Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Grist for the mill

  1. Here is an excellent primer on how to talk to a climate change skeptic: Gristmill: The environmental news blog. Sometimes I fear, however, that it is a losing battle.
  2. Since gas has hit an all-time-high in our Pretty, Great State [TM], ridership on mass transit seems to have quadrupled. I have no reliable counts, but from anecdotal evidence, I have seen my regular route overflowing with new riders. This is particularly interesting since I was usually one of 5 people in the southbound TRAX car just a year ago. The northbound trains have always been packed in the morning, of course, but this is a first for the southbound trains. The high gas prices are the cause of this (and I have no doubts on that). I would hope, however, that people will maintain this behavior after the current gas crisis is over. Yes, gas prices will fluctuate as they always do.
  3. Anecdotal side-benefits noted because of the gas crisis:
  • Fewer teens & twenty somethings blaring down my street at ungodly hours.
  • More teens & twenty somethings on bikes having inappropriate conversations and offending little old ladies walking down the street.
  • Despite 2 red alert air quality days, we can still see the mountains. This is highly unusual in a high pressure inversion.
  • More people realizing that 10 minutes is not much to sacrifice for mass transit when you come down to it.
  • More people realizing that you don't have to drive to the grocery store that is just up the street.


  1. Did you hear radiowest yesterday? While not focused on global warming, David Gessner (nature writer) critiques nature writing as often sanctimonious, overly romantic and "awe inspiring," ultimately making it impotent. His take is that nature writers and environmentalists need to be more real, admit we are all hypocrites (he cited Ed Abbey as an example when he brains a bunny with a rock). I think he is on to something.

    I'm looking to see if I can do frontrunner to work though I'm not sure it will work out unless the college has a deal for employees (it's quite expensive and I will only be able to use it when I teach at South) like they do for all things UTA. I contacted the guy trying to make a deal but the deal was still in process.

  2. CI: Front Runner is apparently accepting the EduPass until the fall. You might want to call UTA and ask them.

    It really would be a breeze for you to hit the FR station and then ride it to TRAX. It would add some time to your commute, but save you a hell of a lot in gas money.

    40 bucks for 10 gallons of gas vs. .0001 bucks? I think I would expend the time if I were in your place. In fact, I do expend the time about 30 minutes a day where I listen to podcasts and dream up nefarious plans.

    I am uncertain on the addition to your commute, but it is probably about 10 minutes for each transfer (2). Is 40 minutes a day worth it to you? You can get a lot of reading done in 40 minutes.

  3. Oh, and if you do try it, CI, I suggest you try it when you don't have to be there at a specific time to make sure it is going to work.

    The getting there is the important part for me. Being late is bad.

    Probably getting home is important to you too. Hmm. What a conundrum.