Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Old people in the US are prisoners in car culture. They should ride buses free.

Augusta needs transportation options for senior citizens - Central Maine: "Older people risk isolation when they can no longer drive or opt not to drive, losing their sense of independence and social inclusion. It can be a heart-wrenching experience if and when you have to take the car keys away from an aging relative and you see the loss and worry in their eyes. Living in a rural state only magnifies the issue."

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Gayle Rodgers: Public transportation is best solution to meter problem

providencejournal : "People who need to go to Thayer Street, Hope Street or wherever for the day should use public transportation. That way, those who shop in these trendy areas - and I frequent them myself - can stay all day. All one has to do is check the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority schedule for arrival and departure times. If more folks used RIPTA, it would run better for all riders.

When people complain about trying to go to the movies or shop for five hours with the worry of that parking meter hanging over them, I have little empathy.

Take the bus, meet your friends in any part of Providence, and make RIPTA work for everyone. Merchants can also suggest that their customers take the bus, and they can list the bus line on which their business is located.

Gayle Rodgers


Physicist shows direct relationship between energy and wealth

Economics: "The coming century is guaranteed to be one of immense change. At current exponential growth rates we will double our energy demands in just 30 years, adding as much to our consumption capacity in our working lifetimes as we have in the entire history of civilization.
Expressed quantitatively: summing over all the world’s nations, 7.1 Watts is required to maintain every one thousand inflation-adjusted 2005 dollars of a very general representation of historically accumulated economic wealth."
This means even if emissions are zero, heat will rise with growth. At 2.3% growth we double every 30 years in the amount of energy needed to maintain our economy. Human energy use releases heat. Heat melts clathrates and peat.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Why, for #climate, heat is more important than emissions

There are two things about fossil-fuels that are often confused. First, they put out a lot of green-house gas. Second they have enabled us to grow to over 7 billion people.

There is a lot of focus on reducing emissions, but what if we do not address heat? Heat is the form that energy takes when used for human life. Even if that heat is from a solar panel it will still add to overall heat. Those solar rays should be hitting plant life and being stored.

Much worse, heat now threatens to dissolve the permafrost and underwater clathrates. Recently a massive store of peat was discovered in Africa. If these things release their gases and heat, it won't matter how many solar-powered gadgets we have sold.

There is only one policy that directly addresses heat. Luckily it also is the best policy for emissions. That policy is degrowth. We already have falling birth rates in many areas. We can encourage that with carfree cities. When people urbanize, birth rates fall.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

What surprises lurk within the climate system?

IOPscience: "For generations, our civilization has been building a climate debt, borrowing from the stability of the future to power the economic growth of the present. Through the combustion of fossil fuels, as well as agriculture, deforestation, land use change, and waste, human activities have disrupted the natural carbon cycle, increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) by almost 50% and methane (CH4) by 250% relative to pre-industrial levels [2]. Even as this climate debt continues to grow, it is now coming due: the heat trapped by these and other greenhouse gases is raising global temperature, affecting heat and cold extremes, heavy precipitation and drought, sea ice and ice sheet melt, sea level rise and coastal flooding, and many other aspects of the climate system [3] that can harm human health, the economy, food supply, water availability, and even national security [4–6]."

Monday, December 26, 2016

Commuters Save More than $1,000/Month by Choosing MBTA Over Cars

masstransitmag : "December Transit Savings Report. Individuals who ride public transportation instead of driving can save, on average, more than $809 per month.

These savings are based on the cost of commuting by public transportation compared to the cost of owning and driving a vehicle. These costs include the Dec. 21, 2016, national average gas price ($2.25 per gallon, as reported by AAA) and the national unreserved monthly parking rate.

APTA releases this monthly Transit Savings Report to examine how an individual in a two-person household can save money by taking public transportation and living with one less car.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Cars busy killing people and wrecking environment in Maine

Central Maine: "I-295 traffic volume rose 12 percent from 2009 to 2015 — to an average of 1.18 million vehicles a day — and it’s expected to keep going up. “Volume is really pressing capacity at times, in particular at the commute times,” Joyce Taylor, chief engineer for the Maine Department of Transportation, told the Press Herald last week."