Monday, April 29, 2019

What does #autosprawl #meltdown look like?

Friday, April 19, 2019

City planners must oppose fare-free urban transit

People looking for solutions to climate and energy can be easily attracted to radical-sounding proposals or comments from city planners.

The actual path back from the brink of biosphere meltdown is public transit, and the fastest way to go is by making it fare-free.

But public transit is a threat to growth and profits. These profits are not real though, they are backed by massive subsidy, not the least of which is the sacrifice of the biosphere.

Anyone in the business of city planning will lose their job if they do not actively oppose fare-free public transit.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Which should come first, #freetransit or better service

Some are arguing that fares cannot be removed because bus service will be overburdened, so we must achieve better service first and attract riders that way.

This is a recipe for failure for several reasons:
  • Autosprawl generates profits. Sprawl means that each home has its own set of tools, toys, and appliances. These profits are threatened by public transit.
  • The auto and sprawl system (#autosprawl) has critical mass. Car costs are seen as necessary and buses are seen as an extra expense.
  • The forces behind autos and sprawl are very strong. They even get governments to invade countries to secure sources of oil. 
In every community there is a marginal amount of people for whom the bus is a close option. Fare-free buses would immediately attract them. This would start a process where more riders mean that buses have more political backers. Only then can service improve.

Here is a list of locations that have fare-free public transit. In most cases ridership increased, sometimes dramatically, and in many cases service was subsequently expanded.

Sunday, April 7, 2019

Capitalism planning to throw old people on the street

Rich countries like the US and Japan are struggling to make enough babies. As sizeable populations of older adults retire and age out of the workforce, younger people are having fewer kids. It's setting up a ticking demographic time bomb, readying to explode when there aren't enough young people to care and pay for what the older generation needs.

Falling birth rates are a real problem for capitalism, a system that relies on growth to keep up it's false promises of a comfortable life. Now cheap oil is gone, and growth is over. Young people cannot afford children. So who will take the fall?

Today's retirees spent their working lives making capitalists rich. Now, suddenly, there is no money to take care of them. Where did it go?

Saturday, April 6, 2019

Autosprawl is melting down

For a few decades the US took advantage of cheap oil and built massive suburbs. A lot of developers got rich.

Now the system needs repair. Roads, bridges, water lines, sewers, electric grid, schools, drainage, and such need maintenance or rebuilding. The profiteers are gone, there is no money to be made now. The urban tax base is no longer enough to support the suburbs.

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

"ageing population," code for falling birth rates, a huge threat to banking

Glenn Rudebusch, the San Francisco Fed’s executive vice president for research, ranks climate change as one of the three “key forces transforming the economy,” along with an aging population and rapid advances in technology. Climate change could soon hit the banking system “by storms, droughts, wildfires, and other extreme events” making it harder for businesses to repay loans.

Bankers fear falling birth rates. Ironically, they will blame defaults on climate disruption, while the best way to fight climate disruption is to speed the decline of births -- a bigger cause of default.

Human population is still rising, but the people are in all the wrong places. The more developed an area, the faster the birth rate falls. Immigration from more populous areas can help but it is difficult to implement quickly enough.

Everyone should be preparing for the high unemployment that will come with debt defaults. Cut waste, get rid of cars, plant food, don't have babies.