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."