Saturation means more of a given ingredient cannot be added to a given volume or fabric of activity, without spilling over, and being wasted. The fossil fuels market is saturated, in the sense that it cannot effectively capitalize on major new production investment without major new construction of productive facilities. The industry has effectively pushed … Continue reading Saturation vs. Scalability: Old & Costly vs. Clean & Efficient
A World Bank study has projected that the global financial crisis and resulting recession will plunge some 53 million people across “emerging markets” —like China and India— into absolute poverty, in 2009 alone. In China, tens of millions of people have lost jobs related to the export-dependent manufacturing sector. Such a collapse in private fortunes … Continue reading 53 Million in ‘Emerging Markets’ Plunged into Poverty by Great Recession
There is a myth permeating our nation’s energy policy and energy economy, which holds that renewable sources of energy cannot meet our outsized electricity demand, let alone power our entire economy. That myth is not only entirely untrue; it depends on the flawed assertion that the only way things can be is the way that … Continue reading We Need a National Renewables Start-up Incubator
Carbon → Fee → Dividend → Simple
- Fee on carbon-emitting fuels, at the source (mine, well, port of entry)
- 100% of revenues returned, in equal shares, to every household, every month
- Non-protectionist border adjustment, to ensure level playing field
- Power over energy economy returned to consumers
- Major energy-sector investment flows to clean, renewable resources
The conventional wisdom on action to reduce carbon emissions is that it must be expensive, harmful to the economy, and result in less productive power generation. This is a blatant falsehood based on the outmoded idea that combustion is the most favorable way to harvest energy. All systems of carbon taxation or carbon emissions capping operate on the principle that applying economic pressure in a targeted way can inspire markets to change their behavior. This is the very logic of market-based economic systems.
Continue reading “Carbon Fee and Dividend: to Spur Job Creation, Industrial Boom”
It is a virtual mantra in the universe of political analysis that “business doesn’t like uncertainty”, and it is true that declining consumer spending, increasing fuel costs, squeeze profits and that in some cases, businesses worry about changes to the regulations they must follow. But uncertainty is the nature of an evolving global economy, and … Continue reading 21st Century Business Needs to Learn to Deal with Uncertainty
The Sandia National Laboratories have achieved a landmark breakthrough in solar-voltaic power-generation technology. The snowflake-like “solar glitter” uses 100 times less material to produce the same amount of electricity as today’s standard 6-inch square solar cells. This achievement of ultra-miniaturization now has the potential to move solar-voltaic power generation to the forefront of the clean energy revolution, and help speed the transition away from carbon-based combustible fuels.
The super-reduced size of these snowflake solar cells means they can be used to create more dependable power-generation solar arrays. As reported by Inhabitat (‘green design will save the world’), when a large solar cell fails, it has a serious impact on the overall productivity of the solar array, already limited by the space it takes up, while these tiny snowflake cells, just 14 to 20 micrometers thick and 0.25 to 1 millimeter in diameter, can fit so much more productivity into the same space, the failure of one flake will have negligible overall impact on output.
Continue reading “Snowflake Solar Cells 100 Times More Efficient than Standard Solar Cells”
The debt crisis is attributable to “structural” causes, meaning the way the nation’s financing is structured over the next several decades, but also to political and economic causes, meaning both the way we make policy and the way we live and experience the marketplace for trade, credit and consumer purchases. So, we need to implement policies that make serious, sustainable corrections on all three fronts.
Stabilizing debt financing requires the least expensive cost of borrowing possible, i.e. a AAA credit rating and the reputation for 100% likelihood of on-time repayment. It is unhelpful and counterproductive to indicate that the US might not meet 100% of its obligations on time 100% of the time. The long-term solution has to be oriented toward making social services solvent, and reducing the costs of debt repayment.
Continue reading “To Solve the Debt Crisis, Rebuild the Middle Class”
Yemen may be where the Arab spring, this sweeping current of democratic upheaval in the Arabic-speaking world, takes a turn definitively toward violence or toward civic solutions. The regime of Ali Abdullah Saleh, a tribal dictatorship using feudal power tactics, based in the capital Sanaa, is now waging one war against extremist Islamists and another against non-violent pro-democracy protesters.
Yemen is an intensely poor country, likely to see its dwindling fresh water resources 100% depleted before any nation in the world, and could be the global home-base for jihadist extremists. Yemen could also, however, be a sparkling example of how peaceful democratic change can bring sustainable prosperity and security to an otherwise impoverished society ruled by feudal warlords and kleptocratic dictators.
Continue reading “The Road from Mokha to Sanaa”
toward a science of conscious thriving: through resourceful reasoning & deep communicability
Borders Books and Music was a place of pilgrimage for book lovers, music lovers and people who loved to sit with coffee and read, chat or peruse magazines they might or might not buy. It has played a vital role in the distribution of books of both wide and narrow market interest, and has driven the cathedral-warehouse paradigm of big bookstore chains. Its failure, however, opens the field for more innovative, more reader-friendly experiments in book selling.
Some have argued that Barnes and Noble was changed by its competition with Borders. Barnes and Noble has long been a leader in the big bookstore sector. But Borders, in many places, went bigger. It stocked everything that might fit into the mainstream book, magazine and music market, and was aggressive in putting full-size cafes in its bookstores, where patrons could sit and read books, whether they bought them or not. Continue reading “Borders Closure is Green Light for Bookstore Innovation”