Thursday, July 07, 2011
Tuesday, March 02, 2010
This is a good thing for so many reasons. Information gathered by government authorities about practices that impact the population at large should be made public. Since we have so many regulations and administrative bodies governing many areas of our society the more open the better. If we are all aware of what is going on and complete information is available to everyone better decisions can be made.
Friday, February 19, 2010
The problem lies in the business as usual approach to policy that supports private profits and shifts all the risk to the public. It seems like nothing can be done without a government guarantee or subsidy. If that is the case maybe we need to revisit the "free market" concept and decide if we want it free or just pretend.
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
GM could have been a leader in the electric car segment. Instead they did things the way they still do and ended up bankrupt and needing billions of our dollars. Now, the technological edge that would lead us out of recession and into a more sustainable future has been squandered. If they were left to go bankrupt we may have saved ourselves from future blunders of this sort. I also find it odd that during the auto bankruptcies and bailouts there was never a mention that GM had already developed and destroyed the technology that the governments were demanding they develop as a condition of the loans. The whole thing stinks and it makes me really upset that we are still 10 years away from a breakthrough. I'm afraid that this business as usual approach will keep us 10 years away 10 years from now.
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
It seems that corporate bankruptcies are a way to leave behind obligations to society at large and take the best parts of your business and start over. The irony is that part of GM moving forward is creating "greener" cars that are more efficient and environmentally friendly. Hopefully they build them a little cleaner this time around, too.
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
With a vigorous debate on healthcare, economics, energy and the environment materializing combined with a new economic approach derived from this crisis we may have a new way forward. I'm cautiously optimistic and looking forward to an integrated approach on all these fronts rather than piecemeal regulations that favor lobby groups. Another difference is that everyone can participate with the internet.
Cap and trade should set clear guidelines on how the system works and what we have to work with. This will spark new innovation across the board in technology. I look forward to seeing what we come up with to tackle the challenges ahead.
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
It looks like a lot of the food we used to produce ourselves is now imported. A by-product of free trade and globalization no doubt. This has so many ramifications economically and environmentally. Also, if the peak oil disaster scenario materializes how will we eat?
Thursday, May 07, 2009
I don't really have much to say about this program because it makes so little sense that I don't know what to say. Overall, it looks like another corporate welfare scheme where current SUV owners can trade in for a new SUV. Coincidentally, SUV sales are where automakers made their profits. Any bets on gas prices this summer?
Monday, May 04, 2009
Seeing a McDonald's restaurant this morning made me think back to the McLibel trial. I still find it odd that such a big company would sue people and risk something being put on the public record. After this I wonder what corporate policy is at McDonald's or elsewhere. It also makes me realize the power the law has over everything we do. The McLibel case reminds us that the law is there for everyone and it can be used to level the playing field. For a more thorough analysis of corporations in society watch The Corporation or check out POCLAD.
I'm not pro or anti corporations or anything like that. I just think we all need to make decisions with complete information and be sure that we take the responsibility of citizenship seriously. If people are aware of what is going on around them then they can choose to do something about or not. Passing through life on cruise control is not an option. One thing I'm not is a legal expert so I can't say for sure what role corporations are playing in our society. You don't know until you look.
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Wednesday, April 08, 2009
Wednesday, April 01, 2009
Friday, March 27, 2009
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
What is really happening here? I can't tell. I've tried reading the legislation but haven't been able to get anywhere. The news releases and talking points sound kind of vague at best. It looks like the intent is good by promoting renewable energy and conservation. However, the implementation and the details of how everything will work still need to be deciphered. I think this is one of the first pieces of such legislation in a major North American jurisdiction so we need to see how it works and who will follow suit. I think we have a long way to go in North America for any real green infrastructure but any movement in that direction is a positive start.
Thursday, February 19, 2009
Even though you may think his commentary is colored by him speaking for traders I think he is speaking for more people than we think. A Chicago Tea Party for a president from Chicago sounds interesting.
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
NO to more taxpayer-funded bailouts and giveaways to special interests!
NO to using economic hardship as an excuse for Big Government power grabs!
NO to heaving trillions of dollars in new debt on the backs of our children and grandchildren!
NO to this no-stimulus scam!
I don't know much about the group or there goals. I'm not really that interested, frankly. However, they are raising several issues that seem to have gone unnoticed in the promotion of the plan. It does seem like everybody is on board with a package and President Obama is warning of crisis and collapse. The fine print on these plans doesn't do as much as advertised or seem to serve dual purposes. For example, there are 2 billion dollars planned for advanced lithium-ion batteries for automotive applications. Is that going to bring electric cars on the road or a thinly disguised subsidy for the Chevy Volt? Is funding for nuclear plants part of an overall energy strategy or subsidies for a largely unprofitable industry that generates dangerous waste? Large omnibus bills like this stimilus package can easily hide small things that seem innocuous. Strategies that are targeted to specific problems that can have measureable results will go a lot further in my opinion. But, I'm not in Congress...
Monday, January 19, 2009
In my opinion, nuclear is not the answer. A recent report highlights that many nuclear projects are not viable commercially unless they have government support. I realize that these days nothing looks viable without government support but many critics of alternative/renewable energy say that without tax credits they are not competitive. Neither is nuclear. The only one that is cost-effective is coal but that will only last until emissions are priced in cap-and-trade system.
Conservation is the key to all of it. Using less energy is the best way to relieve capacity constraints on generation. After that renewable energy needs to be combined with a distributed generation network. Until those elements are seriously considered little will change.
Thursday, December 18, 2008
This is a tough one. Tobacco has been taxed for years with some success in reducing smoking rates. Will it work for soft drinks? I don't know. I think we need to look at a more complete approach to tackling obesity rather than a tax on soft drinks only. Generally, I don't like the idea of regulating or taxing behavior because I feel that people should be able to make their own decisions. In the end, unless the tax is $100 per can of pop I doubt it will make a real difference.