Seems some automobilists feel that bicyclists don’t pay for the roads they use. This little infographic, developed by the Bicycle Transportation Alliance, strongly suggests otherwise.
The rate at which we are adding CO2 to the atmosphere has slowed down. It’s still positive, but it’s less positive than it was in previous years. For instance, US emissions are down to 1992 levels. Some (rare) good news on the environmental front. [via r/science]
Anyone who grew up in the US in the 1990s (and watched weekday afternoon cartoons) will immediately recognize the image above. The page gives some of the crucial storyboard for the opening sequence. Very cool.
Most of the effect is driven by recession-induced car sale slumps. The US data on bike sales cited at the bottom is sketchy, at best: why are sales figures projected for all years since 1997?
I guess this is just confirmation that Europeans bike a lot.
Savings come from reduced energy consumption and increased lifespan of LEDs. Nice job, NYC.
From the Congressional Research Service:
If the debt limit were reached and interest payments on debt were paid, it is not clear what the repercussions would be on the financial markets or the economy. If Treasury had to rely on incoming cash to pay its obligations, a significant portion of government spending would go unpaid. Removing a portion of government spending from the economy would leave behind significant economic effects and would have an effect on GDP by definition, all other things being equal.
Further, if the government fails to make timely payments to individuals, service providers, and other organizations, these persons and entities would also be affected. Even if the government continued paying interest, it is not clear whether creditors would retain or lose faith in the government’s willingness to pay its obligations. If creditors lost this confidence, the federal government’s interest costs would likely increase substantially and there would likely be broader disruptions to financial markets.
Basically, if you define default narrowly as being unable to pay creditors (i.e., debt holders), then, no, we are not going to default on October 17, 2013. But, if you define it as being unable to pay any party to whom you have an obligation, then we are heading towards default.
The key point here, in my opinion, is that our inability to meet any obligation is a negative signal. So, not only do we have the negative economic effects of various obligations going unmet (e.g., services provided by the federal government), but we also face the negative signalling effect on global markets’ beliefs about the US government. Together, I think those two negative effects are large and warrant a debate-free increase of the debt ceiling.1
On a side note, people should stop conflating inability to make debt payments with high leverage. Even in the oft-done but incorrect comparison to households, the US government’s leverage is below that of, for example, a home-owning, mortgage-paying American household. ↩
Nice visual (and humorous) explanation of why bicyclists are legally allowed to “take the lane”.
Hopefully, this will bring the problem closer to home for the rest of us. DC and New York have until 2047 to climate departure. That’s not all that far, in the long run.
A city hits “climate departure” when the average temperature of its coolest year from then on is projected to be warmer than the average temperature of its hottest year between 1960 and 2005.
If we implement some sort of carbon dioxide mitigation, the situation is improved somewhat.
So, Lavabit voluntarily closed itself in order to protect from the FBI the privacy of 400,000 users who believed their e-mails via Lavabit were secure (via SSL keys).
This one piece of information brings into question the privacy of all online services somehow connected to the United States. Think about it: bank accounts, credit cards, medical information. The security assumed for all of those services is now suspect.
This article explains why I am somewhat disappointed by the reality of the Obama administration versus the promise. I am disappointed by how willingly this administration is to violate our civil liberties using some vague national defense rationale. In myriad other ways, President Obama has been a great president (healthcare, economy, etc.), but I strongly feel that our civil liberties have been seriously (and secretly) eroded by his administration.