Friday, August 4, 2017

Wildfire Season Is Scorching the West

Climate Central: "The West is ablaze as the summer wildfire season has gotten off to an intense start. More than 37,000 fires have burned more than 5.2 million acres nationally since the beginning of the year, with 47 large fires burning across nine states as of Friday."

Monday, July 10, 2017

Thousands of cows die in California heat wave

LA Times : "“Cow mortality, that happens every day,” Tom Tucker, the county assistant agricultural commissioner, told the newspaper. “It’s the heat that has made it worse. It hasn’t stopped. We are losing our cows, and it is at an extreme.”"

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Modesto Students Can Now Ride Transit for Free

Streetsblog California: "Modesto Junior College (MJC) is joining a growing list of institutions that are partnering with transit to ease the financial burden of getting an education. As of July 1, all MJC students can ride city and county transit systems for free."

Friday, April 7, 2017

California throws good money after bad spending more on cars

Jefferson Public Radio: ""Tonight, we did something to fix the roads of California," Brown said as he and triumphant lawmakers stepped outside the governor's office to speak with reporters. "This helps people, because their cars aren't going to get as broken as they are under our bad roads, a lot of them are going to get jobs, and it's part of the prosperity of California.""'
Both US political parties support spending more on autos and sprawl. The only difference is on how to pay for it. The US has led the world on sprawl, starting with the deliberate destruction of streetcars.

There is a lot of hand wringing on climate, but this commitment will be a giant step in the wrong direction.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

#Autosprawl cost in California, $52B, but oil trolls don't want tax on fuel.

masstransitmag : "Brown argued that the Legislature needs to act now to pass the bill, which would raise $5 billion annually for public transit and road repairs through a 12-cent-per-gallon gas tax increase, new taxes on diesel, and new vehicle registration fees. The proposal follows years of debate over how to pay to fix the growing number of chewed-up streets and crumbling bridges.

"I know this is a political concern because people don't like gas taxes," Brown told the Senate appropriations committee. "But what do you do?""

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Communications breakdown: Can we even talk about our environmental and energy problems?

Resource Insights : "I am reminded of Joseph Tainter's admonition in The Collapse of Complex Societies that societies don't collapse because of resource shortages or climate change, but because of their inability to respond effectively to such developments. The cause: an elite governing class that has become insulated from the warning signs of such a collapse.

In ancient Mayan civilization sculptors were still working on monuments to their rulers as late as 909 A.D. after a century of drought. The question is: Who in their right mind would be expending resources on such a task under such dire circumstances?

Today we build ever higher temples to finance in our major cities even as major ecological catastrophes converge on our civilization. Like the Mayan rulers, ours believe our civilization is invincible. It is this myth of invincibility that makes genuine communication about vulnerabilities almost impossible because the myth has spread to practically the entire population of the planet.

Friday, March 31, 2017

California not ready for coming flood and drought

Water Deeply: "Beyond Oroville, where nearly 200,000 people were evacuated after the dam’s spillways eroded last month, roughly 7 million Californians live in places at risk from flooding."

Thursday, March 23, 2017

#Autosprawl v #publictransit - war heats up

Transportation leaders: We'll fight to save Bay Area transit projects from Trump cuts: "March 18--As the dust settles on President Donald Trump's proposed cuts to critical transportation funding, Bay Area leaders are calling the plan hypocritical in light of the administration's frequently touted but as yet unseen $1 trillion infrastructure spending plan."

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Our search for economic growth invites fraud

Resource Insights: "In his book The End of Normal economist James Galbraith makes a compelling case that our search for a return to the fast rate of economic growth experienced in the United States from 1945 to 1970 has led to fraud--fraud enabled by government actions that sought to "free the economy" from the shackles of "overregulation" and update the regulatory framework to meet "new challenges" such as globalization."

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Predictions by #climate "alarmists" are now true

The New York Times: "The juxtaposition of five years of hot, dry conditions followed by more rain than reservoirs can store may seem incongruous. However, this is exactly what climate scientists have predicted for California since at least the 1980s: protracted periods of warm, dry conditions punctuated by intense wet spells, with more rain and less snow, causing both drought and floods. Recent work from my lab shows that in fact this pattern is already emerging, with the conditions that create extremely warm dry years and extremely wet years both becoming more frequent."

Friday, February 3, 2017

Senator Scott Wiener - geometry of more cars just doesn't work

Streetsblog California: "“We need a significant increase in transportation investment in California, period,” he said. “For transit, for roads, for bike, pedestrian—everything. But specifically we have to make sure we’re supporting transit.”

“All too frequently in Sacramento, once transportation funding moves forward it’s overwhelmingly for roads, with very little for public transportation.” That needs to change, he said. Transit “shouldn’t have to beg” for funds to operate.
...“We can’t have more and more cars on the road; the geometry does not work. It’s miserable for everyone, including drivers. It’s in everyone’s interest to have a massive expansion of public transportation, in our urbanized areas in particular.”"

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

California’s transportation funding package must do more for public transportation

The Sacramento Bee: "Our state’s failure to invest in public transportation has led to major problems. Residents face perpetual gridlock. Our highways, bridges and surface streets are becoming borderline non-functional, particularly during commute hours. The public transportation systems we have serve too few communities and have insufficient resources to maintain a state of good repair and expand service."