Wednesday, February 27, 2019

How EROI for oil is wrongly calculated and the failure of #renewables

Trying to assess the relative worth of Iraqi versus US shale oil is complicated, however, by our failure to account for the full cost – in energy and cash – of recovery. Most calculations of Energy Return on Investment (EROI) are made at the well head, whereas what we need to know is the cost at the point of use. While a lot less energy goes into getting a barrel of Iraqi oil out of the ground compared to US fracking, this misses the point. The full EROI cost must also include the ongoing military occupation of the country that was required to allow US oil companies to get their hands on it to begin with. It is with this in mind that we should view America’s latest attempt to foist “freedom and democracy” on yet another unwilling populace; in this instance, Venezuela. 

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Monday, February 11, 2019

Young Green-New-Deal supporter says it must include fare-free #publictransit

To start, in order to facilitate a transition away from fossil fuels, the Green New Deal must include a provision moving toward fare-free public transit.
While it sounds radical and downright unaffordable, it’s been done in several cities around the world with success. Estonia’s capital, Tallinn, is a city of well over 400,000 inhabitants and has had free public transit for locals since 2013. Chapel Hill, North Carolina has had free bus transportation since 2002 and in doing so, has increased their annual ridership from 3 million to nearly 7 million. Many smaller jurisdictions, including 56 small cities across Europe have implemented fare-free public transportation programs. 

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Why people in rural areas should support urban fare-free #publictransit

There are a hundred good reasons for fare-free public transit. Not the least is that it saves money.

But, specifically, how would it benefit rural areas?

Answer: by fighting sprawl.

Sprawl threatens the peace and quiet of rural areas. Farms are surrounded by housing developments and subject to complaints from new residents.

Sprawl needs tax money for schools, roads, and utilities. Developers often take profit from home sales and leave municipal costs for the residents. So rural people will likely see more taxes.

Roads will be more crowed. Rural roads are dangerous, often without shoulders and drainage. More traffic -- more collisions.

Fare-free #publictransit would solve the problem of racist fare enforcement

It may sound strange, but the esoteric topic of fare collection has become one of the most polarizing in public transportation. And it’s likely to get worse—unless we start rethinking the idea of transit fares entirely. ...
...According to the Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs, 91 percent of summons for fare evasion in the District between January 2016 and February 2018 were issued to African-Americans. 

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Brutal bombing to control oil market

Saturday, February 2, 2019

Irish Times reader lists the benefits of fare-free #publictransport

The Irish Times published a letter of mine proposing such a system for Dublin in 1980. In it I argued that such a system could massively reduce traffic congestion, reduce car imports, reduce fuel imports, and increase employment in the city.
In the meantime, we have seen a massive increase in traffic congestion, urban sprawl, commuting times, population density, and proposed and actual new public transportation systems such as the Luas and Metro causing massive disruption during the building phase and costing many billions of euro.
Tripling the size of Dublin’s bus fleet would probably be required to meet the latent demand for an efficient and free public transport service, but the capital cost would be minuscule compared to the cost of the aforementioned projects.
Instead of requiring exorbitant new infrastructure, existing and underused bus lanes would be more fully utilised, and journey times improved as car traffic diminished. Valuable space currently required for car parking could be repurposed for social housing or public amenities.
Such an expansion of the public bus system would massively improve the convenience of the existing bus services by increasing the frequency, range, and scope of current routes.
Instead of wasting time, burning fuel, polluting the atmosphere, and contributing to global warming, commuters could work on the bus, engage with social media and, horror of horrors, actually talk to one another, thereby recreating a more convivial and socially egalitarian city.
If the buses were primarily electric, they could further reduce our carbon footprint, and reduce the fines we will soon become liable to pay for failing to reach our carbon reduction targets.
As we have little oil and no car manufacturing industries, such a system would also improve our balance of trade and employment levels.
As a nation, we think nothing of spending billions on (partially) free education, healthcare, roads and public facilities. But an efficient public transport system is every bit as vital to the functioning of a modern economy. How much time is wasted driving cars on congested roads which could otherwise be devoted to more productive work or social activities? How many lives could be saved by less tired (and sometimes intoxicated) driving?
It is an idea whose time has come. – Yours, etc,
Co Wicklow.