Friday, December 16, 2011

If cars are so great, why subsidize them?

Congress should pass bill giving transit users the same break as drivers. - "Facing a demonstrable need to use less fossil fuel, the country's leaders ought to encourage commuters to use transit. Congress is about to do just the opposite."

'via Blog this'

Friday, November 25, 2011

2010 Atmospheric carbon dumping exceeds IPCC "worst case scenario"

Biggest jump ever seen in global warming gases - Yahoo! News: "Even though global warming skeptics have attacked the climate change panel as being too alarmist, scientists have generally found their predictions too conservative, Reilly said. He said his university worked on emissions scenarios, their likelihood, and what would happen. The IPCC's worst case scenario was only about in the middle of what MIT calculated are likely scenarios."

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Monday, November 14, 2011

Saturday, November 12, 2011

No bus, no job

Common Connections: The Importance of Public Transportation for College Students and Seniors in Massachusetts - MASSPIRG: "•Public transportation links students and seniors to jobs, health care and community activities. An informal survey of 1,373 Massachusetts college students by MASSPIRG Student Chapters found that, of students with jobs, 48 percent use public transportation to get to their jobs very often or sometimes. Meanwhile, transit can provide seniors with a means to remain engaged in their communities, countering the isolation that often comes with aging."

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Friday, November 4, 2011

Student Bill of Rights calls for free #transit

GoLocalProv | News | Aaron Regunberg: RI Students Left Out of Education Reform Debate: "Students know they can learn, but they also know that being homeless or sick or hungry or without access to transportation makes it a hell of a lot harder to do so, and to dismiss that reality is ignorant and offensive."

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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

We Are Vermont’s 99% « #OccupyVermont

We Are Vermont’s 99% « #OccupyVermont: "We are the 99 percent. We are getting kicked out of our homes. We are forced to choose between groceries and rent. We are denied quality medical care. We are suffering from environmental pollution. We are working long hours for little pay and no rights, if we’re working at all. We are getting nothing while the other 1 percent is getting everything. We are the 99 percent."

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Monday, October 24, 2011

The spark that started a prairie fire - Mohamed Bouazizi

Voting begins in Sidi Bouzid, birthplace of Arab Spring | "IN Sidi Bouzid, the town that gave birth to the revolution that ousted Tunisia's Zine el Abidine Ben Ali and sparked the Arab Spring, proud and happy voters queued in their hundreds to take part in a historic vote.
It was in Sidi Bouzid, part of the Tunisian interior overlooked for investment by the former regime, that fruit seller Mohamed Bouazizi, an unemployed university graduate, set himself on fire on December 17 to protest abuses under Ben Ali's 23-year regime."

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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Fall River makes case for more mass transit, not less - Fall River, MA - The Herald News

GUEST OPINION: Fall River makes case for more mass transit, not less - Fall River, MA - The Herald News: "Local bus rider Fred Senay summed it up best at mass transit rally advocating for bus service at night and on Sundays in Fall River recently: “A lot of people told me they couldn’t get hired, that they couldn’t work overtime, that they couldn’t work Sundays because of transportation problems. Public transportation is the lifeblood of our city. We need more, not less.”"

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Monday, October 3, 2011

Plenty of money for #transit. But we must fight for it.

Abel Collins: RIPTA’s where we must stand and fight | Contributors | | The Providence Journal: Contrary to the myth, the truth is that the U.S. economy is bigger than it has ever been. The gross domestic product is more than $14 trillion. As a country we have never been richer, but that money is more and more concentrated in the hands of a small privileged group. Does it really make sense to coddle them and cut services for the rest of us? Since our economy is so dependent on consumer spending, doesn’t it make sense both morally and economically to give help where it is needed?
...To be brief, public transit is where we stand and fight, because it is where we can win. Winning will boost the morale of the compassionate majority and restore some faith in fairness. At the same time it will demonstrate that investing in a public service is good for everybody. Furthermore, winning will give us momentum for whatever cause comes next, and there are many waiting.

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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Release: RIPTA Riders Demand "Don't X Out Public Transit" - Cranston, RI Patch

Release: RIPTA Riders Demand "Don't X Out Public Transit" - Cranston, RI Patch: "Public transportation supporters gathered in Kennedy Plaza and across the country to speak out against proposed cuts of more than one third to federal funding for public transportation and all surface transportation programs. Transit supporters have designated today as “Don’t X Out Public Transportation Day” as a way to address a proposal currently in the U.S. House of Representatives to drastically cut highway and public transportation funding."

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Saturday, September 17, 2011

State asks people to go car-free from Sept. 18-24 - Brockton, MA - The Enterprise

State asks people to go car-free from Sept. 18-24 - Brockton, MA - The Enterprise: "The governor is asking residents to leave their cars in the driveway and try bicycling, walking, public transit, carpooling, or vanpooling, for Massachusetts Car-Free Week, Sept. 18-24. Massachusetts will join more than 1,000 cities in 40 countries to show the benefits of reducing the number of vehicles on the road."

'via Blog this'

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Science-fiction writers, put down your pens

You can't make this stuff up. In the news -- in Pakistan last year, four million people displaced by flood. Today, a suspected big brother drone strike allegedly killed three presumably suspected-terrorists in that same country. So, to sum up, climate change is ravaging a poor country, and big brother, who caused the climate change, is bombing it with robots because it lacks democracy. If democracy is restored, then Pakistan can vote to help with the goal of creating more climate change. If you wrote this in your book, it would not sell. Good science fiction must have plausibility within its frame. And, that "suspected" drone strike--so hard for big brother's military to keep track. Oh, yes, one more thing. A major political party for big brother is saying that the floods are not even happening. 

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

VT Gov. Shumlin on “Our Continuing Irrational Exuberance About Burning Fossil Fuels, in Light of These Storm Patterns” | ThinkProgress

Figure 1. Wunderphotographer 43BJAGER recorded this image of a house in Sharon, Vermont, that started out the week on the other side of this underpass.
VT Gov. Shumlin on “Our Continuing Irrational Exuberance About Burning Fossil Fuels, in Light of These Storm Patterns” | ThinkProgress: "Vermont Governor: “We’ve got to get off fossil fuels as quickly as we know how, to make this planet livable for our children and our grandchildren.”"

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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Angry Train Riders: Higher Fares The Wrong Ticket - Hartford Courant

Angry Train Riders: Higher Fares The Wrong Ticket - Hartford Courant: Already furious about what they see as steep ticket prices and shabby service, nearly two dozen Metro-North commuters on Tuesday dismissed a proposal to raise fares by 16.4 percent as absurd.

Passengers hammered the Metropolitan Transportation Authority for allowing the nation's busiest commuter rail line to steadily deteriorate, and slammed Gov. Dannel P. Malloy for proposing a double-digit fare increase in the midst of a recession.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Here it comes -- We need your social security for the auto-system

Here's a Tax That Ends Pain at the Pump - Carnegie Endowment for International Peace: "The U.S.’s national transportation program is broke. We borrow about $12 billion from the Treasury annually for the Highway Trust Fund. But our real annual transportation deficit is more than $100 billion when you include interest, deferred maintenance and other spending.

At the same time, the 55-year-old Interstate Highway System is crumbling and needs to be rebuilt, at an estimated cost of $2.5 trillion to $3 trillion during the next 20 years."

Thursday, August 11, 2011

George Monbiot – How the Billionaires Broke the System

George Monbiot – How the Billionaires Broke the System: "So the rich, in a nominal democracy, have a struggle on their hands. Somehow they must persuade the other 99% to vote against their own interests: to shrink the state, supporting spending cuts rather than tax rises. In the US they appear to be succeeding."

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Buses mean business

'Lifeline' of Public Transit Faces Deep Cuts in RI - ABC News: "Any change, he says, would be devastating — not just because he'd be left stranded, but because businesses could lose some of the late-night clientele they rely on.

'This is vital for a business owner,' Berg said at a recent public hearing in Bristol on the proposed cuts, before dashing off to catch the bus. 'You cut out a bus schedule, and you are hurting businesses in Newport.'"

Friday, July 29, 2011

Rising gasoline prices drive MBTA ridership increase -

Rising gasoline prices drive MBTA ridership increase - "A bumper crop of nearly 380 million trips by riders over the past 12 months gave the MBTA its highest passenger count ever for a single fiscal year, T officials announced yesterday."

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Nine Out of Ten Climate Denying Scientists Have Ties to Exxon Mobil Money – Environment – GOOD | NotSoCrazyNews BETA

Nine Out of Ten Climate Denying Scientists Have Ties to Exxon Mobil Money – Environment – GOOD | NotSoCrazyNews BETA: "Recently, you’ve also almost definitely seen links to this website —”900+ Peer-Reviewed Papers Supporting Skepticism of “Man-Made” Global Warming (AGW) Alarm”—created by the Global Warming Policy Foundation. The problem is, of the top ten contributors of articles to that list, nine are financially linked to Exxon Mobil."

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Message from Gas and Oil Party: "Get back in your car. Now!"

Worcester Telegram & Gazette - - Transit budgets hit hard by cuts: "BOSTON — Cash-strapped and debt-ridden, public transit systems across the nation are trimming service, raising fares and postponing badly needed upgrades just to maintain daily operations, even as rising gas prices increase demand and experts call modernization critical to cities’ futures.

The economic downturn and cuts in government support have forced transit agencies to pare down, complicating the daily lives of commuters who depend on trains, trolleys and buses. Frustration comes easily."

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Scientist sells out the human species for one million dollars

Climate sceptic Willie Soon received $1m from oil companies, papers show | Environment | "Dr Willie Soon, an astrophysicist at the Solar, Stellar and Planetary Sciences Division of the Harvard-Smithsonian Centre for Astrophysics, is known for his view that global warming and the melting of the arctic sea ice is caused by solar variation rather than human-caused CO2 emissions, and that polar bears are not primarily threatened by climate change."

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Family Life Without a Car

Family Life Without a Car: "Conversely, one of the brilliant things about being carfree is that you are forced to prioritise. So much of what we do in our daily lives is optional and when you have a car it is so easy to over-commit, especially if you have a family. You end up rushing from one appointment to the next, desperately hoping the traffic is in your favour. It’s not a great way to spend your waking hours."

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Hartford - Edwin Vargas for Mayor - free transit advocate

We need a no-nonsense, assertive advocate for progressive ideals to open up new opportunities for Hartford. We, as a community, must unite and pull ourselves up by our boot straps to turn this city around. I, like many of you, still believe in Hartford. We still believe that we can seize on opportunities for real job growth. We want to see a well rounded and quality education available to our children, quality infrastructure, renewable energy initiatives with green collar jobs, and a fair shake for homeowners that are struggling. Join him on Facebook

Friday, May 6, 2011

Gas and Oil Party get dumped

She has a message for the state GOP - "I’ve been accused of violence and intimidation, and the responsibility for the financial woes of this state has been laid on my shoulders. You’ve tried to silence those among you who would stand up for me, like Rep. Lee Quandt, R-Exeter.
You tell me not to take it personally, but it could not be more personal. This goes way beyond ideology. You have insulted me, my family and my friends again and again, you have embraced every negative stereotype you can find about us"

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Federal government controlled by oil trolls

Despite suburbs’ swan song, transit money withers - Climate change demands that Americans drive less and use more mass transit, while the specter of ever-rising gas prices provides the economic incentives to follow that environmental imperative. These forces will only grow over time. It’s an easy narrative to follow — except in Washington, where the pitched warfare over budgets and deficits threatens to rob cities and towns of their ability to become future-proof.
...The budget deal cut $2.9 billion from Obama’s ambitious high-speed rail program, leaving the president without a penny to spend on the initiative this year. It also cut New Starts, the program that pays for most new transit construction, to $400 million below last year’s level. Neither cut is paradigm-shifting, but each sets a worrisome precedent. Overall federal spending levels have nowhere to go but down, and this year’s low baseline could become next year’s ceiling.

The transit advocacy group Reconnecting America recently catalogued $233 billion in backlogged transit projects across the country, including $77 billion in the Northeast. The MBTA’s Green Line extension, Blue-Line-and-Red-Line connector, and South Coast rail project are all on the list. At the current spending pace, this backlog would take 73 years to fund.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Attn: Climate delayers - Are you buying beach property?

‘Fighting a losing battle with the sea’ - "The Elsmores’ basement filled with 5 feet of water, and flames billowed into the dark sky from two nearby houses that flooded and caught fire. Their neighbors’ young children had to be evacuated from their house by a bucket loader. In all, some 400 homes were swamped.

The ocean’s fury is an omnipresent threat for the growing number of people who live at its edge. But accumulating scientific evidence suggests that our warming climate could cause sea levels to rise faster than previously thought, making storm surges like the one that pummeled Scituate more dangerous."

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Good One from Andy Singer - Death by Car

  Good One from Andy Singer - Death by Car: "Studies reveal that the moonshine-for-gas thing is, like the rest of the “alt fuels” ruse, a mega-scam based on exploitation of people’s ignorance of the laws of physics and energy."

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Boston - MBTA GM goes #carfree "Eric Moskowitz, Globe Staff / Apr 3, 2011 04:03 AM
Richard A. Davey has given up his car. Not just for the week, or for the month, but for good.

The MBTA general manager and his wife took the plunge into car-free living last week, donating their sole set of wheels, a sparingly driven Nissan Altima, to the Home for Little Wanderers."

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Want peace? You will not find it in a car.

Bicycle believer Dave Bonan behind two-night music event in Danbury - NewsTimes: "Ten years ago, Dave Bonan of Danbury gave up his car, picked up a bicycle and never looked back.

Bonan, 34, who now uses a bike as his primary source of transportation, said riding in a car was not good for his emotional well-being.

'I'm a peaceful person at heart, but when I'm in a car driving and you're stuck in this metal box and you're not getting anywhere, it's not good for stress and for well-being,' he explained.

'Ever since I went car-free, I'm more at peace with myself.'"

Friday, March 11, 2011

Why invest in a car? Sharing makes more sense, if you can do it.

...I’m a huge fan of car sharing, mostly because it upends the typical model of car ownership. Typically, owning a car involves a lot of fixed costs – costs that you pay regardless of whether you drive the car a single mile or 20,000 miles a year. These include the cost of the car, insurance, taxes and registration fees, emissions inspections and the like. The variable cost of owning a car – fuel and maintenance – are comparatively of little consequence on a per trip basis.
The effect of this is that once you own a car you have a very strong incentive to use it for most trips. I vividly recall arguing with a friend who claimed that it was cheaper for him to drive across Burlington than it was for him to pay $1.25 to board a local bus. Countless times I’ve been told, ‘I really wanted to take the train, but it was just so much cheaper to drive.’ Of course, in both cases driving was the more expensive option, once the fixed costs of owning a car were taken into account. Carfreebtv
With carsharing, all of your costs are paid on a per trip basis. This creates an incentive to drive only when necessary or especially convenient and use alternatives for all other trips. I’d rather take the train or a bus for longer trips and would hate to be in a situation where I’d feel compelled to drive long distances because it was “cheaper.”...

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Major oil firm, 2009: profit $20B, corp tax $0

ThinkProgress » Home Page: "Last weekend, Americans around the country organized “Main Street Movement” protests to stand in solidarity with organized labor and demand that corporate interests pay their fair share. As ThinkProgress has reported, many of the nation’s largest corporate interests pay literally nothing in corporate income taxes. ExxonMobil made nearly $20 billion in profits in 2009, but paid nothing in corporate income taxes. Other extremely profitable companies GE, CitiGroup, Wells Fargo, Bank of America, and Boeing similarly have had entire quarters or years without paying corporate income taxes."

Saturday, February 5, 2011

7 Ways the Koch Bros. Benefit from Corporate Welfare | The New York Observer

7 Ways the Koch Bros. Benefit from Corporate Welfare | The New York Observer: "Charles and David Koch, the secretive billionaire brothers who own Koch Industries, the largest private oil company in America, have spent millions bankrolling free-market think tanks and pro-business politicians in order, as David Koch has put it, 'to minimize the role of government, to maximize the role of private economy and to maximize personal freedoms.' But a closer look at their dealings reveals that for the past 35 years the brothers have never shied away from using government subsidies to maximize their own profits, even while endeavoring to limit government spending on anything else."

Friday, February 4, 2011

Actually, we can’t afford a car — Carfree with Kids

Actually, we can’t afford a car — Carfree with Kids: "We actively choose to live our lives without a car. When our truck died, way back in 2004, we probably could have found enough money to get another one if we’d really wanted to. We wouldn’t have been happy about it, but we could have done it. Really though, we were just happy to see it go.

Since then, our financial situation only improved (what with finishing grad school and actually getting jobs, not amazingly well-paying jobs, but it doesn’t take much to beat grad student pay). We paid off all our debt (well, other than our tiny condo), saved up a nice emergency fund, and bought our house, all in no small part due to our savings from not owning a car. I’ve always assumed we could get a car if we wanted one, but since we don’t, we just enjoy that extra cushion in our cash flow and try our best to save it or put it to good use."

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Much talk -- no progress -- fossil fuel still the rule

Analysis: Roaring fossil fuels outpace green energy | Reuters: "(Reuters) - Fossil fuel investments will continue to outstrip low-carbon alternatives this year, darkening a sector struggling to shake off the financial crisis and sagging political momentum on climate change.

Soaring fossil fuel prices, where the European oil benchmark is pushing $100 a barrel, favor oil and coal producers, while falling gas prices have undermined wind power generation especially in the United States.

And the financial crisis has hit capital-intensive renewable energy projects, trimming demand for wind turbines, while the near-term solar future is clouded by cuts in European subsidies."