Environment

High-Flying California Charts Its Own Path -- Is A Cliff Ahead?

8028178642_f2dacd4af6_z.jpg

As its economy bounced back from the Great Recession, California emerged as a progressive role model, with New York Times columnist Paul Krugman arguing that the state’s “success” was proof of the superiority of a high tax, high regulation economy.  read more »

Want to be Green? Forget Mass Transit. Work at Home.

business-woman-working-on-laptop-in-her-office-picjumbo-com.jpg

Expanding mass-transit systems is a pillar of green and “new urbanist” thinking, but with few exceptions, the idea of ever-larger numbers of people commuting into an urban core ignores a major shift in the labor economy: More people are working from home.  read more »

California’s Descent to Socialism

8697781264_9d5b541ca3_z.jpg

California is widely celebrated as the fount of technical, cultural and political innovation. Now we seem primed to outdo even ourselves, creating a new kind of socialism that, in the end, more resembles feudalism than social democracy.  read more »

Driving Alone Hits High, Transit Hits Low in "Post-Car" City of Los Angeles

lacityhall2.PNG

According to The New York Times, the car used to be “king” in the city (municipality) of Los Angeles. “'A Different Los Angeles', The City Moves to Alter its Sprawling Image,” was another story that seeks to portray the nation’s second largest municipality as having fundamentally changed.  read more »

California: The Republic of Climate

Gov_Jerry_Brown_epeech_(2).jpg

To some progressives, California’s huge endorsement for the losing side for president reflects our state’s moral superiority. Some even embrace the notion that California should secede so that we don’t have to associate with the “deplorables” who tilted less enlightened places to President-elect Donald Trump. One can imagine our political leaders even inviting President Barack Obama, who reportedly now plans to move to our state, to serve as the California Republic’s first chief executive.  read more »

Is Climate Change Really the Cause of Mexico City’s Water Problems?

512px-AerialViewMexicoCity.jpg

A couple weeks ago the New York Times ran a gigantic front-page Sunday article by architecture critic Michael Kimmelman on Mexico City’s water crisis.

This piece was billed as the first installment in a series on the effect of climate change on cities. Which is a head-scratcher, since Mexico City’s problems don’t seem to have anything to do with that.  read more »

King Tide

johnny-tides.jpg

10,000 years ago San Francisco Bay was a dry grassy valley populated by elephants, zebras, and camels. The planet was significantly cooler and dryer back then. Sea level was lower since glaciers in the north pulled water out of the oceans. The bay isn’t that deep so a relatively small change in sea level pushed the coastline out by twelve miles from its present location. Further back in pre-history when the earth was warmer than today sea level was higher.  read more »

How Post-Familialism Will Shape the New Asia

7332128854_2b9bd682ac_z.jpg

Surprisingly, the modern focal point for postfamilial urbanism comes from eastern Asia, where family traditionally exercised a powerful, even dominant influence over society. The shift toward post-familialism arose first in Japan, the region’s most economically and technologically advanced country. As early as the 1990s sociologist Muriel Jolivet unearthed a trend of growing hostility toward motherhood in her book Japan: The Childless Society? –a trend that stemmed in part from male reluctance to take responsibility for raising children.  read more »

Trump and California's Economy

15625436951_e6256249e7_z.jpg

Defenders of California’s status-quo claim to be proud of California’s economic growth and worry about what Trump will do to that growth. If you are so impolite as to mention that this has been California’s slowest recovery in 70 years, as the following chart shows, you will be told that slow growth is good. It avoids the excesses of previous business cycles.  read more »

Five Ideas to Make America Greater

Make_America_Great_Again_hat_(27149010964).jpg

Donald Trump’s presidential campaign was based on the notion that he could “Make America Great Again.” But beyond the rhetoric — sometimes lurching into demagoguery — the newly elected president comes to office, as one commentator suggests, “the least policy-savvy president in history.”  read more »