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 »

From Madera and Joplin to New York: Dispersed, Not Dense Urban Areas Dominate GDP

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For some time, the mainstream press and conventional urban planners have been obsessed with a “dense urban” narrative. This is largely a myth, as has been demonstrated by resurgent growth in suburbs and exurbs.  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 »

How Vital Is Transit to Your Region?

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Transit ridership is plummeting almost everywhere, yet officials in many cities are still devising hugely expensive plans for transit projects. One such city is Austin, whose leaders are talking about spending between $6 billion and $10.5 billion on new transit lines (and the final cost always ends up being more than the projections).  read more »

Peer-to-Peer Carsharing: A Peek Under the Hood

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While the media tends to studiously report – and often sensationalize – the latest developments involving Airbnb, e-scooters, and ride-hailing (especially Lyft and Uber), another booming “sharing economy” sector has recently been gaining attention. Peer-to-peer carsharing enables individuals to make their privately-owned vehicles available to others for short periods of time at a fee of the owner’s choosing.  read more »

Faltering Growth in Largest US Municipalities, Concentrated in Densest

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The 2018 municipality population estimates indicate a general decline in the annual growth rate over the past year compared to that of the last eight years. Among the 37 municipalities (including Honolulu, see Note 1) with at least 500,000 residents, the population grew 0.39 percent, down by more than one-half from the annual rate since the 2010 US Census (0.88 percent). Critically, this measures not metropolitan populations but those of cities (municipalities) within metropolitan areas.  read more »

Subjects:

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 »