Saturday, December 22, 2012

Researchers Quantify Greenhouse Gases From Melting Arctic Permafrost: 'Potential To Alter The Planet Is Very Real' | ThinkProgress

Researchers Quantify Greenhouse Gases From Melting Arctic Permafrost: 'Potential To Alter The Planet Is Very Real' | ThinkProgress: "Surely the only rational conclusion that one, even a non-scientist, can draw from recent events is that a catastrophe is in its early stages. For our immediate purposes this is partly a climate catastrophe, but when one also considers biodiversity loss, oceanic acidification and stratification, the spread of anoxic and hypoxic ‘dead zones’, the loss of 90% of large pelagic fish, mass tree deaths across the planet, megafires and the general toxification of the biosphere by ubiquitous pollution of every kind, then certainly we are stuffed. The only way out, growing slimmer and less likely by the hour, is a concerted global program of rapid decarbonisation and centuries of hard graft in ecological repair. And to achieve that miraculous escape all dreams of global Empire, of the ineffable superiority of ‘Western Civilization’ over the rest of humanity, of the efficacy of unbridled greed as the path to human happiness and of inexorable, neoplastic, economic growth must be recognised as the nightmares that they truly are. Wealth must no longer be accumulated by a tiny caste of the infinitely avaricious, but rather must be redistributed back to the people who created every cent of it. And consumption and human population must be humanely reduced, yesterday preferably, but today must suffice. Any politician, economist or soothsayer with any other program is, I would assert, an idiot, a liar or an ignoramus, or some combination of these virtues." (comment by Mulga Mumblebrain)

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Sprawl subsidy in Maine

Is the state giving money to ‘well-off’ suburbs at expense of urban areas? — State — Bangor Daily News — BDN Maine: "“We have this weird situation where relatively less well-off populations in service-center communities and in truly rural places are having their tax dollars transferred to relatively well-off suburban places,” Richert said."

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Sunday, December 16, 2012

We keep dumping millions into roads and we still have deadly bottlenecks

Route 128 Add-a-Lane project: Not so fast - Metro - The Boston Globe: "Of course, those were the same people who brought you the Big Dig. The actual cost is more like $350 million, about 3½ times the inflation-adjusted sum, and the first shovel did not go into the ground until 2003. The work might wrap up by 2017."

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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

A taste of #freetransit and many are hooked

Even American Drivers Like Mass Transit More Than They Think - Commute - The Atlantic Cities: "In recent years, transportation experts have found that if drivers get a free taste of mass transit, many of them find they actually want a bit more. The approach has worked, albeit on a limited trial basis, in developed cities around the world: from Kyoto to Leeds to greater Copenhagen. Transit ridership in Châteauroux jumped after the mayor made the system free. Swedish commuters who rode free transit for a month found themselves more satisfied with it than they thought they'd be."

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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Bill McKibben says "Make mass transit free"

Bill McKibben: Think About the Transportation Sector: "Redirect federal investments in ways that massively expand and improve the U.S. transit system. We need to bring quality public transport systems to the 57 percent of the public who today have limited or no access to mass transit and therefore rely on cars and taxis to get around. This will require shifting public money towards building new bus, subway and rail systems. If mass transit investments rose steadily, it would provide efficient, quality transport services, and reduce emissions and harmful pollution at the same time. Investing in transit is also a good way to create jobs in the U.S. -- for every billion dollars spent on transit investments 36,000 Americans secure a good job.

Step 3: Make mass transit free, or reduce its cost dramatically, by taking the money we waste now on fossil fuel subsidies and redirecting it towards our transit systems. Senator Bernie Sanders has identified more than $113 billion in fossil fuel subsidies that can be eliminated over the next decade; that could fill fareboxes, which in turn would fill our buses and trains."

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Sunday, December 9, 2012

Read my lips, no new roads

Mass. has the vision to fix transportation - Opinion - The Boston Globe: "For a first-class economic future, the Commonwealth requires a first-class transportation system. As state transportation officials have already spelled out, this future will rely heavily on public transportation and will focus highway funds on maintenance rather than expansion. "

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Monday, November 26, 2012

Poor people are forced to subsidize car culture

Wide racial gap exists on speed of Boston-area commutes - News - "Among Greater Boston workers, white commuters who drive have the shortest trips to work — averaging less than 27 minutes each way — and black bus riders the longest, exceeding 46 minutes each way. But a gap exists even among those who take the same mode, with shorter commutes for white workers whether they drive or ride mass transit."

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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

MBTA Riders Save Money by taking Public Transit | BostInno

MBTA Riders Save Money by taking Public Transit | BostInno: "The November study revealed that T travelers saved an average of $1,069 this month, and will pocket an extra $12,834 this year that would have otherwise been wasted on a parking spaces and gas for a car."

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Sunday, November 11, 2012

Sandy Relief - Boston

Sandy Relief - Boston: "We are Boston area residents who want to do whatever we can to help the people of the tri-state area who are suffering from lack of basic necessities from the superstorm of late October 2012."

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Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Sandy Relief - Boston

Sandy Relief - Boston: "We have been getting loads of donations to be sent down to NYC and NJ, but we need your help getting there. Please consider donating to our WePay so that we can transport supplies more frequently."

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Friday, October 5, 2012

Midwesterner misses #publictransit

Mass transit: The benefits of being taken for a ride | "However, there's one argument for investing in mass transit that I find more compelling than all others put together, and which I don't hear expressed much: It makes life better."

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Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Boston Globe, tool of the 1%, attacks their victims - #farestrike

The Boston Fare Strike Coalition: "Where is the Globe editorial calling for the state to “crack down” on the predatory banks who are helping to bankrupt the T, siphoning off hundreds of millions of dollars in interest from its debt? Or to “crack down” on the politicians that dumped billions in Big Dig debt on the T in the first place? Or to “shake up the culture” of the top 1% whose tax evasion and worker exploitation have left public agencies like the T perpetually underfunded and many T-dependent workers strapped for cash?"

'via Blog this'

Friday, August 3, 2012

They say fare hike, we say fare strike! Public transporation is a right, not a privilege! « The Boston Fare Strike Coalition

They say fare hike, we say fare strike! Public transporation is a right, not a privilege! « The Boston Fare Strike Coalition: "The transit system rightfully belongs to the people–to T riders, T workers, and the surrounding communities– not to the banks, the bondholders, and the bureaucrats. Our ultimate goal is to make public transit free for all and to expand and improve services into historically underserved communities. This is not an impossible dream; there are many cities across the globe that already have free public transit! But it requires building T-rider power."

'via Blog this'

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Portland, Maine, can take advantage of its walkability

Editorial- OR: Portland Can Benefit From Car-Free Trends: "As one of the few places in New England and probably the only place in Maine where people can live, work, attend school, run errands, visit doctors and dentists and enjoy indoor and outdoor recreation without driving, Portland becomes a more attractive place to live.

Car registration trends show this is already happening. From 2004 to 2011, the number of registered passenger vehicles has declined in the city by 23 percent even as the population has grown. Registrations have dropped statewide and nationally as well, but not at such a significant rate.

This may be why Portland apartments have such a low vacancy rate -- 2.5 percent, which is tied for the second lowest in the nation."

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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The Boston Fare Strike Coalition

The Boston Fare Strike Coalition: "Boston Fare Strike is a coalition of Boston-area organizations and individuals that came together this Spring to meet the July1st fare hikes with a fare strike. We see that action as a step in a long-term struggle to not only defend our public transit, but to improve and expand it to better serve the people of Boston and the surrounding environment."

Monday, July 30, 2012

Riot police violently defend #tarsands against peaceful protest - Burlington

Peaceful protest takes a violent turn in Burlington | Burlington Free Press | "Burlington police in riot gear shot protesters with what they described as “pepper balls” and “stingball pellets” as a large, peaceful demonstration turned violent and ugly Sunday afternoon.

No arrests were made. It was unclear if any of the protesters were seriously injured.

Six New England governors and five premiers from Canada’s eastern provinces were nowhere to be seen during the melee. There were roughly 500 demonstrators, assembling under the banner “Convergence on the Conference.”

At 3:30 Sunday afternoon they were in front of Burlington’s Hilton Hotel on Battery Street to make their voices heard, “No tar sand pipeline.” They flattened themselves on the pavement to create a symbolic human oil spill.


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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Fare Strike Coalition in Boston

“They Say Fare Hike…We Say Fare Strike!” | Occupy Boston: "Please join and share the Facebook event here:!/events/457874820904420

Come help us to build a vibrant and creative movement, rooted in direct action and a radical analysis, to combat austerity and privatization, and to defend the people’s right to affordable, accessible, (and expanded) public transit.
Hope to see many of you there.
Sincerely and in solidarity,
Boston Fare Strike Coalition"

'via Blog this'

Friday, July 20, 2012

Free public transit discourages driving - so let's have it all the time

Northeast hits upper 90s for 2nd day – "Providence, R.I., which is expected to have a heat index as high as 102 degrees, is operating cooling shelters and offering free public transit to discourage driving."

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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

"This Is Just the Beginning": Forest Fires, Deadly Storms, Record Heat Reveal a Changed Climate | Energy Bulletin

"This Is Just the Beginning": Forest Fires, Deadly Storms, Record Heat Reveal a Changed Climate | Energy Bulletin: "The past two weeks have witnessed the worst forest fires in Colorado history, a deadly Mid-Atlantic storm that left 23 dead and four million without power, and a record shattering heat wave across the East Coast and Midwest that has not seen since the Dust Bowl. More than 2,000 heat records have been broken in the past week. As the words "extreme weather" flash across TV screens, where are the other two words: "global warming"? We speak to The Guardian’s U.S. environment correspondent Suzanne Goldenberg and Jeff Masters, director of meteorology at the Weather Underground website. "What we’re seeing now is the future," Masters says. "We’re going to be seeing a lot more weather like this, a lot more impacts like we’re seeing from this series of heat waves, fires and storms. ... This is just the beginning.""

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Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Fare tactics: Irate riders vow to fight MBTA hikes -

Fare tactics: Irate riders vow to fight MBTA hikes - "Groups opposed to the new MBTA fare hikes are gearing up for the first higher-priced commute today with calls for ongoing protest — and even a “fare strike” — while state transportation bigwigs acknowledged the increases are at best a Band-Aid fix-it for a woefully cash-strapped system."

'via Blog this'

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Bailed-out banks manipulate interest rates and steal from #publictransit

MBTA should seek better terms from banks on misguided interest swaps - Editorials - The Boston Globe: The T entered into interest-rate swaps in the early 2000s, when interest rates seemed low and were expected to rise. In these deals, the T issued bonds to banks and agreed to pay them back at a fixed rate. In exchange, banks would pay the T at rates that varied with the market. The swaps turned into bad bets when interest rates dipped to historic lows as a result of the financial collapse. Now the T, like transit agencies across the country, is paying down debt at rates far higher than what’s available on the market, costing the T almost $26 million each year, according to a study from a group called the ReFund Transit Coalition. The T can only refinance if it pays a huge exit fee — a step that other public transit agencies have taken.
... banks profiting from swaps — Deutsche Bank, JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, and UBS — all benefited from the federal bailout as the nation plunged into recession.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Portland-area bus ridership rise mirrors nation | The Forecaster

Portland-area bus ridership rise mirrors nation | The Forecaster: "PORTLAND — Public bus systems in greater Portland are seeing significant ridership increases in 2012 after several years of stagnant use, mirroring a national trend."

'via Blog this'

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Friday, June 8, 2012

Feed-back loops, ice-melt, extreme weather. More to come.

More Evidence: Arctic Warming Effect on Jet Stream = More Extremes « Climate Denial Crock of the Week: "A warmer Earth increases the melting of sea ice during summer, exposing more dark ocean water to incoming sunlight. This causes increased absorption of solar radiation and excess summertime heating of the ocean — further accelerating the ice melt. The excess heat is released to the atmosphere, especially during the autumn, decreasing the temperature and atmospheric pressure gradients between the Arctic and middle latitudes."

'via Blog this'

Monday, June 4, 2012

Hubway bike-sharing program is on a roll -

The Hubway bicycle program station at Beacon Street and Massachusetts… (Essdras M Suarez/Globe…)
Hubway bike-sharing program is on a roll - "If you’ve been seeing a lot of sturdy silver bikes rolling past lately, you’re not imagining it. The Hubway bicycle-sharing system in Boston had its busiest day yet last Sunday, recording 2,531 station-to-station trips. On Tuesday, it eclipsed the 250,000 mark for total rides."

'via Blog this'

Monday, May 28, 2012

What will it take to make us realize the private auto is a bad idea?


Cape Cod car crash kills recent Yale University graduate, Marina Keegan - NY Daily News: "A promising Yale graduate killed in a car crash in Cape Cod over the holiday weekend was set to move to the city early next month to pursue a career as a writer."

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Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Disabled MBTA riders protest cuts, fare hikes - Worcester Telegram & Gazette -

Disabled MBTA riders protest cuts, fare hikes - Worcester Telegram & Gazette - "BOSTON —  Activists chained their wheelchairs together and blocked traffic at a busy intersection in front of the Massachusetts Statehouse on Monday to protest fare hikes and service cuts scheduled to take effect July 1 on the MBTA.

The protesters, chanting “If we can’t ride, you can’t drive,” shut down traffic on Beacon Street for about 40 minutes before agreeing to move onto the sidewalk after Boston police officers cut the chains and threatened to remove one man from his wheelchair and arrest him to clear a lane for vehicles to get through.

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Friday, May 18, 2012

Mass. congressman pushing for tax benefits for mass transit users

Mass. congressman pushing for tax benefits for mass transit users: "On Capitol Hill, U.S. Congressman Jim McGovern of Worcester is pushing for more tax benefits for people who use mass transit.

He says the current system favors drivers and is unfair to mass transit riders.

'via Blog this'

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Steady increase in #publictransit advocacy in Massachusetts

Welcome to Transportation for Massachusetts | Transportation for Massachusetts: "• Spur investment in transportation improvements and get the best return on those investments.
T4MA seeks innovative ways to fund transportation—both to maintain the existing system and to expand it to meet our needs over the next 50 years—while ensuring that everyone benefits from these public investments."

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Thursday, April 26, 2012

Network to press for action on public transportation - The Westerly Sun: Metertest

Network to press for action on public transportation - The Westerly Sun: Metertest: "WESTERLY — “You can’t get there from here.”
So said Linda Barden, executive director of Welcome House in Peace Dale, arguing that lack of public transportation is a major roadblock to finding or keeping employment in Washington County."

'via Blog this'

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

More evidence of split in the 1% - thank you, #occupywallstreet!

Forum highlights mass transit’s role in Connecticut development | The Darien Times: ""Mass transit really is the game," said Joe McGee, of the Business Council of Fairfield County, who moderated the event. Look for municipalities from Greenwich to New Haven to "invest big bucks" to support projects near train stations, said McGee, vice president of public policy and programs for the Stamford-based business organization."

'via Blog this'

Friday, April 6, 2012

Banks are draining public #transit with intentional debt while oil get billions in subsidy from taxpayers

PRESS ADVISORY: Statehouse Steps Occupied | Occupy Boston: "On April 4th, Occupy the MBTA, a working group of Occupy Boston, launched Camp Charlie, a ten day occupation of the State House steps to protest fare-hikes and service cutbacks on the MBTA. Having survived the depths of the recession, the 99% now faces additional taxes in the form of escalating T fares and the loss of essential transport routes. This is a further transfer of public wealth to the banks. These are the same institutions that were bailed out by the American taxpayer after being rendered insolvent by their own, criminal recklessness. The only debt in need of servicing is their debt to us. In a country that lavishes four billion dollars in subsidies on the oil companies, the relentless assault on public transport could not make less sense – ethically, environmentally, or otherwise. Camp Charlie will be a place for public debate, conversation, and outreach – a living testament to the refusal of the people to be further abused by a clutch of corporate interests, multinational banking cartels and consolidated oil interests."

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Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Protesters stake out State House in advance of MBTA vote - Beacon Hill - Your Town -

Protesters stake out State House in advance of MBTA vote - Beacon Hill - Your Town - "Youths, senior citizens, and others who depend on the MBTA began a 24-hour vigil at the State House today, with more protesters scheduled to arrive before an anticipated Wednesday vote on fare hikes and service cuts.

Scheduled to last from 11 a.m. Tuesday to 11 a.m. Wednesday, with teach-ins and speak-outs throughout Tuesday afternoon, the vigil was planned to attract the attention of Governor Deval Patrick, House Speaker Robert DeLeo, and Senate President Therese Murray."

'via Blog this'

Friday, March 30, 2012

April 4 Day of Action at the State House « Occupy MBTA

April 4 Day of Action at the State House « Occupy MBTA: "April 4 at the State House
Hearing: 3-5pm
Rally & Speak Out: 5pm until we’re done

Join us as part of the National Day of Action on Transportation to demand:

  • No service cuts
  • No fare hikes
  • No layoffs
  • No privatization of our treasured public transit system.

A comprehensive state-wide plan for affordable and sustainable transportation that works for the 99%.
The MBTA says it plans to raise fares and slash service.  The 99% have other plans."

'via Blog this'

Saturday, March 17, 2012

The power of the 99%: MBTA scraps initial draconian proposals; activists vow to escalate fight for public transit! | HereWeProtest

The power of the 99%: MBTA scraps initial draconian proposals; activists vow to escalate fight for public transit! | HereWeProtest: "After an uprising from the 99%, MBTA General Manager Jonathan Davis announced last night that neither of the agency’s proposals to slash service, raise fare hikes, and layoff hundreds of workers will be adopted.  No details for the new proposal have been released. On January 3, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) released two proposals – both a toxic mixture of draconian service cuts and unacceptable fare hikes – to close the MBTA’s $161 million deficit for the coming fiscal year.  But thousands of members of the 99% – including members of Occupy the MBTA and other advocates for seniors, the disabled, students, workers, low-income communities, and the environment – flooded public hearings and rallied to tell the MBTA, “No Hikes! No Cuts! No Layoffs!”"

Friday, March 16, 2012

Surreptitious Underfunding | Pedestrian Observations

Surreptitious Underfunding | Pedestrian Observations: "Supporters of transportation alternatives talk about the inequity between highway and transit funding in the US, but what they’re missing is that the transit funding bucket includes a lot of things that are manifestly not about transit. At their best, they are parking lots and other development schemes adjacent to train stations, which would’ve been cheap by themselves. At their worst, they are straight highway projects, benefiting road users only."

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Transit Union Endorses Occupy’s National Day of Action for Public Transportation - Amalgamated Transit Union

Transit Union Endorses Occupy’s National Day of Action for Public Transportation - Amalgamated Transit Union: "“Occupy understands that the transit system that took a century to build is threatened by the 1% who want all of the financial benefits, but none of the financial responsibilities of a civilized society,” Hanley continued. “It’s time for the 99% to demand that all Americans pay their fare share so that the U.S. can maintain the mobility which has been one of the hallmarks of its remarkable success, and changes must be made so that everyone has an equal opportunity to take part in that success.” "

'via Blog this'

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Young people feel that cars are a pain

How Millennials Feel about Cars, Public Transit and Electric Vehicles : TreeHugger: "They are unhappy about the problems associated with vehicles, from big ones like pollution from cars and trucks to the smaller pains like finding parking. They hate waiting in traffic and don’t love the cost of maintaining vehicles. They dislike the amount of land used for parking lots, roads and highways, and they loath the alternatives car companies are offering.

'via Blog this'

Monday, March 5, 2012

Living better, #carfree in New Haven

...As with all compromises, there were costs. At 80 round-trip minutes per day for the commute to Hartford, I spent about 1,500 hours in the car over a four-and-a-half-year period – the equivalent of 62 days. That’s a lot of time unavailable for other pursuits, and a depressing load of resources for gas,insurance, maintenance, repairs, parking, parking tickets and towing fees. Also, I wasn’t exactly living green.

Eventually I decided I’d had enough. This was not a sustainable routine, for me or for the Jetta. I’d worked that car hard – 199,000 miles hard. Things were about to get ugly....
Read whole article:

Thursday, March 1, 2012

MBTA hearing riles up residents, activists in Somerville - Somerville, Massachusetts 02144 - Somerville Journal

Wicked Local staff photo by David Gordon
MBTA hearing riles up residents, activists in Somerville - Somerville, Massachusetts 02144 - Somerville Journal: "As MBTA officials tried to explain their planned steps to battle a $161 million budget deficit, an elderly woman interrupted shouting, “This is our time to talk! Stand up, riders of the T,” eliciting loud cheers and a standing ovation."

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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Want talent? Get #transit

Keeping young residents: Keeping young residents in Connecticut means making cities attractive - "As a young professional, I want to reside somewhere that I can live, work and play without depending on an automobile. I want to be able to walk my dog and cross the street — at a crosswalk, mind you — without causing an accident. I want to be surrounded by thriving intellectual activity and unique cultural attractions that are conducive to my mental and professional well-being. As a member of a generation of multitaskers, I need to live in a community with an assortment of amenities within easy walking distance."

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Friday, February 3, 2012

600 show up in small Mass town for #occupy bus tour

Photo by Dave Roback/The Republican
Occupy Wall Street bus tour visits Northampton, drawing hundreds to 'Spring Resurgence' program | "Northampton was the third stop on the tour.
Events featured training, discussions and the showing of films and a panel discussion at the Academy of Music on Wednesday night.
Organizers were stunned by the turnout of more than 600."

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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Occupy Boston fights evictions #ows

Occupy Boston: "Stand up against unnecessary evictions and foreclosures at this rally organized by Mass Alliance Against Predatory Lending (MAAPL) and National Lawyers Guild.
Wednesday, January 11th
Noon - Speak-out for Justice at State House
1pm – Hearing, State House, Rm B-1

'via Blog this'

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Gasoline Spending: This year, Americans will break the record for the annual amount spent on gasoline. -

Gasoline Spending: This year, Americans will break the record for the annual amount spent on gasoline. - "By the time the ball drops in Times Square at midnight, the nation's consumers will have spent a record-breaking $483 billion on gasoline this year — $100 billion more than last year, according to the Oil Price Information Service."

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