Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Stopping emissions would help, but we won't even do that

Global warming has reached the point where direct death from heat is already killing us in significant numbers. Temperature/humidity combinations that are deadly range from 35C/100% to 47C/50%.

Stopping human carbon emissions is not enough. We have already started feedback loops that release naturally stored carbon.

Meanwhile all human activity, regardless of fuel source, generates heat: vehicles, roads, buildings, stainless steel, cement, etc, and that heat will continue to be generated for maintenance, even if all done by wind and solar.

One can argue that if we stop emissions and growth, the amount of heat from human metabolism is a very small percent. But we cannot even get to that argument because we have not even slowed the growth of emissions, let alone stop them.

Seoul to provide free public transport, depending on fine dust level

koreaherald : "Seoul Metropolitan Government will be providing free public transportation to citizens starting in November amid rising health concerns due to heavy fine dust saturation within the metropolitan area.

Free public transportation during commuting hours will be provided starting on Nov. 20, depending on the fine dust level in the city. "

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Town in France finds #freepublictransport a big success

CityLab : "In 2015, Vergriete’s administration launched free weekend service. It was a popular move: Saturday ridership increased by 30 percent, and Sunday ridership by some 80 percent. People loved it, telling local media that they saved money and time by avoiding the stress of parking."

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Why are we doomed?

We humans, along with most complex life, are going extinct soon.

We are locked into capitalism and growth.

With fossil-fuel, we have built a lot of roads, vehicles, ships, planes and buildings. Creating and maintaining our things requires energy and releases it as heat. This is true no matter what source of energy.

The amount of heat already generated has fired the clathrate gun. Methane is being released. We are no longer in control of green-house-gas emissions.

All we can do now is seek justice and try to care for each other.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Go big or go home, The Case for Free Public Transit

torontoist : "I say, go big or go home: In 2009, the economist Irwin Kellner argued in a MarketWatch column that public transit should be free. The sociologist Eric Olin Wright has made the same case. Free. Now we’re talking.

Kellner argued that we shouldn’t think of transit as a business that needs to recover its costs from its income. Public transit is not a closed system. It’s a service that feeds the entire economy and enables a society to thrive, because it provides that essential urban good: mobility."

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Fund public transport, not highways

Opinion | host.madison.com: "Dear Editor: As a student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, I organize my life around a set of priorities. At the top of that list is education, slightly below is affording that education, then food, sleep, friends, and so on. Potentially shockingly, owning a car is not on that list at all.

In Madison, I spend most of my travel time biking, some walking, a small portion busing, and almost no time travelling in a car. This transportation lifestyle is possible because of the highly functioning systems of bike lanes, walking paths, and public buses in and around the UW-Madison campus, but without these systems, getting from place to place would be stressful, time consuming, and much more expensive.

Last week a plan to expand three miles of the I-94 highway is Milwaukee was cancelled. If you’d asked what I thought about this decision before I’d moved to Madison I would have had no opinion, but now I am glad that the project was halted. The community would be much better served by a whole-scale expansion of public transportation options than by wasting $1 billion to expand just three miles of road. Not only would this reduce transit times, but it would also make transportation less expensive and more accessible to everyone regardless of socioeconomic class, age, or physical ability.

I prefer public over private transportation and I hope the money intended for the highway expansion will, instead, be put toward creating transportation options that will benefit all people."

Friday, October 6, 2017

Free public transit a growing global movement

rcinet.ca : "He says it all began with the example of Bologna, Italy.

Following the Second World War, the city council was keen to engage the citizens and rethink the role of the automobile.

“It was through these public consultations that they embarked on about a year and a half experiment in free public transportation as part of a battery of other things they did to really return the city-centre, this beautiful old city-centre, to the people and to the pedestrians and bicycles and anything but automobiles.”

Prince says it was this model that worked in Bologna that was then exported to many cities around the world, including Montreal, which began pushing the idea in the 1970’s.

The demand for free public transit is renewed now due to the combined developments of growing inequality and urban poverty as well as the climate crisis and the dependence on fossil fuels."

'via Blog this'

Monday, October 2, 2017

Arctic News: Extreme weather is upon us

Arctic News: "Extreme weather is upon us. Global warming is increasing the intensity, occurrence, size, duration and impact of many catastrophic events, including wildfires, droughts, heat waves, cold snaps, storms, lightning, flooding and seismic events such as earthquakes and associated tsunamis."