Monday, June 30, 2008

The Truth about the Iraq War, Finally Revealed

And, finally, someone links oil extraction to global climate change:

Moyers on Big Oil

Parents can begin to breathe a little more easily:

As Gas Prices Rise, Teenagers' Cruising Declines

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Mass exodus of vehicles from American highways predicted

Canadian bank predicts $7 a gallon gasoline by 2010, driving cars off U.S. highways

Interview with primary author Jeff Rubin on MSNBC

The bank predicts 10 million fewer cars on American roads and calls that "the greatest mass exodus of vehicles off America’s highways in history." Yes, that's true. It will be the greatest mass exodus of vehicles from American roads -- but considering the fact that there are over 200 million vehicles on American roads today, 10 million vehicles are not a lot. The economic impact on poor people will be great, but the environmental impact linked to reduced to carbon emissions will probably be small. Just guessing.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

For real????

Japanese Water Powered Car

In no way has the creation of this water-powered car eliminated the main disadvantage of the car: it's still a car.

And ...

Towards Carfree Cities: Wrapup

In Which We Destroy the Planet with Impunity

The Supreme Court, in a 5-3 ruling, reduces the punitive damages award to people dependent on Prince William Sound for their livelihoods, from $2.5 billion to $507.5 million:

Supreme Court Slashes Punitive Award in Exxon Valdez Oil Spill by 80%

Friday, June 20, 2008

Can the planet produce more oil?

OPEC Chief Dismisses Calls to Boost Production As 'Irrational'

Or maybe humanity has depleted Arabian oil? Why would we want to keep pumping and exacerbate global climate change anyway?

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Towards Carfree Cities ...

Towards Carfree Cities: San Franciscans in the house

Excerpt from Steve Jones of the San Francisco Bay Guardian:

"San Francisco has a large contingent here at the Towards Carfree Cities conference. And judging from the size and engagement of the crowd at the “Battle for San Francisco (1992-2008): From Critical Mass to Congestion Pricing” workshop that some of us just presented, people around the world are carefully watching what we’re doing."

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Electric cars?

Condos, radios, toys weigh on electric car planning

Summary: many people who live in the city do not have garages where they can plug in electric vehicles.

But do we want to build more garages that would have plug-in capability or use the limited space we already have for housing, parks, schools, libraries and other amenities?

And what about all the other problems with cars that are unrelated to the operation of cars? Check out this May 12, 2004 analysis of the alternative fuel vehicles by Matthew Hirsch:

The road to nowhere
Alternative fuels like hydrogen may be a boon for the auto industry, but don't expect them to save the planet.

Obama: the Good and the Bad

On the one hand, Barack Obama supports taxing oil industry profits ...

On the other hand, Obama has vowed to stop Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons ...

Nuclear weapons are bad -- no one should have them. But it's logical for a nation in a volatile part of the world that is sitting on one of the largest known reserves of petroleum and that asserts its independence from the United States to want to have them.

Now, here at home, when is Obama going to ask Americans to do the right thing and start driving less, significantly less?

And when is he going to ask Americans to do the right thing and ask them to tax themselves so that we can build sustainable communities with more mass transit?

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Partnership part-owned by Lennar falters

This story is not obviously one about our car-based way of life -- until you realize that the Lennar Corporation is in the business of building large scale, luxury suburban-style condominium developments and has plans to do so in San Francisco also.

Posted on Mon, Jun. 09, 2008
Associated Press

A 15,000-acre California real estate partnership that is part-owned by Miami-based Lennar and LNR Properties has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

LandSource Communities Development LLC issued a news release late Sunday to announce the bankruptcy filing in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware. The partnership's assets include 15,000 acres of undeveloped land north of Los Angeles in the Santa Clarita Valley, making it one of the largest land deals to falter amid the national housing glut.

The California Public Employees' Retirement System, its main investor and the nation's largest public employees pension fund, did not immediately return calls early Monday. Miami-based Lennar and LNR Property each own a 16-percent stake in LandSource.

LandSource had been trying for months to restructure a $1.24 billion debt, the company said. It received a default notice on April 22 after missing a payment when a decline in the assessed value of that Southern California land holding triggered an additional charge.

''LandSource believes Chapter 11 provides the most effective means for the partnership to preserve the values of its business . . . while it works with creditors to achieve a long-term restructuring,'' spokeswoman Tamara Taylor said in the release.

Attempts to reach Taylor and LandSource before business hours were unsuccessful.

LandSource operates in California, Arizona, Florida, New Jersey, Nevada and Texas. The partnership announced it has received a $135 million line of credit from a group of lenders led by Barclays Bank, allowing it to fund operations during the Chapter 11 period.

CalPERS, with $254.8 billion in assets, is involved in LandSource through its participation in MW Housing Partners, an investment fund managed by MacFarlane Partners LLC.

MW Housing Partners acquired 68 percent of the Santa Clarita property from home builder Lennar Corp. and LNR Property Corp., a unit of Cerberus Capital Management LP.

Lennar and LNR each maintained a 16 percent interest in LandSource.

Taylor last month told the Associated Press that she did not know the size of CalPERS' stake in MW Housing Partners.

CalPERS provides pension, healthcare and other retirement services for about 1.5 million public employees.

Links on engineering bicycles into the solution to high gas prices ...

June 2006 plans for upgrading Valencia Street in San Francisco's Mission District:

Valencia Street Bike Lanes, a one year evaluation

And one story on why we need to re-engineer the way we are living:

Stocks tumble as oil prices surge; Dow falls 205

Monday, June 9, 2008

The Price of Gas Will Not Go Down Significantly.

Here are some more links from June 9, 2008:

Obama takes to two wheels and a trailor:

U.S. Gas Average Hits $4; Californians Cringe:

Ways to design gas savings into U.S. roads:

Gas Spike Troubles Meals on Wheels:

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Gas goes up, economy goes down

Hi Folks,

Sorry it's been so long. Here are a few recent links about the "surging" price of a gallon of gasoline, and the plunging economy.

Our free ride comes to a close:
In this post at about 1:11:00 or so, Tom Radulovich discusses the work of Livable City and the giveway of public land to the Lennar Corporation so that it can build suburban-style condominium tracts in the southeast sector of San Francisco.

Enjoy your summer reading, because you are probably not going on a road trip!