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