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Berkeley Fossil Fools Day Action
by tristan
Tuesday Apr 1st, 2008 11:17 PM
As part of an international day of action, a group of us in Berkeley protested war and global warming.
A global day of action had been called for April 1, The traditional April Fools Day. This year the Rising Tide Network called for people to hold Fossil Fools Day actions to protest the burning of fossil fuels and the global WARming that comes with it.

One person called our attention to this idea only a few days before the event. With a couple emails, a flier and a sign making party we were ready. Twenty people on bikes came and attached signs and flags to their bikes.

We rode around town and announced that a draft had been started for more troops to Iraq, that the polar ice caps are fine, that Americans can continue a lifestyle of consumption and that everything was OK. April Fools. We wished everyone a "Happy oil war."

We stopped at numerous gas stations and three car dealerships, all within a preposterously small area. We rode through and put up stickers and created moments of chaos to symbolize the political and environmental chaos that the unabated burning of fossil fuels creates.

The action was fun and exciting and done with a minimum of effort. While it was small, we all left ready for more in the future.

Actions took place all over the word, well a few other places. Check out
by tristan Tuesday Apr 1st, 2008 11:17 PM
Protest at 76.
by tristan Tuesday Apr 1st, 2008 11:17 PM
Stickering the pumps at Valero. We know the Socialists love Chavez, but California had to change the Clean Air Act to burn that dirty Venezualan oil.
by tristan Tuesday Apr 1st, 2008 11:17 PM
The nozzles wilted and died.
by tristan Tuesday Apr 1st, 2008 11:17 PM
Ridding down a main car street.
by tristan Tuesday Apr 1st, 2008 11:17 PM
Chevron nozzles hung themselves.
by tristan Tuesday Apr 1st, 2008 11:17 PM
Ridding down a main car street and freeway outlet.
by tristan Tuesday Apr 1st, 2008 11:17 PM
Ridding into a car dealership.
by tristan Tuesday Apr 1st, 2008 11:17 PM
"Think Green" demands the car adds, but the only green will be the dollars the car companies make. Cars are never green, as in an alternative to destroying the world - they are the main cause of it.
by tristan Tuesday Apr 1st, 2008 11:17 PM
Those gas prices sure have gone up. They are almost on par with global prices but far below the actual cost to this world as a life supporting place.
by tristan Tuesday Apr 1st, 2008 11:17 PM
Fun on bikes is better than war.
by tristan Tuesday Apr 1st, 2008 11:17 PM
Sticker on a gas pump.
by tristan Tuesday Apr 1st, 2008 11:17 PM
The ride goes down another main car street to get the word out.
by tristan Tuesday Apr 1st, 2008 11:17 PM
A police car chases cyclists who first ignore the officer then make a game of getting away by turning down a street with barricades to stop cars.
by tristan Tuesday Apr 1st, 2008 11:17 PM
cyclists loop around when the cop goes around the block and pass through the barricades again.
by tristan Tuesday Apr 1st, 2008 11:17 PM
The flag says it all.
by tristan Tuesday Apr 1st, 2008 11:17 PM
We hide out from the cops in an army uniform and with a plastic sword.

Comments  (Hide Comments)

by Dead CEO
Wednesday Apr 2nd, 2008 12:07 AM
I love the one where the Chevron pumps hang themselves.
by Ben London
(info [at] Wednesday Apr 2nd, 2008 4:45 AM
it is enormously inspiring to see what's going on to resist the same problems we have elsewhere in the world.
by Mr. Clean
Wednesday Apr 2nd, 2008 12:06 PM
The electric motors that could motivate the industrial revolution without pollution have been in existence for well over one hundred years now. It is the U.S. Imperialist system that is leading the Imperialist world in wars to maintain the coal, gas, oil, and atomic energy monopolization of power to the detriment of the green power. It is liberalism that shorts the process of organic revolution and blames the individual when the fault lays with the government of the U.S. Oil Monopolies. It is they and they alone that are responsible for the disaster and it is deliberately done to the people of the world everyday by their contol of the military war machine. Peoples long ago went for electricity and now the green power movement has brought into being the hi-tech tools to put in power wind, tidal, and solar power which tranforms to electricity and is more power than can be used by society. Since Bushco cancelled the green power agreements of the previous administration, and made laws threatening and arresting those that oppose the pollution of fossil fuels, ten so thousands of Americans and unknown numbers around the world have been killed each and every year that his energy programme is in place. So much for the lie that he is protecting American and the worlds peoples lives. Bushco is corporate power for pollution causing money and so is his military. The people have been marginalized out systematically by the monopoly laws that force the people to live in a polluted war making society to the benefit of the rich elites who make the laws. Good to see the jokes that clowns and serious bikers do to show the contradictions to the peoples. It does awaken their consiouness, however much they have been kept out of the law making processes. Vote anti-war so green becomes a possiblity. So far the voting however has been jerrymandered and there is no indication that the monopolies are willing to give the power to the peoples even if they get a majority vote. That is the truth of their electronic diebold hacking of the vote procedure. If nothing changes there , they will do it again.
by car-free
Wednesday Apr 2nd, 2008 3:17 PM
Do not delude yourself that driving an electric car or hybrid or whatever is a "green" solution. The electric cars are more envionmentally toxic to produce than internal combustion engine cars, and they take up the same amount of parking spaces, cause the same traffic jams, and choke up our cities just the same as any other car.

And where will the electricity come to fuel these electric cars? From fossil fuel power plants.

Divorce your car. Walk, bike, and take transit.
by Jason Meggs
(jmeggs ATT site: Thursday Apr 3rd, 2008 7:59 AM
While electric cars (including hybrids and those powered by hydrogen as well as batteries) are certainly no environmental cure, it's important that people be aware of a DIFFERENT sort of electricity-powered vehicle, which is to my knowledge the cleanest, most sustainable and healthiest form of land-based motorized transport.

Specifically, trains and trolley vehicles (including trolley buses and trolley trucks), also known as grid connected vehicles (GCVs).

These vehicles run directly on electricity, NOT on a battery. Thus they can be powered very efficiently by renewable energy. San Francisco actually runs its trolley buses and trains from hydro (capturing power from natural water movement) at Hetch Hetchy, making it almost carbon neutral after the previously sunk cost (and other environmental damage) of the hydro plant.

These direct-drive vehicles last much longer and require less maintenance than fossil-fuel based vehicles.

They require no batteries or fuel so there's more space for people and any amenities (travel in comfort or pack'em in), and less that can go wrong with the vehicle.

They are preferred by passengers and attract higher ridership than diesels.

They can save a sizeable amount of the energy they use to move by regenerative braking, storing the energy otherwise lost when slowing down in capacitors or feeding it back into the grid and/or to nearby vehicles which need to accelerate at the same time (estimated up to 30% savings).

Their conversion of electricity to power is extremely efficient (90-99%) which compared to internal combustion engines (often as low as 16%) and storage-based electrics (generally the same as internal combustion) makes them very competitive if an efficient way of producing electricity is provided. (Coal plants are often 45% efficient, by the way, so even coal-based electricity is a better way to directly power a vehicle than gasoline or a battery when you include the inefficiency and life cycle of the battery, which is rather short-lived and toxic.)

Electric vehicles are more effective than diesels at acceleration (high torque on startup versus diesels, which have their lowest torque on start-up) so they can get you there faster, reducing delays between stops, and so reducing the number of vehicles and drivers required (the largest cost for public transit) even as they reduce power costs (which for fossil fuels, are going up indefinitely).

They emit no diesel particulates in your face, which cause cancer, respiratory and heart disease, leaving fresh air and quiet instead. (While much electricity is created by coal, coal plants are much more efficient than internal combustion engines and the pollution is centralized, meaning it can more easily be controlled and/or located away from population centers).

It's no wonder General Motors et al. acted all over the world to get rid of trolley buses, interurban rail, and to block electrification of US rail so they'd have a virtual monopoly on diesel trains and gasoline automobiles (the diesel trains actually generate electricity inefficiently to power the electric wheels). (Bought an SUV lately?)

With the decline of energy availability and increasing demands for environmental justice and green cities, it's easy to predict a shift to using direct electricity for motorized transport including truck routes. There's also an effort right now to have large ships in ports switch to the grid for power, rather than running their ugly stinky bunker fuel generators and the like, to help reduce the terrible health harms of diesel-based ports.

Bicycle and pedestrian-based cargo and personal transport can easily pair with direct-electric mass transport, particularly if land use is appropriate (e.g., if people live near centers, and industrial activity is again based around centers). A complete solution thus emerges which saves and improves lives while treading much more lightly on the planet.

The price of trolley trucks and buses should come down below that for fossil-fuel based versions if widely implemented. Moreover, trolley routes can be designed to help transition to rail-based systems which carry more people and have even more benefits (for instance, people prefer to ride trolley buses over diesel buses (9% increase), but like rail even more, and rail lasts longer).

So PLEASE spread the word that there is an alternative to diesel for passenger and goods movement. It requires a higher initial investment and some planning/behavioral adaptation due to the need for caternary wires or "third rails" and related support systems to provide power. However, the long-term sustainability including environmental and health benefits make it by far the best choice for these purposes and an ideal way to transition away from all fossil fuel based transport.


Particularly pressing in the Bay Are right now is the fact that Bus Rapid Transit lines in the east bay (AC Transit) and west bay (MUNI street Geary) are being planned and diesel or hybrid diesel may be the choice in both cases (hydrogen, by the way, has numerous similar problems to battery-electric (hydrogen fuel cells are really just a battery) and energy inefficiency of 2-5 times that of trolleys and trains (and generally highest, by various studies, when renewables are used rather than fossil fuels are used to make the hydrogen).

Public pressure and public campaigns are needed to prevent such a bad choice. (Hybrid diesels do save some fuel but require large battery banks which reduce space and efficiency. They're also polluting and surprisingly loud, having seen them in operation in parts of San Francisco).

In conclusion, electric vehicles which carry their power source are an improvement for human health but are environmentally destructive, needlessly inefficient, and are driven primarily by forces which seek to maintain automobile hegemony, which is inherently and cataclysmically destructive on myriad levels. A much better choice is that of trolleys and trains (GCVs) which can well serve a modern carfree city with far better performance and public benefit overall than a car-full city, as well as retrofit to an existing city's need for mass transport of people and goods. Their higher initial investment and planning, as with so many sustainable practices, is more than offset by their myriad immediate and long-term benefits.

[Pictured, a trolley bus in Boston on Sept. 9, 2004, from wikipeda commons, by ArnoldReinhold at en.wikipedia.]
by Jason Meggs
Thursday Jul 10th, 2008 11:59 AM
Presentation on this important topic is now online:

ities and suburbs *can* deliver transportation for goods and people *without* petroleum, with a minimal carbon footprint, while greatly alleviating deadly noise and air pollution, through the use of trolley-bus and trolley-truck technology paired with human power. Dedicating resources to direct electric transport increases and supports relocalization and positive densification, boosts public health and creates a healthier, happier and much more sustainable urban whole.

Presentation was given at the 8th annual Towards Carfree Cities Conference, Portland, OR, in June.