• Bookmark of Opinion | What Joe Manchin Cost Us

    Hold your children close tonight. Leave some water out for the birds. And make a plan to call your elected leaders to demand climate action, to rip out your fossil fuel furnace or to buy an e-bike. The climate crisis is getting worse, and Congress is one vote short of saving us. We’re going to have to save ourselves.
    Hard agree. Reminds me, I should email the solar installers, who also do full electrification, how much it would cost to rid us of our gas range and water heater…
  • Bookmark of ongoing by Tim Bray · 4,000,000m Lessons

    The odometer on my e-bike clicked over to 4K and, rather than a general-purpose “e-bikes are great” rave, I thought I’d assemble a few concrete arguments for them, suitable for re-use with friends and loved ones in the (likely) case that you’re already convinced. With pictures.
    All of his points are spot on. For me it's mostly "it's practical", "infrastructure is human scale", and "it's fun". The "good for the city" and "good for the planet" arguments are just a bonus.
  • What I mean when I say #BanCars

    I drafted this at my local Honda dealership, getting my car serviced. For someone with a #BanCars plastered on the back of their bike, owning a car might seem a bit hypocritical. But it’s not.

    When people see the sticker, they assume I think we should ban all cars. But that’s not exactly what I want. Let me explain.

    Outside of our homes is the public. The public is owned by all of us, from newborns to centenarians, people of all fitness and physical abilities. Cars take the public and privatize it.

    Toddlers can’t walk around the public least they get run over...by a car. Riding your bike becomes difficult because you’re worried, not about the weather, but about getting hit by a 2-ton pickup truck, something that is only going to get worse with electric vehicles as they are heavier and quieter.

    I don’t want to ban all cars. No, I want to reclaim the public for people as much as possible. Reduce the number of lanes dedicated for cars and increase the lanes dedicated for other modes of transport, like bikes. Make dedicated lanes for public transit. Remove free car storage from the sides of our roads. Reallocate the roads of our cities to be human centered, not car centered.

    It’s not a ban. But it will feel like a ban to some people in the same way that some white people feel oppressed when there's racial equality.

    This is what I mean when I say #BanCars, it just doesn't fit on a bumper sticker.
  • Excited to listen to a new episode of Inside the Energy Transition. The latest episode, A just transition: how to avoid leaving people behind, should be good.
  • Fuck the Oligarchs, Get off Gas! ✊

    Don’t like filling up at 5 bucks a gallon?

    Fuck the Oligarchs, Get off Gas! ✊

    Stressed by all your time in a metal box?

    Fuck the Oligarchs, Get off Gas! ✊

    Want to stop the countless wars perpetrated  by petrostates?

    Fuck the Oligarchs, Get off Gas! ✊

    Want real energy independence and security?

    Fuck the Oligarchs, Get off Gas! ✊

    Want a healthier and more vibrant local community?

    Fuck the Oligarchs, Get off Gas! ✊

    One more time for those in the back!

    Fuck the Oligarchs, Get off Gas! ✊
  • Bookmark of Why did renewables become so cheap so fast?

    Fossil fuels dominate the global power supply because until very recently electricity from fossil fuels was the cheapest. This has changed dramatically. In most places power from new renewables is now cheaper than new fossil fuels.
    Fascinating read.
  • Bookmark of The Revenge of the Hot Water Bottle

    Imagine a personal heating system that works indoors as well as outdoors, can be taken anywhere, requires little energy, and is independent of any infrastructure. It exists – and is hundreds of years old.
    Reminds me I should use my yutanpo more. But truth be told, Sophie always sleeps by me feet, so I already have a Sophie-tanpo.
  • Bookmark of How we changed our roof and cut 1.5 tons of CO2e.

    Since Oct 01, 2021 we have saved 2,300 kwh, equivalent to 720 kg CO2e (assuming a 0.3g of CO2e per Kwh of heating gas). At current trend, we would save 5,200 kwh, equivalent to 1,600 kg CO2e until Apr 15, 2022. To put that number in perspective, a French emits about 9,000 kg of CO2e per year. Not bad for a roof.
    Fascinating how much easier we can cut with upgrades to the house that reduce carbon and improve comfort. Beautiful roof, too.
  • Response to Muffy Van Moof’s Maiden Voyage

    I went to the dentist and when I returned to the bicycle rack I discovered my broken lock laying on the pavement. No bike. I looked at the security guard standing by the door, pointed, and gave him a look. He said, “Oh. That was your bike?”
    But San Francisco has lots of hills and the difference between a fast easy bike ride vs. an arduous uphill journey is rendered moot with just a teeny tiny bit of extra oomph.
    There's heaps of hills in Yokohama, too, and the extra oomph makes all the difference. It's so much easier to navigate and park our bikes than a car. And with the assist even with 15kg of kid on the back,  the steepest hills remain surmountable without breaking a sweat. This machine fights climate change 🚲.

    Also so nice to see the photos, of just how common e-bikes are becoming in US. And those bike lanes and some proper infrastructure. 😍
  • Picking Your Mode of Transport

    I can get from my house to the in-laws three different ways: by car, by subway, and by bike.

    The drive from my house to the in-laws, according to the Honda app linked to my car, emits about 200g of carbon into the air. That's not including the other externalities such as local air pollution, noise, and just being traffic. It costs about ¥100 in fuel and maintenance. This is only economicaly because a neighbor lets us park on some of their land for free. Otherwise we'd need to add ¥400 - ¥600 for temporary car storage. There is no view, just narrow roads. Depending on traffic, it takes about 20 - 30 minutes and I arrive feeling stressed.

    Going by the subway costs ¥252 one way and there's a 10 minute walk on either side. This is more efficient than the car because a) there's many more people riding the same vehicle, b) it's electric (though that power may be coming from coal). The view is nothing, because it's mostly underground. Total trip time is about 30 - 35 minutes.

    Lastly, I can go by bicycle. It costs me nothing. It's powered by peanut butter and bananas. The view is rice fields and a river. I arrive feeling happy and calm, because I was looking at nice scenery and getting some exercise.

    While the concept of a personal carbon footprint was invented by big oil,  each trip we can take that doesn't emit carbon emissions does make difference. Each trip is an opportunity. An opportunity to pick the means of less impact. Less noise. Less pollution. Less traffic. Less carbon.

    But it's also an opportunity to inspire your community. It's an opportunity to be the change you want to see. At first it might just be you. But someone might see you and think "I can do that." and take their bike next time. And someone seems them riding their bike and has the same thought. It an opportunity to normalize riding a bike as transport in your community.

    More people ride bikes when they see people riding bikes. More people riding bikes means more demand for proper infrastructure. More people riding bikes means less local air pollution and a happy, healthier, calmer community.

    When you have the choice, take your bike.
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