Friday, September 28, 2018

Alarming methane levels

Peak methane levels were as high as 3.37 ppm on August 31, 2018, an ominous warning of the threat of destabilization of methane hydrates at the seafloor of the Arctic Ocean.

Mean global methane levels were as high as 1.91 ppm on the morning of September 20, 2018, at 293 millibar.

This is a level unprecedented in human history and it far exceeds the WMO-data-based trend (added on the right of above image).

Friday, September 21, 2018

Public transit can reduce traffic fatalities up to 40%

Cities with higher public transit use can dramatically cut their road traffic death rates, according to a newly-released data analysis. The American Public Transit Association (APTA) and Vision Zero Network have partnered to boost public transit use, and published an analysis intended to support city leaders in creating safer cities. Its findings show that metropolitan areas with higher public transportation use – among modes such as heavy rail, light rail, frequent bus service and commuter rail – can cut their traffic fatality rate up to 40 percent.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Wars in Mideast are because of US desire to control oil market

In a bid to mend fences with Ibn Saud by enabling the company to compete in the thirsty European market and to extend his influence into Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon, which gained their independence soon after the end of the war, the U.S. government proposed building a Trans-Arabian Pipeline from the Saudi oilfields to the Mediterranean coast. Although Tapline, as the pipeline was known, would ultimately be financed by Aramco itself, the project had always been strategically attractive in Washington. By making Saudi oil cheaper than American oil in Europe, the pipe would ensure that the Saudis would now fuel Europe’s postwar recovery, while the United States conserved its domestic stocks of oil in case there was another war.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

How does Russia wield power far beyond it's economic size?

Economically, Russia is no bigger than New York City. Yet it is a major player in the world.


  • Gas and oil. Enough to tweak the balance of the whole world economy
  • Not picking fights with China
  • Totalitarianism. Political power tightly concentrated
  • Willingness to bomb civilians
  • No concern for appearance of democracy or rights

Monday, September 17, 2018

Estonia bus ridership soars with introduction of fare-free idea

...On the other hand, Southeast Transport Centre board member Sander Saar observed that while it was previously thought that the bus schedule was the issue — that bus times weren't a good fit for riders — the increase in ridership following the introduction of free transport supports the fact that it was ticket prices that were a greater issue for riders.
For example, county bus ridership on year increased 56% in Viljandi County, 32% in Põlva County and 16% in Võru County, indicating that one goal of the introduction of free public transport, to halt the drying up of bus services in rural areas, has been achieved....

UN - Concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere are at their highest level in three million years

Mr Guterres said he was alarmed by the paralysis of world leaders on what he called the "defining issue" of our time.

He wants heads of government to come to New York for a special climate conference next September.

The call comes amid growing concerns over the slow pace of UN negotiations.

Mr Guterres painted a grim picture of the impacts of climate change that he says have been felt all over the world this year, with heatwaves, wildfires, storms and floods leaving a trail of destruction.

Corals are dying, he said, the oceans are becoming more acidic, and there are growing conflicts over dwindling resources.

Concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere are at their highest level in three million years.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Germany studies #freepublictransport as a solution to air pollution? Should be obvious

In 2015 and 2016 Germans were shocked to discover that VW, their largest car manufacturer had been dramatically understating the level of toxic tailpipe emissions. At the same time, the European Union, which estimated that this life-threatening pollution affects 130 European cities and causes about 400,000 early deaths, was finalizing a directive that will force cities to reduce these emissions or pay heavy fines. 
In February, in a letter to the EU environment commissioner three German ministers wrote, “We are considering public transport free of charge in order to reduce the number of private cars.” The proposal will be tested by “the end of this year at the latest” in five cities across western Germany, including former capital Bonn and industrial cities Essen and Mannheim.
Really? They need a study? Yes because of power of oil, auto, and sprawl profits.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Energy shortage effect on economy

I see a strange coincidence between when coal production peaked (hit its maximum production before declining) in the United Kingdom and when World War I broke out. There was an equally strange coincidence between when the highest quality coal peaked in Germany and when World War II broke out. A good case can be made that inadequate energy supply is associated with conflict and fighting because leaders recognize how important an adequate energy supply is.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Dunkirk, France, happily chooses fare-free #publictransport over new sports arena

In 2011, Dunkirk, located on the northern coast of France, raised by half a percent a tax on regional businesses to pay for the then-mayor’s pet economic development initiative: Doubling the capacity of a local sports arena at a cost of more than $300 million.
Which prompted Patrick Vergriete to run for Mayor in 2014 on a promise to use that money to make transport free for the 200,000 people on Dunkirk’s network.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Tallinn, Estonia, very happy with fare-free public transport Five years later Allan Alaküla, head of Tallinn’s EU office summed up the current situation. “So the city budget has gained, service quality has improved constantly and in the surroundings of Tallinn, the demand for public transport has increased…People in other parts of Estonia started to demand free public transport, too,” he told HuffPost.
Fare-free public transport has been so successful in Estonia's city of Tallinn, that it has spread to the rest of the country. 

Monday, September 10, 2018

In general, in the US, #publictransit is poor. One exception, Chapel Hill, NC, where it is fare-free At the time, most of Chapel Hill Transit’s revenue was coming from the University of North Carolina’s paying for transit for its employees and students. The university agreed to pay a little more and Chapel Hill and Carrboro kicked in the rest to cover the 20 percent of the transit costs not paid by tickets.
“We look at it as a pre-paid fare program,” Brian Litchfield, interim director of Chapel Hill Transit, which serves both cities, told Eric Jaffe of CityLab in 2013. “The university is pre-paying for all their employees and students to ride. The town of Chapel Hill and Carrboro are pre-paying their fares via property tax and vehicle registration fee. So while there’s not a fare to get on the bus, it’s definitely not a free system.”
The program has been phenomenally successful. Ridership increased from around 3 million passengers a year in 2002, to about 7 million in 2013.

Sunday, September 9, 2018

What's different about Syria?

For a period longer than World War II, the government of Syria has been bombing and torturing its own people.

The capitalist system has created a monster. Seven billion people, with 10% living a wasteful existence that uses 150% of the worlds resources every year.

This system is unsustainable. The only solution is to deflate it, default the debt, and reduce the waste.

They can't do this because the system is one of competition, and if anyone drops out, his place is immediately filled by a competitor.

In Syria, we have the flash point of this war. A war between the energy haves and have-nots. Syria is strategically placed for fossil fuel sources and routes. Regional 'stability' will be maintained, no matter who has to die.

Saturday, September 8, 2018

The solution to capitalism is not more capitalism

The entire discussion about climate change adaption continues to revolve around saving all of civilization, which is utterly ridiculous. It also presupposes capitalism as the solution when it was the cause. All of the elements that created a climate on steroids need to be abandoned. That is the conversation that should be undertaken.
We do not need more power, more infrastructure, more people, more money, more resources, we need less of all of these things. And we need to evolve our civilization to using less, abandon the ideas of saving the present civilization because we cannot - and because we should not. Why keep repeating the same mistakes of the past?
Human civilization must adapt if we are to survive at all, of which there is serious doubt, a 4C temperature increase destroys all food crops - and water supplies will either be far too much in the form of deluge and flooding, or far too little, in the form of extreme drought. The idea that we can maintain the same infrastructure, resource usage and population in a non-stable climate is absurd. We must adapt everything we've come to accept.

Even "cities" are obsolete in the new world. They are not self-sustaining and require massive energy and resource inputs - and have enormous carbon footprints (by industry, business, per capita, at all levels).
Start thinking of climate change as "forced evolution" at break-neck speed and apply this to civilization. If humans survive, it won't be because we held onto old concepts and ideas. We will be forced to radically re-engineer everything. ~Survival Acres~
Posted anonymously on resourceinsights

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Carbon offsets do not work

"Assume I broke my (self-imposed) seven-year refusal to fly, paid my £35 offset and boarded a plane from Manchester to London for the conference. In doing so, I add to the already severe congestion at airports, causing delays and allowing politicians to argue for greater airport capacity, arguments only reinforced by the rise in passengers turning to offsets. To meet increasing demand, airlines are encouraged to order new aircraft, which they promise will be more efficient. Feeling pressure, a future government approves new runways, but the extra flights and emissions swamp efficiency gains from the cleaner engines.

Meanwhile, in an Indian village where my offset money has helped to fund a wind turbine, the villagers now have the (low-carbon) electricity to watch television, which provides advertisers of a petrol-fuelled moped with more viewers, and customers. A fuel depot follows, to meet the new demand, and encourages others to invest in old trucks to transport goods between villages. Within 30 years, the village and surroundings have new roads and many more petrol-fuelled mopeds, cars and trucks. Meanwhile, the emissions from my original flight are still having a warming impact, and will do for another 100 years or so."
Kevin Anderson quoted on Redd-Monitor 

Saturday, September 1, 2018

Arctic latent heat buffer is gone

arctic-news The loss of this sea ice indicates that the buffer is gone. Sea ice acts as a buffer that absorbs heat, while keeping the temperature at the freezing point of water, about zero degrees Celsius. As long as there is sea ice in the water, this sea ice will keep absorbing heat, so the temperature doesn't rise at the sea surface.

Once the buffer is gone, further energy that enters the Arctic Ocean will go into heating up the water. The amount of energy absorbed by melting ice is as much as it takes to heat an equivalent mass of water from zero to 80°C.

Latency - after ice gone, water heats much faster

 Albedo - white ice reflect more radiation