Friday, November 30, 2018

No happy #technofix for agriculture

"Many changes that have occurred in agriculture make us more, not less, impacted by climate change," Lobell explained. "A lot of productivity-enhancing changes are more effective in good weather, and so the stakes for having good weather go up."
And that good weather, the report makes clear, is not on the horizon.

2nd Law, not 2nd amendment, should be our focus

Tim Garrett, professor of atmospheric sciences at the University of Utah, sees climate change as a normal part of a cycle: everything that exists is born, grows, then ultimately collapses.
“This is just a normal part of life cycles,” Garrett said. “Our lives collectively are fantastic right now, but they are fantastic at expense of our environment, an environment we depend upon, and that will ultimately lead to our demise.” 

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Physicist shows human energy need directly tied to total historical accumulation of economic production

Here, it is shown both theoretically and observationally how the evolution of the human system can be considered from a surprisingly simple thermodynamic perspective in which it is unnecessary to explicitly model two of the emissions drivers: population and standard of living. Specifically, the human system grows through a self-perpetuating feedback loop in which the consumption rate of primary energy resources stays tied to the historical accumulation of global economic production—or p×g—through a time-independent factor of 9.7±0.3 mW per inflation-adjusted 1990 US dollar. This important constraint, and the fact that f and c have historically varied rather slowly, points towards substantially narrowed visions of future emissions scenarios for implementation in GCMs.

Human energy use generates heat. This heat will be generated in direct proportion to growth and maintenance of built infrastructure. It does not matter what fuel is used. Humans cannot grow themselves into a cooler earth.

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Humans still making cars like there is no tomorrow

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

44 cities in Poland have fare-free #publictransit

When in 2012 the Free Trade Union “August 80” (WZZ “Sierpien 80”) started the campaign for free public transport in Poland, to fight against the increasingly frequent and high ticket price increases throughout the country, public transport was free in only two cities. Today there are 44 Polish cities that practice it, from the small town of Swieradow-Zdroj1 – 5,000 inhabitants, but invaded by tourists and their cars in high season, whose free public transport is common with the Czech city Nove Mesto pod Smrkem2 – to the canton of Lubin with a total population of 106,000.3 

Monday, November 12, 2018

Worldwide overproduction crisis, workers can't afford what they make

One point of confusion regarding whether today’s oil prices should be of concern is the fact that the maximum affordable oil price seems to decline over time. This happens because workers around the world increasingly cannot afford to buy the goods and services that the world economy produces. Inadequate wage growth within countries, growing globalization and rising interest rates all contribute to this growing affordability problem. To make matters confusing, this growing affordability problem corresponds to “falling demand” in the way economists frame the issues we are facing. 

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Survey shows 88% approval rating for fare-free #publictransit in Tallinn, Estonia

A scheme which was once seen as utopian had, by 2017, an 88 per cent approval rating in Tallinn (according to a survey conducted by market research company, Turu-uuringute AS – editor).
...The August 2018 figures show that the number of passengers on newly free routes increased by 33 per cent across the nation. In some counties, the number of passengers almost doubled.
I’ll leave the final words to the current mayor of Tallinn, Taavi Aas. “People who travel by bus are mostly lower-paid people, the young and the elderly. Someone going to work in a county centre 30 kilometres from where they live will save €700-800 per year. Critics of free public transport claimed these people do not exist – they are wrong.”

Thursday, November 8, 2018

US mayors, all talk, no action, on reducing car pollution

Even as the US in many areas is collapsing under the weight of autosprawl, US mayors are still putting more money into this losing proposition.
Unless new, affordable housing is placed in walkable, transit-adjacent neighborhoodswhere people can live without cars, the growth of cities will drive emissions even higher. This is especially true for the movement of goods. Sprawl doesn’t just lengthen commutes, it increases the distance of vehicular trips needed to make deliveries.
Unfortunately the infrastructure plan put forth by the Trump administration—if one can call it a plan—incentivizes car-centric development.

Sunday, November 4, 2018

US cannot defeat the Islamic State

The US is trying to bomb the IS out of existence.  But that's like trying to kill weeds by sprinkling water. The more they bomb, the more it grows. Meanwhile energy is being wasted.

Time for a new strategy. The US should end it's dependence on oil. The first step is to stop wasting it on cars. The second step is to end energy-wasting sprawl. The third is to make cities attractive so that people will move in and birthrates will drop, or drop faster.

Saturday, November 3, 2018

Islamic State spoiling the plans of international capitalism by threatening Kirkuk oil

Below is a map of IS attacks for the last two weeks of October 2018. Because the world capitalists cannot get to the oil in Kirkuk, debt bubbles are in great danger of default.

The US cannot defeat IS. Every bomb means more recruits. In Africa, climate change is drying up food supplies and providing even more recruits.

There is a solution, though. The US could take the lead and spend $33B a year making all urban buses fare free. Another $33B would provide for all the new buses for increased demand.