Policy

The Green New Deal’s Epic Transportation and Commerce Fail

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On the surface, the Green New Deal (GND) sounds enlightening. Use a nonexistent super grid of renewable intermittent electricity energy to replace fossil fuels so we can all breath air with no emissions from energy production. But the renewable term in all these cases is not energy in its totality, but just “electricity”. Wind and solar farms can only produce electricity, and even that is intermittent, as we need the wind to blow or the sun to shine, or both continually as far north as Oslo and as far south as Christchurch.  read more »

Closing the Gap

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China is building a magnetically levitated (maglev) train that will “fill the gap between high-speed rail and air transportation,” says CNN. This new train may have a top speed of 370 miles per hour, which “could narrow the gap between high-speed rail and air travel,” says Republic World.  read more »

Wildlife Crime Threatens Species and Fuels Transnational Crime

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If you’ve ever seen a herd of elephants moving majestically across an African savannah, you’ll always remember the experience. Equally memorable yet horrifying is the sight of a dead animal killed by a poacher for its tusks.  read more »

Class, Empathy, and the Green New Deal

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The recent debate over the Green New Deal got me thinking about a lecture I gave in 2018 at the Columbia University Seminar on Energy Ethics. The faculty who attended were mostly environmental lawyers and scientists. I am neither. But they asked me to discuss “The Fragility of the Blue-Green Alliance” – not so much the formal partnerships between union and environmental groups but rather the complex challenges of bridging differences between workers and environmentalists.  read more »

Localism: A Call to Civic Action

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If you ask an American to tell you about their country, they’ll probably paint a bleak picture. Civic bonds are fraying. Division and tribalism dominate the news. The public is losing faith in democracy as the most effective way to govern. At a time of rapid demographic and cultural change, with frustration over economic inequality reaching a boiling point, our national politics has not found a way to generate consensus.  read more »

Making Life Worse: The Flaws of Green Mandates

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“Saving the planet” should be an unbeatable political slogan. Yet consistently the imagined “green wave” mindlessly embraced by most of the media continues to fall short, as evidenced by recent elections in Canada and Australia, as well as across much of Europe.  read more »

Bremerton, Washington: Challenges of an Industrial Town

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Recent statistics from Indeed.com show that Washington, DC, the winner of the HQ2 contest, ranks second only to San Jose in the percentage of high-tech job listings. This tells us that most of the 238 cities that submitted bids --- despite assurance from Amazon --- were never seriously in the running. If mid-sized places like Indianapolis did not really stand a chance, however, what does that tell us about the economic prospects for smaller, more industrial places that have virtually no software companies?  read more »

The New Shame of Our Cities

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A metropolitan economy, if it is working well, is constantly transforming many poor people into middle-class people, many illiterates into skilled people, many greenhorns into competent citizens. . . . Cities don’t lure the middle class. They create it.
—Jane Jacobs  read more »

Trouble for the Bubble Down Under

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In a remarkable and most unexpected outcome, Australia’s conservative Prime Minister Scott Morrison has retained the country’s leadership at the recent Australian Federal Parliamentary election (18 May, 2019). Morrison’s victory confounded a wide array of commentators, academics, advocacy groups, industry groups, all of the opinion polls, most of the media and a host of fringe political groups who not only predicted victory for the Labor opposition but an emphatic one.  read more »

America Can’t Ignore The Economic Threat Of A Rising China

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In the aftermath of the Communist victory in the late 1940s, the question often asked in Washington was: “Who lost China?” That fueled the McCarthyite inquisition that followed. The question our children might ask is: “Who lost America?”  read more »