The orchard-laden foothills of North Central Washington’s Wenatchee Valley are resplendent at this time of year. The apple and pear harvest is in full swing. The warm golden hues, the crisp mountain air and the bustle of trucks carrying produce to markets near and far provide a stark and welcome contrast to the daily barrage of bad news about the downward spiral of the nation’s financial markets. read more »
When the Presidential and vice-Presidential hopefuls talk foreign policy, they look every which way --- towards the Middle East, Russia, Europe, Asia or Africa, but they largely ignore our own backyard.
In the next decades of the 21st Century, our policymakers will need different priorities. When looking for our closest allies, we may well need to look away from current entanglements in unfortunate, far away places and towards a stronger relationship with countries --- notably Canada --- with whom we share so much. read more »
The rapid spike in energy prices has led politicians, urban theorists and pundits to pontificate about how Americans will be living and working in new ways. A favorite story line is that Americans will start trading in their suburban homes, move back to the city centers and opt to change everything they have wanted for a half-century --- from big backyards to quiet streets to privacy --- to live a more carbon-lite urban lifestyle.
Yet, there has been little talk about what could be the best way for families and individuals to cut energy use: telecommuting. read more »
Growing appeals for more public infrastructure investment make two critical claims: that this would help stimulate the economy in the short run while making our country more productive over the long run. Unlike tax rebates and other short-term stimulus, a major infrastructure investment program can have powerful effects on community life beyond boosting spending at the local Wal-Mart. read more »
It is believed that Canada has wind potential enough to produce at least 20 percent of the country's current power needs. According to Toronto Hydro Energy Services and the Independent Power Producers Society of Ontario, the province could develop its potential and generate between 3,000 and 7,000 megawatts of wind energy in wind farms. read more »
Volkswagen’s announcement last week that it will build a new assembly plant in Chattanooga, TN is the latest sign of triumph for the South’s growing auto industry. The new plant will sit within close proximity to one Toyota is building north of Tupelo, MS (where the popular Prius will be manufactured), and another that Kia broke ground for last year in West Point, GA on the Alabama border. This joins existing plants such as those operated by Nissan in Nashville and Smyrna, GA, BMW’s plant in Spartanburg, SC and three assembly plants in Alabama. read more »
As gas prices inch up toward $5 per gallon, many environmentalists and elected officials are looking to public transit as a solution to higher transportation costs and rising fuel consumption. A closer look at the numbers, however, warrants more than a little skepticism that public transit can fulfill the nation’s energy conservation goals. read more »
Everyone except the fabulously wealthy and the truly disconnected knows energy has become much more expensive in recent years, but it's worth taking a step back and examining just how much it has jumped and what we should (and should not) conclude about the impact on nearly all aspects of modern life. read more »
A high cost energy future will profoundly impact the cost of doing business and create new opportunities, but not necessarily in the way most people expect.
By Joel Kotkin and Michael Shires
The New York Times, the Atlantic Monthly and the rest of the establishment press have their answer: big cities like New York, Chicago, and San Francisco will win out. Our assessment is: not so fast. There’s a lot about the unfolding energy economy that is more complex than commonly believed, and could have consequences that are somewhat unanticipated. read more »
Superlatives can no longer describe Dubai – there are simply too many. It is now the fastest growing city in the world with $300 billion of construction underway. Once Dubai was a sleepy Arab port nestled between its larger and more famous oil rich neighbors: Iraq, Iran and Saudi Arabia. Now tiny Dubai is home to the “world’s tallest building,” and more construction cranes than China and its 1.4 billion people. What is more amazing is that Dubai has a population of just 200,000 native Emirates within a land area one-half the size of Orange County, California. read more »