Saturday, March 30, 2013

It's the demand

Much of the anti-fossil-fuel activism is aimed at stopping supply. This is backwards. Demand drives supply. Without customers, the oil industry would dry up quickly.

So what about alternative fuels? Depends. Are they supply alternatives, or demand alternatives? Converting energy from switch grass, wind, or solar simply adds to the supply, thereby reducing the price pressure on fossil fuel.

The best way to deal with fossil fuels is to change the way we live, so that we stop wasting energy, and use much less in general.

make public transit free
make cities car free
give the suburbs to organic farmers
educate all children
provide healthcare to all

This plan will cause the autosprawl system to collapse and the birth rate to fall.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Koch Brothers may have strangle-hold on current food industry

How the Heirs of a Multi-Billion Dollar Oil Dynasty are Taking Over the Food Supply, and No One is Noticing | NationofChange: "So, with these developments, how could the Koch brothers not take notice of the fortunes they could make in the food industry.  With billions at their beck and call and already owning a conglomerate of petrochemical companies, they soon took off and quickly became the world’s largest producer of nitrogen fertilizer, primarily aimed at supplying big agriculture and industrial farms.  Koch Fertilizer’s expanded product portfolio now includes ammonia, urea, UAN, phosphate, potash, and sulfur-based products, in addition to a variety of more modern and high powered final product mixed fertilizers."

'via Blog this'

Energy subsidies - time to pay the piper

IMF, citing $1.9 trillion in government subsidies, calls for end to energy ‘mispricing’ - The Washington Post: "Governments around the world subsidize gasoline, electricity and other major forms of energy to the tune of $1.9 trillion a year according to a new International Monetary Fund study that calls for that amount to be offset through carbon taxes or other means to battle climate change and other social problems."

'via Blog this'

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Global warming -- it's worse than you think -- and getting worse faster than you think.

In Hot Water: Global Warming Has Accelerated In Past 15 Years, New Study Of Oceans Confirms | ThinkProgress: "Completely contrary to the popular contrarian myth, global warming has accelerated, with more overall global warming in the past 15 years than the prior 15 years. This is because about 90% of overall global warming goes into heating the oceans, and the oceans have been warming dramatically."

'via Blog this'

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Why #freetransit is better than money in the bank

Carbon tax, cap and trade, cap and dividend.... these along with many other "solutions" for energy and climate are not as good as free public transit which:

  • provides local jobs
  • is transparent - can't be stolen by banksters
  • gives immediate relief from autosprawl externalities
  • connects jobless to jobs

Saturday, March 23, 2013

U.S. energy "boom" is a bubble. Don't say you weren't warned.

Shale Bubble: "As a result of these realities – high depletion rates, the need to drill ever more wells to maintain production, decreasingly productive wells as the best locations are drilled and depleted, and the higher prices required to justify this investment – our country will have drilled and fracked our way down a blind alley (with huge associated economic and environmental costs) for a short-lived energy boom."

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The split in the 1% over oil is widening as IBM publishes Chris Nelder

Oil majors are whistling past the graveyard | SmartPlanet: "The world’s “supermajor” independent oil companies — BP, ExxonMobil, Chevron, Royal Dutch Shell, and Total — project a rosy future, assuring us that oil will be abundant for decades to come. But in fact they’re spending record amounts to keep oil flowing, while their production is actually falling."

'via Blog this'

It costs more not to invest in #publictransit

American Public Transport Receives D Grade - CleanTechnica: "The report, entitled “Failure to Act”, emphasises the belief that the US economy lost $90 billion in 2010 due to the lack of investment poured into public transportation. Additionally, despite the fact that public transit ridership has increased by 9.1% over the past decade, 45% of Americans still lack access to public transportation in their communities."

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

@nytimeskrugman dips his toe in the #autosprawl holocaust

Paul, we are so proud of you. Thanks for mentioning global warming and cars in the same column. Global warming alone justifies getting rid of cars. Congestion is an externality of the private auto, true. But what about oil wars, noise, collision costs, pedestrian deaths, bicycle deaths, parking costs, stress, fractured communities, traffic enforcement (like expensive speed cameras), etc. And do some systems analysis--the problem is not just the auto, but autosprawl. Autosprawl means heating and cooling homes individually and traveling long distances for school, shopping, and soccer. Autosprawl means each home has a leaf blower, snow blower, lawn mower...etc.

Congestion pricing will create bureaucracy and enforcement costs. Let's make public transit free.
Everyday Externalities - "And can I say that this is a subject that really deserves a lot more attention? Mea culpa; I haven’t written much for a while on these issues, focusing mainly on the economic crisis, which is for the moment on the front burner. But we know, as surely as we know anything in economics, that there are huge market failures here — that every time an individual chooses to drive during rush hour, he or she is imposing huge costs on other drivers, people who breathe the air, and more."

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Keynesians vs Austerians - why both are wrong

The debate in the corporate media over fiscal policy is misleading.

Austerians say that transferring money to the rich and cutting the social safety net will spur investment. Most of them know that will not happen, as has been proven over and over. What they really want is mass poverty and the chance to pick assets cheap. They are betting that people will suffer quietly.

Keynesian policy depends on economic growth. But, because of peak oil, and other peaks, growth is over. Government spending into a wasteful consumer-product based economy will just create more waste. The government saved the auto industry, but the private auto is a wasteful consumer product no matter what it burns. Though we should protect auto-worker pensions, that industry needs to wither and die. Current Keynesian policy is an attempt to force growth by generating more waste.

The debate we should be having is not whether government should build infrastructure, but rather which infrastructure it should build. Here is our plan for transition to permaculture.

make public transit fare free
gradually make cities car free
educate all children
full equality for women
gradually convert the suburbs to organic farms
keep social safety net

This plan will generate tremendous savings by reducing the externalized costs of the auto-and-sprawl system. It will lower the birth rate, and put us on a path to permaculture.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Production decline rates for tight oil are 10 times the global average

Depletion: The one word oil optimists refuse to utter  |  Peak Oil News and Message Boards: " That means that drillers in those plays must replace 38 to 42 percent of their current production EACH YEAR before they can increase production. It’s a ferociously high decline rate, some 10 times the average worldwide. And, this is the oil that the optimists tell us is going to raise global production!"

'via Blog this'

What can I do, right now, in my town?

About Us | Transition US: "The Transition Movement is a vibrant, grassroots movement that seeks to build community resilience in the face of such challenges as peak oil, climate change and the economic crisis. It represents one of the most promising ways of engaging people in strengthening their communities against the effects of these challenges, resulting in a life that is more abundant, fulfilling, equitable and socially connected."

Friday, March 15, 2013

Energy Security Trust is more supply-side environmentalism. A dead end.

Focusing on new energy supplies, or cleaner energy supplies, is missing the point. We have a system that is wasting billions of dollars of energy every day -- the autosprawl system. Autos pollute at the point of production. They are wasteful consumer products no matter what they burn. Sprawl means heating and cooling millions of housing units individually and necessitating much travel between. Put the 2 billion into free transit and see what happens!
Obama’s $2 Billion Plan to Replace Fossil Fuels in Cars - "The Energy Security Trust, as he calls his proposal to shift oil and gas royalties to alternative energy research, is one of those projects.
A White House official, who discussed the president’s proposal on the condition of anonymity in advance of Friday’s speech, said that the energy trust was a central part of the administration’s economic strategy."

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Capitalism panicking over falling birth rate

Urbanization leads to a falling birth rate. This should be seen as a blessing. But capitalism is predicated on constant growth. Net energy is falling so capitalists need more people, even if that means many starve. The issue is clouded by nationalism and ageism, but the bottom line is that growth is over and that means capitalism must end.
'Singapore for Singaporeans'? | The Stream - Al Jazeera English: "Singapore is facing a dilemma: how to continue its economic stronghold while ensuring social cohesion? A government ‘White Paper’ recently projected that at the current rate, half of the country’s population could be made up of non-Singaporeans by 2030. So what does that mean for Singaporeans?"

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The Climate Train Has Left The Station - Decline of the Empire

The Climate Train Has Left The Station - Decline of the Empire: " The climate train has left the station. The time for arguing about whether abrupt anthropogenic climate change is happening now is long gone."

'via Blog this'

US Public Transport Sees Record 10.5 Billion Trips In 2012 - CleanTechnica

US Public Transport Sees Record 10.5 Billion Trips In 2012 - CleanTechnica: "the American public took 10.5 billion trips during 2012, the second highest ridership since 1957.

The figure puts 2012 at 154 million trips higher than 2011. Though, it is the seventh year in a row that more than 10 billion trips were taken on public transport networks across the country."

'via Blog this'

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Easy oil peaked as predicted. Tight oil will not reverse fall of global production rate.

via @kurtcobb
Resource Insights: Lower highs: The real trajectory of U.S. oil production: "...The world's 100 largest producing giant fields produce half the world's oil. They are growing very long in the tooth; many are over 50 years old. I am skeptical that when these start declining that the frankly pitiful amounts available from the average tight oil well will be able to make up for this decline even under optimistic scenarios for tight oil production.

...In fact, conventional oil--what I call the "Beverly Hillbillies" oil, the easily flowing liquid crude and the stuff that peak oil theorists were actually tracking in the past, appears to have peaked in 2006 according the International Energy Agency. By that metric they were very close to mark as several conventional oil peak projections were for the 2005 to 2010 time period.

Now, we are left with the difficult-to-get unconventional sources. They cost more to extract and often to refine and they therefore come out at a slower rate. And, that is the key metric: RATE of production."

Friday, March 8, 2013

Interest on debt depends on infinite growth on finite planet

Read the truth about the Austin, Texas free transit period 1989-1990.

Free Fare Period, 1989-90 | Bus Riders Union of Austin, Texas | El Sindicato de Pasajeros: "The program's success was immediate. Ridership for bus service outside of UT Shuttle and STS soared by 80 percent. More Austinites were riding the bus, but there was no proportionate increase in crime outside of drunk passengers, who, if not bothering anyone, is hardly a burden on the system. The Cost per Passenger plummeted, indicating much greater system efficiency, and costs only increased in line with other years when fares were collected. It was so successful that the entire following year, 1990, was scheduled for free fares."

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

How Free Transit Works in the United States - Eric Jaffe - The Atlantic Cities

How Free Transit Works in the United States - Eric Jaffe - The Atlantic Cities: "When speaking to detractors of the fare-free system, Litchfield likes to point out the measurable savings as well. The transit agency saves money that would be spent on fare collection, in terms of both staff and equipment (the system has 99 buses, and farebox devices sell in the area of $15,000 each). Advertising costs are down, since Chapel Hill Transit doesn't have to promote its pass programs, and the system also saves money that would have gone toward low-income ridership assistance. Last but not least, the buses save time because they no longer have to check passes or wait for fare swipes."

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Jeff Speck about Walkability and Livability, "Most of sprawl is unfixable"

An Interview with Jeff Speck about Walkability and Livability: "Most of sprawl is unfixable"

Follow @JeffSpeckAICP on Twitter

China bet on consumerism to solve inequality will hasten collapse of biosphere

China bets on consumer-led growth to cure social ills | Reuters: "To expand individual consumption, we should enhance people's ability to consume, keep their consumption expectations stable, boost their desire to consume, improve their consumption environment and make economic growth more consumption-driven."
China is desperate to maintain economic growth, and is turning to internal consumerism as a solution. This will mean a wasteful sprawl system that accelerates the destruction of the biosphere. One of the worst consumer products is the private auto. The irony is that consumerism will do nothing to increase equality, there is plenty of proof of that.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Litman explains why cars suck in a way that urban planners can understand

3 Charts That Explain Why You Spend So Much on Transportation - Eric Jaffe - The Atlantic Cities: "Because it evaluates transport system performance based primarily on travel speeds, conventional planning favor faster but more costly transport modes, such as automobile travel over slower but more affordable modes such as walking, cycling and public transit. This tends to create automobile dependent transport systems which increases total costs."