Friday, April 29, 2016

Pre-botched #freetransit now in Mexico City to prove it doesn't work

Univision: "To begin with, the action only lasts for three months. Although work superbly, encouraging many more people to ride public transportation, it will be completed at the end of June and everything will be as before. Three months is not enough to create new habits in public transport, or to solve the problem of pollution time."
Good idea. Do something half-way and then declare it a failure. That might work. (They are desperate).

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Power of modern weapons landing on civilians for control of oil

The last big reserve of cheap oil is in Kirkuk, Iraq. Control of this oil means tremendous power over the world economy. Cheap oil is oil that gives a lot of energy back for little energy spent -- high net-energy oil. Prices, money, debt, can be manipulated, but laws of physics cannot be changed by humans.

High energy return on oil has created a complex society that needs the energy in liquid form. But every day each joule costs more joules. When you include clean-up costs, many oil projects are actually negative net-energy and the only reason they continue is debt-financing and externalization of costs.

Now the most advanced weapons of the world are being used against civilians in the areas near Kirkuk. Brutal dictators who bomb and torture their own citizens are being propped up.

But we are not helpless. Local campaigns to boost public transit and weaken the power of the private auto are shooting an arrow into the Achilles heel of this system.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Parking is subsidized to create more babies. Yes, you read that right.

The Straits Times: "Two writers offer contrasting viewpoints on cars: the first says charging market rates for parking will wean people off driving cars, while the second argues that helping families own cars may boost fertility rates.
Cities should be planned for people, not cars. But transport is also an absolute necessity. How can both needs be met?"
Writer in Singapore puts the hidden truth in a nutshell. Capitalism, while claiming it wants to save the biosphere, is at the same time desperate for population growth.

Look at the curious dichotomy in the article. "Cities ... for people... but [public] transport a necessity" It seems obvious that we should get rid of cars in the city. But that is unthinkable to the author, because we might find out we don't need them except to boost the birth rate.

Public transit supports the falling birth rate. Free transit does it faster. What to you want: planet or cars? Make your choice.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Why Bernie will fail, even if elected

The US is dependent on the private auto, and not just for transportation. The auto is part of autosprawl, a vast system of trillions of dollars in hard, fixed assets: streets, highways, parking lots, cul-de-sacs, pipelines, trucks, tank-trains, refineries, gas stations, and a massive military machine.

At the same time cheap energy has peaked. It now costs more joules to get it to the point of where it can move people and machinery than it the actual amount burned. Don't believe the EROEI numbers you are reading. They leave out the most expensive costs, such as cleaning up the mess, curing the cancer, and de-carbonizing the atmosphere.

No amount of socialism and fairness can reverse this. The laws of physics are in charge.

Only degrowth can save us. But you will never get to vote for it.

The best we can do is to try to eliminate cars as fast as possible. The fare-free bus is the weapon. This can only be done on the local level. No high-profile leaders will be able to do much. If Bernie calls for free transit, they will trash him within a week.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Salt Lake Tribune: Free transit an idea worth pursuing

Editorial: : "It would require a very broadly cast cost-benefit analysis that would include the value of highways not widened, potholes not filled, work and school days not missed, red air days not suffered through and heart attacks not occurring.

Also figured in would be the forgone expenses now associated with collecting fares, enforcing the rules and handling all that cash. But a free transit system has, at least in theory, so many benefits to so many people that we would be foolish in the extreme not to give it a very hard look."

Sunday, April 10, 2016

How can we stop capitalism from destroying the biosphere?

First, drop the supply-side bias. You cannot stop them by blocking their pipelines.

Address demand. How? Offer people a better way to live. And not just a few people out in the woods.
Make buses free in your locality. This is not new, many places have done it. When there are fewer cars, people will urbanize. When people move to town, they see more benefit in having fewer children as education becomes more important than having lots of farm hands.

You can do a lot right from where you are. Help us popularize the concept of free buses and trams. You can tweet articles right from our blogs. Or become a blogger for free transit. We will give you access.

Pro-growth urbanists love the idea of free public transit even though it is very much a degrowth policy. Free transit has immediate benefits for clean air, reducing traffic, and parking problems. The idea is spreading. And as long as it stays under the corporate media radar, it will continue spread. Don't look for help from the big names. Just join your local public transit advocates or help us online.

Friday, April 8, 2016

US public money wasted on sprawl, nothing left for the basics

Builder Magazine : "That's mainly because America isn't investing in its aging systems of water and sewer systems, roads, bridges and transit, opines John Rennie Short for Tech Insider. The U.S. is ranked 16th globally for its infrastructure. According to the White House, Americans spend $120 billion each year in extra fuel and lost time due to public transit's closures, accidents and inefficiencies.

Short offers a few reasons for the dilapidation of America's public transit systems, mostly blaming the growth in use of the private car and urban design focusing on motorists instead of pedestrians. For example, he cites fuel prices and restricted land use that kept population growth centered around transportation in Europe."

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Mexico City car ban reduces smog levels, jams public transportation on Day 1

Fox News Latino: "MEXICO CITY (AP) –  Mexico City residents packed buses and subway trains and many walked or biked to work Wednesday as authorities barred millions of vehicles from the streets due to a pollution alert.

Under new regulations imposed after the capital recently experienced its worst air-quality crisis in over a decade, 40 percent of cars were ordered off the road after smog levels hit 1½ times acceptable limits Tuesday."

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Lack of #publictransit investment costing US $120B per year

Builder Magazine: "That's mainly because America isn't investing in its aging systems of water and sewer systems, roads, bridges and transit, opines John Rennie Short for Tech Insider. The U.S. is ranked 16th globally for its infrastructure. According to the White House, Americans spend $120 billion each year in extra fuel and lost time due to public transit's closures, accidents and inefficiencies."

We don't need self-driving cars – we need to ditch our vehicles entirely

The Guardian: "am rich beyond Google’s wildest driverless-car dreams; I own a fleet of swift and reliable driverless cars that take me where I’m going while I read or stare out the window or watch beautifully limber kids turf dancing in the aisles for my entertainment. I have been riding these liberating transportation marvels for many decades; I have seen the future; it is all of us in these driverless cars we already own together."

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Mexico City driving restrictions costly and useless

News Every Day : "According to Lucas Davis, an energy researcher at UC Berkeley, such programs can lead to more air pollution. Such policies can be a big problem, so the authorities hope that the people can take public transport. However, those can be too slow and dangerous.

Hence, people just manage by buying two cars with different number plates. "I just think that once people become drivers in Mexico City they don't go back," Davis said.

Instead, these rules are mostly a costly inconvenience. "A rough calculation suggest these costs amount to over $300 million per year, or $130 per vehicle owner," according to Davis's research."

Friday, April 1, 2016

"Cities and cars were never a good fit"

rawstory : "We may be at the cusp of a generational shift in attitudes to the car and mass transit. Cities and cars were never a good fit, something more people appear to be realizing."