Saturday, December 25, 2010

Zero-Fare Canada

Zero-Fare Canada: "While diseased cultural norms have kept the public distracted with shopping and irrelevant corporatized propaganda, the military has been gearing up for years for our upcoming climate wars. Indeed, while well-funded lobbyists engaged the public in a deadly game of 'is global warming real?', this issue was never a matter of dispute within the military and the US Pentagon itself. Within the realm of militarism, climate change and the deadly threats it presents have always been seen as unequivocal and the dangers it presents are viewed as unparalleled in magnitude."

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

New director of ShuttleBus sees ridership picking up | The Portland Press Herald / Maine Sunday Telegram

New director of ShuttleBus sees ridership picking up | The Portland Press Herald / Maine Sunday Telegram: "BIDDEFORD - As the average price of gas in Maine tops $3 per gallon, people look for ways to leave their cars at home and, naturally, ridership on local transit lines tends to increase.

Al Schutz has seen the trend before, and as the new executive director of ShuttleBus, he anticipates seeing it again.

'When gas hit $4 a gallon, my ridership spiked 22 percent in Gloversville, (N.Y.),' Schutz said."

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

More oil-trolls in Congress now, thanks to tea party morons

Next American City » Columns » The Administration’s Big Streetcar Push Could Implode with New Congress: "After last month’s elections, however, the program may come to an end. Republicans soon to head the House of Representatives have made apparent their interest in limiting transportation expenditures on modes other than the automobile. Unless they suddenly have a collective change in heart, this could mean an elimination of funding for the grant programs that have funded these projects, including Small Starts"

MassTransit » Blog » What Makes the Wi-Fi Bus Successful?

MassTransit » Blog » What Makes the Wi-Fi Bus Successful?: "This week the Chittenden County Transportation Authority (CCTA) in Vermont announced free Wi-Fi services aboard a portion of its bus fleet; CCTA operates 19 bus routes between cities and towns on the east shore of Lake Champlain, including the Burlington suburbs of Essex Junction and Winookski. Wi-Fi has been deployed on the LINK Express commuter vehicles that service the longer routes to neighboring county towns, including Middlebury, Montpelier and St. Albans. The authority carries around 2.5 million passengers annually, with approximately 117,000 people using the LINK Express service."

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Friday, December 3, 2010

Being Carfree Means Being More Visible | Carfree with Kids — Carfree with Kids

Being Carfree Means Being More Visible | Carfree with Kids — Carfree with Kids: "You also get a chance to practice manners and good behavior in a variety of different situations. Can your child be quiet during a morning commute? Handle sitting next to people she doesn’t know? Stand up on the train while still remaining calm? All of these situations come with social pressure to behave well, which can be both good and bad. But they certainly do allow the whole family to practice appropriate behavior in a public setting."

Monday, November 29, 2010

Nationwide Transit Riders to Lose $500 or more In Commuter Benefits Because of Expiring Tax Provision - MarketWatch

Nationwide Transit Riders to Lose $500 or more In Commuter Benefits Because of Expiring Tax Provision - MarketWatch: "BOSTON, Nov 29, 2010 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Edenred, the provider of the premier commuter benefits programs, Commuter Check and WiredCommute, urges Congress to take action on transit benefit parity. Workers nationwide who commute using public transportation and vanpools to their jobs and participate in an employer-sponsored pre-tax transit benefit will have less to celebrate on New Year's Day."

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Streetsblog Capitol Hill » Seatbelts and Tickets Alone Won’t Cure America’s Traffic Death Epidemic

Better management and enforcement aren't the only
ways to reduce traffic deaths. Image: Car Insurance Tips
Streetsblog Capitol Hill » Seatbelts and Tickets Alone Won’t Cure America’s Traffic Death Epidemic: "Motor vehicle crashes caused 28 percent of all deaths among people 24 and under in the United States in 2006. In 2009, nearly 34,000 people died on America’s roads, and that was considered a big improvement over previous years. More and more, it seems, Americans are wondering why our country is so far behind on creating safe transportation systems."

Saturday, November 20, 2010

A Departing Republican Warns About Climate Change -

A Departing Republican Warns About Climate Change - "An outgoing Republican congressman used a House science and environment subcommittee hearing this week as an opportunity to chide his party for its growing skepticism about the threat of global warming and to warn of missed economic opportunities in clean energy development if climate change is ignored."

Monday, November 8, 2010

Climate science: Climate scientists plan campaign against global warming skeptics -

Climate science: Climate scientists plan campaign against global warming skeptics - "Reporting from Washington — Faced with rising political attacks, hundreds of climate scientists are joining a broad campaign to push back against congressional conservatives who have threatened prominent researchers with investigations and vowed to kill regulations to rein in man-made greenhouse gas emissions."

Sunday, November 7, 2010

BP oil spill costs to hit $40bn | Business |

Regardless of who "pays" for this spill. It is a cost that is unnecessary as long as energy is being wasted by autosprawl. In addition, the opportunity costs and full damage to the earth will never fully be paid. If cars were eliminated, the oil could be used to build an new fossil-fuel-free society. To eliminate cars, start by making public transit fare-free.

BP oil spill costs to hit $40bn | Business | "BP said today it expects the cost of the Deepwater Horizon oil disaster to be $7.7bn (�4.8bn) bigger than previously thought, pushing the total bill to nearly $40bn.

The oil giant announced the new charge to cover the cost of the Gulf of Mexico spill alongside its financial results for the third quarter of the year. It blamed the delays that dogged its attempts to seal the leak, along with higher clean-up costs and legal fees"

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Do not expect corporations to care about survival of human race - not their job

Outrage, Misguided -- In These Times - StumbleUpon
The doomsday metaphor also applies outside the financial world. The American Petroleum Institute, backed by the Chamber of Commerce and the other business lobbies, has intensified its efforts to persuade the public to dismiss concerns about anthropogenic global warming—with considerable success, as polls indicate. Among Republican congressional candidates in the 2010 election, virtually all reject global warming.
The executives behind the propaganda know that global warming is real, and our prospects grim. But the fate of the species is an externality that the executives must ignore, to the extent that market systems prevail. And the public won’t be able to ride to the rescue when the worst-case scenario unfolds.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

New study puts the ‘hell’ in Hell and High Water � Climate Progress

New study puts the ‘hell’ in Hell and High Water � Climate Progress: "By the 2030s, the results indicated that some regions in the United States and overseas could experience particularly severe conditions, with average decadal readings potentially dropping to -4 to -6 in much of the central and western United States as well as several regions overseas, and -8 or lower in parts of the Mediterranean. By the end of the century, many populated areas, including parts of the United States, could face readings in the range of -8 to -10, and much of the Mediterranean could fall to -15 to -20. Such readings would be almost unprecedented."

Saturday, October 16, 2010 - Human demands on planet far outstrip resources ��– WWF - Human demands on planet far outstrip resources ��– WWF: "The world’s people are now living lifestyles which would require one and a half planets to sustain, though there are significant differences between rich and poor nations."

Monday, September 27, 2010 � Looking for Trouble � Looking for Trouble: "Forget, for a moment, the fragility of the Arctic environment and the likely consequences of a spill there. Forget the dangers of deepwater drilling in a strait plagued by storms and icebergs, and the difficulties –greater than in the Gulf of Mexico - of capping a leaking well there. There’s an even bigger question raised by a British company’s discovery of oil off the coast of Greenland(1). It’s the same question that’s invoked by the decision the British government is expected to make today (Tuesday): to allow exploration wells to be drilled in deep waters to the west of the Shetland islands(2). Why the heck are we prospecting for new oil anyway?

It’s not a difficult issue to grasp. If we burn just 60% of current global reserves of fossil fuels, we produce two degrees of warming(3). We cannot afford to use what has already been discovered, let alone to find more."

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Death by Car capitalism's drive to carmageddon: news & comments

Death by Car-capitalism's drive to carmageddon: news & comments: "The Natural Resources Defense Council, the woefully mis-named Big Green group, thinks cars-first transportation is compatible with a decent human future. While noting the preciousness of petroleum, NRDC Executive Director Peter Lehner peddles the notion that getting to work and fetching groceries using 1.5-ton steel, plastic, and lithium boxes is somehow something that doesn’t scream NATURAL RESOURCES WASTE.


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Cost of autosprawl waste - USD 3 Trillion

Global Economic Crisis � Iraq War Will Cost the American Economy $3 Trillion: "In 2008, two distinguished academicians, Nobel Prize winning economist� Joseph Stiglitz� and his colleague, Linda Bilmes from Harvard University, published the most comprehensive analysis of the actual cost, current and future, of America’s Iraqi adventure. Their conclusion, published in 2008, was that the ultimate expenditures of the American taxpayers due to the Iraq war and its aftermath will be at least $3 trillion. They labeled their study, quite appropriately, “The Three Trillion Dollar War.”"

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Disasters show 'screaming' need for action - climate chief

This photograph made available on August 19 and taken on August 5, 2010 during an aerial survey organized by environment group Greenpeace, shows a logged over area in the vast track of pulp wood concession operating in the mountains of Jambi province in Indonesia's Sumatra island. Norway agreed on August 19

Photograph by: ROMEO GACAD/AFP/Getty Images

Disasters show 'screaming' need for action - climate chief: "GENEVA - UN climate chief Christiana Figueres on Thursday warned that a string of weather calamities showed the deepening urgency to forge a breakthrough deal on global warming this year.

Speaking before some 40 countries were to address finance, an issue that has helped hamstring UN climate talks, Figueres said floods in Pakistan, fires in Russia and other weather disasters had been a shocking wakeup call."

Saturday, August 28, 2010

The Bus Bench: Solutions: Sustainability Access Pyramid

The Bus Bench: Solutions: Sustainability Access Pyramid: "An accessible community has to do with access. Access to housing, access to clean air, access to a clean environment, access to supportive family policies, access to parks, access to experiences, access to quality food, access to health care, access to free time, access to education, and access to be financially comfortable.

If any part is unbalanced you will create a shaky foundation that will make the other part of the pyramid lopsided and uneven and the taller the pyramid goes the more inequitable and unbalanced the pyramid will be.

This is just an idea and I think it’s something to aspire to, maybe we won’t get there in now, but we could build toward something like this, something that turns the car into a luxury item that in everyone's mind is bad for you like everything else people buy on an installment plan. I don’t like the leasing your life thing for stuff, do you?"

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Why our railways suck (in two graphs) | Grist

Why our railways suck (in two graphs) | Grist: "Roadways didn't automatically sprout up everywhere. Driving isn't more convenient by nature. We chose to make it that way, thanks in no small part to the automobile and sprawl lobbies. When you look at federal capital investment in highways versus transit over the last half century, the difference is staggering:"

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Humanity still rushing to disaster -- Climate Change is bigger than Environmentalism

‘Environmentalism’ can never address climate change | Grist: "Humanity has passed, or will soon pass, what we understand to be the safe boundary conditions of a number of global biophysical systems. Our trajectory amounts to an extraordinary, even existential roll of the dice. Can we survive in conditions that humanity has literally never faced? Can we bring our species in line with the long-term sustainable carrying capacity of the earth before earth does it for us? Can we make the shift while still growing in learning, prosperity, and freedom? The stakes could not be higher.

If we meet the challenge of sustainability -- and it's a big if -- it will be a tidal shift in human history on par with the agriculture, industrialization, or democracy itself."

Thursday, August 19, 2010

No money for transit -- but parking is heavily subsidized

...Under a more sensible policy, a parking space that is currently free could cost at least $100 a month — and maybe much more — in many American cities and suburbs. At the bottom end of that estimate, if a commuter drives to work 20 days a month, current parking policy offers a subsidy of $5 a day — which is more than the gas and wear-and-tear costs of many round-trip commutes. In essence, the parking subsidy outweighs many of the other costs of driving, including the gasoline tax...

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

How are fossil-fuels subsidized - let us count the ways

The simple solution is to eliminate all forms of government subsidy on all forms of energy and let them fight it out with American ingenuity. For oil, the cost of securing the sea lanes will drive gasoline to 50 dollars a gallon, but hey, the days of free US Navy support would be over. Trying to remove mercury from the rivers and streams would cripple coal, but hey, poison is poison. A free energy market where all forms of pollution (carbon monoxide, nitrous oxide, radioactivity, mercury,etc) are not allowed to be released into the public domain is as clear as you can get. If you pollute, you're shut down. By eliminating government subsidies, tax breaks, and military support and demanding your children don't eat, drink and breathe poison, it would open up the American spirit of invention and allow our country to develop the energy technologies for a sustained economic and ecologic future. Short of that, this bill will promote more Gulf geysers, coalmine collapses, refinery explosions, oil tanker groundings, Chernobyls, Three Mile Islands, and Love Canals. This would be Energy Rehab for a cheap-energy addicted planet... Earl E. Commenting on the recently failed energy bill at the NYTimes

Friday, July 30, 2010

Economists still blind to energy

...However, neither allowing the economy to deflate further from here via austerity, nor throwing more debt-marked stimulus will solve the present day problem. For the United States, along with the rest of the developed world, has reached a boundary in energy... TheOilDrum

Friday, July 23, 2010

Making the MBTA Fare-Less

The Massachusets state government should monetarily support the Massachusets Bay Transit Authority (MBTA) through increased state income tax, in part to eradicate fares and to allow everyone to ride for free.
Jason Leach, Tufts University -

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Divorce Your Car!: Free Public Transit

Divorce Your Car!: Free Public Transit: "Among ideas for recovery -- from the Gulf spill, from oil addiction, from our economic doldrums – more investment in transit is near the top of the list. Now here’s another suggestion to layer in: make this free transit – with no fare charged at the point of use."

Monday, July 12, 2010

Public Transit MUST be free - Robert Wagner

Public transport MUST be free, it makes absolute sense. Here's why. Most of the costs of auto-sprawl are borne by society collectively, including many of the hidden costs: infrastructural, pollution, fuel subsidies, health/medical... For Vermont, it should be put to the people to decide whether free & universal public transport is of value to our economy.

How to pay for it. Democrat/Republicans desert us, after paying lip service to public transport as a vote-getting scheme. To pay for it, Vermont has to tax back the profits of natural resources and land speculation, the 'Commons'. Over a billion a year goes tax-free into corporate pockets this way, just in Vermont. And then there's Vermont's $1.5 billion pro rata share in the US military. If Vermont becomes an independent republic, we can use that $1.5 billion here in Vermont, instead of on wars and 700+ military bases worldwide. We can _really_ be green, rather than a dog-and-pony-show for tourism and real estate sales.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The real drag on the economy? Sprawl

...He points out: "For mortgage lending, we have made almost no progress on incorporating energy and transportation costs into underwriting. When lenders evaluate or not whether borrowers can reliably make payments on a median mortgage of about $150,000 (or 80% of a median house price of about $180,000) they continue to ignore the 30-year commitment to pay some $300,000 in transportation expenses for a house located in suburban sprawl, and another $75,000 in utility costs."

"While these cost obligations are not contractual commitments, they are in practice real issues that affect whether or not the borrower can make their payments. Think about it. If you are in financial distress in Chicago in the winter, and you can't pay both your mortgage and your heating bill, which will you pay first? If you live in sprawl and need your car to drive to work, or look for a job, which bill will you pay first, your auto loan and gas or your mortgage?..." TMC Net

Monday, June 21, 2010

Gasoline is grossly underpriced

...Some of the best work on this subject has been done by Ian Parry, a senior fellow at Resources for the Future. His calculations — plus some data from other sources and studies — suggest that adding all the quantifiable costs into the price of oil would increase the cost of each gallon by about $1.65. According to the Energy Information Administration, the average price of a gallon of gas was $2.72 last week. It should really be as high as $4.37.

Incalculable costs

That, however, is almost certainly an underestimation. There are plenty of costs that we just don’t know how to put a price on. How much of our military policy is dictated by our need for secure oil resources? How much instability is created by our need to treat oil-producing monarchies such as Saudi Arabia with kid gloves? How much is the environment worth in a poor country that would prefer oil investment to air-quality regulations?... LJWorld

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Financial crash is cyclical, but end of oil may be final

...Why did we choose a debt based monetary system given that it is mathematically required to collapse at some point? The answer is that a debt based system maximizes the rate of economic growth by borrowing from the future. Standards of living, corporate earnings, and government power increase at the fastest rate possible which keeps the public, businesses, and leaders happy. A debt based system also makes it easier for governments to run deficits which helps to re-elect leaders by providing citizens with something for nothing. And citizens have more access to credit for consumption which enables them to live beyond their means. Finally, banks are able to make a lot more money with a debt based system so they were motivated to promote the adoption of the system. When we created our debt base system no one imagined that humans would ever be able to exceed the maximum possible extraction (and waste absorption) rates of natural resources. The system has worked well for us over the last century because we have not experienced any physical limits to growth. Of course the earth’s ecosystems and other species have taken a severe beating by our increased use of natural resources but that is a topic for another paper... Kye Bay on the Oil Drum