Uber and Lyft Got Stuck in Traffic & Can You Trust the BP "net zero" Carbon Pledge?

A newsletter for people serious about the low carbon economy.

(source: huffington post)

The Ridesharing Utopia that Got Stuck in Traffic

How Uber and Lyft turned from would-be traffic heroes to congestion villains

Officials in San Francisco, Chicago and New York are citing congestion as the main rationale for new fees they recently enacted on Lyft and Uber rides in each of the cities. Other regulators around the country are considering similar fees. Uber and Lyft no longer pledge ride-hailing will reduce traffic, acknowledging that they add to congestion, though they say some studies overstate their role in the problem.

The main factor that could decrease congestion—passengers sharing rides—hasn’t taken off. Researchers and analysts estimate roughly 20% to 30% of rides in major metro areas are pooled.

However, the biggest factor effecting traffic by far is the large amount of time Uber and Lyft drivers spend without any passengers, hunting for fares. A December report by the California Air Resources Board found ride-hailing cars are driving with no passengers 39% of the time; New York City estimates such cruising at 41%.

Lastly, mass-transit use has declined overall in the past decade, even as employment has grown. In the 12 months through September, transit ridership in U.S. and Canada was down 7.7% from a 2014 peak, according to the American Public Transportation Association. Many policy makers and researchers say Uber and Lyft have contributed to the drop in mass-transit ridership.

Uber and Lyft must fix the ride-sharing problem, or face an uncertain future. LINK

Issue No. 14

Welcome to the latest issue of Carbon Creed! Last week our top two articles were Hybrids, Electric Vehicles, And The Black Community & U.K. Moves to End Sales of All Non-Electric Cars by 2035

I recently finished the book, “The Wizard and the Prophet” by Charles Mann, which tells the story of two remarkable scientists and their dueling visions to shape tomorrow’s world. Definitely a must add to your 2020 book list.

My name is Walter McLeod, and I’m glad you’ve joined our community. We hope to hear from you as we navigate this weekly journey through the good, bad and ugly of carbon and climate. You can ping me anytime at mcleodwl@carboncreed.com.

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(source: anthropocene.info)

Is It Time to Embrace the Anthropocene?

"The best thing we can do to help people in poor countries adapt to climate change is make sure they're healthy enough to survive it."  Bill Gates, 2020 Annual Letter

The World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos just wrapped up last month. Speeches were delivered, promises were made, and yet, the world is burning.

Despite many attempts at repairing the damage from climate change, scalable solutions have been few and far in between. Their reasons vary from economic viability to risking irreversible change. Our approach may be flawed and thus the Anthropocene could be the necessary paradigm shift to address the world’s problems.

The Anthropocene requires that humanity take responsibility for preserving the earth and its species.

Since the 20th century, the acceleration of deforestation, increased carbon emissions, and the rise in global temperature levels have put human beings at the helm of earth’s natural trajectory and given them the power to steer the future of our world in another direction.

The debate on climate change is dominated by the facts of temperature increases and the melting of polar ice caps. But the world needs to move beyond climate change. LINK

I REALLY want to hear your feedback on the Anthropocene concept. Ping me at mcleodwl@carboncreed.com


(photo: Lance King/Getty Images/Axios)

Did BP just pledge to become a “net-zero” company?  It’s complicated.

“Trillions of dollars will need to be invested in replumbing and rewiring the world’s energy system. It will require nothing short of reimagining energy as we know it,”
- Bernard Looney, BP CEO

British Petroleum (BP) says it will try to achieve “net-zero” for nearly all its greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

Net-zero promises from companies and governments are popping up as often as new Netflix shows, and just like those algorithmically driven hours of entertainment, not all clean energy commitments are created equal. The language used to describe these targets has become as meaningless as the “natural” label on your package of Perdue chicken: “Clean energy” and “net zero” can signify any number of things, and even “renewable” changes depending on who you ask.

All of that aside, the company’s plan does contain significantly more aggressive goals than its peers.

“Depending on the details, it has the potential to be the most comprehensive climate strategy of any of the major oil companies,” said Andrew Logan, senior director of oil and gas at Ceres, a sustainable business nonprofit. 

Yes, it all depends on the details because while BP’s dreams are big, the company has disclosed few details on how it will achieve them.  LINK


(source: FEE)

A Group of Big Businesses Is Backing a Carbon Tax as the Solution to Climate Change.  No joke.

“We think it has a compelling economic logic,” - Janet Yellen, fmr. Federal Reserve Chair

The long list of big companies backing a carbon tax as a solution to climate change grew this week with financial giant J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. endorsing a legislative plan billed as a centrist approach to reducing emissions.

The announcement comes as the Climate Leadership Council (CLC), the organization behind the proposal, which was first released in 2017, redoubles efforts to promote the plan before an expected introduction in Congress as the conversation around various climate solutions heats up in Washington.

The CLC proposal would give the money collected by the tax back to taxpayers in the form of a quarterly dividend, an effort to make it more politically palatable.

On Feb. 13, the CLC provided additional details about the plan, including introducing a new mechanism that would rapidly increase the price on carbon if targets are not met. Backers say the plan will cut U.S. emissions in half by 2035.

Still, even as more than a dozen Fortune 500 firms support the legislation, many other businesses and influential business groups continue to either oppose a carbon tax or haven’t taken a position at all. Despite major oil companies like ExxonMobil and Shell have joined the CLC initiative, independent oil companies and other related companies remain largely opposed. LINK


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Curated by Walter McLeod, Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Carbon Creed and Managing Partner with Eco Capitol Energy.