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.