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.