate change. Their heat-trapping emissions have helped warm the planet beyond its natural variability. So sea levels have risen, and drought, heat waves and hurricanes have intensified — as USA TODAY explored in a year-long series, "Weathering the Change.""

'via Blog this'

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Where is the money coming from to pay for $100/bbl oil? Cheap labor

SFGate: "An estimated 1.3 million people will be cut off when the federally funded unemployment payments end Saturday."
High unemployment means downward pressure on wages. This is one way to have more money for oil. Since oil is essential to transport, business cannot afford to go without--even if it means hurting the overall economy.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

China juggling asset bubbles

People should prepare for more oil shocks. China has built a lot of high-speed rail, but has also been putting additional cars on the road at worrisome rate. This demand for oil is unsustainable and exists by virtue of the expectation of return on credit. A crash will come, demand will plummet, and oil projects will be abandoned. After much pain and suffering, the cycle will be repeated.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Warm atmosphere holds more water, hence bigger ice storms

Thousands left without power across US and Canada - seattlepi.com: "Trees frozen in ice cripple a section of power lines on Maplehurst Drive in Belgrade, Maine, Tuesday, Dec. 24, 2013. From Michigan to Maine, hundreds of thousands remain without power days after a massive ice storm _ which one utility called the largest Christmas-week storm in its history _ blacked out homes and businesses in the Great Lakes and Northeast. Photo: Michael G. Seamans, AP"

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Former BP geologist: peak oil is here and it will 'break economies'

Nafeez Ahmed theguardian.com: "A former British Petroleum (BP) geologist has warned that the age of cheap oil is long gone, bringing with it the danger of "continuous recession" and increased risk of conflict and hunger."

'via Blog this'

Friday, December 20, 2013

Oil industry caught between high and low, will need more government subsidy

Low price means they can't afford to drill, high price means more recession and demand destruction. They need money but have to pay more dividends to keep nervous investors from deserting. The next step will be more government subsidy.
The Real Oil Extraction Limit, and How It Affects the Downslope | Our Finite World: "Because of diminishing returns, the cost of oil extraction keeps rising. It is hard for oil prices to increase enough to provide an adequate profit for producers. In fact, oil prices already seem to be too low. Oil companies have begun returning money to stockholders in increased dividends, rather than investing in projects which are likely to be unprofitable at current oil prices."
Prepare your city now. Join the campaign for free public transit.  

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Your city could jump ahead economically by making cars less necessary

What if your city were to implement free public transit. What could happen?

  • Immediate savings from lower traffic congestion
  • Parking enforcement could be abolished
  • Police and ambulance costs would drop
  • Labor market would be more fluid
  • Deliveries would be more efficient
  • Urban living would become more desirable
  • Less noise, cleaner air, more space
  • Less money exported for gasoline and cars
  • Walkable neighborhoods start to blossom
  • Street and bridge maintenance costs go down
  • Parking lots turn into parks
  • Medical costs of collisions would go down
  • People would walk more and be healthier
  • Many more good things

More people move in. The economy jumps. Other cities see it and want to copy. A race to the top ensues.

Simply stop welfare for cars by making buses free. Use the savings for more buses, better schools, and healthcare.

New #climatechange study raises more cause for alarm

'Whole world at risk' from simultaneous droughts, famines, epidemics: scientists | Nafeez Ahmed | Environment | theguardian.com: "The series of papers published by the Proceedings for the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) shows that policymakers might be underestimating the social and economic consequences of climate change due to insufficient attention on how different climate risks are interconnected."

'via Blog this'

Monday, December 16, 2013

Pope gives out #freetransit tickets, is called communist

Entertainment & Stars: "For Christmas, the Vatican has announced that they will be distributing 2,000 envelopes that contain free public transport tickets and telephone cards to the poor. The envelope will also include the Pope's signed Christmas picture and a stamp from the Vatican's post."

Sunday, December 15, 2013

U.S. using #climate as excuse to re-invade Vietnam

Kerry Returns To Vietnam To Address New Common Threat -- Climate Change | ThinkProgress: "There is also some activity to reduce the carbon emissions that are driving the greenhouse effect causing much of the changes in the first place. On Saturday when he visited Ho Chi Minh City, Kerry was present for the signing of a $94 million contract between General Electric and Vietnamese construction firm Cong Ly to build 52 wind turbines in nearby Bac Lieu Province."

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Do you want #freetransit? Should this blog continue?

We need to get people to see that the autosprawl system is subsidized. A lot of things that people don't like such as traffic, pipelines, pollution, climate change, and economic waste are actually being subsidized by deferred [externalized] costs and taxes. That is like paying a high heating bill in the winter, but leaving the front door open all the time.

The most important people to reach are Americans. Because this is where autosprawl has had the most support and impact. If Americans can make a significant change away from wasting energy, that will send a strong message to the rest of the world.

You can help by tweeting blog posts that you like, or better, by blogging yourself. There is no commitment, you need not give your name, and there is no money involved. Simply send us an email at fpteditors at gmail; we will give you access. When you write or find an article or opinion that shows how cars are subsidized, the benefits of public transit, or how people are taking action, simply post a few sentences and a link. You certainly may link your own site. Even if you post only once a year, you are helping. Especially if you have specific local information.

Friday, December 13, 2013

How to make cities #carfree

Car Free Day - every Sunday in Jakarta. Gunawan Kartapranata
How cities of the future could see cars parked for good: "Is a car-free city possible? In many European cities walking and cycling already account for more than half of all journeys. In Britain, the Sustainable Travel Demonstration Towns project between 2004-08 showed it’s possible to increase the number of people getting out of the car, encouraging sometimes up to nine times more journeys by foot or bike."

'via Blog this'

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Why an obvious solution like #freetransit is so hard to sell

The oil industry is the blood of the oil-dependent economy. There is so much infrastructure involved that the unwinding is going to be long and tortuous.

One problem. Because of the competitive nature of capitalism, bubbles can almost never be slowly deflated. A dramatic reduction in oil demand, as would occur with a significant increase in public transit, would mean that $trillions in infrastructure would be under used, meaning rate of profit falls. Investors would panic and the government will have to bail out the oil industry. Yes. Bail. Out.

We can't stop the crashes and the bailouts, but your city can prepare now for the next oil shock. Join your local public transit advocates. 

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Oil-dependent economy driving on the fumes of debt

Diminishing Returns, Energy Return on Energy Invested, and Collapse | Our Finite World: "The situation we are facing now is different. High oil prices–even in the $100 barrel range–tend to push the economy toward contraction, making debt hard to pay back. (This happens because we are borrowing from the future, and the amount available to repay debt in the future will be less rather than more.) The problem can be temporarily covered up with deficit spending and Quantitative Easing, but is not a long-term solution. If interest rates rise, there is likely to be a large increase in debt defaults.

...Stagnation of wages is happening despite attempts by governments to prop up the economy using deficit spending, artificially low interest rates, and Quantitative Easing. Without these interventions, the results would likely be even worse. If QE is removed, or if interest rates rise on their own, there seems to be a distinct possibility that these countries will be reaching the “crisis” phase as described by Turchin and Nefedov."

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Climate change 'tipping points' imminent

Climate change 'tipping points' imminent: "Abrupt changes are already apparent, the authors noted: the number of serious wildfires has increased dramatically over the past decade, farmers are noticing hotter average temperatures that affect their crop yields, animals and plants are moving up mountainsides to reach cooler temperatures, and the Artic sea ice is melting back more and more each summer."

'via Blog this'