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UN World Population Projections: Declines Later in the Century

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Since the beginning of the 19th century, world population has skyrocketed. According to a summary of estimates by the US Census Bureau, the world population was about 970 million in 1800 (midpoint of the high and low estimate). The Census Bureau site indicates that population usually increased in previous centuries, though was at an all-time high in 1800.  read more »

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The Biggest Threat to the CHIPS Act? The Green Left

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The recent passage of the CHIPS act, a $280 billion dollar subsidy, may prove a giant boondoggle. But it also reflects a critical shift in US economic policy away from neoliberal free trade policies to a more nationalistic industrial policy.  read more »

Joe Manchin: Climate Hawk

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The clean energy spending in the recently unveiled Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) marks a victory for the sort of bottom-up, incrementalist, behind-the-scenes climate policy that progressive climate advocates have decried as inadequate for over a decade.  read more »

Free Trade's Heavy Cost

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Free trade and open markets are great ideals. These principles, over the last few centuries, but especially since World War II, have created tremendous wealth, particularly in the developing world. But free markets were made for human society, not the other way around.  read more »

Concrete Columns Cracked

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The first phase of the Honolulu rail transit system is supposed to open at the end of this year, with trains serving nine of the planned 21 stations. But those plans may be put on hold because  read more »

Banning Modern Agriculture and High Crop Yields?

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In just seven decades, America’s conventional (non-organic) farmers increased per-acre corn yields by an incredible 500% – while using steadily less water, fuel, fertilizer and pesticides – feeding millions more people.  read more »

Learning From Las Vegas: Liberace's Strip Mall

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For readers too young to have any memory of Liberace, in the 1950s and 60s he was one of the highest paid entertainers in the world. He had his own television show that rivaled “I Love Lucy” and he performed live at Carnegie Hall in New York and the London Palladium. He’s often dismissed as someone who appealed to women of a certain age and men of a certain persuasion. But whenever I see a rapper wearing heavy gold chains, diamond studs, garish watches, oversized rings, and extravagant furs stepping out of a ridiculously expensive car….  read more »

US Total Fertility Rates: Toward Europe?

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The latest final births data (2020) from the Center for Disease Control indicates that the US total fertility rate continued to decline and has reached a record low. The total fertility rate is the number of children that the average woman has during her child-bearing years. In 2020, the US rate was 1.64, well below the 2.10 replacement rate.  read more »

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Green Dreams, Inflationary Realities

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Global policy and politics, particularly in the high-income world, have been obsessed with dreams of a green economy. Imposing ever-more rigid methods to reduce greenhouse gas emissions as the way to “save the planet” is almost unchallenged in the media, academia, and corporate boardrooms of the developed world.  read more »

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