Thursday, December 29, 2016

Price of traffic congestion $101 Billion -- Price of #freetransit $30 Billion

Op Ed | US News: "Yet despite its significance, we as a nation have neglected our transportation infrastructure. The American Society of Civil Engineers' 2013 report card graded the national transportation infrastructure from a high of C+ for bridges and rail to an embarrassing D for aviation, roads, and public transit. It estimates that highway congestion costs the U.S. economy $101 billion annually and that $170 billion per year of annual investment is needed to make significant improvements. Likewise, deficiencies in our transit systems cost another $90 billion per year."

EROEI Calculations for Solar PV Are Misleading

Our Finite World: "EROEI calculations are in a sense the output of a very simple model. What we are finding now is that this model is not sufficiently complex to deal with the way intermittent electricity affects the system as a whole. What needs to be substituted for all of these EROEI model results (including “net energy,” Life Cycle Analysis, and other derivative results) is real world cost levels using very much wider boundaries than are included in EROEI calculations."

Monday, December 26, 2016

Top U.S. General admits defeat -- saying two more years needed to beat ISIS

The Daily Beast: "BAGHDAD, Iraq—The general commanding coalition forces in Iraq predicts it will take two years of hard work to clear the so-called Islamic State from its twin capitals of Mosul and Raqqa, and then to burn out the remnants that will likely flee to the vast empty desert between Syria and Iraq."
In the last two years ISIS has doubled in support around the world. In Russia, South Asia, East Asia and especially in Africa. They have hit a nerve with oppressed people everywhere, including non-muslims. They are the tip of the iceberg of anger from 100's of years of western colonial oppression. The more they are bombed, the more they grow. Two years from now they will be twice as big.

Here is a better idea. Why not leave them alone. Bring the troops home. Use the money to undo the wasteful sprawl system and provide people with car-free cities. That would save enough money and energy that oil wars would not be necessary and Americans could all have Medicare and free education.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Anything but free transit - avoiding the low-hanging fruit - #dfdg #abft

Cars are killing us. The obvious solution is to make buses fare-free and gradually get rid of cars and the sprawl, noise, pollution, collisions, oil-wars, carbon emissions, congestion, parking-wars, and other pain that comes with them.

Autos and their sprawl are heavily subsidized through taxes, deferred costs, and ignored environmental damage. Sprawl builders, oil companies, DIY chains, auto industry, and many more are profiting from this subsidy.

With free transit, cities would become more attractive and more people would adopt urban living. This causes birth rates to drop.

End of sprawl and falling birth rates can save the biosphere, but directly and immediately challenge the profiteers.

So, to distract people there are campaigns for mitigation of the auto, but with programs that do not threaten its existence. 

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

American Catholics call for more buses

America Magazine: "The “transportation prison” is trapping more and more people in the United States, unable to keep up with the renewed sprawl of jobs and homes. In “Laudato Si’,” Pope Francis described the “suffering” associated with a worldwide dependence on cars, “causing traffic congestion, raising the level of pollution, and consuming enormous quantities of non-renewable energy” (No. 153). But despite such warnings, more housing is being built far from urban centers, and after the premature proclamation that the United States had hit “peak driving” in 2007, motorists are now logging more miles than ever. To promote economic growth, reduce global-warming emissions and, in many cases, provide enough hours for sleep, we need not only better roads but better and more equitable public transit. "

Sixty-five percent of Trump voters want more buses. Good luck with that.

bizjournals : "The transportation association’s national release said that of voters sampled on Nov. 11, three days after the national elections, nearly 70 percent of all Americans and 65 percent of Trump voters support more spending to repair and improve public transportation."

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Fossil-fuel industry bullish on Iran - still think #ParisAgreement is real?

Bloomberg: "“Oil production west of Karoun must reach one million barrels per day,” President Hassan Rouhani said last month, referring to three fields west of the Karoun River near Iran’s border with Iraq. “This is a realistic goal, and we need investment and technology.”

... Iran also has the world’s biggest natural gas reserves, and in November it clinched a $4.8 billion gas development project with energy giants Total SA and China National Petroleum Corp. The country aims next year to bring companies such as Total, Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Russia’s Lukoil PJSC and Gazprom Neft PJSC back to its oil fields."

If you want #degrowth, here is why you should seek #freetransit

When towns or cities make buses fare-free, several things happen. They are listed at the end. Here is the most important one:

  • cities and towns become more attractive living spaces

So how does this mean degrowth? With fewer cars, cities and towns have less noise and more space. Some streets can become urban gardens and parks. People will want to live there. When people move to the city, for their future security, they no longer focus on producing more farm-hands, and start to focus on education. This causes birth-rates to drop. If you look where birth-rates are low, you generally see good public transportation. Making buses free speeds up this process.

Free city buses create a positive feedback loop. So, once to start, it gets easier.

  • ridership increases
  • pressure builds for more buses
  • more buses mean more frequent service
  • more frequent service means more riders
  • more people have a choice other than a car
  • medical costs go down
  • there is less popular support for car subsidies like free parking
  • city has more money for buses and education

Friday, December 16, 2016

Again Paris makes public transport free as pollution level soars, Beijing, Delhi, take note!

The Local: "Public transport is free in Paris on Friday and only cars with even-numbered registration plates are allowed on the roads.

The move comes as heavy pollution levels hit the city, and follow four-straight days of free transport and traffic restrictions last week. 

And it's expected to get worse on Saturday. "
Beijing and Delhi pollution numbers are worse than Paris.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Warsaw Public Transport Free for a Day Due to Air Pollution

The New York Times : "WARSAW, Poland — The city of Warsaw mas made public transportation free for a day due to heightened air pollution, a step meant to encourage residents to leave their cars at home."

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Car nuts twisting themselves into pretzels trying to save their mad dog

Public Knowledge Responds to Department of Transportation’s Connected Vehicles Proposal - Public Knowledge: "Today, the U.S. Department of Transportation announced a proposal mandating vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communications technology on all new light-duty vehicles."
Big data, self-driving cars, complete streets, better road safety, bike infrastructure, more subways... blah blah. Urbanists and planners busy trying to twist and turn to save the car and its sprawl.

Why? Cars and sprawl, autosprawl, promote growth -- more homes, more babies. Capitalism is a cancer that must grow or die. Autosprawl requires constant massive subsidy, yet they have to keep it going.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Supply-side activism is a dead end

What actions actually have an effect on today's problems of energy and climate?

First, separate supply-side from demand-side.

Supply-side means stopping the supply of bad things, or increasing the production of good things.
  • opposing pipelines
  • building solar farms
  • keeping cars out of the city
Demand side means reducing the need for bad things.
  • make buses fare-free
  • urbanize to drop birth rate
The economy is driven by demand. As long as there is demand, any savings by efficiency is used. This is why supply-side activism gets no results. You can win battles, but you will lose the war.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Ruling elites are rivals, but they all come together against us

US/RU, US/Iran, US/EU, US/Saudi .... leaning this way, leaning that way. Right now, they all want the Kirkuk oil, so they are having a  war on Islam, but it can quickly expand to a war against all of their own citizens.

What can we do? Wherever you are, get your locality to cut back. Stop growth, reduce use of energy. All energy.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Paris saving money while fighting pollution with #freepublictransport

The corporate media is being sure to remind everyone that free public transport in Paris is costing 4 million US dollars per day. But let's look at both sides, cost and benefit.

First of all, where does the $4 million go? It stays in the pockets of the people of Paris. They will spend it and it will trickle through the economy. So is it really lost in the first place?

Second. Green-house gas emission are being reduced by many tons without adding any solar panels.

Third. How much petrol and diesel is not being sold? Doesn't that mean downward pressure on price?

Fourth. How much more time do people have with the reduction in traffic congestion.

Fifth. How many lives saved?

There are many more considerations. See links below.

Friday, December 9, 2016

NSIDC: Record Low Arctic and Antarctic Sea Ice Extent for November

World Meteorological Organization: "Average Arctic sea ice extent for November was the lowest on the satellite record, reflecting unusually high air temperatures, winds from the south, and a warm ocean. Antarctic sea ice extent quickly declined in November, also setting a record low for the month – in marked contrast to recent years. For the globe as a whole, sea ice cover was exceptionally low, according to the U.S. National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC)."

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Corporate growth still driving deforestation, CDP shows

The Paris Agreement is a hoax. They have no intention of meeting goals. None. In fact, they can't, even if they wanted. Capitalism is based on competition, anyone backs down, someone takes his place.

BBC News: "A study by the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) suggests almost a quarter of company revenues depend on deforestation-linked commodities.
These commodities are cattle products, soy, palm oil and timber products.
The findings are based on disclosure requests to 365 investors worth US $22 trillion (£17 trillion)."

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

#Freepublictransport effective against pollution - why not free every day, then?

The Local: "The air pollution in Paris is predicted to worsen on Wednesday, with authorities barring many drivers from using their cars and making public transport free for the second day in a row."
Capitalism is spoiling the biosphere, we all know that. They get desperate to keep profits coming in and have to do something to keep workers alive. In Paris and Mexico City, they use free public transit on bad air days. But why not just have it all the time?

Answer: Cars mean sprawl, sprawl means growth. Free transit is a deadly threat to cars.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Energy wars - haves vs have nots

Monday, December 5, 2016

Imagine free public transport with sharp declines in diabetes, cardiovascular, and respiratory disease

The Lancet : " Land-use changes were modelled to reflect a compact city in which land-use density and diversity were increased and distances to public transport were reduced to produce low motorised mobility, namely a modal shift from private motor vehicles to walking, cycling, and public transport. The modelled compact city scenario resulted in health gains for all cities (for diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and respiratory disease) with overall health gains of 420–826 disability-adjusted life-years (DALYs) per 100 000 population."
Even if you don't care about health, think of the money saved. The savings would easily pay for the amount lost from fares. See our spreadsheet #freeischeaper.

Surprise, scientists find 55 billion tons more carbon than previous estimates

Climate change escalating so fast it is 'beyond point of no return' | The Independent: "The study found that 55bn tonnes in carbon, not previously accounted for by scientists, will be emitted into the atmosphere by 2050."

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Will Trump turn against Iran? In a word, Oil.

iraniansforum : "Since the beginning of the Islamic Republic, advocates of coexistence and friendship with the Iranian regime have tenaciously strived to influence Washington’s policy on Iran. A key set of players in this tireless advocacy are US corporations, particularly the oil industry. Iran has the fourth largest oil reserves, and first largest natural gas reserves in the world. Oil lobbies argue that engagement with Tehran will open Iran's energy sector to US corporations, bring stability to the region, secure the oil supply from the Middle East, and allow access to significantly cheaper oil and gas from Central Asia."

Must read -- eloquent - reasons why Americans voted billions for #publictransit

masstransitmag : "Ultimately, public transportation is all about choice in how you travel — yes, it’s about mobility, but it’s also about freedom. Across the nation, voters have signaled that they are ready for a new era of broader transit options. It’s up to all of us to design a public transportation system that can play an integral role in shaping the future of our nation and our economy."

Friday, December 2, 2016

It's too late to cool solely by reducing green-house gas emissions

We are focused on greenhouse gas emissions. World leaders are promising huge reductions. What else do you expect them to do? Do you expect them to tell the truth? They cannot. Emissions will not stop, they will continue at pretty much the same pace. The only thing that will stop them is massive system failure of capitalism. But even if there is collapse, mass unemployment, and emissions go to zero, there is already too much greenhouse gas in the atmosphere.

We need to focus on heat. The energy on earth can be stored as plant material or it can be turned into heat by humans. Heat can only be radiated into space at a fixed rate, so we have to degrow or burn.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

City of 2.5 million in India plans 1 day per month #freetransit

Times of India: ""If more and more people get used to the public transport, it will reduce the dependence on the private vehicles. It will also help in better traffic management," said Aba Bagul, a corporator, who had given proposal.
The PMPML has given green signal to proposal. The public transport runs nearly 1600 buses. Around 10 lakh people use the public transport every day in the city. Apart from providing service in city areas, the public transport buses even ply in the near by villages of Pune."

see also Fare-free South Asia

Monday, November 28, 2016

Free Corporate Transit - Private means unequal

Why companies are going the extra mile to beat congestion - JLL Real Views: "Corporate buses taking employees to the office may not be a new idea but they are a popular one, especially between San Francisco and Silicon Valley. When Google launched its shuttle service for its Bay Area employees back in 2004, it served about 150 employees at the time. Today, Alphabet – Google’s parent company – operates a fleet of more than a hundred biodiesel buses and estimates that more than half the company’s 11,000 Bay Area employees use the service on a daily basis. Amazon recently joined the club with its Amazon Ride service shuttling employees to its two Seattle office locations."
Large companies in the US know very well the benefits of economies of scale. They have their own health centers and bus fleets. Is this what you want for the future? Just look at India.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Turkey threatens EU with migrants

Reuters- Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan threatened on Friday to unleash a new wave of migrants on Europe after lawmakers there voted for a temporary halt to Turkey's EU membership negotiations, but behind the fighting talk, neither side wants a collapse in ties.
Now that cheap oil has peaked, you can expect more energy wars and mass unemployment. Even though coal and natural gas have not peaked, oil has a special role in the economy, just like blood in the human body.

So now there are too many people. They can't kill us fast enough in war, so they create massive refugee camps. These will get bigger.

Now migration is being used as a weapon. This will become usual and normal, like climate disruption.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Americans vote for racism and then wonder why there's no buses

Center for Transportation Excellence: "“This remarkable passage rate for public transportation measures sends a strong message to President-elect Donald Trump and to  Congress that Americans support moving forward with funding from all levels of government that connects infrastructure investment with job opportunities and our country’s economic vitality,” said APTA Acting President and CEO Richard A. White."
Ballot measures prove year after year that Americans want public transit. Why don't they get it? Because they vote for oil trolls. The oil industry has known for a long time that is can't win politically, so it cobbles together "tea parties" and such which are mainly just racism. So a voter was liquidating a retirement account to buy a car, his friend asked why not take the bus. There is no bus. Well, his friend says, you should fight racism. Huh?

Sunday, November 20, 2016

#Parisagreement proposals contain science-fiction of carbon capture

theconversation : "Some models suggest that up to 1 trillion tonnes of carbon dioxide needs to be removed from the atmosphere to meet the 1.5℃ goal.

This idea is increasingly being called out as a risky and “highly speculative” strategy to limit warming to 1.5℃, as it puts food security and biodiversity at risk, and may not even be possible to deliver. The Convention on Biodiversity has also now weighed in on the issue, declaring that carbon removal techniques are highly uncertain.

A recent report from the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI), summarised here, argues that the scale of negative emissions assumed by many climate models is improbably high."
Scientists spend a lot of effort combating disinformation from the profit system. As soon as they win one argument, another pops up.

History of climate denial/delay
  • there is no warming
  • ok, there is warming, but it is not man-made
  • ok, it is man-made, but it's not dangerous
  • ok, it's dangerous, but we have a quick fix 
This argument will never be won. We should simply go directly to people and advocate for policy that leads to actual culture-change. For example, if cities were car-free, more people would urbanize and birth rates would fall.

Friday, November 18, 2016

20 Billion BBLS of undiscovered oil in Permian Basin - time of mass death on earth

USGS : "Undiscovered resources are those that are estimated to exist based on geologic knowledge and theory, while technically recoverable resources are those that can be produced using currently available technology and industry practices. Whether or not it is profitable to produce these resources has not been evaluated."
This oil is theoretically in the Permian Basin. Ironically the late Permian was the time of the largest mass death on Earth. So if this undiscovered oil is "discovered," then burning it will put all that dead life back in the mix for another mass death.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

#parisagreement a hoax, funded by carbon emitters

Creative self-destruction: the climate crisis and the myth of 'green' capitalism: "The disconnect between business and climate action was symbolised by the announcement earlier this year that a significant portion of funding for the Paris meeting comes from major fossil fuel companies and carbon emitters; a situation French climate officials admitted was financially unavoidable."

'via Blog this'

US bipartisan agreement on dumping good money after bad into #autosprawl

Conservatives vs. Trump’s infrastructure plan - POLITICO: "Even so, Trump cheered infrastructure advocates from both parties when he gave the issue a prime mention during his victory speech early Wednesday."

'via Blog this'

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Asphalt lobbyist steps into power with Trump

Curbed : "In a year when Americans have driven more miles, consumed more gas, and created more climate-destroying emissions than any other moment in history, the idea that we might continue to promote a car-centric, highway-widening transportation policy is frightening. This would be a striking departure from the work of current Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx, who has openly advocated for pumping money into transit projects—not highway projects—to build healthy, equitable communities."

Friday, November 11, 2016

Voters Want Transportation Investment - 69% of ballot measures approved

Mass Transit: "According to an analysis by the American Road & Transportation Builders Association's "Transportation Investment Advocacy Center" (ARTBA-TIAC), 69 percent of the 280 transportation funding ballot measures up for vote across the nation were approved, with results still pending for seven local areas. "

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Trump a symptom of declining net energy

Occupy, Tea Party, and the Politics of Less | ZDNet: "There are no quick fixes to this challenge. It has evolved over roughly half a century, through Democratic and Republican regimes alike, and we have roughly half a century to respond to it, starting right now. Any response that doesn't address the fundamental issue of declining net energy is doomed to fail. I like to think we can respond intelligently, and I would never short human ingenuity and compassion. On the other hand, it’s hard to argue against a reversion to the mean of human history."

Humans will not achieve the 2% #climate target

Climate negotiations haven't delivered reductions in emissions after 25 years, ... we can't figure out carbon capture and storage, we don't even have negative emissions, and we have vested interests...

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

The biggest subsidy

There has been much written about how cars and sprawl are subsidized. Public money is used to pay much of the costs, while private business owners profit from the system.

This autosprawl system is putting carbon in the air and causing warming that threatens the whole biosphere. There is no charge for this, it is free. This is the biggest subsidy.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Technology will not save us, just the opposite

How Researchers Could Miss the Real Energy Story | Our Finite World: "In fact, in my opinion, the story is very different. The very thing that should be saving us–technology–has side effects that bring the whole system down. 

The only way we can keep adding technology is by adding more capital goods, more specialization, and more advanced education for selected members of society. The problem, as we should know from research regarding historical economies that have collapsed, is that more complexity ultimately leads to collapse because it leads to huge wage disparity."

Friday, November 4, 2016

Students in Malta to study #freetransit possibility of providing free public transport to encourage commuters to swap their cars for buses will be one of several questions researched by economics students at the University of Malta this year.
The research proposal, one of several presented by students at a seminar in Valletta this week, was prompted by the continuous rise in private car users and congestion and the detrimental results on the environment and economy.
Zero-fare public transport has never been implemented on a nationwide basis but was introduced in the Estonian capital of Tallinn, which has a population only slightly smaller than Malta, three years ago.
It has also been introduced in a number of individual towns and cities around the world. In Hasselt, Belgium, public transport use increased by 13 times since fares were removed in 1997.
During the University of Malta seminar, the student behind the proposal noted that initial research into case studies overseas has shown that free public transport was responsible for other benefits such as a reduction in obesity from a more mobile public. The question will now be tackled in depth over the course of the year, incorporating secondary data and fresh analysis.
Meanwhile, other students will be examining questions such as the effect of lifestyles on productivity, the determinants of obesity and the demand for health services.
The effect of governance on well-being, the effect of the financial crisis on growth, the phenomenon of negative interest rates and of asset purchases by banks all form the basis of other research proposals."

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Diabetes, high blood pressure risk lowered with walking and cycling to work

belmarrahealth: "Diabetes and high blood pressure risk can be lowered by walking or cycling to work. The study included data from 20,000 people across the U.K. who completed the survey. The researchers found that walking, cycling, and using public transit were associated with lower risks of being overweight, compared to driving or taking a taxi."
The best way to get back to walking is to break the critical mass of the subsidized private auto. The way to do that is to make urban buses and trams fare-free. The health benefits will more than pay for the missing fares.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

US in #autosprawl meltdown, can't afford subsidies

AP via NYT: "Yet the needs remain great. About 20 percent of the nation's 900,000 miles of interstates and major roads needs resurfacing or reconstruction, according to one analysis. A quarter of the 600,000 bridges are considered structurally deficient or functionally obsolete.

In a report earlier this year, the American Society of Civil Engineers projected the U.S. will face a funding gap of more than $1.4 trillion by 2025 for its roads and bridges, drinking and wastewater systems, electrical infrastructure, aviation and water ports."

Friday, October 21, 2016

US Army admits defeat by saying liberation of Mosul will take at least a year

Trying to defeat people on the ground with air strikes does not work. Air strikes work against stationary targets like radar installations and apartment buildings, but not against moving targets like small groups of fighters. This was proven in Vietnam.

One purpose of bombing is to terrorize the population so that they will turn against the uprising, but usually has the opposite effect.

The main purpose of bombing is to scare other countries. To make them think the cost of fighting back is too high. For example Vietnam defeated the US, but suffered horribly in the process.

By announcing that the Mosul operation will take at least a year, the US is admitting defeat in advance. They don't have a year. Billions of dollars of debt has been run up in expectation of the defeat of the Islamic State and the plundering of Kirkuk oil.

The solution is for the US to free itself from oil-dependency. Bike lanes won't be enough. Making urban buses fare-free is the fastest way.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

"Decoupling" exposed. Growth advocates are misleading the world.

PLOS ONE: Is Decoupling GDP Growth from Environmental Impact Possible?: "Similar evidence to that in Fig 1, showing apparent decoupling of GDP from specific resources, has been shown throughout much of the OECD [28]. However, there are several limitations to the inference of decoupling from national or regional data. There are three distinct mechanisms by which the illusion of decoupling may be presented as a reality when in fact it is not actually taking place at all: 1) substitution of one resource for another; 2) the financialization of one or more components of GDP that involves increasing monetary flows without a concomitant rise in material and/or energy throughput, and 3) the exporting of environmental impact to another nation or region of the world (i.e. the separation of production and consumption). These illusory forms of decoupling are described with respect to energy by our colleague [29]."

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Kirkuk has plenty of "easy-to-extract" oil, hence, #waronislam

Why energy prices are ultimately headed lower; what the IMF missed | Our Finite World: "It takes energy to make goods and services.
It takes an increasing amount of energy consumption to create a growing amount of goods and services–in other words, growing GDP.
This energy must be inexpensive, if it is to operate in the historical way: the economy produces good productivity growth; this productivity growth translates to wage growth; and debt levels can stay within reasonable bounds as growth occurs.
We can’t keep producing cheap energy because what “runs out” is cheap-to-extract energy. We extract this cheap-to-extract energy first, forcing us to move on to expensive-to-extract energy.
Eventually, we run into the problem of energy prices falling below the cost of production because of affordability issues. The wages of non-elite workers don’t keep up with the rising cost of extraction.
Governments can try to cover up the problem with more debt at ever-lower interest rates, but eventually this doesn’t work either.
Instead of producing higher commodity prices, the system tends to produce asset bubbles.
Eventually, the system must collapse due to growing inefficiencies of the system. The result is likely to look much like a “Minsky Moment,” with a collapse in asset prices.
The collapse in assets prices will lead to debt defaults, bank failures, and a lack of new loans. With fewer new loans, there will be a further decrease in demand. As a result, energy and other commodity prices can be expected to fall to new lows."

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Loneliness as harmful as 15 cigarettes a day - via @GeorgeMonbiot

The Guardian: "It’s unsurprising that social isolation is strongly associated with depression, suicide, anxiety, insomnia, fear and the perception of threat. It’s more surprising to discover the range of physical illnesses it causes or exacerbates. Dementia, high blood pressure, heart disease, strokes, lowered resistance to viruses, even accidents are more common among chronically lonely people. Loneliness has a comparable impact on physical health to smoking 15 cigarettes a day: it appears to raise the risk of early death by 26%. This is partly because it enhances production of the stress hormone cortisol, which suppresses the immune system." 
George Monbiot, as usual, does a well-researched piece on human isolation and physical health. Making urban buses and trams fare-free would make a big change. He can't suggest this, of course, because the oil industry would destroy his career. But it is true just the same.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

#Walkability not for poor people

parksify : "As the benefits of walkability have become more evident in the past decade, those looking for places to live are seeking out neighborhoods where they can walk to dine, get coffee, shop, or even work. But with that increase in demand, there’s a price to be paid.
According to a new report by real estate firm Redfin, prices of homes increase incrementally based on neighborhoods’ Walk Scores. In fact, for every one point on the Walk Score index (which rates walkability on a scale from 1 to 100) for homes in Los Angeles, the sale price jumps by $3,948. And for families looking to settle in walkable communities, this is a big price to pay."

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Globalism is suicide

Resource Insights: Donald Trump and the impossible destination of globalism: "It is now clear that globalism as an engine for an ever growing world economy will lead to catastrophic climate change and other untoward results that will destroy the underpinnings of modern society. In other words, globalism is a suicide pact.

The idea that we can expand globalism to any size we choose was discredited long before now. One version of this fantasy was that the Earth would be able to accommodate U.S.-style consumerism worldwide. But we know that if all residents of the planet consumed like Americans, we would need four Earths to sustain them. Therefore, the destination offered by globalism no longer features prosperity and stability for all, but a ruinous decline. And yet, our politics and our public discourse speak as if we can still go there."

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Why the US is afraid of Russia

The US has a massive military, but has to watch helplessly as Russia slashes and burns its way around the oil-rich regions. The US is even afraid to give anti-aircraft weapons to its surrogate boots on the ground.

The whole world is balancing on a knife edge of debt and oil. Yes, oil is scarce. The glut is a temporary case of price-war and recession.

If the US gets in a direct fight with Russia, it will tip a hundred balances. First beneficiary, the Islamic State.

Russia has its own oil. It knows the US is in check and is taking advantage.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Oil industry needs $3Trillion to make it to 2020

ICYMI: Summer 2016 Oil Recap — D. Ray Long: "In a recent report, John England and Andrew Slaughter at Deloitte conclude that, at minimum. the global upstream industry will need to invest about $3 trillion during 2016-2020 to ensure long-term sustainability.

It's an open question if anyone actually wants to spend that money for less than stellar returns. Recall Steven Kopits' wonderful talk from over two years ago where I wrote:

"Kopits addresses the "flatness" of oil production since 2005, and why the decline has not been steeper. In short, this is because we threw a lot of money at it to the tune of $3.5 trillion spent maintaining the legacy oil and gas system since 2005. What did we get for all this invested money? Sadly what we got was a decline in legacy oil production of 1 million barrels per day (mbpd).""

Monday, September 26, 2016

Energy growth must stop, will stop--all forms of energy.

There are several problems with renewable energy sources, we address only the show-stoppers.

There is no sign that renewables have or will reduce fossil use.

Renewables make heavy use of fossil-fuels to produce, install, and operate.
What is it made of? Lots of steel, concrete and advanced plastic. Material requirements of a modern wind turbine have been reviewed by the United States Geological Survey. On average 1 MW of wind capacity requires 103 tonnes of stainless steel, 402 tonnes of concrete, 6.8 tonnes of fiberglass, 3 tonnes of copper and 20 tonnes of cast iron. The elegant blades are made of fiberglass, the skyscraper sized tower of steel, and the base of concrete.
Renewables lead people away from degrowth, wasting valuable time.
First, I refer you to the previous post: the continued growth of any energy technology—if consumed on the planet—will bring us to a boil. Beyond that, we hit astrophysically nonsensical limits within centuries. So energy scale must cease growth. Likewise, efficiency limits will prevent us from increasing our effective energy available without bound.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

International targets for heat reduction will not be reached

Common Dreams: "Speaking at a University of Oxford conference this week, led by leading U.K. climate researcher Richard Betts, scientists said global greenhouse gas emissions are not likely to slow down quickly enough to avoid passing the 1.5°C target.

The goal of limiting global warming to 1.5°C was agreed to in the landmark Paris agreement negotiated by 195 nations last year."
Looks like we might continue the car culture right up to the end. Will you take action and join us now?

Friday, September 23, 2016

Renewables promote growth, do not reduce fossil-fuel usage.

Here is projected world energy use. You can argue that fossil-fuels would be higher without renewables, but you cannot argue that renewables will make fossil-fuels go down. So where is the emission reduction. And could not a better result be achieved by degrowth? The only downturn in liquids and natural gas is from recession.

What about this solar array? How much fossil-fuel to support it?

Would it not be better to have fewer suburban homes than an array like this to supply them?

Monday, September 19, 2016

Campaign for fare-free public transportation is working

The hard work of public transport advocacy is showing progress. This blog is part of  a network of 40 blogs based in the US maintained with only a handful of activists, In just a few years, what have we accomplished?
  • re-framed debate from the cost of buses to the cost of cars
  • exposed the canard about free buses being too crowded
  • exposed the canard about free buses being full of homeless
  • silenced the "nothing is free" silliness
  • encouraged people to join advocacy groups
  • reaching a 1000 readers a day on social media
  • worked with international fare-free advocates in 16 countries
What if you joined us? Become a blogger. It's easy. Write your opinion, or post links to news and opinion that helps expose the private auto for what it is... bad for climate, bad for economy, and heavily subsidized.

You can make a difference... maybe even save the biosphere.


More panic over falling birth rate

It's like a parallel universe. At the environment meetings all the governments pledge to drop carbon emissions by numbers like 90%. What could be more helpful than people voluntarily deciding to reduce birth rates? But the growth advocates were never telling the truth about reducing carbon emissions, and their panic over birth rates gives them away. They are careful not to mix the two subjects, treating them as unrelated.
Japan has a worrying number of virgins, government finds | The Independent: "This is not unique to Japan -- in various parts of the developed world, economic uncertainty is reshaping the way millennials and other young people conceive of their sex lives and marital choices. But it's particularly pronounced in the Asian nation, where experts and government officials have spent the better part of a decade fretting over the country's population decline and, as WorldViews once put it, "sexual apathy.""
When cities are car-free, people will urbanize more, and birth rates will fall even faster. This is our best hope for long-term human survival. The carbon is already in the air. Along with zero emissions, we need to reduce the amount of human activity, regardless of energy source. Our population is going to reduce, one way or another. We should be grateful for those declining to have children, and make it easier for them.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Making urban public transport fare-free very doable and actually saves money

In urban areas, buses, trams, and such should be made fare-free. This will save money. Every municipality with cars can save. Even small towns. The money spent on traffic and parking enforcement alone would likely cover the lost fares in most cases. Then, the town would reap many more valuable benefits such as:
  • fewer collisions
  • more room
  • peace and quiet
  • safer cycling
  • cleaner air
  • more walking
  • lower health costs
  • less money exported for petrol
  • you can probably think of several more 

Saturday, September 17, 2016

It's all about the oil in #Kirkuk - this pdf shows the panic

Iraqi Kurdistan Oil and Gas Outlook

...These issues all have to be tackled at a time when
the very structure of government in both Erbil and
Baghdad is severely constrained by polarization
in Kurdistan and by constant feuding in Baghdad
that is making it difficult, if not impossible, to form
a new broad-based cabinet. Moreover, the regional
background remains far from encouraging with the
multinational coalition making only slow progress in
the wars against the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham
(ISIS) in Iraq and Syria, and with ISIS continuing to
attack energy installations in federal Iraq and to
threaten hydrocarbon fields under Kurdish control...

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

What's going on in MiddleEast NorthAfrica - MENA? War on Islam.

Wars for energy are increasing and will continue to increase. Shifting allegiances are confusing, but there is a way to sort it out.

First, understand human survival hierarchy.

  • Nature, (physics, thermodynamics) has the most power.
  • Second is energy (usage, supply, demand).
  • Third is economics (food, shelter).
  • Last is finance (money, debt).

The corporate media is obsessed with who is on top, but to us, the people, we don't care. We don't want a top. But from their media, we get caught up in all the divisions of family, clan, tribe, nation, etc.

What is going on in MENA? All the finance people are trying to keep the interest payments coming in. To do that, they need to control the hi-net-energy fuel that is located there.

Unfortunately for them, Muslims stand in their way, so they have declared war on Islam.

Monday, September 12, 2016

One cost of not investing in #publictransit - $160B for congestion

nationalmemo: Drivers waste some $160 billion and 6.9 billion hours sitting in traffic. For the average motorist, that translates to almost two full days idling behind the wheel.

In 2010, poorly maintained public transit systems cost the economy $90 billion in lost time and wasted fuel. That number is expected to reach $570 billion annually by the end of this decade—and more than $1 trillion by 2040.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Economy Runs On Energy, Not Money

Seeking Alpha: "By the end of the 20th century, Berman explained we had gone through most of the easily accessible, cheap oil available around the world. As a result, production has been driven to explore for, more difficult to extract deposits.

"Those are all perfectly legitimate sources of oil, but because of the environment, the depth, the risk of the cost, all of a sudden oil got a lot more expensive," he said.

This is the heart of the issue, as oil prices are the determining factor when it comes to peak oil. In the 1990s, in terms of 2016 dollars, oil was around a third to a quarter the price it costs today to find and produce, Berman stated. As a result, the cost of everything that comes from oil is three or four times higher than it was just a couple of decades ago.

"From my perspective, the economy runs on energy, and money is nothing more than a call on energy," Berman said.

Oil is the master resource right now, he explained. The current weak economic growth we see around the world is a direct result of this, Berman added."

Thursday, September 8, 2016

How corporate media lies. #whatisAleppo

The main way the US corporate media lies is not by what they tell you, but what they don't tell you. It is not surprising that a candidate for major office in the US has not heard of Aleppo, despite it being in the top ten world news stories for the last five years.

If you are getting your news from TV, it is time to turn it off. Use the web while you have it. It is like a yard sale, lots of junk, but many treasures, if you make an effort.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Take the bus, it is 10 times safer than your car

TheHill: "A new study conducted by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) found that the chance of being in an accident decreases by more than 90 percent when taking public transit instead of driving.

That makes public transportation about 10 times safer per mile than commuting by car, the study found. "

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Campaign to increase birthrate crashes and burns in Italy - #degrowth

RT News: "A government ad campaign to boost one of the world’s lowest birth rates has wrapped up before due term after critics dismissed it as patronizing, accusatory and sexist.
On Friday, Health Minister Beatrice Lorenzin said she would make unspecified “changes” to a campaign that began only Wednesday, and was meant to build up to Fertility Day, scheduled for September 22, when public festivals staffed with doctors, family advisers and baby product sales reps are supposed to take place in four cities across the country."
While scientists are consistently ringing alarm bells about human growth, capitalism is desperate to stop falling birthrates.

Friday, September 2, 2016

November 8, Americans can vote $200 billion for #publictransit

Mass Transit: "A media press call on transit ballot initiatives will be held on Monday, September 12 from 12:15 – 1:15 p.m. PDT. This year on November 8, nearly $200 billion in public transit referendums will be held. In Los Angeles, if Measure R is passed, $98 billion for public transit will be available over 30 years. In Seattle, $54 billion for public transportation is at stake; in Atlanta, $2.5 billion for public transit is up for a vote. Reporters are welcome to come in person or listen by phone. Representatives of public transportation agencies from Los Angeles, Seattle, Atlanta, San Jose, and Columbus, OH will discuss their local ballot initiatives. Contact Virginia Miller at, if you are interested in attending in person or by phone."

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Electric cars, even if all solar-electric, will still boil the oceans

Oil Change International: "The FT points out that although subsidies for buying an electric vehicle are available in most European countries as well as China, the US, Turkey and Canada, “in almost all of these, the current schemes will expire within five years.”

However, once electric vehicles can bring the cost down to that of a conventional vehicle then analysts believe the number of electric vehicles will soar."
Prepare for a shift from the subsidized petrol car to the subsidized electric car. This just means replacing oil with electricity generated by burning natural gas.

But let's assume that all electricity comes from renewables.

It still means that all the hell unleashed by the automobile - sprawl, growth, and wars - will be extended longer into the future.

But something is different this time. Heat.

The carbon is already in the air. The earth is already hot. Even if carbon emissions are zero or negative, we will still generate more heat.

Human activity generates heat. That heat can only leave the planet at a fixed rate. If we continue growth, we will boil the oceans, regardless of what we burn.

The only solution is rapid degrowth. If we abolish the automobile and urbanize, birth rates will fall.

Friday, August 26, 2016

UN #degrowth plan in one word: #growth

theconversation : "But if you look more closely, a glaring contradiction emerges. The core of the SDG programme relies on the old model of indefinite economic growth that caused our ecological crisis in the first place: ever-increasing levels of extraction, production and consumption. SDG 8 calls for “at least 7% GDP growth per annum in the least developed countries” and “higher levels of economic productivity” across the board. In other words, there is a profound contradiction at the heart of these supposedly sustainable goals. They call for both less and more at the same time."

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

#Degrowth - Capitalism digging its own grave

The Japan Times: "SEOUL – South Koreans are likely to have fewer weddings and babies this year than ever before, part of a demographic shift that risks hobbling the nation’s economy.

The number of marriages and births recorded during the first five months of 2016 hit the lowest levels for the same period in any year since the nation’s statistics office started compiling monthly data in 2000.

The figures underscore the challenge facing the government, which over the past decade has poured 80 trillion won ($72 billion) into efforts to reverse the falling birthrate. Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn said this month that the country faces a crisis that threatens to limit long-term economic growth."
Good public transit speeds urbanization and degrowth. This is the best hope to save the biosphere.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Climate heat wave, caused by carbon released by cars

TreeHugger: "We have reached the point where transportation, 80% of which is in cars, is the single biggest source of carbon dioxide in the country. We can talk about making our buildings more efficient and buying LED bulbs, but it is our cars, and our car oriented planning, and our car culture that is killing us all."

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Belief in renewables biggest threat to human life

Human activity generates heat. Heat can only leave the earth at a known fixed rate. So changing from one energy source to another will not have any effect.

It is impossible to replace joules of energy from fossil-fuel with renewables. Fossil-fuels will be more cost-effective for too long of a time. That means every joule from a renewable source will free up a joule of fossil-fuel for use somewhere else.

Human demand for energy and the consequent heating of the biosphere are a threat to humans and all life. There is a chance we will do something about it. But first, we have to head in the right direction. The only solution is to cut back on human activity - degrowth.

Here is a simple plan for degrowth.

  • make cities and towns car-free
  • educate all children
  • provide free health-care

This plan will speed-up urbanization and falling birth rates.

The belief in renewables is stopping people from implementing degrowth. This mistake is deadly.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Country full of bus lovers, congress full of oil trolls. Democracy?

masstransitmag : " the public's support for expanded access to public transportation. Its analysis showed that more than 73 percent of Americans support using tax dollars to create, expand and improve public transportation in their communities."
How is this possible. Over seventy percent of Americans want their tax money spent on public transit, but in the congress one can't even get support to maintain existing  transit.

Here's how. The people who profit from the auto and sprawl are many. The oil companies, the auto companies, the sprawl home builders, home heating and cooling energy suppliers, electricity suppliers, furniture and durable consumer good suppliers, ... etc. But even so, there is still a majority that wants public transit. So how do the anti-transit people get in power.

Led by the oil companies, this has been their strategy for years. Cobble together an alliance based on racism, religion, guns, patriotism, etc. That way people are never actually "voting for oil," they are voting for some other issue. They don't realized they are stabbing themselves in the back. So the autosprawl profiteers have 90 percent of one party. To get the other party, they promote "development." More roads, more suburbs, more economic growth. They only need about 30 or 40 percent of the second party.

The issue is never debated on the question: "Are cars killing us?"

Friday, August 5, 2016

What's wrong with solar?

If solar energy projects could replace fossil-fuel use, and growth could be stopped, and per-capita energy use could be reduced, that would slow, or stop, the increase of carbon emissions.

  • stopping growth - no one in power is even discussing it
  • reduced energy use - no one in power is even discussing it
  • replacing fossil-fuel - fossil-fuels have higher return on energy invested, as long as there is demand, every joule of fossil-fuel saved in one place by solar will be burned somewhere else
  • stopping carbon emissions is too little too late
Which leaves a big problem. Many people believe that humans can convert to solar energy and save our species. These people are not getting involved in real solutions. They are waiting for a technological breakthrough. This is deadly.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Poor people in US pay over 15% of income on transportation

truth-out: "Given the impact of transportation costs, cities should look more closely at supporting options, in both the short and long terms, to make cities more equitable and conducive to lower-cost transportation. Paramount among the considerations should be walking, which has very few direct costs, although it is not feasible for those who live far away from where they work, which is the case for many poor people right now. After that, public transportation, which can save many people a significant amount of money per month over using a personal vehicle, and is heavily relied upon by poorer city residents. Cities could do a far better job of serving the transportation needs of low-income people if they made public transportation free and extensive. This is very desirable from an equity perspective and likely only possible on a large scale for public systems. Lastly, cycling is also a low-cost option that cities should accommodate better, even though it suffers from some of the same downsides as walking, at least in most cities as they are currently laid out."

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

US winning friends and influencing people in Iraq

There is no need for this. The US is spending billions in Iraq to try to get control of oil sources, especially Kirkuk oil which is plentiful and easy to extract.

But what will happen if they succeed?  It will quickly be burnt up in traffic jams and we will be on another economic crash.

Why not, instead, spend this money not on  bombs, but on buses -- start solving the problem instead of extending it.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

War on cars

Not a clever social media meme, the war on cars is real, the victims are real, and destruction of the biosphere is a possible result.

On one side, the billionaires, working through the banks, controlling governments and media.

On the other, the people of the world, just trying to survive.

Cars cause sprawl, sprawl causes growth, growth threatens all life. Cars kill directly by collisions, and indirectly by dirty air. Cars waste energy, leading to economic collapse. Car dependency leads to shooting wars. Cars require expensive infrastructure.

As with any war there are divisions on both sides. The people are divided by nation, "race," gender, and many other ways.

The billionaires are divided by capitalist competition. Some want to preserve the system, others willing to risk collapse for short-term gain.

The difference between the billionaires and the people is that the billionaires know it's a war.

The most effective weapon against the cars is the fare-free bus. Every little victory counts. When critical mass is reached the car subsidies will be seen as unnecessary. We will eventually get back to walking and biking in cities.

Do not expect hi-profile urbanists, politicians, celebrities, environmentalists, etc to lead this fight. Because they are hi-profile, they are easy victims for the carrot and stick. We have to do this ourselves at the local level.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Gas and Oil Party wants to destroy #publictransportation

masstransitmag: "Also, the platform position against any increase in the federal gas tax is not supported by APTA.  The federal gas tax has not been increased since 1993, and consequently, its purchasing power has gone down by more than 37 percent."

Saturday, July 16, 2016

#IslamicState causing constipation for captialism

Led by the US, governments of the world, representing the top banks, are trying desperately to get to the oil in Kirkuk, Iraq. They have some access to it, but need a secure environment to pump it like they want.

Kirkuk is the last big reserve of easy-to-get oil. Capitalism is clogged with debt and heavily dependent on expensive liquid-fuel infrastructure. Every day a joule of oil costs more joules to produce. In some cases it is costing more to produce than it yields, but they continue at a net-energy loss and create more debt.

Getting the Kirkuk oil will only extend their system another 20 years or so, but they don't think long-term. They have destabilized the entire MENA region and brought great pain and suffering to the people there. Their strategy has been reduced to creating anarchy, leveling cities, and building huge tent cities for civilian refugees. Even Turkey may not escape them.

Even with all their power, a small state, barely two years old, will not let them have relief.

The solution is simple. Get off oil. The quickest and least painful way is to make urban buses fare-free and respond to the people's demand for more buses.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Half of all US food produce is thrown away, new research suggests

The Guardian: "...In more than two dozen interviews, farmers, packers, wholesalers, truckers, food academics and campaigners described the waste that occurs “upstream”: scarred vegetables regularly abandoned in the field to save the expense and labour involved in harvest. Or left to rot in a warehouse because of minor blemishes that do not necessarily affect freshness or quality.

When added to the retail waste, it takes the amount of food lost close to half of all produce grown, experts say.

“I would say at times there is 25% of the crop that is just thrown away or fed to cattle,” said Wayde Kirschenman, whose family has been growing potatoes and other vegetables near Bakersfield, California, since the 1930s. “Sometimes it can be worse.”"

The US food industry requires a lot of energy and resources. What is the benefit of reducing waste? By allowing the sale of imperfect vegetables and fruit, what is the Sustainability Return on Energy Invested? #SRoEI.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Falling net-energy means unpayable debt is due

Our Finite World: "My analysis has as its premise that the economy behaves like other physical systems. It needs energy–and, in fact, growing energy–to operate. If the system does not get the energy it needs, it “rebalances” in a way that may not be to our liking."
Net-energy is the number of joules converted to useful work minus joules spent. For example, with oil, if X is energy spent finding, drilling, pumping, transporting, refining, distributing, and burning and Y is coming out in motion of a vehicle net-energy is Y - X.

But considering the overall needs of humans, X underestimated and Y overestimated. For one thing Y is usually the energy to move a vehicle. The actual moving of a person is a lot less.

Every day X increases for most energy sources. This is an acute problem with oil which supplies fixed systems that require liquid fuel. The cost of converting these systems is too much.

There are many other factors which if properly calculated for humans would decrease Y and increase X. For example, the costs of carbon emissions, a problem for human life, are generally not included in X. 

In addition, because of human financial systems, through debt, joules of Y have been borrowed from the future, so Y will be dropping to pay them back.

Humans will be using less energy, but how painful will it be? The fastest and least painful is dropping birth rates, canceling debt, and stopping growth. By making cities car-free we can speed up two of these.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Rainforest carbon loss grossly underestimated "So far, climate change policies on the tropics have effectively been focusing on reducing carbon emissions from deforestation only, not accounting for emissions coming from forest degradation.
Lead researcher Dr Erika Berenguer from Lancaster University said: "The impacts of fire and logging in tropical forests have always been largely overlooked by both the scientific community and policy makers who are primarily concerned with deforestation. Yet our results show how these disturbances can severely degrade the forest, with huge amounts of carbon being transferred from plant matter straight into the atmosphere"." photo by Jos Barlow

Friday, July 1, 2016

US "war" against #IslamicState is nothing but a massacre of civilians and destruction of cities

US and Iran slaughtered civilians trying to escape the destruction of Fallujah, Iraq. They claim they destroyed a military convoy, but the photos and videos clearly show otherwise.

The fallacy of individual action

​What does it mean to "combat climate change"? | 1 Million Women: "So, it's probably becoming clearer now that our everyday actions can have an impact on how much carbon we produce. What does it matter? Well, our combined carbon footprint is MASSIVE, so if each of us acts to reduce our individual footprint, our collective one will also decrease in size."
The last sentence is only true if everyone in the world were to participate. Otherwise, reduction of emissions in one area simply makes room for more emissions elsewhere. This fallacy is not trivial. Millions of people are assiduously following plans to reduce human footprint. Meanwhile billions are striving for a house and a car.

The solution is to offer people an alternative. Makes cities car-free. That will speed up urbanization. When people get to the city, they have fewer children. That is the quickest route to degrowth.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Trulia can now help you find a place to rent near public transport

TechCrunch: "Trulia, the online real estate search engine now owned by Zillow, launched an interesting new feature today that allows you to quickly find rental homes and apartments that have good public transport access. Rent Near Transit, as the new feature is called, is essentially an additional search filter that removes all houses that are more than a 15-minute walk away from a major transit station."

Sprawl and the cost of living

City Observatory: "Over the past three weeks, we’ve introduced the “sprawl tax”—showing how much more Americans pay in time and money because of sprawling urban development patterns. We’ve also shown how much higher the sprawl tax is in the US than in other economically prosperous countries, and how sprawl and long commutes impose a psychological, as well as an economic burden. Today, we’ll take a close look at how ignoring the sprawl tax distorts our view of the cost of living in different regions and neighborhoods."

Small business and #freetransit

A big reason people go to malls and big box stores is they know they will be able to find parking. Here is how your downtown small retail stores can fight back.

#freetransit means
  • You don't have to depend on the two parking spaces in front of your store
  • Your customers will arrive without the stress of finding parking
  • Your customers will have more money to spend
  • You will have less stink and noise of traffic out front
  • The town center will revive and become a place where people want to go
  • There will be more pedestrian traffic able to see your store

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Trinidad and Tobago - plan for free buses

Newsday: "However, we also propose that maxi taxis be contracted to assist with fulfilling the public transportation needs within these areas at the various cities. Another aspect of this service which can be explored is a ‘Fare-Free’ structure of the inner city shuttle. Consistent with Bayer et al, (2000, p.10), “The main benefit of a fare-free system is maximum system efficiency. The cost per rider, or ‘Subsidy per Rider’ is defined as an indicator of the effectiveness with which public monies are used in achieving the system’s ridership. This figure is computed by subtracting the operating revenue from the system operating cost, then dividing by the total boarding. Under a farefreesstem, the cost per rider will be reduced to an all-ti me low and possibly a future national standard, (cited in A Proposal for Free Public Transit and Improved System Efficiency in Austin, Texas).

The concept is based on the premise that by offering fare-free Inner City trips will ensure high ridership on the main routes and decrease the use of private vehicles. "

Half the oil is gone, and we'll be using a lot of it for air conditioning

Stop and think what it means to use fossil-fuel for air-conditioning. Think of all the cars, homes, and offices using energy to move hot air from inside to outside. Is there a net benefit to doing this? No, it simply postpones what we should be doing. Rapid degrowth.

We could have had a garden of eden on earth. But after slaughtering millions in to "save them from communism," capitalism proceeded to use up precious resources as fast as possible, wasting and polluting like crazy.

Now we are in a situation where every joule of oil costs more joules to "produce" every day.

No one is doing anything significant to slow down. The only thing slowing us down is the falling profits and heavy debt.

There is another way. Join your local public transit advocates, and let's at least stop expanding autosprawl.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

SRoEI - Sustainability Return on Energy Invested

The contributions of wetlands to sustain human life are well documented.

But what is the cost? The cost of wetlands in energy units to humans is very close to zero.

high sustainability return / low energy investment

Friday, June 17, 2016

Antarctic CO2 Hit 400 PPM For First Time in 4 Million Years

Climate Central: "Carbon dioxide has been steadily rising since the start of the Industrial Revolution, setting a new high year after year. There’s a notable new entry to the record books. The last station on Earth without a 400 parts per million (ppm) reading has reached it."

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Cost of #climatechange not included for fossil fuels, but renewables are no help

energy matters : "External environmental factors may also have to be considered as part of the energy quality assessment. It is clear that the oil spilled from the Deep Water Horizon had to be cleared up immediately and the energy cost of doing so almost bankrupted BP. But it is less clear that the energy cost of eliminating CO2 emissions needs to be borne by the energy production industries. For example, the cost of carbon capture and storage would fall on the consumer and not the energy producer."
And this is the argument for renewables. Renewables do not emit additional carbon. But use of renewables in one part of the world frees up fossil fuels for growth in other parts of the world. Even if that were solved, the carbon is already in the air, and renewable use simply takes energy that should go into plant life and diverts to heat-producing human life--so warming continues.

This leaves degrowth (fewer humans using less energy) as the only possible way forward.

Cars waste energy and promote growth. The low-hanging fruit for us humans is to get rid of cars. This would:
  • reduce fossil fuel burning
  • save energy and resources used to build a throwaway consumer product
  • take away the main driver of sprawl
  • encourage urban living and consequent lower birth rate
  • for more see 100 reasons
But how to get rid of cars? The first step is fare-free buses. Cars are heavily subsidized. The subsidy is justified because there is no good alternative. When a good alternative is available the subsidy will collapse.

We need a bright line between growth and #degrowth

A lot of growth advocates like the idea of free public transport. Ok. Good. But growth is THE problem. Not fossil-fuels. Fossil-fuels, combined with capitalism, created two problems.

  1. Climate change
  2. Growth

Even if we stop using fossil fuels tomorrow, by replacing them with renewables or some other magic, and continue growing, human life will generate more heat than the earth can radiate out.

The only solution for both problems is rapid degrowth. Really rapid. The only question is how painful.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Renewable-energy advocacy as anti-science as climate denial

Energy Matters: "Society is at great risk from Greens promoting the new renewable agenda to politicians and school children whilst ignoring the thermodynamic impossibility of current solar PV technology and biofuels ever being able to power human society unaided."

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Atmospheric carbon dioxide just reached a huge record high

The Washington Post: "One thing is for certain — we are in an unprecedented era. “Carbon dioxide levels are increasing faster than they have in hundreds of thousands of years,” said Pieter Tans, lead scientist of NOAA’s Global Greenhouse Gas Reference Network. “It’s explosive compared to natural processes.”"

Friday, June 10, 2016

City Mayors, cut your budget costs with #freetransit

How many budget items support the private auto? What if your town had fewer of them? Here are some budget items where costs might be reduced:
  • health costs from pollution
  • traffic congestion
  • collisions
  • pedestrian protection
  • parking subsidy
  • parking enforcement
  • traffic court
  • traffic management
  • health costs from collisions
  • police
  • ambulance
  • ...many more...
See our spreadsheet that shows a 0.9% that's 9/10's of one percent reduction in major costs in your city would pay for free public transit.
See our list of localities that currently have free public transit.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Montreal mayor and transit agency discussing plans for #freetransit

MTL Blog: "But if that’s the case, then why not just bite the bullet and make public transport free all the time? Think about how many cars would be left at home.

Plus, this could ONLY work if it were a year round plan. Because no one in their right mind is going to wake up in the morning and check for smog alerts to find out whether they should be taking the bus or their car to work. People just don’t operate that way, we are creatures of habit.

If you really want people to start using more  public transport, it must become a part of their daily routine.

Coderre discussed the idea with the Chairman of the STM but no word on whether this plan will actually be set in motion yet."

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Bucharest’s new mayor wants free public transport

romania-insider : "Bucharest’s new mayor Gabriela Firea would want the Bucharesters to use the public transport free of charge.

“We will find the most suitable economic ways to make the public transport free in a reasonable time, to encourage the Bucharest residents to use this means of transport,” Firea said in a Facebook post."

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Cars do nothing but promote sprawl and growth -- no matter what they burn

Technofix advocates have replaced climate delayers/deniers as the block to progress. Here they rave about electric cars. Electric cars are nothing but more sprawl, more sprawl subsidy, and more growth.

ThinkProgress: "An almost two-century-old technology with virtually no market penetration just six years ago is now on track to become a cornerstone solution in the fight to avoid catastrophic climate change, the International Energy Agency (the IEA) reported this month. If that isn’t an energy miracle, what is?"

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Public transportation use in the United States reduces our nation’s carbon emissions by 37 million metric tons annually

masstransitmag: "According to the April APTA Transit Savings Report, individuals in a two-car household can save an average of more than $9,312 annually by downsizing to one car. Public transportation drives community growth and revitalization. It can improve personal mobility and access to job opportunities for millions of Americans. Nearly 60 percent of trips taken on public transit are work commutes.

Public transportation use in the United States reduces our nation’s carbon emissions by 37 million metric tons annually. This is equivalent to Washington, DC; New York City; Atlanta; Denver; and Los Angeles combined stopping the use of electricity. A single commuter switching his or her commute to public transportation can reduce a household’s carbon emissions by 10 percent and up to 30 percent if he or she eliminates a second car."

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Debt accrued during oil boom means all benefits spent well into the future. Price of oil irrelevant.

$50 Oil Doesn’t Work | Our Finite World: "One possibility is that accumulated debt reaches too high a level, based on historical parameters. This seems to be happening now in many parts of the world."

Monday, May 30, 2016

Sudden #climate change becoming more likely as ocean currents change

mongabay : "Scientists are increasingly warning of the potential that a shutdown, or even significant slowdown, of the Atlantic conveyor belt could lead to abrupt climate change, a shift in Earth’s climate that can occur within as short a timeframe as a decade but persist for decades or centuries."

Saturday, May 28, 2016

No more cheap oil, "bottom has completely fallen out"

IHS: "“The fall in discovered volumes for conventional oil outside North America, in particular, has been steady and dramatic during the last few years,” said Leta Smith, Ph.D., director, IHS Energy, Upstream Industry Future Service and lead author of the IHS Energy Conventional Exploration and Discovery Trends analysis. “Oil and gas volumes discovered in 2015 were the lowest in 64 years,” she said. “We’ve seen four consecutive years of declining oil volumes, which has never happened before. The bottom has completely fallen out for conventional exploration, and the result portends a supply gap in the future that is going to be challenging to overcome. In the current cost-cutting environment, the outlook for 2016 discovery volumes is not likely to be better, either.”"

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Growth, not fossil-fuels, the real problem.

A lot of people who should know better are joining up to attack fossil-fuel supply. But fossil-fuel suppliers are responding to demand, subsidized demand, but still demand.

Capitalism needs growth. But to save the biosphere, people need degrowth. We don't have time for useless campaigns that make no economic sense.

When there are no customers, the suppliers will stop.

Here is how to reduce energy demand. Fare-free urban buses will reduce use of private autos. Cities will be more roomy and pleasant. As private autos lose critical mass, the subsidies that keep them going will be seen as a burden.

People will move to the city. Education will become more important than creating more farm-hands. Birth rates will drop. The cities will gradually revert back to walking and cycling. Energy waste will drop. Energy suppliers will lose political power. A virtuous circle. 

Monday, May 23, 2016

US spends $11M a day bombing Muslims for oil while #publictransit falls apart

ITS International: ""After decades of inadequate investment, the American public transportation infrastructure is crumbling," said American Public Transportation Association (APTA) chair Valarie J. McCall, who serves on the board of the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (GCRTA).  "This neglect demands attention at all levels of government so that public transit can continue to help grow communities and businesses."

"As public transportation has experienced tremendous growth over the last two decades, public transit systems are struggling to maintain aging and outdated infrastructure while at the same time being challenged to expand capacity," said APTA acting president and CEO Richard White."

Friday, May 20, 2016

Humans damaging the environment faster than it can recover, UN finds

The Guardian: "Degradation of the world’s natural resources by humans is rapidly outpacing the planet’s ability to absorb the damage, meaning the rate of deterioration is increasing globally, the most comprehensive environmental study ever undertaken by the UN has found."

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Jakarta may get #freetransit

GovInsider: "Public transport in Jakarta could become free with a new road pricing system being implemented, Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama said."

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Hyperloops, self-driving cars, billionaire toys to distract you from America's collapse

Motherboard: "All around the country, actual infrastructure that we’ve already built is becoming unusable, and no one is willing to pay to fix the problems. In DC, that could mean long shutdowns for a subway system that shuttles roughly 712,000 people to and from work every single day. Meanwhile, governments are increasingly growing enthralled with the prospect of using public money to build shiny, futuristic hyperloops. But if public transit becomes unusable, people aren’t going to take an ecofriendly hyperloop to work—they’ll be forced to return to driving."