What do ocean trawling and mass transit have in common? unintended consequences.
There’s a word for it in the fishing world: “bycatch.” That’s the unfortunate tendency, when you’re trying to net one type of seafood — say, shrimp — to end up hauling in a lot of stuff you didn’t want or need — crabs, tuna, sea turtles, a Cousteau to be named later. It’s why eating wild-caught shrimp is considered the ecological equivalent of driving your SUV across the Alaskan tundra with the air conditioning on.
It’s also useful for understanding what the MTA faces in figuring how to raise bus and subway fares by 8 percent next year, to make up for the crash in tax revenues resulting from the popping of the real estate bubble… [read more]