Friday, January 29, 2016

What about sand? The supply has no limit, right? "Globalization has had massive impacts on human life on Earth. Its sphere of influence extends from homogenization of cultural aspects such as clothes, food and language to even things like the concept of modernity. Today, one would expect similar infrastructure in cities that are either developed or rapidly developing. One sees a greater number of glass facades and skyscrapers as cities develop. It has become the norm to expect more and more roads, airports, bridges, ports, golf courses, parking lots in a modern country irrespective of terrain and geography. However, beneath this extraordinary growth lies an unexamined philosophy. Since ancient times, sand and other aggregates have always been used to create concrete. But the scale of construction has increased far beyond measure today and this increase in scale has spawned problems that few people in earlier generations could have imagined."

Thursday, January 28, 2016

U.S. Plans Airstrikes In Libya To Protect Oil Assets From ISIS "The New York Times reported that the Pentagon is putting together plans to attack ISIS in Libya, despite virtual silence from the U.S. Congress. The legislative branch has had very little to say about Obama’s broadening war plans against ISIS that may now stretch into a third country. Despite the questionable legality of Obama’s war on ISIS, Congress has deferred to the President. The campaign could begin within a few weeks."

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

5 Reasons To Encourage Public Transportation & Walkable Land Use

greenbuildermedia : "By reinvesting in existing infrastructure and rehabilitating historic buildings, neighborhoods are being designed that have homes near shops, offices, schools, parks, and other amenities. By involving residents in development decisions, these communities are creating vibrant places to live and work. The high quality of life also makes these communities economically competitive, creates business opportunities, and strengthens the local tax base."

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Easily paralyzed auto system needs billions in subsidy to keep working

The Washington Post: "Overnight, every major highway appeared to be backed up in some spot, many in numerous places. Those roads bearing the letter “I” in their names— interstates 66, 295, 495, 395,  95, 695, 270 — were the worst of all. With many exit ramps blocked, there was no escape."

Monday, January 18, 2016

Economic Undertow

Economic Undertow: "America’s waste-based economic infrastructure has been built assuming endless supply of sub- $20 crude into perpetuity. The inflated prices the world has endured since the turn of the millennium have left this ‘investment’ hopelessly underwater. The prices have also done a number on the credit-worthiness of ordinary customers. This is why declining prices for crude oil have so far been unable to reboot economic growth … current lower prices are still too high to offer much in the way of (debt) relief. This means more price drops to come; more driller pain."

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Development has led to #climatechange, so the solution must be... more development?

Report shows the disproportionate effects of climate change on the global poor | Grist: "It’s easy to imagine how climate change can exacerbate poverty — warmer temperatures can stimulate disease and less predictable weather patterns can harm crop yields, which in turn affect food security and income. The report predicts, for example, that food prices in Sub-Saharan Africa will jump by 12 percent by 2030 due to falling farm yields.  "

'via Blog this'

Cost of Sprawl in US, one trillion per year

More sprawling, disconnected urban development increases urban infrastructure investment requirements as infrastructure and public service provision needs to be extended into peripheral areas, leading to a significant reduction in available resources for core infrastructure, basic services and public transport. For example, in the United States, a study for NCE estimated that urban sprawl costs the US economy over US$1 trillion per annum, greater than 5% of GDP in 2014. This includes over US$100 billion in public costs relating to increased infrastructure and service delivery, and over US$600 billion in private costs relating to private vehicle use, with the remaining US$300 billion related to the costs of air pollution, congestion and traffic accidents (see Figure 2). If the United States followed an alternative growth pattern without urban sprawl, the savings could cover the country’s entire funding gap in infrastructure investment.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Massive oil bailout proposed - #autosprawlsubsidy

CNBC : "• Pay producers not to produce, but require them to keep their wells intact and ready to go, when prices invariably rise, just like we do to protect our farmers and agriculture industry.

• Provide other direct price supports for oil and gas producers for the proper capping of wells and laying down of rigs that preserves and ensures their future ability to return to service quickly.

• Provide loan guarantees to banks and other lenders, so that they can continue to fund the industry to help keep these strategically important businesses afloat.

• Amend the bankruptcy code to allow for expedited and special treatment of oil-producing assets, enabling them to be kept as whole as possible, so that their producing power and future potential is not lost for another generation.

• Give oil-patch workers enhanced unemployment benefits or temporary government jobs as caretakers of the oil fields, so that they do not lose their skill set and remain at-the-ready to fire up fallowed production.

• Enable the Interior or Energy Department to purchase parcels containing so-called drilled-but-uncompleted wells , so-called DUCs, which could act as a secondary Strategic Petroleum Reserve."

Friday, January 8, 2016

Suburban office parks are dying because young people don't want to drive there | MNN - Mother Nature Network

Mother Nature Network: "At a New Year’s Eve party, I was talking to a business exec running a tech company located in a suburban office building. He was complaining about the number of times he would interview a person who would say he wasn't crazy about taking the subway and then a bus all the way out to the ‘burbs every day. The exec got increasingly frustrated and at one point responded “So get a car! That’s what grown-ups do when they get jobs!” The candidate responded that he didn’t know how to drive, didn’t have a license, and would keep looking for a job that allowed him to use a bike or transit. This scenario has played out more than once, so the company is now looking for new office space downtown. The suburban office building in his business sector is functionally obsolete. It may well become what we used to call a "see-through" — a glass box with nothing inside."

Thursday, January 7, 2016

World has enough extra oil to continue 4 days of normal operations. Yes, four days.

Where actually is that much-hyped global oil glut?: "It is misleading to say the world sits on excess stocks of 3 bn barrels of oil, 2.7 bn of which are already needed in both crude and product stocks for a smooth operation of the refining and distribution system. Most of the stock build since mid 2014 seems to be related to US light tight oil which refineries could not accommodate due to their original designs."

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Of Energy Slaves and Fake Outrage

D. Ray Long: ""It’s something of a miracle that the affordable energy enjoyed by even an average American today (total spending on energy is only about 4.4% of total consumer expenditures so far this year) is the energy equivalent of having nearly 600 full-time “human energy servants” to make our lives more comfortable, convenient and enjoyable."

The short version is that in the millions of years the Earth used to create fossil fuels, it managed to create substances of unparalleled energy density. And this is THE critical factor for the development of modern society over the past 150 years."

Sunday, January 3, 2016

For social mobility, buses more important than test scores

Atlanta Blackstar: " And the lack of access to transportation keeps low income and Black people trapped in poverty, with no place to go, limited job opportunities and few pathways to upward socioeconomic mobility.
...The findings of a Harvard study were revealing, concluding that commuting time is the single most important factor in escaping poverty. The longer your commute time, the lower your chances that you will make it out. In fact, the authors of the study, Raj Chetty and Nathaniel Hendren, found that the link between transportation and upward mobility is more solid than the relationship between mobility and factors such as test scores, crime and the proportion of two-parent families."