Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Minimum wage fight is old economics, will fail even if won.

Cheap oil has peaked. Debts will not be repaid, but interest mostly will. What does that mean? That means that the rich will bleed the system until it crashes. There's tons of cash hidden, but that will stay hidden because there are no customers, so nowhere to invest.

Senate Nears Minimum Wage Vote, Defeat Likely: "WASHINGTON (AP) — Democrats and Republicans grappled Wednesday over which party is truly helping American families as the Senate neared a vote on a Democratic election-year bill increasing the federal minimum wage, a measure that seemed all but certain to be defeated."
But there is low-hanging fruit. Autosprawl. A vast amount of money and energy is being wasted on the autosprawl system. This should be the first target of degrowth.

Electric cars solve nothing

Planetizen: : "Regardless of the energy source for cars in your community, the biggest mobility challenge in cities is about the massive amount of space that cars demand. Space to drive in, and space to park in. Space for cars even when the cars aren't using it - dedicated space for "potential cars." It's staggering really, how much of a city is set aside for cars, and how unwilling we often are to even share that space with other uses and users.

Electric cars do nothing to address this space issue."

Monday, April 14, 2014

Why the renewable-energy solution is so dangerous

Renewables have low net energy. Many people assume that development of renewables will be combined with degrowth and reduction of demand for energy. But that is not the plan of capitalism. Capitalism cannot degrow, so it will create energy apartheid, wasteful life continuing for a minority, and starvation for millions of poor people. In fact, that is exactly how capitalism has operated for the short couple hundred years of its life. But now it's going to get a lot worse, because there are 4 billion people who are expecting a better life and will be getting a worse one, much worse.

Honest people who advocate renewables should do a thorough thermodynamic analysis of the systems they are advocating. The same should be done for energy-saving technologies. Otherwise a lot of activist energy is going to be wasted.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

IPCC gets the problem right, the solution wrong

“The IPCC’s position on bioenergy is confused: They acknowledge concerns that large-scale bioenergy can increase emissions, destroy livelihoods and damage the environment. Yet they still class it as ‘low-carbon’ and even refer to bioenergy with carbon-capture and storage (BECCS) as a credible means of removing carbon from the atmosphere which they deem essential to meeting stabilization targets. It is a shame they put so much stock in something that would make things worse rather than better.”