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The Ripple Effect: The Fate of Fresh Water in the Twenty-First Century by Alex Prud'Homme
2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, big-box store, bilateral investment treaty, carbon footprint, Chance favours the prepared mind, clean water, Deep Water Horizon, en.wikipedia.org, Exxon Valdez, hydraulic fracturing, invisible hand, John Snow's cholera map, Louis Pasteur, megacity, oil shale / tar sands, peak oil, renewable energy credits, Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, urban sprawl
CHAPTER 9: ONE STEP FORWARD, TWO STEPS BACK 99 Tom Porta: Congressional testimony, October 15, 2009: http://www.neiwpcc.org/email-newsletter/oct09/ASIWPCA-Porta%20Testimony.pdf. 99 James Oberstar: Charles Duhigg, “Clean Water Laws Are Neglected, at a Cost in Suffering,” New York Times, September 13, 2009. 99 Underfunded, overly politicized: Ibid. 100 fifteen hundred major pollution cases: Charles Duhigg, “Rulings Restrict Clean Water Act, Foiling E.P.A.,” New York Times, February 28, 2010. 100 John Rapanos filled fifty-four acres of wetland: “Rapanos Will Pay for Clean Water Act Violations,” Environmental News Service, December 30, 2008. 101 Douglas Mundrick: Duhigg, “Rulings Restrict Clean Water Act.” 101 Peter Silva: Congressional testimony, December 8, 2009: http://www.epa.gov/ocir/hearings/testimony /111_2009_2010/2009_1208_pss.pdf. 101 Jay Shimshack: Congressional testimony, October 15, 2009. 101 William Ruckelshaus: Ruckelshaus, “New Shade of Green.” 102 Kingston Ash plant: Shaila Dewan, “Tennessee Ash Flood Larger Than Initial Estimate,” New York Times, December 26, 2008. 102 Jackson, forty-six: Tim Dickinson, “The Eco-Warrior,” Rolling Stone, January 20, 2010. 103 Jeff Ruch: Ibid., and author’s e-mails with Ruch, 2010. 103 Robert F.
—Galileo Galilei, 1632 THE PARADOX OF WATER The received wisdom is that America has some of the best water in the world—meaning that we have the cleanest and most plentiful supply of H2O anywhere, available in an endless stream, at whatever temperature or volume we wish, whenever we want it, at hardly any cost. In America, clean water seems limitless. This assumption is so ingrained that most of us never stop to think about it when we brush our teeth, power up our computers, irrigate our crops, build a new house, or gulp down a clean, clear drink on a hot summer day. It’s easy to see why. For most of its history, the United States has shown a remarkable ability to find, treat, and deliver potable water to citizens in widely different circumstances across the country. Since the seventies, America has relied on the Environmental Protection Agency and robust laws—most notably the Clean Water Act and the Safe Drinking Water Act, which have been further enhanced by state and local regulations—to protect water supplies.
A few months later, Congress and President Richard Nixon established the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). In 1972, Congress overrode Nixon’s veto to enact the Clean Water Act (CWA)—which limits pollution, sets water quality standards, and penalizes violators—into law. The CWA established federal water quality standards that, for the first time, aimed to eliminate toxins and ensure that waters were pure enough to be “fishable and swimmable.” In 1974, the CWA was supplemented by the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA), which requires communities to deliver clean tap water to residents. William Ruckelshaus was named the first administrator of the EPA, and one of the first things he did was to fine three large cities—Atlanta, Cleveland, and Detroit—for violating the Clean Water Act; he quickly followed that by prosecuting a number of high-profile industrial polluters, such as Dow Chemical.
Bottled and Sold: The Story Behind Our Obsession with Bottled Water by Peter H. Gleick
Daily stories about our deteriorating water resources added urgency to the drive for stronger federal oversight over our worsening environment, and in 1970 the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was created to centralize and standardize inconsistent federal and state laws for environmental protection. That same year, Congress passed the Clean Air Act, followed in 1972 by the Clean Water Act, and in 1974 by the federal Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA).13 The Clean Water Act reduced uncontrolled dumping of wastes into surface waters, and the SDWA is the law that requires the U.S. EPA to protect tap water quality. To do so, the EPA sets health-based standards for naturally occurring and human-made contaminants that might be found in our water supplies, and it oversees the water agencies, municipalities, and states that implement the standards.
Reflecting the apparent contradiction between bottled water and ethical consumerism, Earth Water’s CEO and founder, Kori Chilibeck, noted in August 2007, “This is not a cure-all solution, but we know that if other bottlers follow our lead, it will have a huge impact.”5 Examples of “Ethical” Bottled Water Frank Water, United Kingdom: Frank Water is a water charity that supports sustainable clean water projects in developing countries. Created by award-winning social entrepreneur, Katie Alcott, Frank Water says it gives 100 percent of its profits to charity. www.frankwater.com/. One Water and Global Ethics, United Kingdom: In 2005 British entrepreneur Duncan Goose created One Water and Global Ethics, which return all net profits on their bottled water to irrigation and drinking water projects in developing countries, a joint undertaking with PlayPumps International. In 2009 One Water expanded into the United States and Australia. http://www.onedifference.org/water. Belu Spring Water, United Kingdom: Belu was founded by Reed Paget and colleagues and donates 100 percent of net profits to WaterAid, which distributes it to clean-water projects across Africa and Asia.
This iconic image made Cleveland the butt of jokes for decades and, incidentally, led to a great Randy Newman song, “Burn on,” with the following lyrics: Cleveland, even now I can remember ’Cause the Cuyahoga River Goes smokin’ through my dreams Burn on, big river, burn on Burn on, big river, burn on Now the Lord can make you tumble And the Lord can make you turn And the Lord can make you overflow But the Lord can’t make you burn.1 This incident, however, also led to the federal Clean Water Act of 1972, the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement, and the creation of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Today, Lake Erie is far cleaner than it’s been in years, and Cleveland’s water system provides 90 billion gallons of high-quality potable water to customers every year. Two cents today will pay for nearly 30 gallons of water of a far higher quality than Benhu Johnson and his pony were able to deliver.
agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, Bretton Woods, carbon footprint, clean water, Climategate, Climatic Research Unit, energy security, Enrique Peñalosa, Exxon Valdez, Google Earth, happiness index / gross national happiness, Hedy Lamarr / George Antheil, hydraulic fracturing, oil shale / tar sands, stem cell, sustainable-tourism, the scientific method, University of East Anglia, urban planning, urban sprawl
And, as Latham and Wilson argue, “The laying to rest of genetic determinism for disease... raises the stakes by confronting policy-makers as never before with the fact that they have every opportunity, through promoting food labelling, taxing junk food, or funding unbiased research, to help their electorates make enormously positive lifestyle choices.” Let’s not take abundant clean water for granted IF YOU’RE READING this in Canada, the U.S., Europe, or Australia, chances are good that you can go to your kitchen and pour yourself a glass of cold, clean drinking water straight from the tap. If you’ve had a stressful day, you can run yourself a nice warm bath. That’s not the case in some parts of the world, where a woman may have to walk many kilometres with her children just to fill a bucket with murky water, which she must then carry back over the parched landscape. Canadians and Americans who have travelled outside of the tourist resorts in nearby Mexico know that abundant and clean water is never taken for granted there. In the U.S., climate change is expected to reduce flows in major rivers, including the Rio Grande and Colorado, by as much as 20 per cent this century, according to a report by the Department of the Interior.
Governments have a huge role to play as well. To start, metering and disincentives for high water use can help with conservation. But most importantly, governments must tackle the challenge of climate change. Along with protecting clean water supplies and human health, addressing climate change will strengthen the economy. An analysis conducted in 2010 by the Western Climate Initiative showed that addressing climate change and fostering clean-energy solutions could lead to cost savings of about US$100 billion by 2020 for the initiative’s member states and provinces. We can’t live without clean water. That’s something we all have to think about. UN knows that forests are vital to health THE UN GENERAL Assembly met in New York to declare 2011 the International Year of Forests. The idea was to raise awareness of the priceless role that forests play in keeping the planet healthy and of the need for sustainable management and conservation of all types of forests.
We can’t just keep destroying habitat, polluting water and air, and killing fish and other animals faster than they can reproduce. And because we are all connected to this fragile web, we need to protect animals and their habitat not just for their sake but for our own as well. Species loss is a silent epidemic SCIENTISTS WARN THAT the twin threats of climate change and wildlife extinction threaten our planet’s life-support systems, including clean air, clean water, and productive soil. Awareness about the causes and consequences of climate change is growing, leading some governments to look for solutions in areas such as clean energy. Species extinction, however, has gone largely unnoticed by government leaders. In a June 2010 article in the Guardian newspaper titled “Give Decision Makers Access to the Value of Nature’s Services,” France’s ecology secretary and the World Resources Institute’s vice-president of science and research argue that “unlike the impacts of climate change, biodiversity—and the ecosystem services it harbours—disappears in a mostly silent, local, and anonymous fashion.
affirmative action, Andrei Shleifer, Berlin Wall, British Empire, Broken windows theory, carbon footprint, Celebration, Florida, clean water, congestion charging, declining real wages, desegregation, diversified portfolio, Edward Glaeser, endowment effect, European colonialism, financial innovation, Frank Gehry, global village, Guggenheim Bilbao, haute cuisine, Home mortgage interest deduction, James Watt: steam engine, Jane Jacobs, job-hopping, John Snow's cholera map, Mahatma Gandhi, McMansion, megacity, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, New Urbanism, place-making, Ponzi scheme, Potemkin village, Ralph Waldo Emerson, rent control, RFID, Richard Florida, Rosa Parks, school vouchers, Seaside, Florida, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, Steven Pinker, strikebreaker, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade route, transatlantic slave trade, upwardly mobile, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, William Shockley: the traitorous eight, Works Progress Administration, young professional
Economic historian Werner Troesken has done an enormous amount of research, which shows that investments in municipal waterworks significantly reduced deaths from typhoid fever and other diseases. Clean water has even reduced deaths from diseases that aren’t carried by water. Echoing centuryold research on the impact of clean water in Massachusetts, Troesken and his coauthor Joseph Ferrie found that, starting in 1850, lower rates of typhoid fever in Chicago generally went along with larger reductions in other diseases. Deaths from other ailments may have fallen because waterborne diseases were being mistaken for other diseases or because waterborne illnesses were weakening immune systems, which then failed when other ailments attacked them. Whatever the reason, Ferrie and Troesken believe that “the introduction of pure water explains between 30 and 50 percent of Chicago’s mortality decline” between 1850 and 1925. Clean water came to cities only because of massive public investments in infrastructure.
The doctor didn’t quite understand the bacterial origins of cholera, but he correctly determined that the malady was being spread by infected water. Snow’s research offered early proof of a fact that now seems obvious: Cities must provide clean water to ensure urban health. Snow also provides us with an example of self-protecting urban innovation, cities’ ability to generate the information needed to solve their own problems. In the United States, city governments, driven more by intuition than by Snow’s science, had begun the Herculean job of providing clean water at the start of the nineteenth century. Somehow they grasped that foul water played a role in disease outbreaks, and for years they fought for cleaner water. After yellow fever struck America’s cities in 1793 and 1798, Philadelphia and New York both decided to provide their citizens with water uncontaminated by nearby cesspools.
For more than a century, economists have argued that externalities require some form of state intervention, and so it was with water. Since the Manhattan Company didn’t solve New York’s clean-water problem, waterborne diseases kept reappearing. New York City would occasionally lose more than a half percent of its population to an epidemic during a given year, double the death rate in a normal year, as it did during the 1832 cholera epidemic. Finally, New York City followed Philadelphia and spent millions, as Hamilton had warned, on public water provision. The Croton Aqueduct, built at a cost of $9 million (more than $170 million in 2010 dollars), provided New York’s water after 1842, and that clean water quickly had an impact. After 1860, the mortality rate experienced a remarkable sixty-year decline, from more than thirty deaths per thousand at the end of the Civil War to around ten per thousand during the 1920s.
American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, Anton Chekhov, Celtic Tiger, clean water, glass ceiling, indoor plumbing, informal economy, job satisfaction, John Snow's cholera map, joint-stock company, land reform, New Urbanism, Potemkin village, Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, Steven Pinker, urban planning
The Netherlands-based International Water and Sanitation Center recently listed celebrities who do charity work for water. Hollywood star Matt Damon has launched the NGO H2O, whose mission is to “bring clean water to Africa.” In the music world, the rapper Jay-Z did a three-part series for MTV on the world’s water crisis. The rock singer Chris Martin is an ambassador for WaterAid. Not one celebrity ambassador, however, has made the obvious point. Dirty water is usually dirtied by feces. It is hard to supply clean water when that clean water is contaminated by overflowing pit latrines or filthy fingernails. “We can get celebrities to talk about water,” a WaterAid employee tells me. “But none of them want to be pictured on a toilet.” Clean water gushing from a new hand pump makes for great press coverage. Accompanying a child to her new latrine does not. WaterAid probably isn’t fussy.
By 1969, Time could write that the nation’s rivers were “convenient, free sewers.” It described Ohio’s Cuyahoga River, which caught fire twice that year, as “chocolate-brown, oily, bubbling with sub-surface gases.” Consequently, the Clean Water Act of 1972 provided big money for municipalities to improve their sewage treatment. The construction and renovation frenzy that ensued was the largest public works project in the country to date. By its completion, the United States had 16,000 sewage treatment plants and an improved sewage treatment process. But cleaning sewage more efficiently meant removing more dirt. In other words, the Clean Water Act increased the amount of sludge being produced, which was mostly dumped at sea. Farmers like sludge because it has nutrients, but the same nitrogen and phosphorous can feed and breed algae that suck out water’s dissolved oxygen content, leaving it lifeless.
The HarperCollins Dictionary of Environmental Science defines sludge as “a viscous, semisolid mixture of bacteria and virus-laden organic matter, toxic metals, synthetic organic chemicals and settled solids removed from domestic industrial waste water at a sewage treatment plant.” The Clean Water Act keeps it simple and calls it a pollutant. I have to use words like if and may because no one actually knows what’s in sludge. Technically, industries are supposed to pretreat hazardous chemicals and waste, but oversight is minimal. And anyway, no one regulates how thousands of chemicals might react with one another or with the pathogens floating alongside them. The most optimistic view of sludge is that it is a soup of unknowns. Others think it’s toxic and can’t be anything else. Cleaning water is done by removing contaminants and concentrating them in sludge. The better the wastewater treatment process, the worse the sludge. So its transformation into fertilizer was going to be a hard sell, but there was little alternative.
The Orbital Perspective: Lessons in Seeing the Big Picture From a Journey of 71 Million Miles by Astronaut Ron Garan, Muhammad Yunus
Airbnb, barriers to entry, book scanning, Buckminster Fuller, clean water, corporate social responsibility, crowdsourcing, global village, Google Earth, Indoor air pollution, jimmy wales, optical character recognition, ride hailing / ride sharing, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart transportation, Stephen Hawking, transaction costs, Turing test, Uber for X, web of trust
Similarly, the worm’s eye view of “doing good” might consist of donating money to a charity—â•‰and this may produce some good in the short term. But pulling back to the orbital perspective may reveal a different long-term, big picture view. Perhaps helping in 72â•… L O O K I N G EARTH WARD one area creates problems in another. What if short-term assistance actually makes a situation worse in the long term? The worm’s eye view would attempt to solve a specific problem, such as providing access to clean water. The orbital perspective would see lack of access to clean water as one symptom of larger issues related to education, unemployment, and government infrastructure. In a medical response to a natural disaster, medical personnel taking the worm’s eye view would focus entirely on treating the patients right in front of them. The orbital perspective would treat those patients while also putting reconstruction projects in place to lessen the long-term risk that many more patients would end up “right in front of them.”
But as I looked down at the Earth—this stunning, fragile oasis, this island that has been given to us, and that has protected all life from the harshness of space—â•‰a sadness came over me, and I was hit in the gut with an undeniable, sobering contradiction. In spite of the overwhelming beauty of this scene, serious inequity exists on the apparent paradise we have been given. I couldn’t help thinking of the nearly one billion people who don’t have clean water to drink, the countless number who go to bed hungry every night, the social injustice, conflicts, and poverty that remain pervasive across the planet. Seeing Earth from this vantage point gave me a unique perspective—â•‰something I’ve come to call the orbital perspective. Part of this is the realization that we are all traveling together on the planet and that if we all looked at the world from that perspective we would see that nothing is impossible.
Finally, we will look at some people and initiatives that are working to employ the orbital perspective to collect, share, and use information to resolve both local and global problems. Facing a Common Enemy There are good people and organizations all over the world proving that if we all commit to working together we can live in a world without poverty, where no one dies from preventable and curable A S h i f t i n P e r sp e c t i v eâ•… 9 diseases, where everyone has access to clean water, where everyone’s children can be educated. We are limited only by our imagination and our will to act. In pulling back to the orbital perspective, it becomes clear that the first step toward solving our big challenges is to identify ourselves as a global community confronted with a common enemy. We must see ourselves as fellow co-laborers in a war against the many challenges we face in common.
Global Spin: The Corporate Assault on Environmentalism by Sharon Beder
battle of ideas, business climate, centre right, clean water, corporate governance, Exxon Valdez, Gary Taubes, global village, invisible hand, laissez-faire capitalism, oil shale / tar sands, price mechanism, profit maximization, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, telemarketer, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, the market place, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, urban planning
Anderson and Leal juxtapose the market with the political process as a means of allocating environmental resources and argue that the political process is inefficient, that is it doesn’t reach the ‘optimal’ level of pollution, that is the level of pollution where costs are minimized: If markets produce ‘too little’ clean water because dischargers do not have to pay for its use, then political solutions are equally likely to produce ‘too much’ clean water because those who enjoy the benefits do not pay the cost. . . Just as pollution externalities can generate too much dirty air, political externalities can generate too much water storage, clear-cutting, wilderness, or water quality. . . Free market environmentalism emphasizes the importance of market processes in determining optimal amounts of resource use.68 ‘Too much’ clean water, it seems, is where the company polluting the water has to pay too much to clean up the mess they make. It involves a judgement that costs to the company are somehow synonymous with costs to the community and therefore can be weighed against benefits to the community.
Former Senator Edmund Muskie, one of the main authors of the original Clean Air and Clean Water Acts, claims the new Act “would halt twenty-five years of accomplishment and turn the clock back to the days when the special interests made the rules and people absorbed the risks.” The legislation has been heavily promoted by the conservative think-tanks. The Competitive Enterprise Institute, for example, has claimed that effective regulatory reform requires “an across-the-board requirement that the benefits of any rule be shown to exceed the risks” and “rules based on hypothetical threats to human health and safety be supported by a preponderance of evidence.”41 In order to do this, it argues, “The EPA should be required to perform a cost/benefit analysis of each and every regulation to ensure that costs of complying with clean water regulation do not outweigh their benefits.”
Index Abramsky, Sasha ref1–ref2 Accuracy in Media (AIM) ref1 acid rain ‘benefits’ of ref1 corporate responsibility ref1 debunking ref1, ref2, ref3 activism corporate ref1, ref2–ref3, ref4–ref5, ref6–ref7, ref8–ref9 employee ref1–ref2, ref3, ref4 environmental ref1, ref2–ref3, ref4, ref5, ref6–ref7, ref8, ref9 Adatto, Kiko ref1–ref2 Adler, Jonathan ref1 The Advancement of Sound Science Coalition (TASSC) ref1 advertising advocacy ref1–ref2, ref3–ref4 brand loyalty ref1, ref2 campaigns ref1–ref2, ref3–ref4, ref5–ref6, ref7–ref8 children targeted ref1–ref2 complaints ref1, ref2–ref3, ref4–ref5 consumerism as result of ref1–ref2, ref3–ref4, ref5–ref6 corporate bias ref1–ref2, ref3–ref4 corporate sponsorship ref1, ref2–ref3, ref4, ref5 environmentalism ref1–ref2, ref3–ref4, ref5–ref6 green ref1–ref2, ref3–ref4 influence of ref1, ref2–ref3, ref4 the ‘infomercial’ ref1–ref2 on the internet ref1–ref2 misleading ref1–ref2 in newspapers ref1–ref2, ref3, ref4 Procter & Gamble ref1–ref2 pseudo-environmentalism ref1–ref2, ref3 regulation of ref1, ref2–ref3, ref4, ref5 research ref1 revenue ref1 in schools ref1–ref2, ref3–ref4 soap operas ref1, ref2 strategies ref1–ref2 TV programs influenced ref1, ref2–ref3, ref4, ref5–ref6 Advertising Age ref1 Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) ref1, ref2–ref3, ref4 advocacy advertising ref1–ref2, ref3–ref4 AEI see American Enterprise Institute aerosol industry ref1–ref2 Agent Orange ref1 Agricultural Chemical Association ref1 agricultural industry ref1, ref2 air pollution ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4 Alliance for Responsible CFC Policy ref1 Alliance for the Responsible Use of Chlorine Chemistry (ARCC) ref1, ref2, ref3–ref4, ref5 Alterman, Eric ref1 Alton, David ref1–ref2 American Automobile Manufacturers Association ref1 American Coal Foundation ref1 American Council on Science and Health ref1, ref2 American Electric Power ref1 American Enterprise Institute (AEI) ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5, ref6 American Farm Bureau Federation ref1 American Freedom Coalition (AFC) ref1 American Nuclear Society ref1, ref2 American Paper Institute ref1 American Petroleum Institute (API) ref1, ref2, ref3 American Public Health Association ref1 American Society of Mechanical Engineers ref1 Amway ref1 Anderson, Paul ref1–ref2 Anderson, Terry ref1, ref2, ref3 Angel, Jeff ref1 animal testing ref1–ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5, ref6–ref7, ref8, ref9 anti-climate treaty campaign ref1–ref2 anti-environmentalism ref1–ref2, ref3–ref4, ref5–ref6, ref7–ref8, ref9 Apple Computers ref1, ref2 Arizona Republic ref1 Arnold, Ron ref1–ref2, ref3–ref4, ref5–ref6, ref7–ref8, ref9, ref10, ref11 Artzt, Edward ref1 ASA see Advertising Standards Authority Associated Newspapers ref1 ‘astroturf ’ ref1 Atomic Energy Commission ref1 Audubon Society ref1, ref2, ref3 Australia advertising ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4 anti-environmentalism ref1, ref2 community advisory panels ref1 conservatism ref1–ref2 corporate activism ref1–ref2 corporate funding ref1, ref2 dioxin ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4–ref5 education ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4 environmentalism ref1, ref2, ref3 front groups ref1 government influence ref1, ref2–ref3 greenhouse gas emissions ref1, ref2, ref3 influence of economists in ref1–ref2 lawsuits ref1, ref2–ref3, ref4 the media ref1 MPs’ financial interests ref1 ‘New Right’ ref1–ref2 PR industry ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4–ref5, ref6–ref7, ref8–ref9 propaganda ref1–ref2 public opinion ref1, ref2, ref3 ‘revolving door’ syndrome ref1, ref2, ref3 think-tanks ref1–ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5, ref6, ref7, ref8 trade associations ref1 Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) ref1, ref2, ref3 Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics (ABARE) ref1 Australian Business Roundtable ref1–ref2 Australian Centre for Independent Journalism ref1 Australian Chamber of Commerce ref1 Australian Conservation Foundation ref1 Australian Defence Industries (ADI) ref1 Australian Institute of Petroleum ref1 Australian Institute of Public Affairs (IPA) ref1 Australian Petroleum Exploration Association ref1 automobile industry ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5 automobiles ref1 Bagdikian, Ben ref1, ref2, ref3 Bailar, John ref1 Bailey, Ronald ref1, ref2, ref3 Baird, Bruce ref1, ref2, ref3 Baker, Dean ref1 Baliunas, Sallie ref1 Balling, Robert ref1 BANANA ref1 Bandow, Doug ref1 Barnett, Steve ref1 BASF ref1, ref2–ref3 BBC ref1–ref2 BC Council of Forest Industries ref1 Beder, Sharon ref1–ref2, ref3 Beef Industry Council ref1 Bell, Karla ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4 Bell Potinger Communications ref1 Bennett, Lance ref1 Berlusconi, Silvio ref1 Bernays, Edward ref1, ref2 Beutler, Warwick ref1 Bevins, Anthony ref1 BGH ref1 BHP ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5, ref6 Biodiversity treaty ref1 Birnbaum, Linda ref1, ref2 Blackburn, Thomas ref1 Bland, Michael ref1, ref2, ref3–ref4 Block, Walter ref1 Blue Ribbon Coalition ref1, ref2 Blyskal, Jeff and Marie ref1, ref2 Bode, Thilo ref1, ref2, ref3 Body Shop ref1, ref2–ref3 Body Shop International ref1 Boff, Richard Du ref1 Bolivia ref1 Bonner, Jack ref1–ref2 Boren, Frank ref1 boycotts, consumer ref1–ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5 BP Australia ref1 BP Company plc ref1, ref2, ref3 Brady, John ref1 Brent Spar ref1, ref2 Britain advertising ref1, ref2, ref3–ref4, ref5–ref6 anti-environmentalism ref1 corporate funding ref1–ref2 dioxin ref1, ref2–ref3 education ref1 environmental legislation ref1, ref2 environmentalism ref1 lawsuits ref1, ref2–ref3 the media ref1 media ownership ref1–ref2 MPs’ financial interests ref1–ref2 political alienation ref1 political coverage ref1 political donations ref1 PR industry ref1, ref2–ref3 ‘revolving door’ syndrome ref1 SLAPPs ref1–ref2 think-tanks ref1–ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5–ref6, ref7, ref8–ref9 British Nuclear Fuels ref1–ref2 British Plastics Federation ref1, ref2–ref3 Brody, Bill ref1 Brookings Institution ref1, ref2 Browner, Carol ref1 Browning-Ferris Industries ref1 Brunton, Ron ref1 Brzezinski, Zbigniew ref1 BSMG Workwide (UK) ref1 Buchanan, Pat ref1 Bulgaria ref1 Burger King ref1 Burson, Harold ref1 Burson-Marsteller ref1–ref2, ref3, ref4–ref5, ref6, ref7, ref8–ref9, ref10, ref11, ref12 Burton, Bob ref1 Bush, George ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5, ref6 Bush, George (Jnr) ref1 Business Council for Sustainable Development ref1–ref2 Business Council of Australia ref1 Business Roundtable ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4 Business Week ref1–ref2 Button, John ref1 Cable News Network see CNN Caldicott, Helen ref1 Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament Cymru ref1–ref2 campaigns advertising ref1–ref2, ref3–ref4, ref5–ref6, ref7–ref8 fax ref1, ref2 letter-writing ref1, ref2–ref3, ref4–ref5, ref6, ref7, ref8 litter ref1, ref2 media ref1, ref2–ref3, ref4 public relations ref1–ref2, ref3–ref4, ref5–ref6, ref7, ref8–ref9, ref10, ref11 telephone ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5 by think-tanks ref1 Wise Use Movement ref1–ref2, ref3, ref4 Canada advertising ref1, ref2 education ref1, ref2 environmentalism ref1 front groups ref1–ref2 grassroots organisations ref1–ref2, ref3 greenhouse gas emissions approval for ref1 lawsuits ref1, ref2, ref3–ref4 PR industry ref1–ref2 public opinion ref1–ref2 Share Movement ref1, ref2 think-tanks ref1 Wise Use Movement ref1, ref2 Canadian Nuclear Association ref1, ref2 Canan, Penelope ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4 CAP see Civic Action Program capitalism ref1–ref2, ref3, ref4 see also free enterprise carbon dioxide ref1, ref2, ref3 career opportunities for green leaders ref1–ref2 Carey, Alex ref1, ref2–ref3 Carlo, George ref1, ref2 Carmody, Kevin ref1 Carothers, Andre ref1–ref2 Cartmel, Robert ref1, ref2 cars see automobiles Carson, Rachel ref1 Cass, Penny ref1–ref2 Cato Institute ref1–ref2, ref3–ref4, ref5, ref6, ref7, ref8, ref9, ref10, ref11 CEI see Competitive Enterprise Institute cement industry ref1 Center for Disease Control (CDC) ref1 Center for Strategic and International Studies ref1, ref2 Center for the Defense of Free Enterprise ref1, ref2, ref3–ref4, ref5–ref6, ref7 Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change ref1 Central Newspapers ref1 Centre for Independent Studies (CIS) ref1–ref2, ref3 Centre for Policy Studies (CPS) ref1, ref2 CFCs ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5–ref6, ref7, ref8 CFE see Citizens for Full Evaluation Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Western Australia ref1 Chamber of Commerce (US) ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5, ref6 Channel One ref1–ref2, ref3 chemical industry ref1, ref2, ref3–ref4, ref5, ref6, ref7, ref8 Chemical Manufacturers Association ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5, ref6 Chemistry and Industry ref1 Chevron Corporation ref1, ref2, ref3 Chicago Tribune ref1 children advertising targets ref1–ref2 brand loyalty ref1, ref2 consumerism ref1–ref2, ref3, ref4–ref5 environmental education ref1–ref2 green toys ref1 internet users ref1–ref2 television ref1 chloracne ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5 chlorine ref1 banning ref1–ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5, ref6 ‘benefits’ of ref1–ref2 defence of ref1–ref2 and dioxin ref1–ref2, ref3, ref4–ref5, ref6–ref7 industry ref1, ref2–ref3, ref4–ref5 in paper industry ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4 PR defence ref1–ref2 products ref1, ref2–ref3 toxicity of ref1 Chlorine Chemistry Council ref1, ref2, ref3–ref4, ref5–ref6, ref7 Chlorine Institute ref1–ref2, ref3 Chlorophiles ref1, ref2, ref3 Chomsky, Noam ref1, ref2, ref3 Christian Science Monitor ref1 Ciba-Geigy AG ref1 Citigate Dewe Rogerson ref1 Citizen’s Advisory Council ref1 Citizen’s Clearinghouse for Hazardous Waste ref1–ref2 Citizens for Full Evaluation (CFE) ref1 Civic Action Program (CAP) ref1, ref2 Claney, Stephen ref1 Clean Air Act (1968) ref1 Clean Air Act (1990) ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5, ref6, ref7 Clean Water Act ref1, ref2 Clean Water Act (1973) ref1 Clearinghouse on Environmental Advocacy and Research (CLEAR) ref1 climate change ref1, ref2 Clinton, Bill ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5 Clorox Corporation ref1 CNN ref1, ref2 CO2 see carbon dioxide coal industry ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4 Coalition for Environmentally Responsible Economies (CERES) ref1 Coalition for Vehicle Choice ref1 Cockett, Richard ref1 Code of Advertising and Sales Promotion ref1, ref2 Cohen, Jeff ref1–ref2, ref3 Coles Supermarkets ref1 commercialism ref1–ref2, ref3–ref4 Committee for Economic Development in Australia (CEDA) ref1 Committee to Preserve American Security and Sovereignty (COMPASS) ref1–ref2 Commoner, Barry ref1 communications industry ref1 communism ref1, ref2, ref3 Community Advisory Panels ref1–ref2 Community Projects Ltd ref1–ref2 Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) ref1, ref2, ref3–ref4, ref5, ref6, ref7, ref8, ref9, ref10, ref11 computers see information technology Congress Watch ref1 Connor, Desmond ref1–ref2 Conservation Foundation ref1 conservatism anti-environmentalism ref1–ref2 in Australia ref1–ref2 in education ref1–ref2 in the media ref1–ref2, ref3–ref4 in the 70s ref1–ref2 think-tanks ref1–ref2, ref3, ref4–ref5 Conservative party (Britain) ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4–ref5, ref6 Consumer Alert ref1 consumer boycotts ref1, ref2–ref3, ref4, ref5, ref6, ref7 Consumer Reports ref1 consumerism advertising results in ref1–ref2, ref3–ref4, ref5–ref6 of children ref1–ref2, ref3, ref4–ref5 planned obsolescence ref1–ref2, ref3 in USA ref1–ref2 Contract with America ref1, ref2, ref3 Control of Pollution Act (1974) ref1 Convention on Climate Change ref1 Cooler Heads Coalition ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4 Cooper, Mario ref1–ref2 Coors, Joseph ref1, ref2 corporate activism ref1, ref2–ref3, ref4–ref5, ref6–ref7, ref8–ref9 corporate culture ref1 corporate mergers ref1 Corporate Television Networks (CTN) ref1 corporations, government funded ref1, ref2, ref3–ref4, ref5 cosmetics industry ref1–ref2 cost benefit analysis ref1–ref2, ref3, ref4 Costantini, Edmond ref1 Cotton Australia ref1 Coulter, Jane ref1 Council for Wildlife Conservation and Education ref1 Council on Economic Priorities ref1–ref2, ref3 Council on Foreign Relations ref1 Countrywide Porter Novelli ref1 see also Porter/Novelli Courier Mail ref1 Cox, Hank ref1 CPS see Centre for Policy Studies Criminal Justice and Public Order Act (1994) ref1 Croatia ref1 Cronkite, Walter ref1 ‘cross-pollination’ ref1 Crowley, Chris ref1 Cushman, Charles ref1, ref2–ref3, ref4 Czech Republic ref1 Dadd, Debra Lynn ref1–ref2 Daily Herald ref1 Daily Sketch ref1 Daimler-Chrysler ref1 Daly, Fred ref1 Davies, John ref1, ref2 Davis, Stanley Clinton ref1 Dawkins, Maurice ref1 DDT ref1, ref2 Dearing, Sir Ron ref1 democracy ref1–ref2 Democratic party (US) ref1, ref2 Desai, R. ref1 Detjen, Jim ref1 Detroit News ref1 Diesendorf, Mark ref1 Dillon, John ref1–ref2 dioxin Agent Orange ref1 ‘benefits’ of ref1 chloracne ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5 and chlorine ref1–ref2, ref3, ref4–ref5, ref6–ref7 defence of ref1, ref2–ref3, ref4–ref5, ref6–ref7, ref8–ref9 effects of ref1–ref2, ref3, ref4 in the environment ref1–ref2, ref3, ref4 environmental opposition ref1–ref2 EPA assessment ref1, ref2–ref3 experiments ref1–ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5, ref6–ref7 in the food chain ref1–ref2 lawsuits ref1, ref2, ref3–ref4 media defence ref1, ref2–ref3, ref4 natural mimics ref1–ref2 PR campaigns ref1, ref2–ref3 research ref1–ref2, ref3, ref4–ref5 risk assessment ref1, ref2–ref3, ref4–ref5, ref6 safety levels ref1–ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5, ref6 scientific ‘evidence’ ref1–ref2, ref3–ref4, ref5–ref6 sources ref1 toxicity ref1–ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5–ref6 in Vietnam war ref1, ref2 Dioxin Working Group ref1 Direct Marketing ref1 Disney Corporation ref1, ref2 Dole, Bob ref1, ref2, ref3 Domino’s Pizzas ref1 Donohoe, Jenny ref1–ref2 Doolittle, John ref1 Dow Chemical Company dioxin ref1–ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5, ref6, ref7 front group funding ref1, ref2, ref3–ref4 PR campaigns ref1 pseudo-environmentalism ref1–ref2 Superfund legislation ref1 Dr Seuss ref1 Du Boff, Richard ref1 Duchin, Ronald ref1, ref2 Dumanoski, Dianne ref1 DuPont Company ref1, ref2–ref3, ref4, ref5, ref6 Durnil, Gordon ref1 Durning, Alan ref1, ref2 Dykstra, Peter ref1, ref2 E.
Garbage Land: On the Secret Trail of Trash by Elizabeth Royte
It occurred to me late one night, as I sat peacefully on the floor surrounded by the remains of the day, that I knew something about where all this stuff had come from (particularly if it was food; the nation’s heightened health consciousness inspired a lot of ink on the provenance of foodstuffs) but almost nothing about where it went after it left my house. Much has been made, in certain circles, of humanity’s connection to the natural world. Enlightened consumers, we don’t want to eat endangered fish or buy rare hardwoods. We care about animal rights and clean water. But it wasn’t fair, I reasoned, to feel connected to the rest of the world only on the front end, to the waving fields of grain and the sparkling mountain streams. We needed to cop to a downstream connection as well. Our lifestyles took a toll on the planet, and that toll was growing ever worse. October 24. One Jane Goodall’s Wild Chimpanzees video, 1 plastic shopping bag, 1 plastic bread bag, 1 plastic veggie bag, 1 cardboard egg carton (not in paper recycling because there’s a broken egg in it), 5 paper towels (from cleaning up broken egg), 2 one-pint ice cream containers and tops, Saran wrap, 1 bakery bag with leftover bialys, 1 butter paper, 4 plastic lids from coffee cups (would a careful observer surmise, from the lack of coffee grounds, that the household ran out of coffee and for two days purchased lattes, at twice the cost of a pound of coffee beans?)
Facing acute unemployment and underdevelopment, the town of Welch, the county seat, saw no better economic alternative than to build a landfill in a bowl-shaped hollow at the end of Lower Shannon Branch, a dirt road that winds for six miles through hill country. In exchange for accepting 300,000 tons of waste a month, most of it from New York City, Welch would receive an $8 million fee from the development company, 367 jobs, and one wastewater treatment plant, a novelty for a county that, by dumping raw sewage into its creeks, had been in violation of the Clean Water Act since 1972. Only a handful of people had questions about the project, but just as the contract was about to be signed, a protest movement materialized. Much was made of the waste’s provenance: accepting garbage from New York and New Jersey, the landfill would surely be tainted with AIDS and by medical waste, it would be run by the mob, and “cocktailed” with toxic and nuclear dregs. (Homegrown trash, presumably, didn’t even smell.)
Some landfill messes are relatively benign, some aren’t: dumps seem to attract environmental lawsuits like flies. As of June 2003, 413 of the 1,571 sites on the EPA’s National Priorities List, representing the worst of the worst Superfund sites (which by definition contain hazardous waste) were landfills, a ratio of just over one in four. IESI Bethlehem wasn’t on the Superfund list, nor had it received any notices of significant violations of the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, or Resource Conservation and Recovery Act within the last two years. But then I looked back a little further. I learned that IESI had owned the Bethlehem landfill only since 1999, when it had purchased it from Waste Management for $65 million and an agreement to pay Lower Saucon Township (which included the city of Bethlehem) a host fee of $460,000 a year. A hot potato, the Bethlehem landfill had changed hands, just before IESI had bought it, three times in less than a year.
Blood River: A Journey to Africa's Broken Heart by Tim Butcher
airport security, blood diamonds, clean water, colonial exploitation, colonial rule, discovery of the americas, European colonialism, failed state, Livingstone, I presume, Scramble for Africa, transatlantic slave trade, transatlantic slave trade
Nothing stirred as we left Mukumbo and rejoined the track. In the pitch dark there was little for me to look at and so, after a few minutes of bumping and grinding behind Odimba, my mind started to work. We were about 100 kilometres from Kabambarre and needed to travel another 200 kilometres beyond to reach Kasongo. I had planned to be able to refill my water bottles with boiled, clean water overnight, but we had got there too late and left too early. I was sure I could get clean water in Kasongo, so that meant I had to eke out the remaining three bottles of water for 300 kilometres. Okay, I thought, that meant one bottle per 100 kilometres, and I can always ration further myself if things are getting tighter later on. Those 100 kilometres to Kabambarre felt painfully long. I was by then aching with hunger. The only food I had with me were energy sweets, given to me as a bit of a joke by an old running partner in Johannesburg.
'So you are the man crazy enough to want to follow Stanley's route. The history of this place is extraordinary - the slavers and their ivory, the Belgians who fought battles right here where the town now stands, and the wars since independence - but I have never met anyone who comes here just for history's sake. History is a luxury people cannot afford around here, where the more pressing things are where the next meal is coming from or the next drink of clean water.' He spoke slowly, concentrating hard on steering the jeep along the bouncy road into town, sitting forward in the driver's seat, anxiously trying to see over the bonnet to anticipate the next pothole. 'It's not the worst town in the country I have been to, but things are pretty basic here. The town is meant to get its electricity from a hydroelectric plant in the mountains north of here, built back in the 1950s - it's the one that Che Guevara attacked - but it's pretty intermittent these days.
I found it heartbreaking that a man as decent and talented as Benoit was trapped in a Congolese life lurching from crisis to crisis. I tried to sound positive. 'If anyone can find a way, you can, Benoit. Thank you for everything.' Benoit could not be spared by Tom, but Odimba was available. I set oft from Kasongo once again riding as his passenger, surrounded by numerous plastic bottles of specially cleaned water. Careering along the track, nay head clattering every so often against Odimba's motorbike helmet, I thought more about Kasongo. During the slavery period it had peaked as a capital city, and during the colonial era its strong agriculture and tropical medicine hospital had kept it alive. But in the chaos since the first Mulele Mai uprising it had been slipping backwards. As I approached the Congo River I found myself on the same track that the two Belgian cotton agents had used when they tried to flee that first rebellion in 1964.
airport security, anti-communist, Asian financial crisis, bank run, banking crisis, Bretton Woods, British Empire, call centre, clean water, colonial exploitation, colonial rule, Edward Glaeser, European colonialism, failed state, farmers can use mobile phones to check market prices, George Akerlof, Hernando de Soto, income inequality, income per capita, Indoor air pollution, invisible hand, Kenneth Rogoff, laissez-faire capitalism, land reform, land tenure, microcredit, moral hazard, Naomi Klein, purchasing power parity, randomized controlled trial, Ronald Reagan, Scramble for Africa, structural adjustment programs, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transaction costs, War on Poverty, Xiaogang Anhui farmers
SNAPSHOT: WATER PIPE IN THE GREAT RIFT VALLEY of Ethiopia, I visited a village far from the big dreams and Big Plans the West has for the Rest. A British nongovernmental aid organization called Water Aid, which receives funds from official aid agencies, had inaugurated a new project in this village. This agency seemed to be acting more like an explorer and less like a foreign aid planner. Water Aid had discovered a way to get clean water to some very poor villages in the Great Rift Valley. They built a water pipe to carry clean water from springs on top of the mountains bordering the Great Rift Valley to villages down in the valley. The project was run entirely by Ethiopians, with representatives from the villages sitting on the board of the agency. At a bustling water tap in one village, the villagers watered their cattle and collected drinking water for a nominal fee paid to Water Aid, to be used for maintenance of the system.
Highly partitioned countries do worse on infant mortality, illiteracy, and specific public services such as immunization against measles, immunization for DPT (diphtheria-pertussis-tetanus), and supply of clean water. Fig. 29. Democracy and Partition in Former Colonies Our second measure of artificial borders is more exotic, if not crazy. We reasoned that “natural” nations would determine their borders by some complex organic process, again depending on factors such as the spread of a unifying culture or the location of ethnic groups. Colonial bureaucrats on the other hand, are more likely to just draw straight lines on a map, without regard to realities on the ground. So we devised a mathematical measure of how wiggly or straight are the borders of every country in the world. We found that artificially straight borders were statistically associated with less democracy, higher infant mortality, more illiteracy, less childhood immunization, and less access to clean water—all measured today.
To escape the cycle of tragedy, we have to be tough on the ideas of the Planners, even while we salute their goodwill. Big Problems and Big Plans Almost three billion people live on less than two dollars a day, adjusted for purchasing power.5 Eight hundred and forty million people in the world don’t have enough to eat.6 Ten million children die every year from easily preventable diseases.7 AIDS is killing three million people a year and is still spreading.8 One billion people in the world lack access to clean water; two billion lack access to sanitation.9 One billion adults are illiterate.10 About a quarter of the children in the poor countries do not finish primary school.11 So Amaretch is enslaved to a load of firewood instead of playing and learning in a school yard. This poverty in the Rest justifiably moves many people in the West. The Western effort deploys a variety of interventions besides foreign aid, including technical advice and lending from the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, the spread of the knowledge of capitalism and democracy, scientific interventions to cure disease, nation-building, neo-imperialism, and military intervention.
Home Comforts: The Art and Science of Keeping House by Cheryl Mendelson
biofilm, Broken windows theory, clean water, deskilling, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, Indoor air pollution, indoor plumbing, Jacquard loom, Jacquard loom, Own Your Own Home, sensible shoes, spice trade, Telecommunications Act of 1996, telemarketer
Mix one teaspoon of a neutral detergent (a mild detergent containing no alkalies or bleaches) with a cup of lukewarm water. Blot. Sponge with clean water. Blot. Raw Egg Mix one teaspoon of a neutral detergent (a mild detergent containing no alkalies or bleaches) with a cup of lukewarm water. Blot. Mix one tablespoon of household ammonia with a half-cup of water. Blot. Repeat step one. Sponge with clean water. Blot Earth (Dirt) Mix one teaspoon of a neutral detergent (a mild detergent containing no alkalies or bleaches) with a cup of lukewarm water. Blot. Mix one tablespoon of household ammonia with a half-cup of water. Blot. Repeat step one with the detergent. Sponge with clean water. Blot. Food Coloring or Dye Seek the help of a professional carpet cleaner. Fruit and Juices Mix one teaspoon of a neutral detergent (a mild detergent containing no alkalies or bleaches) with a cup of lukewarm water.
Mix one teaspoon of a neutral detergent (a mild detergent containing no alkalies or bleaches) with a cup of lukewarm water. Blot. Sponge with clean water. Blot. Ice Cream Mix one teaspoon of a neutral detergent (a mild detergent containing no alkalies or bleaches) with a cup of lukewarm water. Blot. Mix one tablespoon of household ammonia with a half-cup of water. Blot. Repeat step one. Sponge with clean water. Blot. Ink (Ballpoint) Sponge with a small amount of dry-cleaning solvent. Blot. (Use small amounts to prevent any possible damage to sizings, backing, or stuffing materials. Do not use gasoline, lighter fluid, or tetrachloride.) Mix one teaspoon of a neutral detergent (a mild detergent containing no alkalies or bleaches) with a cup of lukewarm water. Blot. Sponge with clean water. Blot. Iodine, Merthiolate Mix one teaspoon of a neutral detergent (a mild detergent containing no alkalies or bleaches) with a cup of lukewarm water.
Mix one-third cup of white household vinegar with two-thirds cup of water. Blot. Repeat step one. Blot. Sponge with clean water. Blot. Marking Ink Pen Sponge with a small amount of dry-cleaning solvent. Blot. (Use small amounts o prevent any possible damage to sizings, backings, or stuffing materials. Do not use gasoline, lighter fluid, or carbon tetrachloride.) Mix one teaspoon of a neutral detergent (a mild detergent containing no alkalies or bleaches) with a cup of lukewarm water. Blot. Sponge with clean water. Blot. Milk Mix one teaspoon of a neutral detergent (a mild detergent containing no alkalies or bleaches) with a cup of lukewarm water. Blot. Mix one tablespoon of household ammonia with a half-cup of water. Blot. Repeat step one. Blot. Sponge with clean water. Blot. Nail Polish Apply nail polish remover (acetone). Blot. Mix one teaspoon of a neutral detergent (a mild detergent containing no alkalies or bleaches) with a cup of lukewarm water.
A Sea in Flames: The Deepwater Horizon Oil Blowout by Carl Safina
Landry talks about burning it off the sea. Lighting the sea on fire. In 1969, the Cuyahoga River in Ohio caught fire. So shocked was America to see its waters on fire that the incident—along with an oil leak off Santa Barbara, California, the same year—helped precipitate the explosion of environmental laws that Republican president Richard Nixon signed in the early 1970s. (Note to the young: If you wonder why we need a Clean Water Act—a reasonable question, since you’re lucky enough not to have seen America’s waterways as they were before—consider that the Cuyahoga River had ignited about ten prior times in the last century, and also consider this description from Time magazine, August 1, 1969: Some river! Chocolate-brown, oily, bubbling with subsurface gases, it oozes rather than flows. “Anyone who falls into the Cuyahoga does not drown,” Cleveland’s citizens joke grimly.
But despite “overseeing the operation” on our behalf, Allen seems to be doing nothing—incredibly enough—to ensure that we actually send down some instruments designed to get the best possible estimate of how much oil. I am not impressed with the Coast Guard so far. Admiral Thad Allen becomes to me a one-dimensional government talking head: the Thadmiral. Does he deserve to be a caricature? Of course not; does anyone? But in my anger, that’s what happens. Under the Clean Water Act, penalties are based on the number of barrels deemed spilled. Those penalties range from $1,100 to $4,300 a barrel, depending on the extent of the company’s negligence. At, say, 5 million barrels, and if BP were found willfully negligent, it could face a fine of over $20 billion. So, yes, the dispersant is “working.” Get it? Dispersants begin accumulating well-deserved criticism. When broken up by dispersants, “The oil’s not at the surface, so it doesn’t look so bad,” says Louisiana State University veterinary medicine professor Kevin Kleinow, “but you have a situation where it’s more available to fish.”
“If they get it on the first three or four shots they’d be very lucky.” BP shares lose 15 percent of their value on news that its attempted stop-from-the-top hasn’t worked, indicating that the leak—and BP’s liabilities for economic and environmental damages—will likely continue mounting for months. The Justice Department announces criminal and civil investigations into the Gulf oil disaster. “All possible violations of the law,” including the Clean Water Act, Oil Pollution Act, Endangered Species Act. About 15,000 barrels of oil a day begin finding their way out the high end of the pipe and into the ship Discoverer Enterprise. BP’s Tony Hayward, sounding like he’s trying to convince even himself, says the cap will likely capture “the majority, probably the vast majority” of the gushing oil. Ever the cheerleader for the sheer magnificence of the enterprise, he himself gushes, “It has been difficult to predict because all of this is a first.
The Great Surge: The Ascent of the Developing World by Steven Radelet
Admiral Zheng, agricultural Revolution, Asian financial crisis, bank run, Berlin Wall, Branko Milanovic, business climate, business process, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, clean water, colonial rule, demographic dividend, Deng Xiaoping, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, Doha Development Round, Erik Brynjolfsson, European colonialism, F. W. de Klerk, failed state, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Gini coefficient, global supply chain, income inequality, income per capita, invention of the steam engine, James Watt: steam engine, John Snow's cholera map, Joseph Schumpeter, land reform, low skilled workers, M-Pesa, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, oil shock, out of africa, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, randomized controlled trial, Robert Gordon, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, Simon Kuznets, South China Sea, special economic zone, Steven Pinker, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, trade route, women in the workforce, working poor
Others made it for a year or two until being struck down by malaria, pneumonia, diarrhea, or malnutrition. Those who lived faced an enormous disease burden, mostly from diseases that we can control or cure. Few children had a chance to go to school or get a decent education, especially girls. The vast majority of people did not have access to clean water and basic sanitation. But that was then. Over the last several decades, there have been dramatic reductions in infant death, huge gains in fighting a range of killer diseases, big improvements in access to clean water and sanitation, and sizable increases in primary and secondary school enrollments. As with other dimensions of development, there is still far to go, and not everyone has been reached. But the facts are clear: there has been much greater progress in health and access to education across the world’s poorest countries over the last several decades than ever before.
The average income for hundreds of millions of people in dozens of poor countries has more than doubled, 6 million fewer children die every year from disease, war and violence have declined significantly, average life expectancy has increased by six years, tens of millions more girls are in school, the share of people living in chronic hunger has been cut nearly in half, millions more people have access to clean water, and democracy—often fragile and imperfect—has become the norm rather than the exception in developing countries around the world. To be sure, the surge of progress in health, income, poverty, education, and governance has not reached everyone: many poor countries remain mired in poverty and conflict, and even in the countries moving forward, millions of people are still left behind, even if their numbers are shrinking.
Whereas in 1960 the typical person born in a developing country could expect to live around fifty years, today his or her grandchildren will live sixty-six years. People born in developing countries live fully one-third longer, on average, than they did two generations ago. More children are enrolling in and completing primary education, especially girls. In 1980 only half of all girls in developing countries completed primary school; today four out of five do so. More people than ever before have access to clean water, basic sanitation, and some electricity. The changes go further, and include personal freedoms and political systems. Around the world, dictatorships have been replaced by democracies. There are fewer wars and less violence, and basic rights and liberties are far more likely to be upheld. In 1983 seventeen developing countries were democracies; by 2013, the number had more than tripled to fifty-six (excluding many more developing countries with populations less than 1 million, which I do not count here).
The God Species: Saving the Planet in the Age of Humans by Mark Lynas
back-to-the-land, Berlin Wall, carbon footprint, clean water, Climategate, Climatic Research Unit, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, decarbonisation, dematerialisation, demographic transition, Haber-Bosch Process, ice-free Arctic, invention of the steam engine, James Watt: steam engine, megacity, meta analysis, meta-analysis, moral hazard, Negawatt, New Urbanism, oil shale / tar sands, out of africa, peak oil, planetary scale, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, Ronald Reagan, special drawing rights, Stewart Brand, University of East Anglia
The next steps for Venter’s team—and other competitors rushing to pioneer novel methods in the same field—point the way towards a new technology of awesome power and potential. Once the function of every gene is understood, scientists can begin to build truly new organisms from scratch with different useful purposes in mind. Microbial life-forms could be designed to create biofuels or new vaccines, to bioremediate polluted sites, or to clean water. In the hands of a modern-day Bond villain, they might also be used to forge virulent new superbugs that could wipe out most of the world’s population. But the technology per se is ethically inert; it is just a tool. The purpose of a machine depends upon whose hands are wielding its power. Synthetic biology reduces the cell to a machine, whose components—once properly understood—can be assembled like blocks of Lego.
Energy is actually too expensive, certainly for the 1.5 billion poor people in the world who lack access to electricity because they do not have the purchasing power to demand it. Well-fed campaigners in rich countries may fantasize romantically about happy peasants living sustainably in self-reliant African villages, but the fact is that people across the developing world are desperate to increase their economic opportunities, security, and wealth. They want to have enough to eat, they want to have clean water and they want their young children not to die of easily treatable diseases—and that is just for starters. They want the benefits of being part of the modern world, in other words, which is why so many young people across the developing world are moving to cities in search of a job and a better way of life. And this better way of life is coming, as the soaring rates of economic growth in China, India, Brazil, and many other developing countries demonstrate.
Millions of young lives are lost to preventable diseases as a result. Helping meet the nitrogen planetary boundary is probably the least compelling reason for tackling this injustice, but nevertheless one estimate suggests that delivering modern sewage facilities to everyone in poor countries could reduce reactive nitrogen pollution by 5 million tonnes a year.26 World Health Organization estimates suggest a cost of about $11 billion a year to provide both clean water and adequate sanitation to half the world’s population by 2015, as demanded by the UN’s Millennium Development Goals.27 Because of the lives saved, the reduction of health-care costs for preventable diseases, and the waste of productive time involved in fetching and carrying water, this expenditure would be strongly cost-positive. Each dollar invested would yield a return of between $5 and $46, depending on the region.
The Great Escape: Health, Wealth, and the Origins of Inequality by Angus Deaton
Admiral Zheng, agricultural Revolution, Branko Milanovic, BRICs, British Empire, call centre, clean water, colonial exploitation, Columbian Exchange, declining real wages, Downton Abbey, financial innovation, germ theory of disease, Gini coefficient, illegal immigration, income inequality, invention of agriculture, invisible hand, John Snow's cholera map, knowledge economy, Louis Pasteur, low skilled workers, new economy, purchasing power parity, randomized controlled trial, rent-seeking, rising living standards, Ronald Reagan, Simon Kuznets, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, structural adjustment programs, The Spirit Level, too big to fail, trade route, very high income, War on Poverty
The historian Simon Szreter describes how, in the cities of the Industrial Revolution, fresh water was widely available, but to factories as a source of power, not to the inhabitants of the cities to drink.32 As is so often the case, the benefits of the new ways of doing things were far from equally distributed. And the factory owners, who were also those who paid taxes, had no interest in spending their own money on clean water for their workers. Szreter documents how new political coalitions of working men and displaced landholders successfully agitated to install the infrastructure for clean water, an agitation that was effective only after the Reform Acts enfranchised working men. Once the political balance had changed, the factory owners climbed on board, and cities began to compete with one another in advertising their healthfulness. (Princeton University, where I teach, did likewise at the same time, claiming that its elevation—all of 140 feet above sea level—made it a healthier environment for young men than the malarial swamps nearby.)
More people are richer and fewer people live in dire poverty. Lives are longer and parents no longer routinely watch a quarter of their children die. Yet millions still experience the horrors of destitution and of premature death. The world is hugely unequal. Inequality is often a consequence of progress. Not everyone gets rich at the same time, and not everyone gets immediate access to the latest life-saving measures, whether access to clean water, to vaccines, or to new drugs for preventing heart disease. Inequalities in turn affect progress. This can be good; Indian children see what education can do and go to school too. It can be bad if the winners try to stop others from following them, pulling up the ladders behind them. The newly rich may use their wealth to influence politicians to restrict public education or health care that they themselves do not need.
By the end of the nineteenth century, the development and acceptance of the germ theory of disease had set the stage for another explosion of progress as well as for the opening up of another great chasm—this time between the life chances of those who were born in rich countries and the chances of those who were not. I tell the story of the fight to save the lives of children in the world that was left behind. This is a story of progress, mostly after World War II—a catch-up that would begin to close the chasm that had begun to open in the eighteenth century. It is a story with many great successes, in which antibiotics, pest control, vaccinations, and clean water saved millions of children, and in which life expectancy sometimes increased at (the apparently impossible rate of) several years each year. The chasm in life expectancy between the poor and rich worlds was narrowed, but not closed. There were also terrible setbacks, including a catastrophic man-made famine in China between 1958 and 1961, and the recent HIV/AIDS epidemic that, for several African countries, wiped out three decades of progress against mortality.
The Health Gap: The Challenge of an Unequal World by Michael Marmot
active transport: walking or cycling, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Atul Gawande, Bonfire of the Vanities, Broken windows theory, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, Celtic Tiger, centre right, clean water, congestion charging, correlation does not imply causation, Doha Development Round, epigenetics, financial independence, future of work, Gini coefficient, Growth in a Time of Debt, illegal immigration, income inequality, Indoor air pollution, Kenneth Rogoff, Kibera, labour market flexibility, lump of labour, Mahatma Gandhi, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microcredit, New Urbanism, obamacare, paradox of thrift, race to the bottom, Rana Plaza, RAND corporation, road to serfdom, Simon Kuznets, Socratic dialogue, structural adjustment programs, the built environment, The Spirit Level, trickle-down economics, urban planning, Washington Consensus, Winter of Discontent, working poor
They talked about the importance of family and friendships; concern for their children – safe places to play, good schools, not getting into trouble with unsuitable friends; having enough money to feed the family and to heat the home, and perhaps for the occasional indulgence; having adequate housing; living in a neighbourhood with green space, good public transport, shops and amenities, and freedom from crime; having reliable and interesting work, without fear of losing their job; older people not being thrown on the scrapheap. Actually, had I asked people in a well-heeled part of London, the answers would have been little different. Then I asked what they thought about health. I was told that in poor countries, ill-health is the result of unsanitary living conditions and lack of health care. In rich countries, now that we all have clean water and safe toilets, they told me that ill-health is the result of difficulty getting to see the doctor and our own indulgent behaviour, we dreadful feckless drinkers, smokers and overweight sloths (I am translating slightly), or just plain bad luck in the genetic lottery. My point in writing this book is that my informants were not wrong about what is important for health, just too limited. The depressed woman in outpatients, the migrants with pain in the belly, the Russian with TB – they are the rule, not the exception.
Yes, it is important to improve the lot of the worst off, but the gradient demands that we improve conditions, and hence health, for everyone below the top. Not only do we need to reduce poverty, we need to improve society and have effort proportional to need. You may be thinking that a social gradient in health in Glasgow and in India are quite different. Thinking about Jimmy in Calton, described above, destitution does not come to mind. He has clean water and shelter and does not suffer from malaria, or dysentery. Surely in India it is different, where the basics are lacking. The basics are wanting, but in other respects it is not so different. Here is Gita. Gita sells vegetables on the street in Ahmedabad in the state of Gujarat in India. She has no formal education, lives in an ‘informal settlement’ (a slum made of makeshift housing) and has two children who sit with her by the roadside as she sells her vegetables, and an older girl who helps with the vegetable trade.
A dollar in a poor country can buy much more than a dollar in a rich country, so national incomes are adjusted for purchasing power. This adjustment brings up the figures for national incomes in poor countries. If you have little of it, money is crucial to your life and your health. For poor countries, small increments in income are associated with big increases in life expectancy. It makes sense. A country with a per capita national income of less than $1,000 can afford little in the way of food, shelter, clean water, sanitation, medical and other services – relief of what I have called destitution. With a small increment in income, more things are possible. FIGURE 1.3: RICHER AND HEALTHIER – UP TO A POINT Even more money, though, does not guarantee good health. Above a national income of about $10,000 there is very little relation between national income and life expectancy. When describing the fate of fifteen-year-old American Andy, I pointed out that he does worse than Swedish Johan.
air freight, banking crisis, big-box store, blood diamonds, Bretton Woods, California gold rush, carbon footprint, clean water, Community Supported Agriculture, dematerialisation, employer provided health coverage, energy security, European colonialism, Firefox, Food sovereignty, Ford paid five dollars a day, full employment, global supply chain, income inequality, Indoor air pollution, intermodal, Jeff Bezos, job satisfaction, McMansion, new economy, oil shale / tar sands, peak oil, Ralph Nader, renewable energy credits, Silicon Valley, special economic zone, supply-chain management, the built environment, trade liberalization, trickle-down economics, union organizing, Wall-E, Whole Earth Review, Zipcar
Then I’d sit in the little café sipping my café au lait, listening in on the conversations of businessmen and aid workers at neighboring tables, aware of the sparkling water in the pool, aware that my cup of coffee required about 36 gallons of water to produce, and acutely aware that the only reason that such a grubby person as me was permitted to spend twenty minutes in their fancy bathroom was the color of my skin and the American Express card in my pocket. I wondered how different life would be for those hundred thousand kids who would die from lack of clean water during the next twelve months, if they each had one of those cards, or even a safe tap in their yards. Having experienced the level of scarcity that is the norm for most of the world’s people, I am now more aware of the many ways that so-called advanced societies take for granted the one substance, after air, that we most need to survive. Remember we don’t just need it for drinking and bathing, but for growing our food too!
During the last century, our use of water globally increased sixfold, which was twice the rate of population growth.57 There are more of us using more water. This is not a sustainable trajectory. Already, about one-third of the world’s population lives in countries that are experiencing water stress.58 Despite all our technological know-how, at least one in six people doesn’t have access to safe drinking water. Every day, thousands of people—mostly children—die from preventable diseases contracted because they do not have access to clean water.59 In Asia, where water has always been regarded as an abundant resource, the amount of it available for each person declined by 40 to 60 percent between 1955 and 1990.60 Experts predict that by 2025, fully three-quarters of people on earth will experience water scarcity, a condition in which the demand for water outstrips the supply.61 Overuse of water, along with droughts, contamination, climate disruption, diversion for industrial or agricultural uses, and inequality in access to water all contribute to water scarcity.
The UCC report helped inspire a powerful, diverse movement that saw environmental sustainability and social justice issues as inseparable. As civil rights and environmental justice activist Cora Tucker said, “People don’t get all the connections [when] they say the environmental is over there, the civil rights group is over there, the women’s group is over there and the other groups are here. Actually, all of them are one group, and the issues we fight become null and void if we have no clean water to drink, no clean air to breathe and nothing to eat.”150 With the movement gaining momentum globally, the first ever National People of Color Environmental Leadership Summit was held in Washington, D.C., in 1991. Soon after, in 1993 President Clinton signed an executive order that created the National Environmental Justice Advisory Council to the EPA.151 So by then, there was solid evidence of a racial bias in the choice of locations for polluting and hazardous facilities; there was a growing broad-based movement for environmental justice; and there was a presidential executive order and a special advisory council to the national Environmental Protection Agency.
airport security, British Empire, call centre, clean water, corporate social responsibility, Deng Xiaoping, Donald Trump, fear of failure, glass ceiling, high net worth, income per capita, Jeff Bezos, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, microcredit, Own Your Own Home, random walk, rolodex, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steve Ballmer
The side benefit is that thinking big can be a self-fulfilling prophecy, because bold goals will attract bold people. Let’s say, for example, that your cause is to bring clean water to villages in Africa where children are dying of diseases that nobody should be killed by in this modern world. Below are two statements that you could make while talking to a potential donor or board member about aiding your nascent organization: STATEMENT #1: My dream is to bring new wells and clean water to at least 25 villages in Kenya over the next three years. STATEMENT #2: The scale of the water problem in Africa requires bold solutions, because millions of people die of diseases that they would not contract if they had clean water. So I want to help at least 10,000 villages, throughout Africa, to have clean water within ten years.* The latter statement is probably going to scare some people away.
In others, one brick wall is left to denote where a home used to be. Story after story you hear from the locals about how this house was home to two parents and five kids and now there is only one child left…or how a father lost all six of his children and wife. Everybody lost someone near and dear to them that quiet Sunday morning. There are refugee camps everywhere and temporary tents line the streets. People have tents, clean water, and food in ample supply thankfully. But people complain that nothing else has happened. They have heard much was given but they have received little to rebuild their lives. The government and international relief agencies are plentiful in the south where there are good roads (tourist beach area) and it is a government-controlled area. Ampara is at the border of the Tamil Tiger zone, however, which means the government and the rebel Tamil Tigers have been fighting it out for years.
My hope is that many readers will get involved with our continued growth by checking out www.roomtoread.org, or e-mailing me at email@example.com. Millions of children in the developing world are waiting for us to bring them the lifelong gift of education. SEARCHABLE TERMS Accenture “Adopt a Project” model in Room to Read Nepal in Room to Read Vietnam Afghanistan, madrassa schools in Africa clean water needed by aid, traditional model of Amazon.com American Himalayan Foundation (AHF) Animal Farm (Orwell) Annapurna Circuit Apollo Armstrong, Lance Livestrong bracelets of Art of Happiness, The (Dalai Lama) Atlanta fund-raising chapter Bahundanda village Baker, James, III Ballmer, Steve as data-driven employees respected by “650” acronym of keynote speech of loyalty of results as focus of on Vietnamese software piracy Bangladesh Barnes & Noble BASIC Beck, Christopher Beethoven, Ludwig van Beijing Bella (JW’s employee) Ben (JW’s colleague) Benighat village Bezos, Jeff Bhatia, Sabeer Blair, Tony book donations millionth-book celebration of by Scholastic Bookseller of Kabul, The (Seierstad) Books for Nepal accountability for results of “Adopt a Project” model of business plan of coinvestment model of delivery of e-mails on inception of initial book drive of local project officers of mission statement of name change of; see also Room to Read; Room to Read Nepal overhead of shipping of Boston fund-raising chapter fund-raising event of Brown, Lynda BRW Buddhists Buffett, Warren Bush, George W.
Learn Descriptive Cataloging Second North American Edition by Mary Mortimer
Addi tions (24.6) Add terms to the names of governments that are otherwise the same. Guadalajara (Mexico) Guadalajara (Spain) New York (N.Y.) New York (State) Chapter 14 HEADINGS FOR CORPORATE BODIES 161 E XERCISE 14.1 Write these names in the correct AACR2 form. After you have decided, check them in LCA. a. ICI Limited b. Music Educators National Conference c. Duke University of Durham, North Carolina d. Missouri Clean Water Commission e. The Lao People’s Democratic Republic f. United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) g. Native Plant Society of Oregon h. The Reference Book Division of the National Underwriter Company i. The New York Times newspaper j. The Australian newspaper Subordinate Bodies (24.12) If the name of a corporate body is distinctive, it is entered directly under its own name.
a subordinate body entered indirectly under the name of a government Chapter 14 HEADINGS FOR CORPORATE BODIES MARC 167 Corporate names are coded in the same way as personal names, by referring to the MARC codes at the back of the book (or the MARC manual if you have access to it). First you need to know whether the name is a main or an added entry, and then use the tag, indicators and subfield codes you need. E XERCISE 14.4 Here are some names from Exercises 14.1 and 14.2. Code them as main entries. a Native Plant Society of Oregon 110 b. Missouri. Clean Water Commission 110 c. Imperial Chemical Industries. Organics Division 110 d. United States. Interstate Commerce Commission. Section of Energy and Environment 110 e. National Computer Security Center (United States) 110 E XERCISE 14.5 Here are more names from Exercises 14.1 and 14.2. Code them as added entries. a. Mississippi. Dept. of Environmental Quality 710 b. Great Britain. Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food 710 c.
Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) g. New York (N.Y.) h. New York (State) i. Acadia National Park (Me.) j. Montréal (Québec) k. Ayrshire (Scotland) l. East Pakistan (Pakistan) see also later heading Bangladesh Bangladesh see also former heading East Pakistan (Pakistan) E XERCISE 14.1 a. b. c. d. e. f. g. h. i. 253 Imperial Chemical Industries Ltd. Music Educators National Conference (U.S.) Duke University Missouri. Clean Water Commission Laos UNICEF Native Plant Society of Oregon National Underwriter Company. Reference Book Division New York Times Company 254 LEARN DESCRIPTIVE CATALOGING j. Australian (Newspaper) E XERCISE 14.2 a. b. c. d. e. f. g. h. i. j. United States. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development American Stock Exchange. Market Research Dept. National Clearinghouse for Family Planning Information (United States) Also Family Life Information Exchange (United States) Bureau of Vocational Information (New York, N.Y.)
The New Prophets of Capital by Nicole Aschoff
3D printing, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Bretton Woods, clean water, collective bargaining, crony capitalism, feminist movement, follow your passion, Food sovereignty, glass ceiling, global supply chain, global value chain, helicopter parent, hiring and firing, income inequality, Khan Academy, late capitalism, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, performance metric, profit motive, rent-seeking, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, school vouchers, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Slavoj Žižek, structural adjustment programs, Thomas L Friedman, Tim Cook: Apple, urban renewal, women in the workforce, working poor
Vaccines The Gates have gone in big on vaccines—so big that people avoid Bill at cocktail parties, afraid he’ll drag them into a macabre conversation about tuberculosis.17 In many low-income countries diseases such as malaria, rotavirus, and pneumonia remain killers. In the United States, these diseases are a spectre of times past: Swamp drainage, pesticide spraying, and massive sanitation infrastructure projects to supply clean water and safely dispose of waste have essentially eliminated these diseases from wealthy countries. The foundation is pursuing a faster, potentially easier, route to eradicating disease in poor countries. The Gateses argue that with advances in biotech and logistics we can develop vaccines for these diseases instead of getting tripped up on the bigger hurdles of providing clean water, sanitation infrastructure, and nutritious food. But the pharmaceuticals industry, concentrated in wealthy countries, has not developed such vaccines and is not particularly interested in doing so. As Bill Gates has wryly noted, they are more interested in cures for baldness than in cures for malaria.
Dramatic political, economic, and social changes since the late 1970s resulting in the rise of finance, sharp declines in taxes on wealth, the tech boom, and globalization have created windfall gains for people like the Gateses, the Waltons, the Broads, and the Buffets, to name only a few. But, as some of these billionaires have acknowledged, the world has not benefited equally. Absolute poverty and childhood mortality are declining in many countries, but starvation and chronic hunger afflict more than a billion people. Every year millions of children die from preventable diseases and a third of the planet lacks clean water and access to a toilet. When Bill Gates came up for air in the late 1990s after creating the Microsoft empire he looked around and was “shocked” and “revolted” by the fate of poor people around the world. “We had just assumed that if millions of children were dying and they could be saved, the world would make it a priority to discover and deliver the medicines to save them. But it did not.”4 Instead, he saw a system in which capitalist markets create health and prosperity for some but death and disease for others.
This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate by Naomi Klein
1960s counterculture, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, big-box store, bilateral investment treaty, British Empire, business climate, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, clean water, Climategate, cognitive dissonance, colonial rule, Community Supported Agriculture, complexity theory, crony capitalism, decarbonisation, deindustrialization, dematerialisation, Donald Trump, Downton Abbey, energy security, energy transition, equal pay for equal work, Exxon Valdez, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, feminist movement, financial deregulation, food miles, Food sovereignty, global supply chain, hydraulic fracturing, ice-free Arctic, immigration reform, income per capita, Internet Archive, invention of the steam engine, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, market fundamentalism, moral hazard, Naomi Klein, new economy, Nixon shock, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, open borders, patent troll, planetary scale, post-oil, profit motive, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Rana Plaza, Ronald Reagan, smart grid, special economic zone, Stephen Hawking, Stewart Brand, structural adjustment programs, Ted Kaczynski, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade route, transatlantic slave trade, transatlantic slave trade, trickle-down economics, Upton Sinclair, uranium enrichment, urban planning, urban sprawl, wages for housework, walkable city, Washington Consensus, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks
Austerity himself—when large parts of his country were underwater from historic flooding in February 2014 and the public was enraged that his government was not doing more to help.7 Listening to Navarro Llanos describe Bolivia’s perspective, I began to understand how climate change—if treated as a true planetary emergency akin to those rising flood waters—could become a galvanizing force for humanity, leaving us all not just safer from extreme weather, but with societies that are safer and fairer in all kinds of other ways as well. The resources required to rapidly move away from fossil fuels and prepare for the coming heavy weather could pull huge swaths of humanity out of poverty, providing services now sorely lacking, from clean water to electricity. This is a vision of the future that goes beyond just surviving or enduring climate change, beyond “mitigating” and “adapting” to it in the grim language of the United Nations. It is a vision in which we collectively use the crisis to leap somewhere that seems, frankly, better than where we are right now. After that conversation, I found that I no longer feared immersing myself in the scientific reality of the climate threat.
Nobody wants to have their water contaminated or have their kids suffer from asthma. But desperate people can be counted on to do desperate things—which is why we all have a vested interest in taking care of one another so that many fewer communities are faced with those impossible choices. That means rescuing the idea of a safety net that ensures that everyone has the basics covered: health care, education, food, and clean water. Indeed, fighting inequality on every front and through multiple means must be understood as a central strategy in the battle against climate change. This kind of carefully planned economy holds out the possibility of much more humane, fulfilling lifestyles than the vast majority of us are experiencing under our current system, which is what makes the idea of a massive social movement coalescing behind such demands a real possibility.
In The New York Times in 2011, for instance, then-president Marcus Stephen wrote that Nauru provides “an indispensable cautionary tale about life in a place with hard ecological limits.” It shows, he claimed, “what can happen when a country runs out of options. The world is headed down a similar path with the relentless burning of coal and oil, which is altering the planet’s climate, melting ice caps, making oceans more acidic and edging us ever closer to a day when no one will be able to take clean water, fertile soil or abundant food for granted.” In other words, Nauru isn’t the only one digging itself to death; we all are.22 But the lesson Nauru has to teach is not only about the dangers of fossil fuel emissions. It is about the mentality that allowed so many of us, and our ancestors, to believe that we could relate to the earth with such violence in the first place—to dig and drill out the substances we desired while thinking little of the trash left behind, whether in the land and water where the extraction takes place, or in the atmosphere, once the extracted material is burned.
call centre, clean water, correlation does not imply causation, Dean Kamen, double helix, edge city, germ theory of disease, Google Earth, Jane Jacobs, John Nash: game theory, John Snow's cholera map, lone genius, Louis Pasteur, megacity, mutually assured destruction, New Urbanism, nuclear winter, pattern recognition, peak oil, side project, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the scientific method, trade route, unbiased observer, working poor
Some of the most ingenious solutions now being proposed take us back to the waste-recycling visions that captivated so many Victorian minds. The inventor Dean Kamen has developed two affiliated machines—each the size of a dishwasher—that together can provide electricity and clean water to rural villages or shantytown communities that lack both. The power generator runs off a readily available fuel—cow dung—though Kamen says it will run off “anything that burns.” Its output can power up to seventy energy-efficient bulbs. The ambient heat from the generator can be used to run the water purifier, which Kamen nicknamed Slingshot. The device accepts any form of water, including raw sewage, and extracts the clean water through vaporization. Kamen’s prototype includes a “manual” featuring a single instruction: just add water. Just as the pure-finders once roamed London, recycling dog excrement for the leather tanners, the squatters of tomorrow may end up solving the sanitation problems of their community by using the very substances—animal and human waste—that cause the problems in the first place.
The writer Robert Neuwirth puts it best in his mesmerizing account of squatter culture, Shadow Cities: “With makeshift materials, they are building a future in a society that has always viewed them as people without a future. In this very concrete way, they are asserting their own being.” But that hope needs to be tempered with caution. The squatters still face significant obstacles. Arguably the most pressing obstacle is the one that confronted London a century and a half ago: the lack of clean water. Over 1.1 billion people lack access to safe drinking water; nearly 3 billion—almost half the planet—do not possess basic sanitation services: toilets, sewers. Each year 2 million children die from diseases—including cholera—that result directly from these unsanitary conditions. And so the megacities of the twenty-first century will have to learn all over again the lessons that London muddled through in the nineteenth.
Just as the pure-finders once roamed London, recycling dog excrement for the leather tanners, the squatters of tomorrow may end up solving the sanitation problems of their community by using the very substances—animal and human waste—that cause the problems in the first place. One cannot be unduly optimistic about how these megacities will face their potential crises in the coming years. There may be new technologies that enable the squatter communities to concoct public health solutions on their own, but governments will obviously need to play a role as well. It took industrial London a hundred years to mature into a city with clean water and reliable sanitation. The scavenger classes that Mayhew analyzed with such detail no longer exist in London, but even the wealthiest cities in the developed world continue to face problems of homelessness and poverty, particularly in the United States. But the developed cities no longer appear to be on a collision course with themselves, the way London did in the nineteenth century. And so it may take the megacities of the developing world a century to reach that same sense of equilibrium, and during that period there will no doubt be episodes of large-scale human tragedy, including cholera outbreaks that will claim far more lives than were lost in Snow’s time.
3D printing, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Berlin Wall, Black Swan, clean water, collapse of Lehman Brothers, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, declining real wages, demographic dividend, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, Fall of the Berlin Wall, follow your passion, game design, housing crisis, Hyman Minsky, industrial robot, invisible hand, James Dyson, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, John Gruber, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, lone genius, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, Martin Wolf, new economy, Paul Graham, Peter Thiel, race to the bottom, reshoring, Richard Florida, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, six sigma, Skype, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, supply-chain management, Tesla Model S, The Chicago School, The Design of Experiments, the High Line, The Myth of the Rational Market, thinkpad, Tim Cook: Apple, too big to fail, tulip mania, We are the 99%, Y Combinator, young professional, Zipcar
Where water is scarce, higher caste farmers call upon political connections to build dams that funnel clean water to their villages. Polak’s ability to see the hole in the conventional wisdom led to a different kind of solution. The system was rigged and irrigation was expensive, yes, but purification was cheap. He set up a private company, Spring Health, and with the help of Indian design consultancy Idiom designed a business plan: Spring Health pays for a $100 concrete water tank to be set up next to one of the two local kiosks called “kirana shops” that exist in every village. The tank is filled with contaminated local well water and cleaned with chlorine. The shopkeepers then sell the clean water for four cents per ten liters—a day’s worth of water. If you wanted home delivery, as many did, it would cost you five cents.
If you wanted home delivery, as many did, it would cost you five cents. Idiom then designed a local transportation system to deliver clean water to families outside the village and designed a new ten-liter plastic jug and a bicycle “saddle” that could hold six liter-size water containers. For a family living within three kilometers, clean water can be delivered for eight cents a day. In the first six months of operation, in 2012, village medical expenses for diarrhea and other waterborne diseases dropped dramatically. New income was generated for shopkeepers and new water-delivery jobs were created for villagers. According to Polak, “Spring Health will generate a cornucopia of jobs in the villages.. . . By the end of the first year, if we are successful, we will be partners with six hundred small kirana shops in villages, whose livelihoods and status in the village will increase.
They in turn will hire bicycle delivery and hub and spoke rickshaw delivery people from the villages.” With millions of kirana shops in India, the potential to replicate this model throughout the country is huge. The Acumen Fund, founded by Jacqueline Novogratz, is now investing in Spring Health to scale it. Polak hopes it can reach 5 million villagers in three years and 100 million in ten. Many, if not most, of the beneficiaries will be Untouchables handling their own clean water, some for the first time in their lives. Polak thinks Spring Health could be the first billion-dollar business specifically designed for the demographic C. K. Prahalad dubbed the “bottom of the pyramid.” None of this would have been possible without Polak’s deep domain expertise developed over decades of work in the field. So how do you gain donut knowledge? The simple answer is: time. The more you know the pattern, the better prepared you are to see where it breaks.
American Made: Why Making Things Will Return Us to Greatness by Dan Dimicco
2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, 3D printing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, American energy revolution, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, Bakken shale, barriers to entry, Bernie Madoff, carbon footprint, clean water, crony capitalism, currency manipulation / currency intervention, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, decarbonisation, fear of failure, full employment, Google Glasses, hydraulic fracturing, invisible hand, job automation, knowledge economy, laissez-faire capitalism, Loma Prieta earthquake, manufacturing employment, oil shale / tar sands, Ponzi scheme, profit motive, Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, smart grid, smart meter, sovereign wealth fund, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, uranium enrichment, Washington Consensus, Works Progress Administration
Earlier, I detailed some of the extreme measures that the federal government has taken to clamp down on pollution and greenhouse gases. Other countries don’t have the stringent rules we have. China’s environmental protections are paper-thin. That puts us at a massive disadvantage. I can anticipate the objection, which is often something along the lines of, “What are you saying, DiMicco? You want to repeal the Clean Water Act and the Clean Air Act and bring back acid rain?” For the record, no, I do not want to repeal the Clean Water Act or Clean Air Act, and I’m not a fan of acid rain. I’m not in favor of turning back the clock 30 or 40 years. But that’s not where the discussion is today, anyway. When we talk about environmental regulations in 2014 we’re often talking about whether it’s absolutely necessary to add another multi-billion-dollar burden to industry by tweaking the emissions standards on certain fine particles, defined as 2.5 micrometers and smaller.
More recently, in 2012, Jerry Brown cited Wilson’s actions to speed along the reconstruction of another major overpass that had been destroyed by a fuel tanker fire. A new, wider bridge reopened about five months later, three weeks ahead of schedule and at a cost of $7 million. What happened in California is a great example of public-private partnerships in action. Sure, a private company made some money, but taxpayers came out ahead, too. Now, I’m not saying the president should declare a state of emergency, waive the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts, and throw out 80 years of labor laws with a stroke of a pen. I don’t think he would even if he could—can you imagine the outcry from unions and environmental groups? But I am saying infrastructure is, relatively speaking, one of the easiest things we can do to get the economy back on track. We know incentives work. And in the face of a crisis, we have the means of not just cutting red tape, but incinerating it in some cases at the state and federal level.
Myers, 173 Carnegie, Andrew, 7, 74–75, 78 Carter, Jimmy, 54, 58 Caterpillar, 59, 70, 95 China accountability and, 117–19 “Buy American” and, 136–37 currency manipulation, 101, 107 economic growth, 63–72, 99–100 environment and, 195, 198, 209–10 free trade and, 13, 96, 99–107, 135 impact on international trade, 30, 63–74, 88, 117, 192–93, 213–18, 220–21 infrastructure and, 162, 166, 170 innovation and, 114, 116–17 intellectual property and, 117 Kyoto Protocol and, 195 labor costs and, 64 manufacturing and, 17, 158, 205–6 regulation and, 147–49 skills gap and, 122, 125 space program, 52 steel industry and, 109 U.S. stimulus and, 95, 135–37, 145 WTO and, 216–18 Clean Air Act, 174, 209 Clean Water Act, 174, 209 Clinton, Bill, 65–67, 140 Cold War, 45, 63 construction sector, 2, 15, 33–34, 72, 75, 85, 89, 102, 104, 131–36, 155, 157, 169, 171–74, 178, 197, 202, 221 Consumer Electronics Association, 114 copyright, 119, 213 counterfeiting, 214 Dana, Charles, 4 Datong, 118 DiMicco, Dan, 3–19 direct reduced iron (DRI), 154, 156, 158, 186, 192–93, 222 Dodd, Chris, 180 Duke, Mike, 22 Durbin, Dick, 36 Eagle Ford shale formation, 197 economic crisis Americans leaving labor force, 26 importants statistics, 25–33 lessons learned, 39–41 overview, 21–25 path to full employment, 28 political leadership and, 35–39 real unemployment rate, 29 sectors that need jobs, 33–35 youth unemployment and student debt, 31 education author and, 5 Bush and, 23 career and, 30 Eisenhower and, 45 government spending and, 93, 124, 196, 212, 227 Kennedy and, 48 manufacturing and, 212 National Defense Education Act, 45 skills and, 14, 48, 79, 124–32 U.S. public schools, 14, 45, 48, 79 see also student debt Eisenhower, Dwight, 45, 47, 164 Emanuel, Rahm, 23, 140 energy resources “all of the above” strategy, 169, 190–95 costs and benefits, 196–99 domestic production of, 87, 89 government policy and, 17–18, 39 green energy, 143–47, 157 job creation and, 157 natural gas production, 90, 184 overview, 183–90 steel and, 103 trade deficit and, 87 U.S. oil production, 185 Enron, 12, 77 Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), 152–53, 156 Evans, Don, 110–11 Farouk Systems, 214 federal budget deficit, 11, 21–22, 83, 133 Feinstein, Dianne, 36–37 fiscal cliff deal, 40, 83, 88, 141, 226 Forbes, 9, 83, 197 Ford, Gerald, 54, 58 Ford, Henry, 4 Ford Motor Company, 97, 130 free trade, myth of impacts of China’s currency manipulation, 101 need for government-to-government solutions, 109–12 overview, 93–95 standing up to cheaters, 107–8 why free trade doesn’t work, 96–107 General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, 102, 106 General Electric, 26, 46, 49, 59, 95, 114, 146 General Motors, 37, 130 Gospel of Wealth, The (Carnegie), 74–75 Great Depression, 47, 55, 134, 164 Great Recession areas hardest hit by, 122 causes of, 203 effect on US economy, 1–2 global impact of, 11 Nucor and, 8 Obama and, 2, 22–23, 191–92 green energy, 143–47 see also energy resources Greenpeace, 191 Hagel, Chuck, 180 Hazeltine, Barrett, 48–49 health care, 22–23, 34, 140–41, 181, 196 Hoover Dam, 164 housing bubble, 12, 76, 121, 132, 203 Hutchison, Kay Bailey, 180–81 I-Bank, 180 see also infrastructure Immelt, Jeffrey, 114 infrastructure China and, 162, 166, 170 expediting spending on, 72–74 global competitiveness of US, 165 job creation and, 169 national infrastructure bank, 178–81 needs, 168–71 overview, 161–68 paying for improvements, 175–78 return on spending, 163 state vs. federal spending on, 176 innovation, myth of areas hit hardest by Great Recession, 122 education and training, 124–32 jobs in innovative industries compared to manufacturing, 115 Kindle’s impact on US trade deficit, 118 overview, 113–19 skills gap myth, 120–23 irrational defeatism overview, 81–88 realism vs. mythology, 88–91 Iverson, Ken, 7, 9, 62, 78, 222, 223–25 Jarrett, Valerie, 22 Jindal, Bobby, 155–56 job-training programs, 123, 130 John Deere, 95, 130 Jordan, Jim, 151 Kaiser, Henry, 4 Kellogg-Briand nonaggression pact of 1928, 106 Kennedy, John F., 44–48, 52 Kerry, John, 38, 180 Keystone XL pipeline, 192 Kindle, 117–18 see also Amazon Kozlowski, Dennis, 76 Krywko, Mark, 213 Kyoto Protocol, 148, 195 Lay, Ken, 76 layoffs, League of Nations, 106 Lehman Brothers, 43, 76 liquefied natural gas (LNG), 187–88 Locke, Gary, 114 Madoff, Bernie, 76 manufacturing sector accelerating a manufacturing renaissance, 204–7 accountability and, 219–20 anti-dumping initiations since 1999, 217 economic multiplier of, 202 fostering innovation in, 220–23 overview, 201–4 relationship between government and business, 208–12 risk and, 223–27 signs of renaissance, 212–18 tax rates by country, 211 Mars, 43–44, 52 see also NASA; space exploration Marshall Plan, 54, 56, 134 McCain, John, 143, 167 McDonald’s, 84 McKinsey, 84, 121 Medicare, 21 mercantilistic policies, 14, 65, 68, 99–102, 107, 198, 217 Mexico, 17, 66, 95, 190, 198 multiplier effect, 137–38, 190, 202, 207, 216 myths that distract us American industrial policy, 156–59 “Buy American,” 136–37 federal spending, 133–35, 140–42 infrastructure, 138–40 Nucor’s experience in Louisiana, 153–56 overview, 133–40 regulation, 147–53 stimulus and green jobs, 143–47 see also free trade, myth of; innovation, myth of NASA, 5, 44, 46, 49–52 see also Mars; space exploration National Defense Education Act, 45 Nissan, 54 Nixon, Richard, 54, 58 North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), 66 Nucor, 3–10, 15, 18, 51, 54, 61–63, 77–80, 82, 84, 103, 110–12, 127–30, 134, 145, 151, 153–56, 158, 165, 186, 189, 192–93, 204, 209, 219, 221–27 Obama, Barack attempts to fix US economy, 22–26, 38, 143, 150 China and, 106–7 conflict with business leaders, 150 economic stimulus, 15, 93, 134–35, 172 education and, 127 energy exports and, 187–88 exports under, 40 Great Recession and, 2, 22–23, 191–92 green energy and, 145–46, 191 infrastructure projects and, 172, 174, 180–81 innovation and, 114 international trade and, 95, 106–7 Keystone XL pipeline and, 192 NASA and, 51–52 private industry and, 219–20 regulation and, 157 skills gap and, 120 unemployment numbers and, 26, 39–40, 93, 114 OECD, 211 O’Neill, Paul, 110 O’Neill, Tip, 59 Palin, Sarah, 167 patents, 117, 119, 213 Plaza Accord, 58–63, 108 Procter & Gamble, 105 Reagan, Ronald, 47, 59–60, 63–65, 108 Reid, Harry, 36 Republican Party “Buy American” and, 95 economy and, 38–39, 86, 141, 144 government spending and, 11, 133 infrastructure and, 167, 181 national debt and, 11, 35–36 regulation and, 151 stimulus and, 86, 91, 93, 95 Rockefeller, John D., 74 Rocketdyne, 46 Romney, Mitt, 88, 107, 120, 191 Russia, 45, 47, 51, 95, 102, 116, 135, 147 Schultz, Howard, 22 Schumer, Chuck, 36–37 Schwarzenegger, Arnold, 136, 143 Seidenberg, Ivan, 22 September 11, 2001, 23–24 sequester, 40 service industry, 10, 12, 15, 18, 33–37, 51, 76, 89, 127, 203 shale, 17, 39, 157–58, 183–85, 189, 191, 194, 196–97, 199 Shami, Farouk, 214 Shapiro, Gary, 114 Sharan, Sunil, 146 Sierra Club, 191, 193 Sleek Audio, 213 Smith, Adam, 65, 101–2 Social Security, 24, 32 space exploration Apollo program, 46 Cold War and, 45 history of, 43–47 inspiring a generation, 48–52 Kennedy and, 44–46 Obama and, 51–52 public-private partnerships and, 46–47 Soviet Union and, 45–46 see also Mars; NASA Sputnik crisis, 45, 116 Stahl, Leslie, 94–95 Starbucks, 22 steel industry “Buy American” and, 135–36 Carnegie and, 7, 74 China and, 102–4, 118, 218 energy and, 186–88, 192 flat-rolled, 9 infrastructure and, 90, 139 innovation and, 221 international trade and, 14, 58, 95–97, 102–4, 109, 218–19 irrational defeatism and, 84–85 Nucor and, 3–10, 51, 62–63, 82, 145, 153–56, 186, 221–24, 226 Plaza Accord and, 62 regulation and, 145, 149, 153–54 Republic Steel, 5, 50 skills gap and, 125, 128–30 stimulus and, 135–36, 139 U.S. manufacturing and, 3, 6, 109–12 Vulcraft and, 7 WTO and, 219 Yamato Steel, 221 stimulus “Buy American” and, 94–95, 135–37 China and, 95, 135–37, 145 failures, 15, 134–35 green initiatives and, 35, 143–47 infrastructure and, 93–95, 166, 172 passage of, 15 politics of, 91, 134 Republican Party and, 86, 91, 93, 95 subsidies, 35 taxes and, 94–95, 135, 137–38 unemployment and, 93–94, 146 student debt, 30–32 Summers, Larry, 114 tariffs, 60, 63, 67, 96, 98, 102, 106, 111, 206 taxes Bush and, 23 environmental issues and, 145, 148–50 federal government and, 73–74 fiscal cliff deal and, 226 free trade and, 96 gas tax, 176–77 Great Recession and, 83 infrastructure and, 90–91, 163, 173–76 innovation and, 86, 180, 220–21 international trade and, 68–69, 71, 96, 100, 102, 117, 205 manufacturing sector and, 68–69, 86, 204, 210–12, 220 politics and, 36, 93 public-private partnerships and, 46–47 revenue from, 19, 40, 46, 140, 155, 183, 196–99 stimulus and, 94–95, 135, 137–38 tax credits, 86, 145, 221 tax cuts, 23, 36, 93 tax rates by country, 211 Tianrui, 118 Toyota, 37, 54, 60 Trumka, Richard, 135 unemployment age and, 30–32 construction sector and, 2 decline in, 2, 27 education and, 30–31, 127 energy sector and, 196 Great Recession and, 3, 22, 25–30, 36, 93–94, 122 innovation and, 114 measuring, 25–27 politics and, 39, 212 real unemployment rate, 29, 39 skills and, 85, 205 stimulus and, 93–94, 146 student debt and, 30–31 see also job creation United Nations, 106, 198 U.S. foreign trade adult conversation, 56–58 changes in global manufacturing and, 57 China’s impact on, 63–72 competitive advantages, 72–74 growth of financial sector, 75 low labor costs and, 64 Plaza Accord, 58–63 public view of, 53–54 real wealth and its opposite, 74–80 US foreign aid and, 55–56 U.S.
Progress: Ten Reasons to Look Forward to the Future by Johan Norberg
agricultural Revolution, anti-communist, availability heuristic, Bartolomé de las Casas, Berlin Wall, British Empire, business climate, clean water, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, demographic transition, desegregation, Donald Trump, Flynn Effect, germ theory of disease, Gini coefficient, Haber-Bosch Process, Hans Island, Hans Rosling, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, income inequality, income per capita, indoor plumbing, Isaac Newton, Jane Jacobs, John Snow's cholera map, Kibera, Louis Pasteur, Mahatma Gandhi, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Mikhail Gorbachev, more computing power than Apollo, moveable type in China, Naomi Klein, open economy, place-making, Rosa Parks, special economic zone, Steven Pinker, telerobotics, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transatlantic slave trade, very high income, working poor, Xiaogang Anhui farmers
Rising wealth made such costly ventures possible. The major change, though, came with the effective filtering and chlorination of water supplies in the first half of the twentieth century, after the germ theory of disease had been accepted. Life expectancy increased more rapidly in the USA during this period than in any other period in American history, and the introduction of filters and chlorination shows that clean water played a decisive role. One study found that clean water was responsible for forty-three per cent of the total reduction in mortality, seventy-four per cent of the infant mortality reduction and sixty-two per cent of the child mortality reduction.11 This technological shift came late to low- and middle-income countries, but once begun, it happened faster than it once had in the wealthiest countries. The proportion of the world population with access to an improved water source has increased from fifty-two to ninety-one per cent between 1980 and 2015.
By 2015, this had increased to 0.98 for primary and secondary education and 1.01 for tertiary education.19 This is an astonishing accomplishment, and important not just for justice and equal opportunities, but also because child mortality falls as women’s level of education increases. Part of this can be explained by the fact that education often leads to a job, a higher income, and better access to food, hygiene, and clean water. However, the effect goes beyond what can be explained by these factors indicating that better-educated mothers will assume more active responsibility for their children’s health than those who believe that illness and death are controlled by God or destiny. Few individuals have borne more powerful witness to the power of literacy than Frederick Douglass, the African-American slave who later became a celebrated orator and reformer.
Wherever she had been born, she could not have expected to live longer than around thirty years. She would have had five to seven siblings, and she would already have seen at least one or two of them die. The chance that her mother would survive childbirth was smaller than the chance that the present generation will meet their grandparents. She would have been brought up under conditions we consider unbearable. Her family would not have had access to clean water or a toilet. Chances are that they did not even have a latrine; they would have used a ditch or gone behind a tree. Her surroundings would have been littered with garbage and faeces, contaminating water sources and devastating lives. Her parents would live in constant fear that she would be taken away by tuberculosis, cholera, smallpox or measles – or starvation. This little girl would have been stunted, skinny and short, since she lived in a world of chronic undernourishment and recurring famine, where people did not get the energy to grow and function properly.
The World in 2050: Four Forces Shaping Civilization's Northern Future by Laurence C. Smith
Bretton Woods, BRICs, clean water, Climategate, colonial rule, deglobalization, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, energy security, flex fuel, global supply chain, Google Earth, guest worker program, Hans Island, hydrogen economy, ice-free Arctic, informal economy, invention of agriculture, invisible hand, land tenure, Martin Wolf, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, New Urbanism, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, peak oil, purchasing power parity, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, side project, Silicon Valley, smart grid, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, trade liberalization, trade route, UNCLOS, UNCLOS, urban planning, Washington Consensus, Y2K
In other words, climate changes are expected to both harm and help water availability in different parts of the world, whereas population and economic growth harm it nearly everywhere.206 So even if our climate-change problems could somehow disappear tomorrow (and they won’t), we would still face enormous challenges to water supply in some of the hottest, most crowded places on Earth. Drinking Sh** It’s hard to imagine the world behind those red maps. To most people—especially living in cities—clean water is like oil and electricity: one of those things upon which they depend mightily yet give barely a passing thought. In my own city of Los Angeles, everyone will gladly pay a hundred dollars a month for cable television, yet would roar in protest if forced to pay that much for life’s elixir piped directly into their homes. When Governor Schwarzenegger declared a state of drought emergency, I studied my water bill closely for the first time in my life.
For two months of clean drinking water, snared from faraway sources and delivered to my house by one of the world’s most expensive and elaborate engineering schemes, I was charged $20.67. I spend more on postage stamps. If only everyone could indulge such ignorant bliss. While eight in ten people have access to some sort of improved water source,207 this globally averaged number masks some wild geographic discrepancies. Some countries, like Canada, Japan, and Estonia, provide clean water to all of their citizens. Others, especially in Africa, do so for under half. The worst water poverty is suffered by Ethiopians, Somalis, Afghanis, Papua New Guineans, Cambodians, Chadians, Equatorial Guineans, and Mozambicans.208 Even their statistics hide the most glaring divide—between cities and rural areas. Eight in ten urban Ethiopians have some form of improved water whereas just one in ten rural Ethiopians do.
Perhaps in part because most people who read articles such as this find it hard to imagine defecating daily in plastic bags, buckets, open pits, agricultural fields, and public areas for want of a private hygienic alternative, as do some 2.6 billion people. Or perhaps they cannot relate to the everyday life of the 1.1 billion people without access to even a protected well or spring within reasonable walking distance of their homes.209 Most experts agree that getting clean water to the world’s poorest people is largely a matter of money. According to the United Nations, the price tag for everyone to have safe, clean drinking water would be about $30 billion per year. But in the poorest countries, building water treatment plants and a network of pipes to move it is still prohibitively expensive, especially for rural areas. Well-intentioned foreign aid often fails to leave the cities of ruling elites.
Overbooked: The Exploding Business of Travel and Tourism by Elizabeth Becker
airport security, Asian financial crisis, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, BRICs, car-free, carbon footprint, clean water, collective bargaining, colonial rule, computer age, corporate governance, Costa Concordia, Deng Xiaoping, European colonialism, Exxon Valdez, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Frank Gehry, global village, happiness index / gross national happiness, haute cuisine, indoor plumbing, Masdar, Murano, Venice glass, open borders, out of africa, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, Scramble for Africa, Silicon Valley, statistical model, sustainable-tourism, the market place, union organizing, urban renewal, wage slave, young professional, éminence grise
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, in the course of one day the average cruise ship produces: 21,000 gallons of human sewage, one ton of solid waste garbage, 170,000 gallons of wastewater from showers, sinks and laundry, 6,400 gallons of oily bilge water from the massive engines, 25 pounds of batteries, fluorescent lights, medical wastes and expired chemicals, and 8,500 plastic bottles. Multiply this by those 400 ships cruising year-round and you have a sense of the magnitude of the problem. But there are no accurate studies of how well that waste is disposed of because the ships are not required to follow any state or national laws once in international waters. Cruise companies won an exemption from the Clean Water Act’s requirement for waste disposal discharge permits that apply to the resorts and hotels. Waste disposal discharge permits are given out by the Environmental Protection Agency, which decides what waste they can discharge and the sewage treatment required to limit and reduce the damage of pollution to water. That permit information for each hotel and resort is public, so any new pollution in a stream or coastline can be traced to the offender.
The awakening came in Alaska ten years after the Exxon Valdez spill. The guilty party was Royal Caribbean. Their cruise ships, which sailed through some of Alaska’s most sensitive harbors and coastal waterways, including the Inside Passage, were caught illegally dumping bilge water containing waste oil and hazardous chemicals. The bilge water routinely dumped by the cruise ships was sufficiently toxic that the U.S. Clean Water Act forbids its discharge within 200 miles of the coast because it endangers fish and wildlife and the habitat they depend on. Royal Caribbean was convicted in 1999 of a “fleet-wide conspiracy” to rig their ship’s piping system to avoid using pollution treatment equipment and then lying to the Coast Guard about it. The cruise line pled guilty to twenty-one felony counts and paid $18 million in criminal fines, entering plea agreements with the Justice Department in Miami, Los Angeles, New York, Anchorage, St.
Sweeting of the Royal Caribbean said the company’s ships are being outfitted with advanced waste treatment systems that transform human waste into watery discharge that is “as good as or better than municipalities.” At the same time, the industry has forcefully opposed the Clean Cruise Ship Act, sponsored by Senator Richard Durbin, Democrat of Illinois, which would require sewage and gray water discharges to be controlled by the Clean Water Act. The legislation would also require cruise ships to use advanced treatment systems and to sail beyond the current 12-mile limit before discharging treated sewage. The U.S. Coast Guard is charged with enforcing existing laws and standards in American waters, but it has done a lackluster job, largely because inspecting sewage from cruise ships is close to the bottom of its to-do list. After the 9/11 attacks, when the Coast Guard was absorbed into the new Homeland Security Department, its mission has been insistently focused on “antiterrorism.”
3D printing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, airline deregulation, airport security, Apple II, barriers to entry, big-box store, blue-collar work, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, clean water, collective bargaining, computer age, deindustrialization, Detroit bankruptcy, discovery of penicillin, Donner party, Downton Abbey, Edward Glaeser, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, feminist movement, financial innovation, full employment, George Akerlof, germ theory of disease, glass ceiling, high net worth, housing crisis, immigration reform, impulse control, income inequality, income per capita, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, inflight wifi, interchangeable parts, invention of agriculture, invention of air conditioning, invention of the telegraph, invention of the telephone, inventory management, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, jitney, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, labor-force participation, Loma Prieta earthquake, Louis Daguerre, Louis Pasteur, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, market fragmentation, Mason jar, McMansion, Menlo Park, minimum wage unemployment, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, new economy, Norbert Wiener, obamacare, occupational segregation, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, payday loans, Peter Thiel, pink-collar, Productivity paradox, Ralph Nader, Ralph Waldo Emerson, refrigerator car, rent control, Robert X Cringely, Ronald Coase, school choice, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, Skype, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Pinker, The Market for Lemons, Thomas Malthus, total factor productivity, transaction costs, transcontinental railway, traveling salesman, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, Unsafe at Any Speed, Upton Sinclair, upwardly mobile, urban decay, urban planning, urban sprawl, washing machines reduced drudgery, Washington Consensus, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, working poor, working-age population, Works Progress Administration, yield management
But others did not—the transition from tenements to suburban single-family homes largely resulted from the positive income elasticity of housing square feet, as well as from the development of credit institutions that allowed working-class families to buy their own homes. Higher incomes also spilled over to affect other types of purchases that did not necessarily require innovations, including public expenditures on clean water and education. This distinction between innovation-driven and income-driven progress should be qualified: The demand for residential space required transportation innovations to make suburbs possible, while clean water depended on filtration and chlorination technology. The coexistence of industries experiencing rapid productivity growth (e.g., manufacturing) and those with little or no productivity growth (e.g., house-building or education) is summarized by the paradigm of “Baumol’s disease,” in which the relative price of the innovation-intensive industries, e.g., the production of computers, declines over time while the relative price of the noninnovative industries, e.g., the playing of a string quartet, increases over time.
The perceived cost of taking a shower today is trivial—two or three minutes of standing under running hot water with soap in hand. It was far different before indoor plumbing, when a bath was taken in a large metal container after a tedious process of carrying water into the home and heating it.33 The primary goal of the public health movement of the late nineteenth century was to create universal clean water supplies and sewage systems. In fact, clean water technologies have been labeled as “likely the most important public health intervention of the twentieth century.”34 Empirical research based on a comparison of cities in 1890 and 1900 shows that the extent of construction of waterworks, measured by miles of waterworks per person and per acre, have a significant negative correlation not just with infant mortality, but also with adult mortality.
Home filters “had been available since the mid-1850s but did not become common items in the home until the 1870s.”37 These authors estimate that clean water filtration and chlorination systems explain half of the overall reduction in mortality between 1900 and 1936, as well as 75 percent of the decline in infant mortality and 67 percent of the decline in child mortality. PASTEUR’S GERM THEORY AND THE TRANSITION FROM ADULTERATION TO REGULATION Even the Cutler–Miller results leave room for a complementary set of additional explanations of the reduction in mortality before 1940 beyond the rapid diffusion of urban sanitation infrastructure. There were other goals of the public health movement besides clean water and sewers, including “general street cleaning, improvements in slum housing, inspections of food and milk, use of quarantine and disinfection practices, and the distribution of diphtheria antitoxin.”38 A set of scientific discoveries together have been called the “Pasteur Revolution,” in which during 1880–1900 “pathogenic organisms were discovered at the average rate of one a year.”39 Experiments in the latter decades of the nineteenth century identified the bacterial causes of numerous diseases, a scientific revolution that occurred with amazing speed.40 Although much of the initial research had been carried out in Germany, by 1900, the United States became a leader in the implementation of preventive measures against germ disease.
The Death and Life of Monterey Bay: A Story of Revival by Dr. Stephen R Palumbi Phd, Ms. Carolyn Sotka M. A.
When the Hopkins Marine Station first opened its new science labs on China Point in 1917, the next-door canneries dumped all their waste and guts (officially known as offal) in the nearby waters, and China Point floated with “globs of fat and oil,” making it extremely difficult to work among the rocks. A 1925 report to the Pacific Improvement Company, which owned the railroad in Monterey, lambasted the “foul condition of the water caused by the canneries discharge of sewage and waste.” Cannery operators exacerbated the problem when they cleaned their machines, flushing the offal-laden cleaning water into the bay. No one has ever accused fish processing of being a tidy, clean business, and the millions of pounds processed daily took a serious toll on the local environment. Few statistics of the pollution impact of the Monterey canneries exist, but Hopkins Marine Station professor Dr. Rolf Bolin complained that “the fumes from the scum floating on the waters of the inlets of the bay were so bad that they turned lead-based paints black.”
They’d feed a while, and then wrap themselves up in a kelp blade for the night.” “Like pandas,” she said with a wistful look, “sea otters are enchanting creatures.” These enchanting creatures took up residence at the Hopkins Marine Refuge and began transforming Julia’s protected area back into the kelp forest it had been before otters were hunted. Where the 1930s and 1940s saw a polluted coast next door to one of the world’s biggest canneries, clean water and sea otters re-created the ecological community that the area typically had. It took more than three decades for Julia Platt’s stubborn advocacy to lay the foundations of this change, and maybe otters would have found an enticing home at Hopkins even if the shore had been stripped of abalone and mussels. But the shoreline was protected, the abalone were there, and otters made a beeline for it.
Just another Friday night party. They were teachers and students of ecology and conservation, and they were the first generation at the Hopkins Marine Station to think that the recovery of the life of the bay was normal. Throughout the United States, the environment and the science of ecology were becoming an important part of the social culture, spawning national laws in the 1970s such as the Clean Water Act and national events such as Earth Day. Ecology as a research topic overtook the Hopkins station too, and there were suddenly more students diving in the new kelp forests than there were laboring in the old biochemistry labs. For the first time in a century, the ocean environment in front of the marine station was beginning to thrive, and the students of marine biology who worked there were in a golden moment of nature discovery.
airport security, Albert Einstein, BRICs, carbon footprint, clean water, cleantech, Climategate, corporate social responsibility, decarbonisation, energy security, Exxon Valdez, failed state, fear of failure, income inequality, Joseph Schumpeter, market fundamentalism, Naomi Klein, new economy, nuclear winter, oil shock, peak oil, Ponzi scheme, purchasing power parity, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, union organizing, University of East Anglia
As we’ve swept across the world in just ten thousand years, we have established a quality of life for billions of people that was unimaginable at this scale even just a few hundred years ago. Of course, still left behind are many more billions, many of whom live in grinding, soul-destroying poverty. While we strive for larger televisions, DVD screens in our cars, and the perfectly grilled tender steak, they die for a glass of clean water or a bowl of rice. We will return to this cancer on humanity’s soul, but for now let’s stay with those of us who are, by comparison, filthy, stinking rich. We have done well. Our needs are met. We have the capacity not just to make our lives comfortable, but to explore space, to develop extraordinary scientific knowledge, to cure diseases, to invent amazing technologies that will help us and future generations live even better lives.
But as the 1980s progressed, companies found that the globalization they liked because it lowered their costs was also creating a new interconnected world. Activists were joining together as a connected network, with cheap technology enabling anyone to send a message to corporate headquarters via the media. So suddenly behavior anywhere was public everywhere. The best organization in the world at doing this in the late 1980s was without doubt Greenpeace. I joined them in 1989 to lead the Clean Waters Clean Seas campaign in Australia, which focused on exposing the more outrageous examples of corporate pollution. It was a classic Greenpeace pipe-plugging campaign, with our first direct action being to send divers to plug up the underwater discharge pipes that an oil refinery used to discharge toxic waste into the ocean. In Australia at the time, there was little effective regulation of industrial pollution.
They are not about the balance between environmental protection and economic growth, but about the causal relationship between them. We face threats to our food supply because of excessive degradation of land and changing rainfall patterns brought about by climate change. We face further risks to food supply because of the potential collapse of fisheries both through overfishing and through broader damage to ocean ecosystems. Billions of people face increasingly urgent issues about access to fresh and clean water, both for everyday consumption and to supply industrial and agricultural processes. These and many other issues will have a direct impact on economic growth, on geopolitical and domestic security, and on our quality of life. The flow on effects of any one of these trends, let alone a number of them in combination, will be dramatic. It is important to emphasize this point—that environmental damage means economic loss—because many still don’t fully accept the connection.
Drowning in Oil: BP & the Reckless Pursuit of Profit by Loren C. Steffy
Just a few months later, in March, one of the BP transit lines ﬁnally gave way, spewing 270,000 gallons of crude onto the tundra and into a frozen lake nearby. A BP worker on the line called West in Seattle and told him, “There’s oil everywhere.” Had tranisit line breakage happened in the summer, when the ground was thawed, it could have been a major environmental disaster. In March, when the tundra was still frozen, the oil was easier to contain. Because it had soiled a lake, West intended to prosecute BP under the Clean Water Act, which assesses ﬁnes based on the amount of oil spilled. Meanwhile, the U.S. Department of Transportation, which regulates pipelines, ordered BP to begin using smart pigs to inspect all the transit lines. R T h e P r i c e o f F a i l u r e 107 When it did finally send pigs down the lines, the results were stunning: 16 miles of pipe had corroded to the point where leaks were a serious threat.
Outside the court after objecting to the plea deal, she drove home her point with reporters: “BP took my parents from me forever. Was pollution BP’s greatest sin?” R BP’s three-pronged plea agreement had come together months earlier, in late 2007, as part of a sweeping pact with the Justice Department to settle all of the company’s outstanding criminal 141 1 42 D R O W N I N G I N O I L investigations. In addition to the Texas City case, a BP subsidiary in Alaska pleaded guilty to misdemeanor violations of the Clean Water Act related to the pipeline leaks, admitting that its corrosion monitoring and oversight had been inadequate. The company also agreed to pay a $12 million ﬁne, accept three years’ probation, and pay $4 million in restitution in the form of funding for environmental research. In the trading case, BP America admitted that it had manipulated propane prices in 2004, had attempted to do so in 2003, and had failed to properly oversee its trading operation.
The political backlash from the spill posed two threats to the company’s future: the cost of its liability from the accident and the prospect of losing access to its lucrative oilfields in the Gulf. It still had dozens of potentially profitable deepwater prospects to explore, and it couldn’t afford to allow the Obama administration to deny it new drilling permits or ban it from U.S. waters. It also faced the potential for huge fines under the Clean Water Act, which regulates water pollution. The amount of the fine is determined by, among other things, the amount of oil that leaks. If the well was leaking 60,000 barrels a day and BP was found to be grossly negligent in its oversight of the spill, it could face fines of as much as $4,300 for each barrel—roughly $140 million for each day that the leak persisted. On top of that, it could also be liable for additional civil penalties under the Oil Pollution Act of as much as $25,000 a day and $1,000 0071760814_Steffy_14_r4_3p.indd 185 10/29/10 2:49 PM 1 86 D R O W N I N G I N O I L for each barrel of oil spilled.
Living in a Material World: The Commodity Connection by Kevin Morrison
barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, carbon footprint, clean water, commodity trading advisor, diversified portfolio, Doha Development Round, Elon Musk, energy security, European colonialism, flex fuel, food miles, Hernando de Soto, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, hydrogen economy, Long Term Capital Management, new economy, North Sea oil, oil rush, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, out of africa, peak oil, price mechanism, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, sovereign wealth fund, the payments system, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade liberalization, transaction costs, uranium enrichment, young professional
‘Now, we are putting the water back that was previously drained,’ said Ryan, who draws a parallel to the Dr Seuss story of the ‘Sneetches’ and the cycle of trend: where something that was previously popular (the Sneetches putting stars on their bellies) suddenly becomes unpopular again. The wetland business was born following a tightening in US environmental laws with the introduction of the Clean Water Act of 1970 (Anderson and Snyder, 1997) that was ushered in following environmental campaigns of the late 1960s, when awareness of these issues increased. The Federal Clean Water Act has halted any further net wetland loss and created a market mechanism for wetland regeneration. People like John Ryan can earn credits from creating a new wetland reserve, which he can sell to developers wishing to encroach on wetland elsewhere. This is why the industry is known as wetland banking. ‘The value of the wetlands is not driven by the agricultural value (of the land), but by what these developers are prepared to pay for building permits, which exceeds the value of the land for farming purposes,’ said Ryan.
., J. 254 arsenic 205 Artists’ Project Earth173 n. 28 Asian currency crisis 7 Asian Development Bank 9 World Outlook 2007 9 Associated British Foods 147 Atlantic Richfield 226 n. 43 Aykroyd, Dan 256 Azuriz 164, 165 Babcock, Bruce 56, 57 Bacon, Louis 237, 238 Ballard 193 Baltic Exchange 212, 213 Bath, Henry 226 n. 41 Battery Ventures 266, 267 Bell, Alexander Graham 73 Belmans, Professor Ronald 194 Benton, Oren 42 Berzelius, Jons Jakob 43 Bettelheim, Eric 146, 148 BHP Billiton 13, 200, 205, 211 biodiversity 155–7 BioEnergy 81 292 | INDEX biofuels 11, 38, 44, 55–60, 69, 71–3, 95, 116–18 see also corn Biofuels Security Act (US) 80 biomass 35–6 Birol, Faith 26 Blackstone 266, 267 Blair, Tony 39, 142 Blenheim Capital Management 237 Bolger, Jim 59 Boulle, Jean-Raymond 199 BP 57, 79, 226 n. 43, 261 Brazil sugarcane production 90–4 Brent 138 Brin, Sergey 38 British Transport Police (BTP) 182 Bronks, Richard (Dick) 259, 260 bronze 180–1 Brown, Robert 55, 56 Browne, Sir John 261 Bryce, Colin 259, 260 Bubeck, David 107 Bükk National Park 145 Bunge 89, 234 Bush, George H. 27 Bush, George W. 28, 29, 30, 31, 55, 71, 75, 79, 116, 129, 142, 143, 192 Butter and Cheese Exchange of New York 251 Butter, Cheese, and Egg Exchange of New York 251 Butz, Earl 115 California Public Employees’ Retirement System (Calipers) 244 California Zero Emissions Vehicle (ZEV) mandate 54 Canadian oil sands 49–50 cap-and-trade systems 138–40, 143, 172 n. 23 carbon capture and storage (CCS) 152–3 Carbon Capture and Storage Association, The 176 n. 50 carbon credits 154 carbon dioxide 25–6, 27, 129, 131–2, 170 n. 8, 170 n. 9, 170 n. 10 trading 137, 138–9, 140, 144 carbon economy 145–7 carbon emissions 128–9 carbon footprint 126, 128 carbon market 137–8 carbon pricing 3, 11, 29 carbon sequestration 31, 135, 150 carbon sinks 152–3 CarbonNeutral Company, The 144 Cargill 89, 234 Carnegie, Andrew 215 Carter, President Jimmy 30, 73, 116 Caruso, Guy 38, 53 Carver, George Washington 102, 120 n. 14 Case of Deferred Mitigation (CDM) 151–2, 175 n. 46 Cashman, Eugene 231, 233, 234, 270 Castro, Fidel 92, 219 cattle 87–8 Caxton Associates 237 cellulosic ethanol 56–7 Certified Emissions Reductions (CERs) 151, 152 Charles, Prince of Wales 147 Chavez, Hugo 45 Chemurgic Council 95 Chernobyl disaster 40 Chevron 261 ChevronTexaco 79 Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) 99–100, 139, 146, 232–3, 234, 236, 246, 247, 248, 249, 253, 255, 257, 266, 269, 270 Chicago Climate Exchange 143, 146, 154, 155 Chicago Mercantile Exchange 245, 246, 248, 249, 256, 264, 267, 269 chicken 84–7 Chile copper production 195–8, 199, 203–10 nitrates 198–9 Chile Copper Company 197 China car market 18–19, 61 n. 2 coal 20–1, 24 demand for metals 12 electricity 19–20, 187–8 energy consumption 25, 61 n. 5 Forbidden City 17–18 lifestyle 17–18 meat consumption 83–4 migration 6–7, 19 nickel 218 pollution 25 population 6–7, 19 standard of living 6 supermarkets in 89 China Institute of Financial Derivatives 249 INDEX Chinatown 162 Chiquita Brands International 239 chlorodifluoromethane (HCFC-22) 152 Cisco Systems 263 Citigroup 242 Clean Air Act (US) 1990 74 Amendments 139 Clean Air Interstate Rule (CAIR) 172 n. 23 clean coal technology 31–3 Clean Water Act 1970 (US) 156 Climate Care 144 Climate Change Registrar 174 n. 35 climate change cost of 134–5 history 127–8 Climate Exchange Plc 146 Clinton, President Bill 80 Clinton, Hillary 80, 116, 143 CME Group 165, 232 co2balance.com 144 Coady Diemar Partners 141 Coady, Pat 141 coal 10–11, 20–3, 24, 25–6, 26–9, 131 China 20–1, 24 clean technology 31–3 liquid 33–4 pollution controls 27–9 UK 22–3 US 20–1 Coalition of Rainforest Nations 151 Coase, Ronald 138 Codelco 10, 203, 207, 213 Cohen, gary 259, 262 Coldplay 145 Collins, Keith 117 Coltrane, John 183 Columbus, Christopher 97, 225 n. 40 Comex 213, 253, 256, 268 Commodities Corp 247 Commodities Corporation 238, 239 Commodities Futures Trading Commission 245 Commodity Exchange Act 1936 (US) 245 Commodity Exchange Inc.
(Comex) 255 Commodity Future Trading Commission (CFTC) (US) 74, 253, 263 commodity indices 240–2 commodity market manipulation 245–7 Commodity Trading Advisors (CTAs) 238 Congo, copper in 201, 202, 210–11 | 293 Connaughton, James 29, 31 ConocoPhilips 57, 79 Conservation International 93 Continental Power Exchange (CPE) 257, 258 Cooke, Jay 198, 222 n. 18 copper 4, 9, 11 applications 187–90 Congo 201, 202, 210–11 cost 211–13, 214–17 demand 182–5 electrical applications 186–7 in electricity generation 194–5 history 185–6 prices 199–201, 222 n. 17 production 195–8, 199 recycling 183, 184–5 theft 179–82 trade 211–13 under-sea extraction 217 in vehicles 190–4 Copper Export Association 201 Copper Exporters Incorporated 201 Copper Producers’ Association 200 coralconnect.com 260 corn 68–84, 96–8, 98–9, 99–101 hybrids 101–3 GM 104–6 diversity 106–10 Corn Products 233 cotton 166 Countryside Alliance 146 credit crisis (2007) 7 Crocker, Thomas 138 Cruse, Richard 111 D1 Oils 57, 58, 59 Dabhol gas-fired power plant 35 Dales, John 138 Daly, Herman 136 Darwin, Charles 67 Davis, Adam 157 Davis, Miles 183 Day after Tomorrow, The 15 n. 1 De Angelis, Anthony ‘Tino’ 245 De Beers 200, 210 De Soto, Hernando 136 Deere, John 100 deforestation 87, 147 Dennis, Richard 237 Deripaska, Oleg 199 Deutsche Bank 246, 261 294 | INDEX Diamond, Jared 97 DiCaprio, Leonardo 130 Dimas, Stavros 160 distillers’ dried grains with solubles (DDGS) 81 Dittar, Thomas 231 Donchian, Richard 237–8 Donson, Harry 199 dot.com bubble 7, 14, 241, 243 Doud, Gregg 82, 83 Dow Jones-AIG Commodity Index 240 Dresdner Kleinwort 47 Drexel Burnham Lambert 254 Dreyfus, Louis 89 Duke Energy 258 Dunavant, Billy 237 DuPont 102 E85 79 Ealet, Isabelle 259, 260 Earth Sanctuatires 157 Earth Summit Bali 142 Rio 1992 141 Ebay 38 Ecosystem Marketplace 157 Edison, Thomas 17, 95, 186 Ehrlich, Paul 13, 14, 16 n. 9 Population Bomb, The 14 Eisenhower, President 40 El Paso 258 Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) 153 electric vehicles 54, 191–3 11th Hour, The 130 Elf 261 Elton, Ben 135 Emissions Trading Program 139 Energy Information Administration (EIA) 38 Energy Policy Act 2005 (US) 28 energy security 28–9 Energy Security Act 1980 (US) 74 Enron 35, 164, 165, 213, 246, 257–64 Enron Online 213, 225 n. 40, 257, 258, 259 Environmental Protection Agency (US) 27, 62 n. 17, 75, 139 ethanol 69–70, 73–81, 92, 119 n. 6 see also biofuels Eurex 262 European Climate Exchange 146 European Union 142, 158, 160 Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) 185 Evelyn, John 127 exchange-traded funds (ETFs) 13, 270 Exxon 32, 50, 52, 261 ExxonMobil 13, 79, 242, 254 Faraday, Michael 186 Farm Credit Administration 76 farm debt crisis 114–15 farm payments 115–16 farm sinks 154–5 Fearnley-Whittingstall 86 Federal Bureau of Investigation 246 Federal Clean Water Act (US) 156 F-gases 131 Firewire 260 Fisher, Mark 266, 269 Fleming, Roddy 219 flex-fuel cars 92–3 Fonda, Jane 114 Food and Agricultural Organization 148, 159 Ford, Bill 267 Ford, President Gerald 30, 115 Ford, Henry 73, 95, 195 Fordlandia 195 forest economics 149–50 forestry carbon credits 147 forests 147–51 Forrest, Andrew 199 Forward Contracts (Regulations) Act 1952 (US) 249 Forward Markets Commission (FMC) 249 Four Winds Capital Management 149, 159, 184 Franklin, Benjamin 157 Freese, Barbara 27 Friedland, Robert 199 Frost Fairs 127 fuel cell vehicles 53, 192–3 Futures Inc. 237 futures trading 235–6, 245, 247–50 gas 21–2 Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF) 61 n. 8 gasohol 73 gene shuffling 105 General Atlantic 267, 269 General Motors 53, 54, 191, 193 INDEX genetically modified organism (GMO) seeds 105–6 Glencore 199, 211 Global Forest Resources Assessment 2005 148 Global Initiatives173 n. 28 Global Positioning Systems (GPS) 191 global warming 24–6, 75 Globex 267 glycerin 82 Golder and Associates 206 Goldman 255, 260, 261 Goldman Sachs 57, 146, 254, 259 Goldman Sachs Commodity Index (GSCI) 240, 241 Goldstein Samuelson 245 Google 37, 38 Gore, Al 16 n. 5, 28, 38, 126, 129, 143 Government National Mortgage Association (Ginnie Mae) certificates 146 Grant, President Ulysses S. 214 Greenburg, Marty 269 greenhouse effect 131 greenhouse gas emissions 25, 131 see also carbon dioxide; nitrous oxide Greenspan, Alan 244 Gresham Investment Management 242, 243 Guggenheim brothers 197 Guttman, Lou 251, 255, 259 Hamanaka, Yasuo 246 Hanbury-Tension, Robin 146 Harding, President Warren 103 hedge funds 23640 Henry Moore Foundation 180, 181 Herfindahl, Orris 215, 226 n. 46 Heston, Charlton 15, n. 4 Hezbollah 46 Hi-Bred Corn Company 102 high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) 89–90 Highland Star 219 Hill, James Jerome 215 Homestead Act 1862 (US) 100 Honda 53 Howard, John 133, 171 n. 16 Hu Jintao, President 219 Hub, Henry 257 Humphries, Jon 181 Hunt Brothers 245 Hunter, Brian 246, 247 | 295 Hurricane Katrina 135 Hurricane Rita 134 Hussein, Saddam 48 hybrid cars 53 hydroelectric power 34 hydrogen cars 54 hypoxia zone 111 iAqua 165 IEA 32 IMF 16 n. 6 Inconvenient Truth, An 16 n. 5, 129 Indonesia palm oil 93–4 Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC) 31–2 intelligent lighting 38 IntercontinentalExchange (ICE) 246, 261, 262, 265, 266, 267 Intergovernmental Council of Copper Exporting Countries (CIPEC) 203, 204 International Bauxite Association (IBA) 203 International Carbon Action Partnership (ICAP) 144 International Commercial Exchange (ICE) 273 n. 15 International Copper Cartel 201 International Energy Agency (IEA) 19, 25, 26, 40, 140–1, 153, 194 International Monetary Fund 57 International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) (UN) 24, 132, 134, 147, 149, 170 n. 3 International Petroleum Exchange (IPE) 250, 256, 257, 262, 263, 264, 265 International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) 41 International Tin Council 203 International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture 107 Iowa Farm Bureau 36, 76, 155 Iowa Stored Energy Park 36 Japanese car market 18 Jardine Matheson 225 n. 40 Jarecki, Dr Henry 242, 243, 244 jatropha 57–9 Jefferson, Thomas 109 Jevons, William Stanley 20 Joint, Charles 181 296 | INDEX Joint Implementation (JI) 151 Jones, Paul Tudor 237, 238 Kabila, Joseph 210 Kanza, T.R. 211 Katanga of Congo 201, 225 n. 37 Kennecott Copper 199 Kennedy, Joseph (Joe) 264 Khosla Partners 38 Khosla, Vinod 37 Kitchen, Louise 258 Kleiner Perkins, Caufield & Byers 37 Kooyker, Willem 237, 238 Kovner, Bruce 237, 238 Krull, Pete 81 Kyoto Protocol 24, 27, 50, 140, 141, 142, 143, 147, 151, 169 n. 2, 194 clean development mechanism (CDM) 151 Lamkey, Kendall 112 Land and Water Resources, Inc. 155 Land Grant College Act (US) 101 Lange, Jessica 114 lead credits 172 n. 20 LED (light-emitting diodes) 38 Lehman brothers 241 Leiter, Joseph 245 Leopold II, King 210 Liebreich, Michael 39 Liffe 267 Lincoln, President Abraham 69, 100, 101, 119 n. 1 Lintner, Dr John 243 liquid coal 33–4 London Clearing House 263 London International Financial Futures and Options Exchange (Liffe) 262 London Metal Exchange (LME) 16 n. 10, 43, 196, 204, 212, 213, 246 Long Term Capital Management (LTCM) 247 Louisiana Light Sweet 253 Lourey, Richard 166, 168 Lovelock, James 131 Lyme Timber Company, The 149 Mackintosh, John 232, 234, 270 Madonna 6 malaria 156 Malthus, Thomas 130 manure lagoons 154–5 Mao, Chairman 210 Markowitz, Harry 243 Marks, Jan 268 Marks, Michel 252, 253, 254, 268 Marks, Rebecca 164, 165 Mars, Forrest E., Jr 60 Matheson, Hugh 225 n. 40 Matif 262 McCain, John 80 McDonalds 89 Megatons to Megawatts programme 42 Melamed, Leo 249–50, 264 Mendel, Gregor (Johann) 102, 122 n. 30 Merrill Lynch 241, 246 Mesa Water 163–4 methane 128, 131, 152, 154 methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) 74 Microsoft 13 Midwestern Regional Greenhouse Gas Reduction Accord 143 milk 88–9 Milken, Michael 254 Millennium Ecosystem Assessment Board 156 Mittal, Laskma 212 Mobile 261 Mocatta Metals 242 Monsanto 106, 108 Montéon, Michael 199 Montgomery, David 138 Moor Capital 237 Moore, Henry 179, 182 Morgan, J.P. 246 Morgan Stanley 254, 255, 259, 260, 261 Muir, John 125 Mulholland, William 162 Murphy, Eddie 256 Murray Darling Basin 165–6 Musk, Elon 38 Nabisco 238–9 Nanosolar 38 Nasdaq 262 Nassar, President 210 National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) 192 National Alcohol Programme (Brazil) 92 National Cattlemen’s Beef Association 82 National Commission on Supplies and Shortages (US) 7, 16 n. 5 National Corn Growers’ Association 80 National Energy Policy (US) 28 INDEX National Petroleum Council (NPC) 30, 50 National Security Space Office (NSSO) (US) 39 NCDEX 248, 249 Nelson, Willie 115 New Deal Farm Laws 103 New Deal for Agriculture 76, 89 New Energy Finance 39 New Farm and Forest Products Task Force 95 New York Board of Trade 240, 255 New York Cocoa Exchange 255 New York Coffee and Sugar Exchange 255 New York Cotton Exchange 237, 252, 255 New York Mercantile Exchange (Nymex) 43, 156, 246, 248, 251, 252, 253, 254, 255, 256, 257, 261, 262, 263, 264, 265, 266, 267, 268, 269 New York Metal Exchange 226 n. 42 New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) 198, 253, 255, 256, 264, 268, 270 Newman, Paul 265 Nicholson, Jack 162 nickel 217–18, 227 n. 50, 227 n. 52 nitrates 110–11 nitrogen oxide emissions 139 nitrous oxide 131, 139, 140, 152 Nixon, President 27, 30, 115, 231, 252 Noble Group 199 North, John Thomas 198, 199, 209 Norton, Gale 163 nuclear energy 34 nuclear power 21, 39–44 Nuexco Trading Corporation 42 Nybot 255, 256, 265 Obama, Barack 79, 80, 143 obesity 121 n. 19 O’Connor, Edmund 231 O’Connor, William 231 OECD 158, 159 oil 44–53 energy content 51–2 palm 93 prices 8–9, 10, 52–3 sands 49–50 shale 50–1, 64 n. 33 shocks 5, 7 soya 82 trading 250–5, 266 Oliver, Jamie 86 onion futures trading 245 | 297 Ontario Teachers’ Fund 244, 272 n. 8 Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) 4, 9, 10, 22, 44–7, 203, 204, 251, 254 over-the-counter (OTC) trading 16 n. 8, 254–5 Owens Valley rape (1908) 162 Pachauri, Dr Rajendra K. 59 Page, Larry 38 Paley Commission 8 palm oil 93 Palmer, Fred 62 n. 14 Parthenon Capital 156, 267 PayPal 38 Peadon, Brian 165 perfluorocarbon 131 PGGM 244 Phaunos Timber Fund 149 Phelps Dodge 199 Phibro 254 Pickens, T.
Paris Revealed by Stephen Clarke
It was no surprise that when the first Fontaine Wallace was connected up in August 1872, there was a small riot as people literally fought to get at the clean water. Today, there are over 900 public drinking fountains in Paris, including three rather special ones that provide genuine French mineral water for free. The fountains in the place Paul Verlaine in the 13th arrondissement, the square Lamartine in the 16th and the square de la Madone in the 18th tap into a spring 500 metres below the city, and you can often see people filling up bottles to take home. The water is very soft (unlike Parisian drinking water), and is therefore said to give a purer taste to tea and coffee. These fountains also take the Parisian need for free drinking water to its logical French conclusion. They can’t be content with plain clean water—they want eau minérale. La vie est une plage The Parisian love affair with water comes into full fruition in summer, during Paris Plage (Paris Beach), the festival started by Mayor Bertrand Delanoë in 2002.
And just to prove that the city does think about its people as well as its media and culture, it should be pointed out that the very first measure in le Plan Neptune is to evacuate all the homeless people who sleep on the riverbanks. Although that might only be to avoid having them float in through the windows of the Louvre. Perhaps the most dramatic measure of all in Plan Neptune is that Paris’s transport company, the RATP, plans to deliberately flood métro lines running alongside the river, presumably on the grounds that it’s better to drain off clean water than dirty. Though of course the water would no longer be clean when the flood receded—someone would have to collect up all the dead rats, mice and accumulated rubbish. It is to be hoped that Plan Neptune includes a few pairs of rubber gloves. Throughout 2010, the city expressed this obsession with flooding in a series of exhibitions about the events of 1910, and at each one Parisians could be seen studying maps of the flooded area to see if their current address was in there.
.***** He saw a grandiose city that had been reconstructed and much expanded in the centuries after the Great Fire of 1666, and began to think that he could do the same thing to Paris, but without all the smoke. He therefore conceived a grand plan entitled Paris embellie, Paris agrandie, Paris assainie (Paris beautified, enlarged and cleaned up), making trebly sure that people knew which city he was talking about. Napoleon III’s promise was to bring air, light and clean water to the Parisians. He also had a secret ambition, which was to make it more difficult for the city’s rebellious populace to barricade the streets, as they had done in 1830 (when King Charles X was booted out) and 1848 (when King Louis-Philippe was forced to flee). Napoleon III also thought it would be useful to have wide roads linking the city’s various army barracks, so that troops could move about freely to crush uprisings.
Strength in What Remains by Tracy Kidder
He spoke to them about God, of course, but with an emphasis on what God asked human beings to do for themselves and what God would have bright young students do about poverty and injustice in Burundi. “There are many ways in which poverty finds its way into the bodies of the destitute.” This was a favorite saying of Bududira’s. He traveled widely through his territory, visiting many hills, and he would talk to Deo and the other boy about what he saw, especially about the almost universal need for clean water and medicine. He told them he was distressed at the great numbers of impoverished children who joined the army at twelve or thirteen, and told them about his campaign to build alternatives in the form of technical schools. At the end of eleventh grade—high school ended with thirteenth—Deo started his own project, an attempt to build a clinic in Sangaza that would serve the surrounding hills.
When we crested the last grade, the land opened up onto a broad plateau, and you could see what the Belgians had meant when they’d compared Burundi and Rwanda to Switzerland. You could look down to the east and see Tanganyika’s waters, like a cerulean sky. To the west, your eyes climbed tiers of mountains, often shrouded in mist, though not today. Unlike Switzerland, of course, the place lacked just about everything necessary and useful for health: sanitation, medicine, mosquito nets. Most of the people here had no access to clean water. No one had electricity. “Here you are in the land of Joe Conrad,” said Deo. “This is the heart of darkness right here.” On the other hand, there was an elementary school, just up ahead. While working at PIH, Deo had managed to save enough of his salary to send about one thousand dollars for that school’s reconstruction—money went a long way here. He had also saved enough over the past decade to have his parents’ house rebuilt three times.
There were greetings—chants of “Amahoro”—and speeches, which the villagers cheered, and more speeches, and during the course of all this, Deo exclaimed to me, “I am so happ-ee!” He said, “I really get so excited when I see people so excited.” Religious people, I’m told, have their meanest thoughts in church. I found myself thinking that tomorrow morning Kayanza’s residents would wake up and still have no doctor or nurses or clean water nearby, just this misplaced pile of rocks. I felt for a perverse moment like reminding Deo of all this. But it was good to see him happy, as always. And after all, he knew far better than I the obstacles he faced. As we drove away, the figures of the villagers receding in the SUV’s back window, Deo said to us, his American friends, “Thank you so much.” His voice was tiny. It cracked. “Thank you so much for coming to my little village.”
Food Revolution, The: How Your Diet Can Help Save Your Life and Our World by John Robbins, Dean Ornish M. D.
Albert Einstein, carbon footprint, clean water, complexity theory, double helix, Exxon Valdez, food miles, laissez-faire capitalism, Mahatma Gandhi, meta analysis, meta-analysis, profit motive, Ralph Nader, randomized controlled trial, Rosa Parks, telemarketer
According to Dale Van Voorst, spokesman for one of the largest poultry producers in the United States, "The modern poultry producer manages manure so that none of it enters the waters of the area. There may be occasional accidents, as there are in any industry, but animal agriculture operates in strict accordance with the Clean Water Act. No one is out there trying to pollute. Everyone who is supposed to obtain a discharge permit is doing S0.1135 WHAT WE KNOW Number of poultry operations (according to the General Accounting Office) that are of sufficient size to be required to obtain a discharge permit under the Clean Water Act: About 2,00036 Number (according to the General Accounting Office) that have actually done so: 3937 Number of the 22 largest animal factories in Missouri required to have valid operating discharge permits that actually have them: 2" The volume of waste produced by factory farms is so enormous and so toxic that it is challenging to describe.
The revolution sweeping our relationship to our food and our world, I believe, is part of an historical imperative. This is what happens when the human spirit is activated. One hundred and fifty years ago, slavery was legal in the United States. One hundred years ago, women could not vote in most states. Eighty years ago, there were no laws in the United States against any form of child abuse. Fifty years ago, we had no Civil Rights Act, no Clean Air or Clean Water legislation, no Endangered Species Act. Today, millions of people are refusing to buy clothes and shoes made in sweatshops and are seeking to live healthier and more Earth-friendly lifestyles. In the last fifteen years alone, as people in the United States have realized how cruelly veal calves are treated, veal consumption has dropped 62 percent. I don't believe we are isolated consumers, alienated from what gives life, and condemned to make a terrible mess of things on this planet.
That's an amount more than half of Lebanon's gross national product." Meanwhile, the Union of Concerned Scientists tells us that the amount of water pollution generated in producing a pound of meat is a staggering 17 times greater than that generated in producing a pound of pasta.42 The Water You Drink It is terribly sad to see our species polluting our water. It would be difficult to exaggerate the importance of clean water on Earth. Water blesses our planet and makes it appear beautifully blue from space. It is the presence of liquid water that clearly distinguishes Earth from all other known planets and moons. Water covers three-quarters of our planet's surface. And water makes up three-quarters of our own bodies. Art Sussman reminds us, "Think about one of our ancestors who lived in Africa a million years ago.
Sacred Economics: Money, Gift, and Society in the Age of Transition by Charles Eisenstein
Albert Einstein, back-to-the-land, bank run, Bernie Madoff, big-box store, Bretton Woods, capital controls, clean water, collateralized debt obligation, credit crunch, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, debt deflation, deindustrialization, delayed gratification, disintermediation, diversification, fiat currency, financial independence, financial intermediation, floating exchange rates, Fractional reserve banking, full employment, global supply chain, happiness index / gross national happiness, hydraulic fracturing, informal economy, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, land tenure, Lao Tzu, liquidity trap, lump of labour, McMansion, means of production, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, moral hazard, mortgage debt, new economy, oil shale / tar sands, Own Your Own Home, peak oil, phenotype, Ponzi scheme, profit motive, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, Scramble for Africa, special drawing rights, spinning jenny, technoutopianism, the built environment, Thomas Malthus, too big to fail
Today, our relationship to the rest of nature is changing on a fundamental level, as it is impossible to ignore the limits of the environment. The fisheries, the forests, the clean water, and the clean air are all obviously close to depletion. We have the power to destroy the earth, or at least to cause her grievous harm. She is vulnerable to us, as a lover is to a lover. In that sense, it is no longer appropriate to think of her only as Mother Earth. A child, in his wanting, does not take his mother’s limits into account. Between lovers it is different. That is why I foresee a future in which we maintain local, regional, and global ceilings on the use of various resources. Fishery catches, ground-water use, carbon emissions, timber harvests, topsoil depletion, and many more will be carefully monitored and held to sustainable levels. These resources—clean water, clean air, minerals, biota, and more—will be sacred to us, so sacred that I doubt we will refer to them as “resources,” any more than we refer to our own vital organs as resources, or dream of depleting them.
Any forest you save from development, any road you stop, any cooperative playgroup you establish; anyone you teach to heal themselves, or to build their own house, cook their own food, or make their own clothes; any wealth you create or add to the public domain; anything you render off-limits to the world-devouring Machine will help shorten the Machine’s life span. And when the money system collapses, if you already do not depend on money for some portion of life’s necessities and pleasures, then the collapse of money will pose much less of a harsh transition for you. The same applies on the social level. Any form of natural wealth, whether biodiversity, fertile soil, or clean water, and any community or social institution that is not a vehicle for the conversion of life into money, will sustain and enrich life after money. I am referring to money as we know it. I will soon describe a money system that does not drive the conversion of all that is good, true, and beautiful into money. It enacts a fundamentally different human identity, a fundamentally different sense of self, from what dominates today.
In various guises of the story of Ascent—progress, harnessing natural forces, conquering final frontiers, mastering nature—we have carried out a holy crusade to be fruitful and multiply. But growth is sacred to us no longer. This book will describe a concrete way to back money with the things that are becoming sacred to us today. And what are those? We can see what they are through people’s altruistic efforts to create and preserve them. The money of the future will be backed by the things we want to nurture, create, and preserve: by undeveloped land, clean water and air, great works of art and architecture, biodiversity and the genetic commons, unused development rights, unused carbon credits, uncollected patent royalties, relationships not converted into services, and natural resources not converted into goods. Even, indeed, by gold still in the ground. Not only does association with money (and therefore with abstract “value”) elevate a thing to a sacred status, it also impels us to create more and more of it.
The Way We Eat: Why Our Food Choices Matter by Peter Singer, Jim Mason
agricultural Revolution, air freight, clean water, collective bargaining, dumpster diving, food miles, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Isaac Newton, means of production, rent control, urban sprawl, Whole Earth Review
The air and water pollution caused by factory farming was also in the news, sparked partly by the legal efforts of Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and organizations like the Natural Resources Defense Council, Waterkeeper Alliance, and the Sierra Club. Kennedy, acting for several farm and fishermen's groups, won a major victory against Smithfield Foods that suggested that almost all American factory farms were violating the Clean Water Act. (The Bush administration thereupon instructed the Environmental Protection Agency to weaken the rules and curtail its investigations of factory farms.)2 Naturally, when I came back to the States, Jim and I met again and talked about this new surge of interest in the issues we had raised in our earlier book. We had revised Animal Factories in 1990 and we thought of revising it again, but gradually the discussion moved from the growing concern about factory farming to broader issues, including the organic food movement, the fair trade movement, and ethical consumerism in general.
Such government spending is really a kind of subsidy to the poultry industry and, like most subsidies, it is bad economics. Factory farming spread because it seemed to be cheaper than more traditional forms of farming. We have seen that it was cheaper to the consumer, but only because it was passing some of its costs on to others-for example, to people who lived downstream or downwind from the factory farms and could no longer enjoy clean water and air and to workers who were injured by unsafe conditions. Now we can see that this was only the small stuff. Factory farming is passing far bigger costs-and risks-on to all of us. If chicken were taxed to raise enough revenue to pay for the precautions that governments now have to take against avian influenza, again we might find that factory farm chicken isn't really so cheap after all. A CLEAR-CUT CONCLUSION Gandhi remarked that the greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way it treats its animals.
The day was pleasant, and the sun had lost the sting it has at the height of summer, but once the cattle had moved into the new pasture, they soon found the shade cast by a row of cypresses, and most of them stood under the trees. Though the youngest calves were six months old, they were still keeping company with their mothers. The lives of these cattle were, it seemed, entirely comfortable. They had what cattle need: plenty of grass, clean water, shade, and their own social group. Patrick told us that he prefers to sell his cattle direct from the farm to the slaughterhouse, but there are times of the year when he doesn't have enough grass on his pasture to get them ready to market. Then he sells them to a feedlot for short-term fattening. For the Australian domestic market, only about 25 percent of cattle are fattened in feedlots, although that percentage is growing because supermarkets prefer the greater reliability of the quality of the meat.
Adrift: Seventy-Six Days Lost at Sea by Steven Callahan
You can never love it. You can only do what you must. I hated the sea's snapping off shots of heavy rifle fire next to my ear, rolling heavy stones over me, ripping wounds open, beating me, winning. Weeks on end, no bells, no rounds, continued onslaught. I even hated the equipment that saved my life—the primitive raft that was an aimless, drifting pig of a boat, the wretched tent that turned clean water foul. I hated having to catch drinking water in the same box I had to defecate in. I hated having to haul aboard lovely creatures and tear into their flesh like a beast. I hated counting minutes for thirty-two days. I hated ... I hated... I did not know a man could have so much hatred and so much longing within him. Yes, I will get home somehow. I must. Has the wind eased a little or is it my imagination?
Thought you'd make it, did you? Well, April fool! APRIL 1 DAY 56 Clouds drop a light shower to test my water-catchment system. I get about a pint, but upon tasting it I find that it's still badly tainted with foul orange particles from the canopy. My catchment cape isn't as effective as I had hoped. There's still too much water draining down the canopy. This foul water drains through the same hole in the canopy as the clean water from the catchment cape. Maybe the foul water will be drinkable if I cut it with good water. I try a fifty-fifty ratio. It's still so gross that it's all I can do not to barf. Maybe if I cut it again with water from the still... The sun peers out from behind the wall of gray and sets the solar still to working. Dancing droplets pirouette into the collection bag. The still keeps slumping over.
If it breaks, I'll try lashing on the sheath knife and go for triggers. I'll worry about it later. Tainted canopy water, along with clear water caught in the space blanket, pours through the observation port drain when it rains. I push a piece of plastic tubing into a low point of drainage in the blanket and secure it with sail twine. A cloudburst at night sends water pouring in. I drain most of the foul water off on the kite and let the clean water drain from the tube into the Tupperware box. It's a gigantic success. I collect two and a half pints of water, still a bit tainted, but drinkable. If my last solar still blows completely, I'm not necessarily done for. I envision the dorado struggling for life on the end of my spear, twisting this way and that, this way and that. It brings to my mind the children's story of the little train trying ever so hard to puff up the mountain.
agricultural Revolution, Anne Wojcicki, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, clean water, Drosophila, food miles, invention of gunpowder, out of africa, personalized medicine, placebo effect, profit motive, randomized controlled trial, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman: Challenger O-ring, Ronald Reagan, Simon Singh, Skype, stem cell, Ted Kaczynski, the scientific method, Thomas Malthus, Upton Sinclair, X Prize
The Green Revolution was no exception. With little thought devoted to land management and driven by an almost limitless reliance on water, the environmental impact has been staggering. For decades, India and China have been digging wells and damming rivers from one end of Asia to the other. The dams have displaced millions. Wells have liberated a generation of farmers from their dependence on rain, but clean water doesn’t flow forever. As the population grows, particularly in the world’s two most populous countries, the freshwater dwindles, and that leaves people with just one choice: dig. Drill too deep, though, and saltwater and arsenic can begin to seep into the ground, and when that happens nothing will grow on that land again. For the first time since 1960, we are in a race to see whether the planet can provide enough food to feed its inhabitants.
So let’s collect all the waste.’ That turns out to be really expensive because then we have to dispose of it. Finally, people said, ‘Let’s redesign the factories so that they don’t make that crap.’ ” (In fact, the fire that erupted just outside Cleveland, Ohio, on the Cuyahoga River in June 1969 became a permanent symbol of environmental disaster. It also helped begin a national discussion that ended in the passage of the Clean Water Act, the Safe Drinking Water Act, and many other measures.) “Let’s say I was a whimsical futurist,” said Endy—although there is nothing whimsical about his approach to science or to the future. “We are spending trillions of dollars on health care. Preventing disease is obviously more desirable than treating it. My guess is that our ultimate solution to the crisis of health care costs will be to redesign ourselves so that we don’t have so many problems to deal with.
Butler, Samuel, “Darwin Among the Machines,” CAM, see alternative medicines Campbell, Kent Canada, vaccinations in cancer: cell manipulation and HPV vaccine and measles risk of canola Caplan, Arthur Carlson, Rob Biology Is Technology Carlson Curve Carnegie Foundation Carrey, Jim Carroll, Lewis Caruso, Denise, Intervention cassava Ceci, Stephen Celebrex Celera Genomics censorship Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) Centers for Disease Control, and polio vaccines cervical cancer Challenger Charles, Prince of Wales Chernobyl disaster Chesterton, G. K., Eugenics and Other Evils children, synthetic China: cotton industry in environmental issues in isolationism of rice in rising income in tea in chloroquine cholera cholesterol chondroitin Church, George civilizations, emergence of Clark, William (explorer) Clark, William C. (professor) Clarke, Arthur C. Clean Water Act Cleveland Clinic Clinton, Bill Clinton, Hillary Club of Rome, The Limits to Growth Coca-Cola Company Collins, Francis S. Colten Snyder v. HHS common ancestor complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), see alternative medicines Complete Genomics Condit, Celeste conspiracy: assumptions of confusion among theorists of Continental Army, vaccination of cordyceps corporate greed cowpox cox-2 inhibitors (coxibs)- Creation Museum Crick, Francis Crohn’s disease crystal meth Cuba, agriculture in Cuyahoga River, afire cyclooxygenase-2 DALYs (disability-adjusted life years) Darwin, Charles deCODE genetics Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) denialism: arguments used in and conspiracy theories distortion of facts in forms of and loss of control use of term DES (diethylstilbestrol) diphtheria disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) disease, see illness disposable biological systems, creation of DNA: capacity of tools for study of comparisons of components of cost of processing decoding sequences of do-i t-yourself research on and genome studies Internet sales of open-source biology of personal analysis of and polio virus research recombinant technology resurrecting self-re plicating structure of synthetic Dole, Bob Dostoyevsky, Fyodor Drazen, Jeffrey drosophila Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) drug metabolizing enzymes drug resistance Duesberg, Peter DuPont Corporation Dyson, Freeman echinacea education Ehrlich, Paul, The Population Bomb Einstein, Albert eleuthero (Siberian ginseng) Elizabeth I, queen of England Emanuel, Ezekiel encephalopathy Endy, Drew energy, new sources of energy drinks Enlightenment Enriquez, Juan environmental issues: and agriculture and genetics pollution solutions to ephedra ETC Group eugenics Every Child by Two evolution common ancestor in and genetic modification and human genome intelligent design as alternative to of machines manipulation of natural selection rejection of the idea of and survival theory of extinct animals, bringing back to life falciparum parasite Falk, Gary W.
The Coke Machine: The Dirty Truth Behind the World's Favorite Soft Drink by Michael Blanding
carbon footprint, clean water, collective bargaining, corporate social responsibility, Exxon Valdez, Gordon Gekko, Internet Archive, laissez-faire capitalism, market design, Naomi Klein, New Journalism, Ponzi scheme, profit motive, Ralph Nader, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, union organizing, Upton Sinclair
(The contract lasted only until 1994, however, when Coke sold its Florida orange groves, which effectively ended union representation in the state.) On some level, Austin’s rhetoric about changing the world was genuine. Under a principle he dubbed the “halo effect,” the company launched new initiatives on recycling and acquired a company called Aqua-Chem to produce desalinization plants to provide clean water in the Middle East— even though the subsidiary never turned a profit. The company’s new so cial thrust, however, wasn’t completely uncalculated. Now that love beads and folk music were safe cultural touchstones, Coke glommed on to the hippie movement for its biggest transformation in decades. The company had already gone from a medicinal cure-all to sign of good breeding, from refreshing pause to all-American icon.
In Nestlé’s case, the company was tapping underground aquifers around the United States, as citizens from Maine to California and Michigan to Texas complained about dried-up streams and dropping water levels around their plants. But at least Nestlé could legitimately call its “spring water” a unique T H E B O T T L E D WAT E R L I E 125 beverage. Coke and Pepsi were bottling municipal tap water, passing os tensibly clean water through additional purification processes, and then selling it for a huge markup. Meanwhile, Coke’s huge advertising cam paign touting Dasani’s “purity” further undermined public confidence in tap water, they argued, leading to more bottled water sales and less invest ment in public infrastructure. By the time CAI began sounding the alarm in 2004, consumers were spending some $9 billion annually on bottled water in the United States, consuming an average of twenty-three gallons of the stuff per person (those numbers have since risen to $11 billion and twenty-nine gallons).
In the fall of 2007, CAI began circulating a “Think Outside the Bottle” pledge, asking people to drink public water over bottled water whenever possible. Within just a few weeks, it signed on several thousand people, celebrities among them, including actor Martin Sheen. In late 2007, actors Sarah Jessica Parker and Lucy Liu supported a project to charge $1 for tap 1 32 THE COKE MACHINE water in New York City restaurants to raise money for UNICEF’s clean water efforts abroad. They raised $100,000. By that fall, Nestlé had joined Pepsi in revealing the source of its water on its labels—and went even further by including detailed water quality information on its website for all brands by 2009. Alone among the Big Three bottled water producers, Coke held out. “The FDA’s definition of purified water does not require [revealing] the source,” argued Coke spokesman Ray Crockett.
The Coke Machine by Michael Blanding
carbon footprint, clean water, collective bargaining, corporate social responsibility, Exxon Valdez, Gordon Gekko, Internet Archive, laissez-faire capitalism, market design, Naomi Klein, New Journalism, Ponzi scheme, profit motive, Ralph Nader, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, union organizing, Upton Sinclair
(The contract lasted only until 1994, however, when Coke sold its Florida orange groves, which effectively ended union representation in the state.) On some level, Austin’s rhetoric about changing the world was genuine. Under a principle he dubbed the “halo effect,” the company launched new initiatives on recycling and acquired a company called Aqua-Chem to produce desalinization plants to provide clean water in the Middle East—even though the subsidiary never turned a profit. The company’s new social thrust, however, wasn’t completely uncalculated. Now that love beads and folk music were safe cultural touchstones, Coke glommed on to the hippie movement for its biggest transformation in decades. The company had already gone from a medicinal cure-all to sign of good breeding, from refreshing pause to all-American icon.
Yet CAI was affronted by the way in which the bottled water corporations were taking over local water supplies, often paying next to nothing for the privilege. In Nestlé’s case, the company was tapping underground aquifers around the United States, as citizens from Maine to California and Michigan to Texas complained about dried-up streams and dropping water levels around their plants. But at least Nestlé could legitimately call its “spring water” a unique beverage. Coke and Pepsi were bottling municipal tap water, passing ostensibly clean water through additional purification processes, and then selling it for a huge markup. Meanwhile, Coke’s huge advertising campaign touting Dasani’s “purity” further undermined public confidence in tap water, they argued, leading to more bottled water sales and less investment in public infrastructure. By the time CAI began sounding the alarm in 2004, consumers were spending some $9 billion annually on bottled water in the United States, consuming an average of twenty-three gallons of the stuff per person (those numbers have since risen to $11 billion and twenty-nine gallons).
In the fall of 2007, CAI began circulating a “Think Outside the Bottle” pledge, asking people to drink public water over bottled water whenever possible. Within just a few weeks, it signed on several thousand people, celebrities among them, including actor Martin Sheen. In late 2007, actors Sarah Jessica Parker and Lucy Liu supported a project to charge $1 for tap water in New York City restaurants to raise money for UNICEF’s clean water efforts abroad. They raised $100,000. By that fall, Nestlé had joined Pepsi in revealing the source of its water on its labels—and went even further by including detailed water quality information on its website for all brands by 2009. Alone among the Big Three bottled water producers, Coke held out. “The FDA’s definition of purified water does not require [revealing] the source,” argued Coke spokesman Ray Crockett.
Escape from Hell by Larry Niven; Jerry Pournelle
It was a familiar question; I’d written scores of books and far more short stories, and every one of them needed a beginning. “The grotto.” Chapter 2 The Tenth Circle Ice * * * Whereat I turned me round, and saw before me, And underfoot a lake, that from the frost The semblance had of glass, and not of water. The grotto looks jeweled; it’s brighter than it ought to be. It’s not very large. I took a tourist trip to Lourdes once and it reminds me of that. A stream of clean water runs through it. I had a drink from it, the first cool, sweet water I’d tasted since I died. The grotto is at the very bottom of Hell, through the lake of ice and down. There are two ways out. One is straight up, and if Dante’s right, that’s a four–thousand–mile climb to the Earth’s surface. That’s the way Benito took, dwindling to a dark mote on a bright dot, then gone. I went the other way, through an opening walled with coarse black hair.
We pushed our way through the brush. Progress was slow, and in five minutes we were lost. The stairway behind us was invisible, and we weren’t really leaving any kind of trail. The way got tougher as we went. There were laurel trees and kudzu vines everywhere, and the farther we went the thicker they got. The fog got thicker, too, and it stank. It was hard going, crashing through the laurel thicket and kudzu. If I’d seen clean water … well, we were both still filthy from the Circle of Gluttons. We reeked. It bothered her more than me. She’d been fastidious about her appearance even back in the Vestibule. The ground was getting soggy. Soon enough we were wading, but it wasn’t water you’d use for washing. A shape rose out of the swamp, a giant, all muscles and no neck. He growled, “Where do you think you’re going?” Rosemary shied back.
“Yes, Rosemary, it does. Through that door.” He pointed. She hurried toward the door he’d indicated. “Thank you. I’ll be right back.” We waited. No one paid me the slightest heed. The office was large, with bookcases and file cabinets, very much a working office. After what seemed a long time, Rosemary came out. She looked well groomed, very professional. She’d obviously found a comb and clean water but no makeup. Her hair was brushed straight back and down, giving her a rather severe look. She’d also washed all the stains out of her robe. Rosemary sat at the table. “Thank you, James.” “You’re welcome.” “You want me to be your Lead Deputy Prosecutor. With how large a staff?” “As many as you like. You may recruit from anywhere within the Ten Circles. Anywhere in Hell.” “But what’s the job?”
The Menopause Thyroid Solution by Mary J. Shomon
In my research on bone health, I have never come across one article that suggests that diet soda is good for bone health. If you drink diet soda, start adding one glass of water a day for a week. Then replace one diet soda with a glass of water. Jennings also encourages women to drink plenty of clean water. But how much water should we be getting? Recommendations vary, but acupuncturist and holistic practitioner Dr. Jocelyne Eberstein feels that perimenopausal and menopausal women should be drinking at least 100 ounces of clean water a day. How and where you get your clean water will depend on how much effort and money you want to put into your water supply. Some women use a Brita, PUR, or similar filter to remove basic impurities from tap water. Others buy calcium-rich mineral waters, like Perrier and San Pellegrino, for regular drinking or have a water service that delivers spring water to the home or office.
Poor Economics: A Radical Rethinking of the Way to Fight Global Poverty by Abhijit Banerjee, Esther Duflo
Albert Einstein, Andrei Shleifer, business process, business process outsourcing, call centre, Cass Sunstein, charter city, clean water, collapse of Lehman Brothers, congestion charging, demographic transition, diversified portfolio, experimental subject, hiring and firing, land tenure, low skilled workers, M-Pesa, microcredit, moral hazard, purchasing power parity, randomized controlled trial, Richard Thaler, school vouchers, Silicon Valley, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, Thomas Malthus, urban planning
Thus, if malaria indeed reduces earnings in Kenya by 50 percent, a $14 investment will increase incomes by $295 for the 30 percent of the population that would have gotten malaria without the net. The average return is $88 every year over the child’s entire adult work life—enough for a parent to buy a lifetime supply of bed nets for all his or her children, with a chunk of change left over. There are other examples of highly effective health investments. Access to clean water and sanitation is one of them. Overall, in 2008, according to estimates by WHO and UNICEF, approximately 13 percent of the world’s population lacked access to improved water sources (typically meaning a tap or a well) and about one-fourth did not have access to water that is safe to drink.9 And many of these people are the very poor. In our eighteen-country data set, access to tap water at home among the rural extremely poor varied from less than 1 percent (in rural Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh in India) to 36.8 percent (in Guatemala).
That is not nearly enough to eradicate malaria. What the lack of demand underscores is perhaps the fundamental difficulty of the problem of health: The ladders to get out of the poverty trap exist but are not always in the right place, and people do not seem to know how to step onto them or even want to do so. The Desire for Better Health Since they do not seem to be willing to sacrifice much money or time to get clean water, bed nets, or for that matter, deworming pills or fortified flour, despite their potentially large health benefits, does that mean the poor do not care about health? The evidence suggests the opposite. When asked whether there was a period of a month in the recent past when they felt “worried, tense, or anxious,” roughly one-fourth of the poor in both rural Udaipur and urban South Africa said yes.20 This is much higher than what we see in the United States.
THE VIEW FROM OUR COUCH The poor seem to be trapped by the same kinds of problems that afflict the rest of us—lack of information, weak beliefs, and procrastination among them. It is true that we who are not poor are somewhat better educated and informed, but the difference is small because, in the end, we actually know very little, and almost surely less than we imagine. Our real advantage comes from the many things that we take as given. We live in houses where clean water gets piped in—we do not need to remember to add Chlorin to the water supply every morning. The sewage goes away on its own—we do not actually know how. We can (mostly) trust our doctors to do the best they can and can trust the public health system to figure out what we should and should not do. We have no choice but to get our children immunized—public schools will not take them if they aren’t—and even if we somehow manage to fail to do it, our children will probably be safe because everyone else is immunized.
The Spirit Level: Why Greater Equality Makes Societies Stronger by Richard Wilkinson; Kate Pickett
Berlin Wall, clean water, Diane Coyle, epigenetics, experimental economics, experimental subject, Fall of the Berlin Wall, full employment, germ theory of disease, Gini coefficient, impulse control, income inequality, knowledge economy, labor-force participation, land reform, Louis Pasteur, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Milgram experiment, offshore financial centre, phenotype, Plutocrats, plutocrats, profit maximization, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, statistical model, The Chicago School, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, ultimatum game, upwardly mobile, World Values Survey
WHERE THE EVIDENCE LEADS We shall start by outlining the evidence which shows that we have got close to the end of what economic growth can do for us. For thousands of years the best way of improving the quality of human life was to raise material living standards. When the wolf was never far from the door, good times were simply times of plenty. But for the vast majority of people in affluent countries the difficulties of life are no longer about filling our stomachs, having clean water and keeping warm. Most of us now wish we could eat less rather than more. And, for the first time in history, the poor are – on average – fatter than the rich. Economic growth, for so long the great engine of progress, has, in the rich countries, largely finished its work. Not only have measures of wellbeing and happiness ceased to rise with economic growth but, as affluent societies have grown richer, there have been long-term rises in rates of anxiety, depression and numerous other social problems.
What purchases say about status and identity is often more important than the goods themselves. Put crudely, second-rate goods are assumed to reflect second-rate people. Possessions are markers of status everywhere, but in poorer societies, where necessities are a much larger part of consumption, the reasons why more equal societies do better may have less to do with status issues and more to do with fewer people being denied access to food, clean water and shelter. It is only among the very richest countries that health and wellbeing are no longer related to Gross National Income per person. In poorer countries it is still essential to raise living standards and it is most important among the poorest. In those societies a more equal distribution of resources will mean fewer people will be living in shanty towns, with dirty water and food insecurity, or trying to scrape a living from inadequate land-holdings.
As well as some highly ethical companies operating in the market supporting fair trade, the environment, giving to local communities, etc., there are, at the same time, also companies trying to expand markets for tobacco in the developing world in the sure knowledge that they will cause millions of extra deaths. There are companies which have caused needless deaths by encouraging mothers in developing countries to buy powdered baby milk instead of breast feeding, despite lack of access to clean water or basic hygiene. There are others which continue to destroy ecosystems, land and water supplies, to exploit mineral resources where governments are too weak or corrupt to stand up to them, and still others use their patents to prevent life-saving drugs being sold at affordable prices in poorer countries. There are reasons to think that employee-owned companies might maintain higher standards of morality even with the profit motive.
The Irrational Economist: Making Decisions in a Dangerous World by Erwann Michel-Kerjan, Paul Slovic
Andrei Shleifer, availability heuristic, bank run, Black Swan, Cass Sunstein, clean water, cognitive dissonance, collateralized debt obligation, complexity theory, conceptual framework, corporate social responsibility, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, cross-subsidies, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, endowment effect, experimental economics, financial innovation, Fractional reserve banking, George Akerlof, hindsight bias, incomplete markets, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, iterative process, Loma Prieta earthquake, London Interbank Offered Rate, market bubble, market clearing, moral hazard, mortgage debt, placebo effect, price discrimination, price stability, RAND corporation, Richard Thaler, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, statistical model, stochastic process, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, too big to fail, transaction costs, ultimatum game, University of East Anglia, urban planning
Johnson’s administration was responsible for the following items of legislation:• Clear Air, Water Quality and Clean Water Restoration Acts and Amendments • Wilderness Act of 1964 • Endangered Species Preservation Act of 1966 • National Trails System Act of 1968 • Wild and Scenic Rivers Act of 1968 • Land and Water Conservation Act of 1965 • Solid Waste Disposal Act of 1965 • Motor Vehicle Air Pollution Control Act of 1965 • National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 • Aircraft Noise Abatement Act of 1968 • National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 Many of these were the predecessors of legislation that today still forms the backbone of America’s environmental policy: The Endangered Species Preservation Act is the forerunner of the Endangered Species Act, and the Clear Air, Water Quality and Clean Water Restoration Acts and Amendments set the framework for the air and water quality legislation that we have today.
In 1970 Nixon commented to the leaders of the Sierra Club that “[a]ll politics is a fad. Your fad is going right now. Get what you can, and here’s what I can get for you.”4 And he proceeded to get a remarkable amount for them. His legislative achievements include the National Environmental Policy Act, the establishment of the Environmental Protection Agency, the Clean Air Act, the banning of DDT, the Clean Water Act, and the Endangered Species Act. All of this legislation has continued to form the basis of our environmental policy for the last three decades, and no subsequent president has come close to this level of environmental activism. Perhaps surprisingly, there is no evidence that the state of the environment actually mattered personally and emotionally to Richard Nixon, as it clearly did to Teddy Roosevelt.
Visit Sunny Chernobyl: And Other Adventures in the World's Most Polluted Places by Andrew Blackwell
carbon footprint, clean water, Google Earth, gravity well, oil rush, oil shale / tar sands, place-making, ride hailing / ride sharing, sensible shoes, Silicon Valley, special economic zone, the scientific method, young professional
There are duck blinds, and a duck-identification chart from an organization called Ducks Unlimited, and a good number of actual ducks present on the lake, possibly including several I had recently failed to murder. So ducktastic was it that I began to wonder whether Suncor was trying to stick it to poor old Syncrude, with all its duck problems, just up the road. Surely some Suncor PR rep had hoped for a newspaper headline proclaiming, “Suncor, Neighbor to Duck-Destroyer Syncrude, Offers Clean Water, Reeds, at Waterfowl Haven.” I set out on my hike, keeping the lake on my right, ambling through a spray of purple wildflowers. There were dragonflies, again, and mosquitoes, too—snarling, clannish mosquitoes of the Albertan variety, with thick forearms and tribal tattoos. But I was ready. Don had lent me a bug jacket—a nylon shirt with a small tent for your head and face—and I had armed myself with enough spray-on DEET to poison a whole village.
Driving south, I passed the occasional clot of trash—a shattered television on the shoulder, a pink recliner submerged to its forehead in a placid side channel. Cormorants and pelicans wheeled by, and cranes and herons, and other long-necked beasties. Here and there, men sat by their pickup trucks and fished. The fish were not biting, they told me. Of course they’re not biting, I thought. You’re fishing in clean water. Finally I spotted a pair of SUVs parked by the canal that ran parallel to the road. It was Rhonda’s crew. I had caught them in the act. The pelican was already in the water, floating next to the reeds on the far side of the channel, maybe fifty feet away. I walked up to Rhonda and her three colleagues. She registered my presence with obvious disappointment. The rehab worker from the warehouse was there, too.
“This is not an easy fight,” he said. “Without pen and ink, it’s not possible.” And he wanted to make sure I had my story straight. “People used to drink Yamuna to purify themselves,” he said. “Now you can’t even touch it. Recently some pilgrims drank some Yamuna water and had to be hospitalized that same night.” The villages along the river couldn’t use it as a water source anymore. “Can’t government provide people clean water?” he demanded. “If the government can put a Metro train a hundred feet underground, it can do this.” He chopped one hand against the other. Someone had to purify the purifier. “Until Yamuna is clean, we are not going to back off. This is higher than religion. Higher than human beings.” Hiking with the sadhus is cheaper than taking the bus, and more scenic, but you will have to come to terms with crapping in the open, which for Westerners can be profoundly difficult.
Whole Earth Discipline: An Ecopragmatist Manifesto by Stewart Brand
agricultural Revolution, back-to-the-land, biofilm, borderless world, Buckminster Fuller, business process, Cass Sunstein, clean water, Community Supported Agriculture, conceptual framework, Danny Hillis, dark matter, decarbonisation, demographic dividend, demographic transition, Elon Musk, Exxon Valdez, failed state, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, glass ceiling, Google Earth, Hans Rosling, Hernando de Soto, informal economy, interchangeable parts, invention of agriculture, invention of the steam engine, Jane Jacobs, jimmy wales, Kevin Kelly, Kibera, land tenure, M-Pesa, Marshall McLuhan, megacity, microbiome, New Urbanism, out of africa, Paul Graham, peak oil, Richard Florida, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, smart grid, stem cell, Stewart Brand, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, Thomas Malthus, University of East Anglia, uranium enrichment, urban renewal, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review, working-age population, Y2K
The lesson I draw is that any practice that leads to treating houses mainly as property tends to destroy community, and any practice that treats them mainly as homes preserves community. The transition from slum to ordinary urban neighborhood goes best if it is gradual and carefully finessed to local conditions by all the players—dwellers, government, NGOs, and companies. According to a 2008 article in Toronto’s Globe and Mail:“The best plans generally let the slum dwellers themselves make the main decisions in planning their future. You should provide clean water, toilets, electricity, garbage collection and disposal, and maybe let people build their own houses if they can, using materials that you can provide,” says Aprodicio Laquian, the Filipino-Canadian planner who practically invented the idea of slum-dweller-designed urban rehabilitation in the 1960s. . . . These sorts of schemes, known as “slum upgrading” or “sites and services,” have been at the heart of the most successful urban-renewal projects of the past 40 years.
The romantics distrust engineers—sometimes correctly—for their hubris and are uncomfortable with the prospect of fixing things because the essence of tragedy is that it can’t be fixed. Romantics love problems; scientists discover and analyze problems; engineers solve problems. • That is a gross oversimplification. Stereotypes were not responsible for the burst of U.S. environmental legislation passed in the 1970s—the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species acts, and the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency. What would I call the dedicated lawyers who got those bills written, passed, and signed—“political engineers”? Where in my character set are the duck hunters who pioneered the conservation movement in the 1930s by protecting wetlands and who are still at it seventy years later? Some 24 million acres of North American waterfowl habitat are being preserved, protected, and restored by the 775,000 well-armed members of Ducks Unlimited.
“Butterflies and Plants” (Raven and Ehrlich) Byers, Eben C4 rice Caldeira, Ken California biodiversity and genetic engineering and pre-Columbian agriculture in California Invasive Plant Council California Native Plant Society California Water Atlas Calthorpe, Peter Canada fisheries of nuclear power and cancer cap-and-trade markets carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) algae and carbon dioxide carbon sinks carbon taxes Carlson, Rob Carson, Rachel Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety (2000) Caruso, Denise Cascio, Jamais cattle cellphones cellulose Center for Biosafety, South African Challenge of Slums, The (UN-HABITAT) Chapela, Ignacio charcoal Charles, Prince of Wales chemical mutagenesis Chernobyl disaster (1986) Chesser, Ronald children, disease and China genetic engineering and green engineering and Green Revolution and nuclear power and urbanization and Chinese Academy of Forestry Chipchase, Jan Chu, Steven Church, George cities agriculture and ecological footprint of economic growth and infrastructure of innovation and New Urbanism and population growth and slums and, see slums warfare and see also urbanization Citizendium clathrates Clean Air Act (1970) Clean and Safe Energy Coalition Clean Water Act (1972) climate change agriculture and algae and biodiversity and forests and, see forests genetic engineering and nuclear power and population growth and satellite monitoring of Climate Crash (Cox) Climatic Change Closing Circle, The (Commoner) coal coccolithophores Cochran, Gregory coevolution CoEvolution Quarterly cogeneration Cohen, Joel Collapse (Diamond) combined heat and power (CHP) Commoner, Barry Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization, Australian community-supported agriculture confirmation bias Congress, U.S.
Culture & Empire: Digital Revolution by Pieter Hintjens
4chan, airport security, anti-communist, anti-pattern, barriers to entry, Bill Duvall, bitcoin, blockchain, business climate, business intelligence, business process, Chelsea Manning, clean water, congestion charging, Corn Laws, correlation does not imply causation, cryptocurrency, Debian, Edward Snowden, failed state, financial independence, Firefox, full text search, German hyperinflation, global village, GnuPG, Google Chrome, greed is good, Hernando de Soto, hiring and firing, informal economy, invisible hand, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Rulifson, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, M-Pesa, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, national security letter, new economy, New Urbanism, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, packet switching, patent troll, peak oil, pre–internet, private military company, race to the bottom, rent-seeking, reserve currency, RFC: Request For Comment, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Richard Stallman, Satoshi Nakamoto, security theater, Skype, slashdot, software patent, spectrum auction, Steve Crocker, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stuxnet, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, trade route, transaction costs, union organizing, web application, WikiLeaks, Y2K, zero day, Zipf's Law
I argue that every great empire is born out of a monopoly on a vital new technology: bronze, iron, the horse, irrigation, roads, military organization, finance. In each instance, essential knowledge spreads until everyone has access to it. Then the empire loses its monopoly, crashes, and the cycle repeats. It is hard to understand exponential curves. Our minds give up as we approach the infinite. The curve tends to look either totally flat or like a straight cliff. We can look at history and collapse it into: "clean water and roads let the Romans build their empire" or "my portable phone has more computing power than the whole of NASA in 1962." When I tell you that in 60 years, the average person on the planet will have and use more computing power than the entire Internet today, does that concept fit into your world view? One reason the phenomenon is hard to grasp is that there is not one single technology to consider, rather, millions.
To change the behavior of an individual or a group, the only sustainable strategy is to change the economics. If it's unprofitable to be a thief, people will stop becoming thieves. And lastly, there should be strong pressure for cheap, fast, unfiltered broadband. This should be the main condition of the relaxation of pressure. High Internet costs and censorship should be treated as crimes against humanity, and access to IP packets as a basic human right, along with free education, clean water, and freedom to travel. The reality is that we are still very far from this. The West has its own crises, its own bandits, and is immature in many ways. The next decades will be key. The violent racism that immigration provokes is a gold mine to politicians. The guilt and fear of getting too many chocolates, and eating them all, makes us northerners easy to mess with. Will western society embrace multiculturalism, or turn against it?
A currency doesn't have to be backed by the State; however, it must be convertible. A state-backed currency loses value if the State prints too much of it, as States tend to do eventually. A natural currency stops being convertible if it stops being rare. The best currencies are highly portable (I can carry them with me), anonymous (I can spend them without others discovering), and scalable to any size of market. Two thousand years ago, we invented clean water, hot baths, social security, highways, concrete, and civil engineering, and built continent-wide trading empires. We invented public and private law as the basis for modern legal systems, and the free market. It all went well except for the lead in the water. Two hundred and fifty years ago, we invented the steam engine and decided it was more profitable to build factories than grow sugar. We invented "intellectual property" on the basis that if we didn't own the ideas in our minds, we would stop thinking.
The Knowledge: How to Rebuild Our World From Scratch by Lewis Dartnell
agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, clean water, Dava Sobel, decarbonisation, discovery of penicillin, Dmitri Mendeleev, global village, Haber-Bosch Process, invention of movable type, invention of radio, invention of writing, iterative process, James Watt: steam engine, John Harrison: Longitude, lone genius, nuclear winter, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, technology bubble, the scientific method, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, trade route
First, you need a certain amount of practical knowledge handed to you on a plate, so as to recover a base level of capability and a comfortable lifestyle as quickly as possible, and to halt further degeneration. But you also need to nurture the recovery of scientific investigation and provide the most worthwhile kernels of knowledge to begin exploring.* We’ll start with the basics and see how you can provide the fundamental elements of a comfortable life for yourself after the Fall: sufficient food and clean water, clothes and building materials, energy and essential medicines. There will be a number of immediate concerns for the survivors: cultivable crops must be gathered from farmland and seed caches before they die and are lost; diesel can be rendered from biofuel crops to keep engines running until the machinery fails, and parts can be scavenged to reestablish a local power grid. We’ll look at how best to cannibalize components and scavenge materials from the detritus of the dead civilization: the post-apocalyptic world will demand ingenuity in repurposing, tinkering, and jury-rigging.
These emergency water stores should be covered to keep them free from detritus and to block the light that allows algal growth. Bottled water can be scavenged from supermarkets and from water coolers in office buildings. Other reservoirs of water you’ll be able to drain include hotel and gym swimming pools, as well as the hot water tanks in any large building. In time, you’ll come to rely on water sources you’d normally have wrinkled your nose at. Every survivor will need at least three liters of clean water every day, and more in hot climates or with exertion. And keep in mind that this is for rehydration alone, and does not include water necessary for cooking and washing. Water that doesn’t come from a sealed bottle must be purified. A surefire method for sterilizing water of pathogens is to bring it to a hearty boil for a few minutes (although this offers no protection against chemical contamination).
If you do succumb to an enteric infection, the good news is that the condition is often entirely survivable. Even something as historically devastating as cholera is not actually directly lethal: you die from rapid dehydration resulting from the profuse diarrhea, losing as much as 20 liters of body fluid a day. The treatment, therefore, is astoundingly straightforward, even though it was not widely adopted until the 1970s. Oral rehydration therapy (ORT) consists of no more than a liter of clean water with a tablespoon of salt and three tablespoons of sugar stirred in, to replace not only the water lost in the sickness, but also your body’s osmolytes. To survive cholera you don’t need advanced pharmaceuticals, just attentive nursing. CHILDBIRTH AND NEONATAL CARE Without modern medical intervention, childbirth will once again become a dangerous time for both mother and child. Today, serious complications during birth are often resolved with a Cesarean section: the surgeon slicing through the muscular abdominal wall and into the womb to lift out the baby.
Adapt: Why Success Always Starts With Failure by Tim Harford
Andrew Wiles, banking crisis, Basel III, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Black Swan, car-free, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, charter city, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, complexity theory, corporate governance, correlation does not imply causation, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Dava Sobel, Deep Water Horizon, Deng Xiaoping, double entry bookkeeping, Edmond Halley, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, experimental subject, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Fermat's Last Theorem, Firefox, food miles, Gerolamo Cardano, global supply chain, Isaac Newton, Jane Jacobs, Jarndyce and Jarndyce, Jarndyce and Jarndyce, John Harrison: Longitude, knowledge worker, loose coupling, Martin Wolf, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, Netflix Prize, New Urbanism, Nick Leeson, PageRank, Piper Alpha, profit motive, Richard Florida, Richard Thaler, rolodex, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, South China Sea, special economic zone, spectrum auction, Steve Jobs, supply-chain management, the market place, The Wisdom of Crowds, too big to fail, trade route, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, web application, X Prize
When John Nagl served in Baghdad in 2003, he found that while his young, inexperienced soldiers had the authority to kill, he – a major with a doctorate and a decade of experience – didn’t have the authority to print his own propaganda pamphlets to counteract the clever PR camign that the local insurgents were running. The commander of US forces in Baghdad in 2004 found that he couldn’t tap into the massive USAID budget to provide electricity, clean water, jobs and other assistance to the locals. The budget had been assigned in Washington DC to the Bechtel Corporation, which had been commissioned to carry out a few very large, long-term projects instead. The commander could see immediate needs but had no authority to act. Over time, the Army learned to decentralise these essential decisions to the same extent that they had decentralised the authority to shoot people.
We may have booming universities and armies of knowledge workers, but when it comes to producing new ideas, we are running to stand still. This is particularly worrying because we are hoping that new technology will solve so many of our problems. Consider climate change: Bjorn Lomborg, famous as ‘the sceptical environmentalist’ who thinks we worry too much about climate change and not enough about clean water or malaria, argues that we should be spending fifty times more on research and development into clean energy and geoengineering. If that’s the demand from someone who thinks climate change is over-hyped, we are entering a world in which we expect much, much more from new technology. 5 The problem with patents The obvious place to turn for solutions is to the market, where countless companies compete to bring new ideas into profitable shape, from start-ups to giant innovation factories such as Intel, General Electric and GlaxoSmithKline.
Consider the PlayPump, a clever-sounding idea in which a deep well is connected to a pump powered by a children’s roundabout as a way of bringing fresh water to isolated communities. As the children play, the roundabout spins, and the pump fills a large tank that can be tapped as needed. The PlayPump removes the need both for unreliable electrical pumps and for hours of labour from hardworking women: clean water simply appears as a by-product of innocent play. Or does it? Because it’s a pricey and mechanically inefficient alternative to a hand-pump, the PlayPump justifies itself only if the village children really do spend much of their time playing on it. From the pictures sent back from rural Africa, it seems that they do. But rural Africa is a place where few of us spend much time, so it’s hard to be sure.
We-Think: Mass Innovation, Not Mass Production by Charles Leadbeater
1960s counterculture, Andrew Keen, barriers to entry, bioinformatics, c2.com, call centre, citizen journalism, clean water, cloud computing, complexity theory, congestion charging, death of newspapers, Debian, digital Maoism, double helix, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, frictionless, frictionless market, future of work, game design, Google Earth, Google X / Alphabet X, Hacker Ethic, Hernando de Soto, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, interchangeable parts, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, Jean Tirole, jimmy wales, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, lone genius, M-Pesa, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, microcredit, new economy, Nicholas Carr, online collectivism, planetary scale, post scarcity, Richard Stallman, Silicon Valley, slashdot, social web, software patent, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, supply-chain management, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the market place, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Whole Earth Catalog, Zipcar
Roy had turned his back on life in a wealthy Delhi family with the aim of creating an institution that would give India’s illiterate villagers greater control over their lives, by helping them to provide heat, light, clean water and food for themselves. He could not afford to employ professionals to teach the villagers, and city-based experts had little understanding of village life anyway. So Roy trained a small group of villagers to become teachers and engineers. They taught others, who in turn became engineers, teachers and doctors in their own villages. By 2007 two generations of some families had become professionals, thanks to the college. In the villages around the college, each evening more than 4,000 children who tend cattle by day attend night classes with teachers in education centres lit by solar-powered lanterns installed by engineers. They drink clean water from one of the more than 1,737 hand-operated water pumps that have been installed since 1979 and are maintained by 1,200 mechanics, and which provide water for more than 325,000 people.
Design and engineering have long been based on collaborative practices, from shipbuilders in the 17th century to the clusters of Silicon Valley. The Open Architecture Network (OAN) is a virtual space in which architects post their drawings for the public to examine, download and build. By June 2007 the network had 400 designs, 40 chapters of architects around the world and almost 6,000 contributing members. The OAN runs open design competitions on challenges facing the world’s poor, such as the quest for low-cost clean water and sewerage systems, and provides up to $250,000 for the implementation of a winning design. OAN designs include The Clean Hub, a solar-powered water harvester, electricity generator and composting toilet that costs $15,000 to install, and the In(out) side House, an environmentally-friendly family house that would cost about $125,000 to build. A site called Instructables – set up by Squid Labs, a design and innovation agency – is becoming an online directory of DIY design projects, an eclectic fusion of a home-improvement magazine and a how-to-build-it book from the 1950s – except that much of it appears to have been written by people with access to industrial lasers.
The Human Age: The World Shaped by Us by Diane Ackerman
23andMe, 3D printing, additive manufacturing, airport security, Albert Einstein, augmented reality, back-to-the-land, carbon footprint, clean water, dark matter, dematerialisation, double helix, Drosophila, epigenetics, Google Earth, Google Glasses, haute cuisine, Internet of things, Loebner Prize, Louis Pasteur, Masdar, megacity, microbiome, nuclear winter, personalized medicine, phenotype, Ray Kurzweil, refrigerator car, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, SETI@home, skunkworks, Skype, stem cell, Stewart Brand, the High Line, theory of mind, urban planning, urban renewal, Whole Earth Catalog
As he explains: “The system includes floating beds made of water hyacinth (to grow vegetables), a portable circular enclosure created by fishing net and bamboo strips (to raise fish), and a floating duck coop powered by solar lamps. It has a recycling system—duck manure is used as fish food, cold-water hyacinth beds are sold as organic fertilizer, and the sun energy lights up the duck coop to maintain the egg production.” So giggling children attend school, even during flood months, and their families can produce food and clean water despite the deluges. In this way, if monsoons or conflicts push people from their homes, the flotilla creates lifesavers of education, medicine, food, lighting, and communication. Rezwan can’t single-handedly fight climate change, but his brilliantly simple solution is helping people adapt. The words “adaptation” and “mitigation” are appearing more and more often in the lexicon of climate scientists, who use them to cover practical (and impractical) responses to climate change.
Superstition tells of drowned fishermen returning as hungry cormorants, dressed in black rain gear, with webbed feet instead of boots. Despite the cold breeze there’s a warm afternoon sun. Soon the tide will be walking in and the pink-legged seagulls skimming the shoreline. In a few months the summer crowds will arrive to eat fresh seafood, attend the puppet theater, fall asleep to the slurred voice of the ocean, and enjoy the ecstasy of coastal life and clean water, with time strapped to their wrists. PART II IN THE HOUSE OF STONE AND LIGHT ASPHALT JUNGLES Watching Budi tumbling and climbing, at play with ball and shadow and iPad alike, I marvel at the road the human race has traveled. Open your imagination to how we began—as semiupright apes who spent some of their time in trees; next as ragtag bands of nomadic hunter-gatherers; then as purposeful custodians of favorite grains, chosen with mind-bending slowness, over thousands of years; and in time as intrepid farmers and clearers of forests with fixed roofs over our heads and a more reliable food supply; afterward as builders of villages and towns dwarfed by furrowed, well-tilled farmlands; then as makers, fed by such inventions as the steam engine (a lavish power source unlike horses, oxen, or water power, and not subject to health or weather, not limited by location); later as industry’s operators, drudges and tycoons who moved closer to the factories that arose in honeycombed cities beside endless fields of staple crops (like corn, wheat, and rice) and giant herds of key species (mainly cows, sheep, or pigs); and finally as builders of big buzzing metropolises, ringed by suburbs on whose fringes lay shrinking farms and forests; and then, as if magnetized by a fierce urge to coalesce, fleeing en masse into those mountainous hope-scented cities.
Just by walking briskly, or mousing around the shops, you can stoke the heat in someone’s chilly kitchen. Possibly a friend’s, but not necessarily. I’ll warm your apartment today, you’ll warm my schoolroom tomorrow. It’s effective and homely as gathering together in a cave. Sometimes there’s nothing like an old idea revamped. It’s hard not to admire the Swedes’ resolve, but it wasn’t always this way. During the 1970s Sweden suffered from pollution, dying forests, lack of clean water, and an oil habit exceeding any other in the industrialized world. In the past decade, through the use of wind and solar power, recycling of wastewater throughout eco-suburbs, linking up urban infrastructure in synergistic ways, and imposing stringent building codes, Swedes have axed their oil dependency by a staggering 90 percent, trimmed CO2 by 9 percent, and reduced sulfur pollution to pre–World War I levels.
An Optimist's Tour of the Future by Mark Stevenson
23andMe, Albert Einstein, Andy Kessler, augmented reality, bank run, carbon footprint, carbon-based life, clean water, computer age, decarbonisation, double helix, Douglas Hofstadter, Elon Musk, flex fuel, Gödel, Escher, Bach, Hans Rosling, Internet of things, invention of agriculture, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, Kevin Kelly, Law of Accelerating Returns, life extension, Louis Pasteur, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, packet switching, peak oil, pre–internet, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Rodney Brooks, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, smart cities, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, strong AI, the scientific method, Wall-E, X Prize
I instantly think ‘engineer’ and I’m right. This is Mark Vinsen, who explains what’s going on. ‘Water from the pond comes in,’ he says, pointing to a pipe. ‘Then we harvest the algae out of it.’ ‘Algae are very cool,’ enthuses Vicki. ‘Those algae have been feeding on contaminants in the water. By removing them, we’re most of the way to turning wastewater into fresh clean water,’ Mark continues. ‘We put the water through a few more steps but the algae do the initial hard work.’ ‘Clean water is the major part of the business,’ says Vicki. Mark takes me to the end of the second blue container, where a green sludge that looks like a cross between pesto and snot is dropping off a roller. ‘This is algae paste. We process it to create something we call “biocrude” that can be made into fuels.’ (Aquaflow has manufactured synthetic components of aircraft fuel, for instance.)
I’m expecting to hear about a specifically engineered algal strain that Aquaflow owns the patent for. ‘Whatever’s in the pond,’ say Mark. ‘That’s the beauty of it. There are thousands of varieties of algae and they vary depending on the time of year.’ ‘You work with what nature already puts in the pond? You’re algae sluts?’ Vicki laughs. ‘Yeah, when it comes to algae, we’ll go with anyone! But what that means is that we can turn any municipal waste pond into a manufacturer of cheap clean water and biofuel.’ It’s a pretty cool idea and one that will no doubt find its place. In fact, a few months after my visit to Blenheim, the company announces a partnership with the United States Gas Technology Institute to ‘demonstrate the conversion of algae biomass directly to gasoline and diesel fuel.’ We bid Mark farewell and drive off with Tim Finn keeping us company. ‘How did you get into this?’
Bonfire of the Vanities, Bretton Woods, clean water, collective bargaining, declining real wages, floating exchange rates, full employment, George Akerlof, George Gilder, Home mortgage interest deduction, income inequality, indoor plumbing, informal economy, invisible hand, knowledge economy, life extension, lump of labour, new economy, Nick Leeson, paradox of thrift, Plutocrats, plutocrats, price stability, rent control, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, trade route, very high income, working poor
An honest advocate of smaller government would campaign not against elitist bureaucrats but against nice middle-class retirees in their Florida condominiums. Somehow, that wasn’t in Dole’s speech. It isn’t as easy to summarize federal regulation as it is to summarize federal spending, but the basic point is similar: Most of what the government does is actually serving, not opposing, the public’s will. Lots of people snicker at snail-darter jokes, but only a small minority wants to see a repeal of the clean-air or clean-water laws. And the voters are prepared to punish those politicians whom they suspect of belonging to that minority. Of course, the federal government wastes a lot of money; so does the private sector (have you read “Dilbert” lately?). But the kind of oppressive government, run by meddling elitists, that Bob Dole tried to tell us about in San Diego exists only in the conservative imagination. And that is why Gingrich and Dole did not snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.
Environmental issues, however, more or less by definition involve situations in which the price is wrong—in which the private costs of an activity fail to reflect its true social costs. Let me quote from the textbook (by William Baumol and Alan Blinder) that I assigned when I taught Economics 1 last year: “When a firm pollutes a river, it uses some of society’s resources just as surely as when it burns coal. However, if the firm pays for coal but not for the use of clean water, it is to be expected that management will be economical in its use of coal and wasteful in its use of water.” In other words, when it comes to the environment, we do not expect the free market to get it right. So what should be done? Going all the way back to Paul Samuelson’s first edition in 1948, every economics textbook I know of has argued that the government should intervene in the market to discourage activities that damage the environment.
Capitalism 3.0: A Guide to Reclaiming the Commons by Peter Barnes
Albert Einstein, car-free, clean water, collective bargaining, corporate governance, corporate personhood, corporate social responsibility, dark matter, diversified portfolio, en.wikipedia.org, hypertext link, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, jitney, new economy, patent troll, profit maximization, Ronald Coase, telemarketer, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transaction costs, War on Poverty, Yogi Berra
That’s not a bad alternative to suburban sprawl. 86 | A SOLUTION In much the same way, the Pacific Forest Trust acquires what it calls working forest conservation easements from private woodlands owners. Some of the easements are purchased, others are donated by owners in exchange for tax benefits. Here again, owners keep their land but agree to forgo nonforest development and to harvest trees sustainably. PFT’s goal is to protect not only forests themselves but the many species that live in them, as well as the ecosystem services— such as clean water and carbon absorption—that forests provide. As with MALT, some of PFT’s money comes from public sources. In return, the public gets healthy forests for considerably less than it would cost to buy and manage them outright. Valves and Their Keepers One job of common property trusts is to preserve habitat and landscapes, but such trusts can also play another role—controlling the flow of pollution into ecosystems.
His bestselling book Progress and Poverty catapulted him to fame in the 1880s, but mainstream economists never took him seriously. By the twentieth century, economists had largely lost interest in rent; it seemed a trivial factor in wealth production compared to capital and labor. But the twenty-first century ecological crisis brings rent back to center-stage. Now it’s not just land that’s scarce, but clean water, undisturbed habitat, biological diversity, waste absorption capacity, and entire ecosystems. This brings us back to common property rights. The definition and allocation of property rights are the primary factors in determining who pays whom for what. If, in the case of pollution rights, pollution rights are given free to past polluters, the rent from the polluted ecosystem will also go to them.
A Short History of Progress by Ronald Wright
Albert Einstein, Atahualpa, Bretton Woods, British Empire, clean water, Columbian Exchange, cuban missile crisis, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Haber-Bosch Process, Hernando de Soto, invention of agriculture, James Watt: steam engine, Jane Jacobs, land reform, Mahatma Gandhi, nuclear winter, out of africa, Parkinson's law, Ronald Reagan, Thomas Malthus, urban sprawl
If the promise of modernity was even treading water — in other words, if the gap between rich and poor had stayed proportionally the same as it was when Queen Victoria died — all human beings would be ten times better off. Yet the number in abject poverty today is as great as all mankind in 1901.64 By the end of the twentieth century, the world’s three richest individuals (all of whom were Americans) had a combined wealth greater than that of the poorest fortyeight countries.65 In 1998, the United Nations calculated that US$40 billion, spent carefully, could provide clean water, sanitation, and other basic needs for the poorest on earth.66 The figure may be optimistic, and it may have grown in the past six years. But it’s still considerably less than the funds already set aside for the obscenely wasteful fantasy of a missile shield that won’t work, isn’t needed, yet could provoke a new arms race and the militarization of space. Consider Tainter’s three aspects of collapse: the Runaway Train, the Dinosaur, the House of Cards.
The three were Bill Gates (Microsoft), Helen Walton (Wal-Mart), and Warren Buffett (investor), with US$51 billion, $48 billion, and $33 billion, respectively. The report estimates that a child born in the United States, Britain, or France will, in its lifetime, consume and pollute more than fifty children do in the poor nations. It also estimates that in 1998, only $40 billion was needed to bring basic health, education, clean water, and sanitation to the world’s poorest citizens. Gates alone could afford that and still have $11 billion left; he also owns more than the poorest 100 million Americans combined. Other sources indicate that within the United States, the ratio between the salary of a CEO and that of a shop-floor worker has soared from 39:1 in the late 1970s to about 1,000:1 today. See John Ralston Saul, “The Collapse of Globalism,” Harper’s, March 2004, p. 38, and The Unconscious Civilization (Toronto: Anansi, 1995), p. 14. 66.
GDP: A Brief but Affectionate History by Diane Coyle
Asian financial crisis, Berlin Wall, big-box store, Bretton Woods, BRICs, clean water, computer age, conceptual framework, crowdsourcing, Diane Coyle, double entry bookkeeping, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Fall of the Berlin Wall, falling living standards, financial intermediation, global supply chain, happiness index / gross national happiness, income inequality, income per capita, informal economy, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, Long Term Capital Management, mutually assured destruction, Nathan Meyer Rothschild: antibiotics, new economy, Occupy movement, purchasing power parity, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, University of East Anglia, working-age population
For the first time, concerns about the effect of the economic growth on the environment and the planet as a whole started to emerge. Some of this concern grew out of local events. For example, in the United States the publication of Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring in 1962, about the effect of pesticide use on bird populations, is credited as one of the early seeds of the environmental movement. The Cuyahoga River in northern Ohio caught on fire in 1969, spurring a number of environmental measures including the 1972 Clean Water Act (with limited impact, the Love Canal scandal later in the 1970s would suggest). But there was a new tide of concern about the global environment, the big picture, in other Western countries, too. Seeing the Earth from space had given us a vivid new perspective. Perhaps prosperity itself created the opportunity to reflect on the effects of growth. After all, it is not until income reaches a level comfortably above paying for food, housing, and clothes, and is enough to give people ample leisure time and the opportunity to read and debate, that many would worry about anything beyond the slog of day-to-day life.
Abramowitz, Moses, 113 Africa, 31–33, 72, 93, 138 Anders, William, 68 art, 127–28, 132 assets, contributing to sustainability, 134–35, 137 austerity measures, 23 Australia, 73, 109, 118 automation, 128–29 Bangladesh, 53 base year, in GDP calculations, 31, 33–34 Baumol, William, 127 Benford’s Law, 3, 143n3 Berners-Lee, Tim, 81 Bhalla, Surjit, 53 Bhutan, 112 Bos, Frits, 47–48 Boskin Commission, 35, 88 Brazil, 94, 125 Bretton Woods system, 48 BRIC economies, 94, 96 Brynjolfsson, Erik, 128–30 Burundi, 73 business, purpose of, 95 Campaign for Happiness, 112 Canada, 73, 89, 109 capabilities, 72–73, 134 capital consumption, 131 capitalism: 1970s crisis of, 59–75; 2008 crisis of, 93–118; achievements of, 5–6; innovation as hallmark of, 91; investment and depreciation, 131–33 capital widening, 132 Carson, Rachel, Silent Spring, 69 centrally planned economies, 46–47, 56, 60, 66–68 Central Statistical Office (United Kingdom), 18 Chad, 73 chain-weighted price indexes, 33–34 China: economic growth of, 94, 96–97; economic limitations of, 96–97; GDP of, 51–53, 96, 97; living standards in, 51, 57, 96; manufacturing and exporting in, 82, 97, 125; U.S. relations with, 97 Christophers, Brett, 104, 105 circular flow, 26–27, 27f, 57, 63 Clark, Colin, 12, 13, 17, 50, 84 Clean Water Act (1972), 69 Clegg, Nick, 110 Cobb, John, 116 Cold War, 46–47, 60, 66 communications technology, 81–82 communism, 46–47, 60, 66–68, 96 compound arithmetic, 64, 83, 130–31 comprehensive wealth, 133, 135 computers, 80–82, 87–88 conspicuous consumption, 112 consumerism, 45, 112 consumer spending (C), 27–28, 45 consumer surplus, 130 customization, of goods and services, 123–25 Cuyahoga River, 69 Daly, Herman, 116 Darling, Alastair, 102 dashboard approach, 118, 136 data collection, 33, 37, 51–53, 137–38 Data Resources, Incorporated (DRI), 21 Davenant, Charles, 8 David, Paul, 79 Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), 81 defense spending, 14–16 deferred stock options, 37 deflators, 31 Defoe, Daniel, 9 DeLong, Brad, 86, 117 Democratic Republic of Congo, 54, 73 Deng Xiao Ping, 96 depreciation, 25, 30, 131–33 developed/high-income countries: GDP of, 72, 93; informal economy in, 107 developing/low-income countries: economic growth/stagnation in, 61, 71–72; GDP of, 32–33, 51, 71–72; informal economy in, 107, 109; and PPP, 50–53 development aid, 72, 74 digital products and services, 129–31 disasters, GDP growth after, 43 Domar, Evsey, 55 double-entry bookkeeping, 8 Easterlin, Richard, 111 Eckstein, Otto, 21 econometric models, 20–21, 23 economic growth: critiques of, 60; in eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, 12; lack of, in developing countries, 61; meanings and measures of, 15; meanings of, 123; potential rate of, 82–83; problems arising from, 63–64; real, 30–31; significance of, 135–36; sustainable, 71, 116, 137; theories/models of, 55–57, 78–81; virtuous circle of, 57, 59, 64, 73, 79; well-being and welfare aided by, 135 economics, challenges to conventional, 59–61 economic welfare.
Amazon Web Services, clean water, cloud computing, computer vision, en.wikipedia.org, full employment, income inequality, job automation, knowledge worker, mutually assured destruction, Occupy movement, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, self-driving car, Stephen Hawking, working poor
What the aliens discover about the human species as a whole would shock them: Three billion of the people on the planet – approximately half – are destitute. They live in shocking poverty. There are 10 million children dying of easily preventable causes every year - things like starvation, thirst, cholera. Billions of people lack any form of health care. Billions of people lack access to basics like clean water, adequate food and safe housing. Environmentally, we are raping the planet in hundreds of ways. A mass extinction event is looming on the horizon, yet we appear unmotivated to do anything at all to prevent it. Humans are constantly at war, constantly killing one another somewhere in the world. Crime seems rampant. In the United states, over two million citizens are incarcerated.
This is a new vision for the human species. We should create Heaven on Earth for every human being - seven billion people living together peacefully, comfortably and without suffering. We try to get as close to that goal as possible, in an environmentally sustainable way. What would Heaven on Earth mean in reality? It would mean that each and every person on the planet has access to an an abundant supply of healthy food and clean water. That each and every person has access to luxurious housing and clothing. That we are all safe. That we can all communicate with everyone. That we all have free and open access to education and entertainment. That cutting edge health care is available freely to everyone, and the cutting edge is advancing as rapidly as possible, curing more and more diseases and ailments as fast as we can. And so on.
Life You Can Save: Acting Now to End World Poverty by Peter Singer
accounting loophole / creative accounting, Branko Milanovic, Cass Sunstein, clean water, experimental economics, illegal immigration, Martin Wolf, microcredit, Peter Singer: altruism, pre–internet, purchasing power parity, randomized controlled trial, Richard Thaler, Silicon Valley, Thomas Malthus, ultimatum game, union organizing
More die, like that small boy in Ghana, from measles, malaria, and diarrhea, conditions that either don’t exist in developed nations, or, if they do, are almost never fatal. The children are vulnerable to these diseases because they have no safe drinking water, or no sanitation, and because when they do fall ill, their parents can’t afford any medical treatment. UNICEF, Oxfam, and many other organizations are working to reduce poverty and provide clean water and basic health care, and these efforts are reducing the toll. If the relief organizations had more money, they could do more, and more lives would be saved. Now think about your own situation. By donating a relatively small amount of money, you could save a child’s life. Maybe it takes more than the amount needed to buy a pair of shoes—but we all spend money on things we don’t really need, whether on drinks, meals out, clothing, movies, concerts, vacations, new cars, or house renovation.
Until we can get closer to answering this question, it’s going to be hard to decide how to use our money most effectively. Organizations often put out figures suggesting that lives can be saved for very small amounts of money. WHO, for example, estimates that many of the 3 million people who die annually from diarrhea or its complications can be saved by an extraordinarily simple recipe for oral rehydration therapy: a large pinch of salt and a fistful of sugar dissolved in a jug of clean water. This lifesaving remedy can be assembled for a few cents, if only people know about it.3 UNICEF estimates that the hundreds of thousands of children who still die of measles each year could be saved by a vaccine costing less than $1 a dose.4 And Nothing But Nets, an organization conceived by American sportswriter Rick Reilly and supported by the National Basketball Association, provides anti-mosquito bed nets to protect children in Africa from malaria, which kills a million children a year.
Who Stole the American Dream? by Hedrick Smith
Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, airline deregulation, anti-communist, asset allocation, banking crisis, Bonfire of the Vanities, British Empire, business process, clean water, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, collective bargaining, corporate governance, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, currency manipulation / currency intervention, David Brooks, Deng Xiaoping, desegregation, Double Irish / Dutch Sandwich, family office, full employment, global supply chain, Gordon Gekko, guest worker program, hiring and firing, housing crisis, Howard Zinn, income inequality, index fund, informal economy, invisible hand, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, laissez-faire capitalism, late fees, Long Term Capital Management, low cost carrier, manufacturing employment, market fundamentalism, Maui Hawaii, mortgage debt, new economy, Occupy movement, Own Your Own Home, Peter Thiel, Plutonomy: Buying Luxury, Explaining Global Imbalances, Ponzi scheme, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, Renaissance Technologies, reshoring, rising living standards, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Steve Jobs, The Chicago School, The Spirit Level, too big to fail, transaction costs, transcontinental railway, union organizing, Unsafe at Any Speed, Vanguard fund, We are the 99%, women in the workforce, working poor, Y2K
The E-P-A, he’d call it Ehpa, and he said, ‘Those people over there, now don’t get captured by that bureaucracy.’ ” Nixon was pushed along by popular pressure. Facing reelection in 1972 and expecting that his opponent would be the pro-environment senator Ed Muskie, Nixon felt he had to respond to the public’s demands. In his memoirs, Nixon later claimed credit for enactment of the Clean Water Act, but in fact he vetoed that legislation. Muskie had been eliminated in the Democratic primaries, and once Nixon saw that he could easily beat the Democratic nominee, Senator George McGovern, he no longer worried about the environmental vote. He felt free to veto the Clean Water Act. After the election, Congress with its strong bipartisan majority on green issues passed the bill over his veto and then armed Ruckelshaus with a raft of new laws imposing strict pollution limits and specifying penalties for violators. As a firm believer in law enforcement, Ruckelshaus felt he had to go after some high-profile polluters—cities infamous for dumping waste into the air and local rivers, or industrial giants indifferently fouling the skies and the waters.
Often the impetus came from Congress, reacting to demands from the burgeoning consumer movement. The Nixon administration was swept along by the popular tide. Even more than Democrat Lyndon Johnson, Nixon presided over major expansions of federal regulatory powers, creating several new regulatory agencies and commissions. The most high-profile was the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), with its laws on clean air, clean water, safe drinking water, and control of pesticides and other toxic substances. Nixon created other agencies as well, such as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), charged with ensuring safety in the workplace; the Consumer Product Safety Commission; the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration; and the Mining Enforcement and Safety Administration. In addition, Nixon expanded the powers of the Federal Trade Commission and launched an important initiative to protect worker pensions, the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, ultimately enacted under Gerald Ford after Nixon had resigned in 1974.
Typically, Washington moves deliberately—which means slowly—on reforms. But on the environment, Congress and the Nixon White House moved with astonishing speed. During his first year, President Nixon set up a White House Council on Environmental Quality, naming environmentalist Russell Train as its chairman. Solid bipartisan majorities in Congress rushed through a flow of environmental legislation under Nixon: the Clean Air Act; the Clean Water Act; a bill establishing the Environmental Protection Agency; the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act; the Noise Pollution and Abatement Act; the Coastal Zone Management Act; the Marine Mammal Protection Act; the Endangered Species Act; and the Safe Drinking Water Act. More environmental legislation was passed under Gerald Ford after Nixon resigned in 1974. At the state level, too, there was a rush of action.
Data Scientists at Work by Sebastian Gutierrez
Albert Einstein, algorithmic trading, bioinformatics, bitcoin, business intelligence, chief data officer, clean water, cloud computing, computer vision, continuous integration, correlation does not imply causation, crowdsourcing, data is the new oil, DevOps, domain-specific language, follow your passion, full text search, informal economy, information retrieval, Infrastructure as a Service, inventory management, iterative process, linked data, Mark Zuckerberg, microbiome, Moneyball by Michael Lewis explains big data, move fast and break things, natural language processing, Network effects, nuclear winter, optical character recognition, pattern recognition, Paul Graham, personalized medicine, Peter Thiel, pre–internet, quantitative hedge fund, quantitative trading / quantitative ﬁnance, recommendation engine, Renaissance Technologies, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, self-driving car, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, software as a service, speech recognition, statistical model, Steve Jobs, stochastic process, technology bubble, text mining, the scientific method, web application
But the pattern that the system found was that if two years before those floods you have a drought, the probability of those floods leading to a cholera outbreak is much, much higher. And not only that—it usually tends to happen in countries with low GDP and low concentrations of water. Why the low concentration of water? Eric told me that cholera is treated very easily by having clean water. Clean water drops the mortality rate from 50% to less than 1%. So people who had access to clean water just don’t have outbreaks, which is why being a low-GDP country matters. Having achieved this breakthrough in cholera, we then started looking at predicting riots. For example, the system predicted the latest riots in Sudan. What we found out is that if you have a basic product in the country and the price of this product starts going up, then you’re going to have student riots.
Not to mention emerging device sensors and many other things. Even organizations that are not traditionally data companies are suddenly inundated with data that they can use to make better decisions. I’m really excited because we at DataKind focus on applications of data science to make the world a better place. So using the same technologies that help Netflix recommend movies you want to watch, we apply similar techniques to problems, like sourcing clean water, combating human rights violations, or addressing other pressing social issues. It really feels like a brave new world, and the chance to use data science skills to do something good at this time is just incredibly rewarding. Gutierrez: Tell me about your team and the organization. Porway: We’re eight people now but on track to double our staff. We also have volunteer-led chapters in six cities around the world—Bangalore, Dublin, San Francisco, Singapore, the UK, and Washington DC.
Our projects offer an opportunity to work with real-world data that is horribly messy—a challenge. This work allows you to face different challenges than you would face in working with data at a company like Netflix. At Netflix, they’ve got a great data architecture in place. They have control of all the data collected. The difference between the data and how good it is at Netflix and an organization working to provide clean water to communities in rural Africa is night and day. The NGO in Africa has probably been recording things in Excel at best, though more likely on paper, and most likely all of the data is rolled up across various people’s computers and has been input differently. It’s a great challenge to come work on a project where you get to see what people are really facing in the trenches when it comes to data.
affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, anti-communist, Bakken shale, bank run, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carried interest, centre right, clean water, Climategate, Climatic Research Unit, collective bargaining, crony capitalism, David Brooks, desegregation, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, energy security, estate planning, Fall of the Berlin Wall, George Gilder, housing crisis, hydraulic fracturing, income inequality, invisible hand, job automation, low skilled workers, market fundamentalism, Mont Pelerin Society, More Guns, Less Crime, Nate Silver, New Journalism, obamacare, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ralph Nader, Renaissance Technologies, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, school choice, school vouchers, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Chicago School, the scientific method, University of East Anglia, Unsafe at Any Speed, War on Poverty, working poor
The late 1960s and the early 1970s were in fact a daunting time for corporate America and for those living off great corporate fortunes. The business community was reeling from the birth of the environmental and consumer movements, which spawned a host of tough new government regulations. Following the 1962 publication of Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring, exposing the devastating environmental fallout from irresponsible chemical practices, Congress passed the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, the Toxic Substances Control Act, and other laws creating the modern regulatory state. In 1970, with strong bipartisan support, President Nixon signed legislation creating both the Environmental Protection Agency and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, giving the government new powers with which to police business. The standards decreed by the Clean Air Act were notably tough.
“Green was just a nice, working-class black guy from Louisiana, trying the best he could to make a living,” said Elroy, who took Green’s statement while working on behalf of Bill Koch in his litigation against his brothers Charles and David at the time. “Koch just runs over these people and then discards them as trash,” Elroy said. Asked about Green’s allegations, neither Moorman nor the spokesman for Koch Industries responded. But as allegations concerning pollution mounted nationally, federal prosecutors began to piece together an enormous case against the company for violating the Clean Water Act. In 1995, the Justice Department sued Koch for lying about leaking millions of gallons of oil from its pipelines and storage facilities in six different states. Federal investigators documented over three hundred oil spills during the previous five years, including one 100,000-gallon crude oil spill that left a twelve-mile-long slick in the bay off Corpus Christi, not far from where the Koch refinery was located.
“They obstructed every step of discovery. It was always, ‘I didn’t do it,’ ‘It’s not our oil,’ ‘It’s not our pipes.’ You can’t believe anything they say. They definitely don’t play the game the way other companies do,” she says. On January 13, 2000, O’Connell’s division at the Justice Department prevailed. Koch Industries agreed to pay a $30 million fine, which was the biggest in history at that point, for violations of the Clean Water Act. The EPA issued a press release accusing Koch Industries of “egregious violations” and trumpeting that the huge fine proved that “those who try to profit from polluting our environment will pay the price.” But O’Connell, who retired from the Justice Department in 2004, was still haunted by the damage from the oil leaks a decade later. “The thing is, oil sinks to the bottom and poisons the fish.
American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, Bernie Madoff, Bernie Sanders, call centre, carried interest, citizen journalism, clean water, collateralized debt obligation, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, crony capitalism, David Brooks, extreme commuting, Exxon Valdez, full employment, greed is good, housing crisis, immigration reform, invisible hand, knowledge economy, laissez-faire capitalism, late fees, market bubble, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, medical bankruptcy, microcredit, new economy, New Journalism, offshore financial centre, Ponzi scheme, Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, Richard Florida, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, single-payer health, smart grid, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, transcontinental railway, trickle-down economics, winner-take-all economy, working poor, Works Progress Administration
POWER BLACKOUTS, RUSTY WATER, COLLAPSED BRIDGES, RAW SEWAGE LEAKS: A GUIDED TOUR OF THIRD WORLD AMERICA Extending the medical metaphor just a tad longer: Having failed to treat our ailment properly, we must continue to deal with the symptoms that rage all around us. What follows are the results of our nation’s latest infrastructure checkup. The prognosis is definitely not good. Let’s start this examination of what’s ailing America with that most elemental of elements: water. No society can survive without clean water. It’s essential for life and civilization (imagine the Roman Empire without its aqueducts). Clean, fresh water is so essential that many believe that, in the coming decades, wars will be fought over it. Among them is Steven Solomon, author of Water: The Epic Struggle for Wealth, Power, and Civilization, who believes the world can be divided into water haves and water have-nots (Egypt, China, and Pakistan are among the have-nots).28 “Consider what will happen,” he writes, “in water-distressed, nuclear-armed, terrorist-besieged, overpopulated, heavily irrigation-dependent and already politically unstable Pakistan when its single water lifeline, the Indus River, loses a third of its flow from the disappearance of its glacial water source.”
Among them is Steven Solomon, author of Water: The Epic Struggle for Wealth, Power, and Civilization, who believes the world can be divided into water haves and water have-nots (Egypt, China, and Pakistan are among the have-nots).28 “Consider what will happen,” he writes, “in water-distressed, nuclear-armed, terrorist-besieged, overpopulated, heavily irrigation-dependent and already politically unstable Pakistan when its single water lifeline, the Indus River, loses a third of its flow from the disappearance of its glacial water source.” Despite the indispensable nature of water, America’s drinking-water system is riddled with aging equipment that has been in the ground for one hundred years—or longer.29 Indeed, some of the nation’s tap water continues to run through cast-iron pipes built during the Civil War.30 As a result of leaking pipes, we lose an estimated seven billion gallons of clean water every day.31 According to a New York Times analysis of data from the Environmental Protection Agency, “a significant water line bursts on average every two minutes somewhere in the country.”32 Washington, D.C., averages a water line break every day.33 “We have about two million miles of pipe in this nation,” says Steve Allbee of the EPA.34 “If you look at what we’re spending now and the investment requirements over the next twenty years, there’s a $540 billion difference.”
big-box store, clean water, follow your passion, if you build it, they will come, index card, informal economy, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, late fees, price anchoring, Ralph Waldo Emerson, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steve Jobs, Tony Hsieh, web application
Starting a business in the developing world is often a difficult, highly bureaucratic endeavor—which is why so many people like Rhett operate in the informal sector. In some of these places, millions of people still lack access to clean water and other basic needs. In my own business and writing career, I invest at least 10 percent of all revenue with organizations that make better improvements around the world than I could make on my own. (This includes the royalties for this book, so if you’ve purchased it, thanks for the help.) I don’t consider this investment a charitable act; I consider it a natural response to the fact that I’ve been more fortunate than others. While creating freedom for yourself, how can you be part of a global revolution to increase opportunity for everyone? If you’re not sure, you can join the $100 Startup community in our campaign for clean water in Ethiopia by visiting charitywater.org/aonc. You can also sign up with groups, such as Kiva.org and AcumenFund.org, that provide loans (usually very small ones) to help people start microbusinesses in their own communities.
Peak Everything: Waking Up to the Century of Declines by Richard Heinberg, James Howard (frw) Kunstler
anti-communist, back-to-the-land, clean water, Community Supported Agriculture, deindustrialization, delayed gratification, demographic transition, ending welfare as we know it, energy transition, Fractional reserve banking, greed is good, Haber-Bosch Process, happiness index / gross national happiness, income inequality, land reform, means of production, oil shale / tar sands, peak oil, Plutocrats, plutocrats, post-oil, reserve currency, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, the built environment, the scientific method, Thomas Malthus, too big to fail, urban planning
That’s just one of the factors that has led to the dramatic reduction in human population during the last century. Many people call it “The Die-off.” Others call it “The Pruning,” “The Purification,” or “The Cleansing.” Some terms are more pal - atable than others, but there really are no nice ways to describe the actual events — wars, epidemics, famines. Food and water have been big factors in all of this. Fresh, clean water has been scarce for decades now. One way to make young people mad at me is to tell them stories about how folks in the old days used to pour millions upon millions of gallons of water on their lawns. When I describe to them how flush toilets worked, they just can’t bear it. Some of them think I’m making this stuff up! These days water is serious business. If you waste it, somebody’s likely to die.
I suppose that’s part of my job as a historian: to remind everyone that the advertising images were only one side of a story; it was the other side of that story — the rampant exploitation of nature and people, the blindness to consequences — that led to the horrors of the past century. You’re probably wondering if I have any good news, anything encouraging to say about the future of your world. Well, as with most things, it depends on your perspective. Many of the survivors learned valuable lessons. They learned what’s important in life and what isn’t. They learned to treasure good soil, viable seeds, clean water, unpolluted air, and friends you can count on. They learned how to take charge of their own lives, rather than expecting to be taken care of by some government or corporation. There are no “jobs” now, so people’s time is all their own. They think for themselves more. Partly as a result of that, the old religions have largely fallen by the wayside, and folks have rediscovered spirituality in nature and in their local communities.
Discardia: More Life, Less Stuff by Dinah Sanders
Atul Gawande, big-box store, carbon footprint, clean water, clockwatching, cognitive bias, collaborative consumption, credit crunch, endowment effect, Firefox, game design, Inbox Zero, income per capita, index card, indoor plumbing, Internet Archive, Kevin Kelly, late fees, Marshall McLuhan, McMansion, Merlin Mann, side project, Silicon Valley, Stewart Brand
Yes, optimize where it matters but when it doesn't, let it go by and move on sweetly. Let the rest of that dumb stuff go; aggravation is a bad investment of your time and energy anyhow. Don't sweat it. Get some perspective. A lot of things that may aggravate you only do so because you have the luxury of not wrestling with bigger issues. Today, be thankful for everything you have: being alive, your friends and family, your health, a roof over your head, something to eat, clean water to drink, indoor plumbing, heating, air conditioning, clothes, shoes, a job, and freedoms. Many, many people have it worse. Bad drivers in front of you or annoying coworkers or technical difficulties aren't that important in the grand scheme of things. Yeah, okay, they’re irritating, but are they important? No, not really. In those far less common situations when it really does matter, be kind and hold your ground.
She swept the dirt floor scrupulously and a few plants were growing in her yard. After visiting Miriam's house, a girl's orphanage near Nairobi, and a Maasai village, it was very clear to me that it is not the number or newness of possessions that make a happy home. Compared to most of the rest of the world, we’re rich. I realized how much I'd taken for granted the luxury of a solid, nonleaky house; indoor toilets; a fuel supply and plentiful clean water piped right into the house; a great variety of fresh foods; and clean clothes in good condition. As we begin to appreciate more of what we have, and buy fewer new things and get rid of things we don't need, it makes it easier to afford (or notice that we could already afford) to contribute to other people's quality of life. Sometimes that bit of money comes from skipping something that we realize isn't really worth it.
airport security, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, blood diamonds, Bretton Woods, BRICs, capital controls, clean water, Deng Xiaoping, Doha Development Round, energy security, European colonialism, failed state, global rebalancing, global supply chain, income inequality, informal economy, Julian Assange, labour mobility, Martin Wolf, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, Nixon shock, nuclear winter, purchasing power parity, reserve currency, Ronald Reagan, smart grid, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, Stuxnet, trade route, uranium enrichment, Washington Consensus, WikiLeaks, Yom Kippur War
Yet in countries all over the world, both established and emerging, citizens believe they have a right to clean water, and efforts to protect supplies by inflating their price often provoke outrage—and sometimes violence. Given that water is essential for production of the world’s food, local water supplies are everyone’s concern. In a G-Zero world, it will be ever more difficult to persuade governments to cooperate on plans that impose locally unpopular policies for the global public good. Potential water conflict zones are many, but the most worrisome are in Asia and Africa. First, the world’s two most populous countries, India and China, already face serious questions on water security as climate change, industrialization, and the growth of cities in both countries make unprecedented demands on access to clean water. China is the world’s “unrivaled hydro-hegemon.”46 More freshwater flowing across international borders comes from China than from any other country.
Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, Barry Marshall: ulcers, bioinformatics, borderless world, Brownian motion, clean water, discovery of DNA, double helix, epigenetics, experimental subject, Isaac Newton, Islamic Golden Age, John von Neumann, Louis Pasteur, Mars Rover, Mikhail Gorbachev, phenotype, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, stem cell, the scientific method, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Turing machine
Ham Smith explained to the gathering that we now had the means to dissect the instructions of a cell to determine how it really worked. We also discussed our larger vision—namely, that the knowledge gained in doing this work would one day undoubtedly lead to a positive outcome for society through the development of many important applications and products, including biofuels, pharmaceuticals, clean water, and food products. When we made the announcement, we had in fact already started working on ways to produce vaccines and create synthetic algae to turn carbon dioxide into fuel. 9 Inside a Synthetic Cell The first pillar of life is a Program. By program I mean an organized plan that describes both the ingredients themselves and the kinetics of the interactions among ingredients as the living system persists through time.
That was certainly the case when it came to the laser, which was initially billed as a solution looking for a problem.11 But I think we can already perceive how our future will be shaped by the ability to translate the software of life into light. The ability to send DNA code to anywhere on the planet in less than a second holds all kinds of possibilities when it comes to treating disease and illness. This information could code for a new vaccine, a protein drug (such as insulin or growth hormone), a phage to fight an infection caused by a resistant strain of bacterium, or a new cell to produce therapeutics, food, fuel, or clean water. When combined with home synthesizers, this technology will also allow treatments to be customized for each and every person, so that they suit the genetic makeup of a patient and, as a result, minimize side effects. The most obvious immediate application is to distribute vaccines in the event of the appearance of an influenza pandemic. The last such outbreak was announced on June 11, 2009, when the World Health Organization declared H1N1 influenza (swine flu) to be the first pandemic in more than forty years, triggering an international response to address this major public-health threat.
Private Island: Why Britain Now Belongs to Someone Else by James Meek
Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Berlin Wall, business continuity plan, call centre, clean water, Deng Xiaoping, Etonian, HESCO bastion, housing crisis, illegal immigration, Martin Wolf, medical bankruptcy, Mikhail Gorbachev, post-industrial society, pre–internet, price mechanism, risk tolerance, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, Skype, sovereign wealth fund, Washington Consensus, working poor
Categories overlap, and Powell, the ex-mayor, besides being a localist, had been a public servant – he worked for the fire brigade – and was, when I met him, a private servant, working as an electrician for Severn Trent, based at Mythe. After the waterworks was flooded he toiled hard to help get it back on line. Severn Trent gave him £150 as a thank you. ‘I gave part of that money to the mayor’s charity fund,’ he said. ‘We were there, doing our job. Trying to get that works back and running so people could have clean water to drink and wash in, and that was our priority. Most of the people who worked there were out of water themselves.’ Since the flood, Severn Trent has spent £36 million on extra flood defences for Mythe and back-up pipelines against future failure. When asked why this hadn’t been done before, the company explained that the risk of Mythe failing was too low to justify the expense, and funds for investment were limited.
A comparison of Scottish Water, Glas Cymru and Severn Trent is instructive. Between 2009 and 2013, Severn Trent gave out almost £1 billion in dividends to shareholders. Had Severn Trent been run as a non-profit, commercial venture, a proportion of those dividend payments would have had to go towards paying interest on debt, but the cash leaked would have been less, and the surplus would have been ploughed back into the business of pipes, sewers and clean water. In the same period Scottish Water, a state-owned, unsubsidised, not for profit organisation, gave away no dividends. Its prices are about the same as Severn Trent – which boasts that it is the cheapest of all English water companies – and yet, over that same five-year period, Scottish Water invested more than £800 per customer, against £475 for Severn Trent. For better or for worse Glas Cymru, meanwhile, actually handed money back to its customers as a form of ‘dividend’.
$2.00 A Day: Living on Almost Nothing in America by Kathryn Edin, H. Luke Shaefer
Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, clean water, ending welfare as we know it, future of work, Home mortgage interest deduction, housing crisis, impulse control, indoor plumbing, informal economy, low-wage service sector, race to the bottom, randomized controlled trial, Ronald Reagan, War on Poverty, working poor, Works Progress Administration
The caseworker told them they had been denied due to the temporary nature of the living arrangements. Indeed, had the family been completely open about their situation when applying for benefits, the child welfare authorities might have come and taken the kids. At one point, Paul fell far behind on the humongous water bills that started coming in. “[It] got up to $2,700,” he says. The water was shut off for weeks, but he had “a friend we could go to with five-gallon buckets that was for clean water, dishwater.” Several times a week, the kids would pile in the back of the panel van, each with a bucket or two in hand, to travel the short distance to the friend’s home. There they would fill the buckets and set up a bucket brigade, passing them from hand to hand into the back of the vehicle. Then they would all climb in the van with the buckets for the trip home. For drinking water, “the boys would go to the neighbor’s.”
He has been busy collecting metal for the scrapyard. He’s been busy sitting by the washing machine, waiting to catch the rinse water so that he can reuse it in the next load. (When his water was shut off, he was busy rigging up the gutter and garbage can to catch rainwater that could be used to flush the toilet, and driving to his friend’s house and making trips to the neighbor’s to fill up empty milk jugs with clean water.) He’s been busy driving the kids to the local food pantry—to prove just how many mouths they have to feed. And when he hasn’t been running back and forth, he’s been occupied welding his crumbling van together and buttressing the collapsing floor of his home. None of these jobs can be captured on a résumé or in the U.S. government’s official workforce statistics. But this American, who is officially “not in the labor force,” is not exactly a couch potato.
The Secret World of Oil by Ken Silverstein
business intelligence, clean water, corporate governance, Donald Trump, energy security, Exxon Valdez, failed state, Google Earth, offshore financial centre, oil shock, paper trading, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, WikiLeaks, Yom Kippur War
House legislator Jim Morris, another industry champion, is an oilman who represents Oil City, Louisiana. (His wife, Kellie, is events coordinator at the town’s Louisiana State Oil and Gas Museum.) The industry has also frequently been able to get its own appointed to top positions at the state’s two main environmental agencies, the DNR and the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ). The latter is charged with enforcing federal clean air, clean water, and hazardous waste laws, which the EPA says Louisiana does a worse job of than almost any other state. A 2011 EPA inspector general report said that weak enforcement at the DEQ was driven by “a lack of resources, natural disasters, and a culture in which the state agency is expected to protect industry.” The DNR is far worse. In 1989, the New Orleans Times-Picayune ran an astonishing multipart investigative series7 that chronicled industry dominance over the department and its Office of Conservation, the agency with direct authority of over oil and gas.
“This exemption does not make sense from an environmental perspective,” an EPA enforcement official told the newspaper. “This country runs on petroleum, and the oil interests in Congress are extremely powerful. They wanted the exemption. They got the exemption.”21 And over the years they got many more. All told the industry enjoys significant exemptions from numerous environmental statutes, including the Clean Water Act, the Safe Drinking Water Act, the Clean Air Act, and the National Environmental Policy Act—the “Magna Carta” of environmental legislation passed in 1970. The Oil Pollution Act approved by Congress in the wake of the Exxon Valdez spill capped civil liability for oil companies at $75 million. Efforts to raise that figure to $75 billion after the BP Horizon spill were blocked in the Senate, with Louisiana Democrat Mary Landrieu leading the resistance.
Doing Good Better: How Effective Altruism Can Help You Make a Difference by William MacAskill
barriers to entry, Black Swan, Branko Milanovic, Cal Newport, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, clean water, corporate social responsibility, correlation does not imply causation, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Brooks, effective altruism, en.wikipedia.org, experimental subject, follow your passion, food miles, immigration reform, income inequality, index fund, Isaac Newton, job automation, job satisfaction, labour mobility, Lean Startup, M-Pesa, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microcredit, Nate Silver, Peter Singer: altruism, purchasing power parity, quantitative trading / quantitative ﬁnance, randomized controlled trial, self-driving car, Skype, Stanislav Petrov, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Pinker, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, universal basic income, women in the workforce
Field had been struck by how unfair this was. There simply must be a better way to do this, he thought. Now he was witnessing a potential solution. Stuiver’s invention seemed brilliant. Instead of the typical hand pump or windmill pump found in many villages in poor countries, Stuiver’s pump doubled as a playground merry-go-round. Children would play on the merry-go-round, which, as it spun, would pump clean water from deep underground up to a storage tank. No longer would the women of the village need to walk miles to draw water using a hand pump or wait in line at a windmill-powered pump on a still day. The PlayPump, as it was called, utilized the power of playing children to provide a sustainable water supply for the community. “African [kids] have almost nothing—not even books in school let alone playground equipment—and access to water is a huge problem,” Field later told me.
The charity has provided more than forty million deworming treatments, and the independent charity evaluator GiveWell regards them as one of the most cost-effective development charities. • • • When it comes to helping others, being unreflective often means being ineffective. The PlayPump is the perfect example. Trevor Field and everyone who supported him were driven by emotions—the appeal of seeing happy children provide their communities with clean water through the simple act of playing—rather than facts. The Case Foundation, Laura Bush, and Bill Clinton supported the PlayPump not because there was good evidence to believe it would help people but because it had the thrill of a revolutionary technology. Even critics of the campaign would stop short of accusing Field and his supporters of bad intentions—they no doubt genuinely wanted to help the people of rural Africa.
The Techno-Human Condition by Braden R. Allenby, Daniel R. Sarewitz
airport security, augmented reality, carbon footprint, clean water, cognitive dissonance, conceptual framework, Credit Default Swap, decarbonisation, facts on the ground, friendly fire, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jane Jacobs, land tenure, life extension, Long Term Capital Management, market fundamentalism, mutually assured destruction, nuclear winter, Peter Singer: altruism, planetary scale, prediction markets, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ray Kurzweil, Silicon Valley, smart grid, stem cell, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, the built environment, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transcontinental railway, Whole Earth Catalog
Which litany best supports your worldview: the eradication of smallpox; the lifting out of poverty of hundreds of millions of people in South and East Asia; the economic and political integration of dozens of European nations that for centuries were at one another's throats; the defeat of Nazism, Stalinism, and Maoism; the creation of an amazingly egalitarian global information network via the Internet? Or are you more comfortable with The Bomb, AIDS, climate change, continuous concentration of global wealth, a billion malnourished people with no access to clean water, and information overload? What a great subject for academics to argue about from now until eternity. From the inevitability of progress to its impossibility; from its invention as a modern ideal to its persistence throughout history; from its embodiment in scientific truth-seeking and technological advance to its social construction as nothing more than a contextual illusion that justifies particular ways of being and acting, progress can shoulder just about any philosophical, cultural, ideological, or statistical burden that we want to place upon it. 1 "Progress" is central to our interrogation of transhumanism for two reasons.
The world is composed of increasingly integrated human-natural-built systems that display, on regional and global scales, the interaction of decisions made in many different jurisdictions with many different, often conflicting goals in mind. Something that may be unimportant in one area, such as how much atmospheric nitrogen is being deposited on agricultural land, may be quite important elsewhere (for example, in an estuary), and one society may be seriously engaged with questions of global climate-change policy while another is simply trying to find enough food and relatively clean water to keep people alive and the economy growing. Under such circumstances, nostrums such as "Think globally, act locally" are naive and unhelpful, for the simple reason that good local decisions don't add up to good global outcomes. We are entering a new domain in which ethical and responsible behavior as judged by outcomes in the real world is an increasingly meaningless idea, at least given the simplistic Complexity, Coherence, Contingency 111 version of rationality we have been employing for several hundred years.
DIY Kombucha: 60 Nourishing Homemade Tonics for Health and Happiness by Katherine Green, Rana Chang
Cover the fermentation vessel with a clean white cloth, secure the top with a rubber band, and place the fermentation vessel in a location that is out of direct sunlight and can maintain a temperature above 68°F, preferably between 72°F and 82°F. A CLOSER LOOK At some point in the fermentation process, you’ll notice long chains forming on your SCOBY or freely floating around in your brew. These are yeast colonies. Don’t worry—this is completely natural. To minimize their growth in future batches, strain them from the starter culture before using and rinse your SCOBY in clean water before use. DAYS 3 TO 6 After 3 to 6 days, the SCOBY will have spread across the entire top of the liquid. When this occurs, it’s time to take a taste. If the brew is too sweet, continue fermenting for a couple more days until you get the taste you desire. If it’s just right, you’re ready to proceed. 1. With clean hands, remove the SCOBY from the fermentation vessel, place it on a plate or in a bowl, and cover it with a bit of kombucha.
The 99.998271% by Simon Wood
This terrifying, Terminator-like future scenario must be stopped here and now, and the only way to make that possible is to give executive power to the people. Aside from the prospect of a new empire enforced by flying robots of death, consider that at a time when social programs are being cut and real poverty is everywhere, not least in the United States itself, this spending, and spending like it, can only be seen as obscene...and insane. Recall that $6 billion could provide basic education for every child, and $9 billion clean water to everyone on the planet. Instead, $5 billion is being asked for to build more machines that will rain down death and destruction on civilians all over the world. The base budget for US military spending on ‘overseas contingency operations’ (the preferred Obama administration euphemism for the War on Terror) for fiscal 2010 was $663.8 billion. The US military is deployed in more than 150 countries around the world, with, for example, almost 10,000 troops in the UK.
The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves by Matt Ridley
23andMe, agricultural Revolution, air freight, back-to-the-land, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Bernie Madoff, British Empire, call centre, carbon footprint, charter city, clean water, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, collateralized debt obligation, colonial exploitation, colonial rule, Corn Laws, credit crunch, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, decarbonisation, dematerialisation, demographic dividend, demographic transition, double entry bookkeeping, Edward Glaeser, en.wikipedia.org, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, falling living standards, feminist movement, financial innovation, Flynn Effect, food miles, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, Hans Rosling, happiness index / gross national happiness, haute cuisine, Hernando de Soto, income inequality, income per capita, Indoor air pollution, informal economy, invention of agriculture, invisible hand, James Hargreaves, James Watt: steam engine, Jane Jacobs, John Nash: game theory, joint-stock limited liability company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, Kula ring, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, Northern Rock, nuclear winter, oil shale / tar sands, out of africa, packet switching, patent troll, Pax Mongolica, Peter Thiel, phenotype, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, Productivity paradox, profit motive, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, Ray Kurzweil, rent-seeking, rising living standards, Silicon Valley, spice trade, spinning jenny, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, supervolcano, technological singularity, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, trade route, transaction costs, ultimatum game, upwardly mobile, urban sprawl, Vernor Vinge, wage slave, working poor, working-age population, Y2K, Yogi Berra
But the vast majority of people are much better fed, much better sheltered, much better entertained, much better protected against disease and much more likely to live to old age than their ancestors have ever been. The availability of almost everything a person could want or need has been going rapidly upwards for 200 years and erratically upwards for 10,000 years before that: years of lifespan, mouthfuls of clean water, lungfuls of clean air, hours of privacy, means of travelling faster than you can run, ways of communicating farther than you can shout. Even allowing for the hundreds of millions who still live in abject poverty, disease and want, this generation of human beings has access to more calories, watts, lumen-hours, square feet, gigabytes, megahertz, light-years, nanometres, bushels per acre, miles per gallon, food miles, air miles, and of course dollars than any that went before.
Chapter Two The collective brain: exchange and specialisation after 200,000 years ago He steps under the shower, a forceful cascade pumped down from the third floor. When this civilisation falls, when the Romans, whoever they are this time round, have finally left and the new dark ages begin, this will be one of the first luxuries to go. The old folk crouching by their peat fires will tell their disbelieving grandchildren of standing naked mid-winter under jet streams of hot clean water, of lozenges of scented soaps and of viscous amber and vermilion liquids they rubbed into their hair to make it glossy and more voluminous than it really was, and of thick white towels as big as togas, waiting on warming racks. IAN MCEWAN Saturday One day a little less than 500,000 years ago, near what is now the village of Boxgrove in southern England, six or seven two-legged creatures sat down around the carcass of a wild horse they had just killed, probably with wooden spears.
I have argued that although such optimism is distinctly unfashionable, history suggests it is actually a more realistic attitude than apocalyptic pessimism. ‘It is the long ascent of the past that gives the lie to our despair,’ said H.G. Wells. These are great sins against conventional wisdom. Worse, they may even leave the impression of callous indifference to the fact that a billion people have not enough to eat, that a billion lack access to clean water, that a billion are illiterate. The opposite is true. It is precisely because there is still far more suffering and scarcity in the world than I or anybody else with a heart would wish that ambitious optimism is morally mandatory. Even after the best half-century for poverty reduction, there are still hundreds of millions going blind for lack of vitamin A in their monotonous diet, or watching their children’s bellies swell from protein deficiency, or awash with preventable dysentery caused by contaminated water, or coughing with avoidable pneumonia caused by the smoke of indoor fires, or wasting from treatable AIDS, or shivering with unnecessary malaria.
Safe Food: The Politics of Food Safety by Marion Nestle
It demonstrates that in 1998 the department still could not require farmers or transporters to institute HACCP plans, nor could it demand performance standards—maximum levels of harmful microbes allowed as verified by testing—for reducing pathogens.15 TABLE 9. Advice from the Department of Agriculture: food safety is everyone’s responsibility Farm Pathogens are found to some extent in all farm animals. Livestock operations should be separated from produce operations. Clean water should be used to irrigate produce. Storage/Transport Keep products cold. Clean tanks between shipments. Slaughter/Processing Apply HACCP preventive systems. New technologies can reduce the risk of pathogen contamination. Consumer Clean: Wash hands and surfaces often. Separate: Don’t cross-contaminate. Cook: Cook to proper temperatures. Chill: Refrigerate promptly. SOURCE: Crutchfield S.
Instead, a combination of supplementation, fortification, and dietary approaches is likely to be needed—approaches such as promoting the production and consumption of fruits and vegetables rich in beta-carotene, educating people about how to use such foods, and improving the quantity and variety of foods in the diet (so beta-carotene can be better absorbed). Perhaps most helpful would be basic public health measures such as providing adequate supplies of clean water (to prevent transmission of diarrheal and parasitic diseases). Long-term solutions to the problem of vitamin A deficiency in particular, and malnutrition in general, continue to depend on societal interventions such as education, housing, health care, employment, and income—all more difficult and complicated, but ultimately more likely to be effective, than genetic engineering. Can genetic engineering usefully contribute to such efforts?
In such situations, public health can be a useful means to strengthen society as well as to avert terrorism. The recent history of Afghanistan illustrates these points. Its health care system is poor by any standard, and its high infant mortality rate is approached by only one other country (Pakistan) outside of sub-Saharan Africa. As noted earlier, malnutrition is widespread, in part because only slightly more than one-tenth of the population has access to clean water supplies (contaminated water induces diarrheal and other infectious diseases that, in turn, contribute to malnutrition). In this situation, advised Richard Horton, editor of the Lancet, “Attacking hunger, disease, poverty, and social exclusion might do more good than air marshals, asylum restrictions, and identity cards. Global security will be achieved only by building stable and strong societies.”67 Because a healthy population is an essential factor in economic development, the health effects of globalization—positive and negative—become important concerns.
A Game as Old as Empire: The Secret World of Economic Hit Men and the Web of Global Corruption by Steven Hiatt; John Perkins
airline deregulation, Andrei Shleifer, Asian financial crisis, Berlin Wall, big-box store, Bretton Woods, British Empire, capital controls, centre right, clean water, colonial rule, corporate governance, corporate personhood, deglobalization, deindustrialization, Doha Development Round, energy security, European colonialism, financial deregulation, financial independence, full employment, global village, high net worth, land reform, large denomination, Long Term Capital Management, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, Mikhail Gorbachev, moral hazard, Naomi Klein, new economy, North Sea oil, offshore financial centre, oil shock, Ponzi scheme, race to the bottom, reserve currency, Ronald Reagan, Scramble for Africa, statistical model, structural adjustment programs, too big to fail, trade liberalization, transatlantic slave trade, transfer pricing, union organizing, Washington Consensus, working-age population, Yom Kippur War
About the university student who said of Western nations, “They denounce things and nothing happens, so the international community must want it to happen.” And I will proclaim the tragedies of baby Esther and her mother. The first is the rape that forced them to the margins of a devastated society. The second is the reality that Congo has more than enough wealth for Esther and the millions of other Congolese children to have an abundance of nutritious food, clean water, education, and decent medical care for the rest of their lives. But its resources go instead to adorn the wealthy with jewelry and to manufacture PlayStations, cell phones, and weapons systems for affluent First World societies. John Perkins’ term economic hit man seems almost too tame for the behavior of the corporatocracy and its minions in Congo. An unflinching look at what they have done to the Congolese makes economic war criminals seem more apt.
Throughout the 1990s, Iraq was subjected to international sanctions. Hundreds of thousands of people, especially children, died because there were no medicines and not enough food. A study by the United Nations children’s agency UNICEF found that between 1991 and 1998, half a million more children under five died than would be expected by comparison with preceding trends;17 many died because clean water was unavailable, since chlorine was considered a “dual use” commodity and its import was prohibited under the sanctions. When the U.S./UK force invaded in March 2003, most people in the south of Iraq, and many across the country, welcomed the move because it meant the end of Saddam. But that hope soon soured as the realities of occupation set in. Faraj recalls one incident. As he and his colleagues were going home after a shift, they met with some American soldiers, whom they greeted.
We were there to supervise implementation of the Monrovia Urban Development Project (MUDP), which was financed by the International Development Association (IDA), the lending arm of the World Bank that provides interest-free credits to the world’s poorest countries. This particular credit of $10 million was provided to the government of Liberia to improve conditions for the urban poor living in and around Monrovia. The local population did not have access to clean water, many roads were impassable, and sanitation and drainage were nonexistent, while garbage accumulated throughout the city. This project was going to change at least some of that, and my part was to help the local authorities develop training programs to ensure that municipal administrators, supervisors, and employees could perform their duties effectively. We climbed the stairs to the second-floor balcony and walked past a number of offices.
Naked Economics: Undressing the Dismal Science (Fully Revised and Updated) by Charles Wheelan
affirmative action, Albert Einstein, Andrei Shleifer, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Bretton Woods, capital controls, Cass Sunstein, central bank independence, clean water, collapse of Lehman Brothers, congestion charging, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, currency manipulation / currency intervention, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Brooks, demographic transition, diversified portfolio, Doha Development Round, Exxon Valdez, financial innovation, floating exchange rates, George Akerlof, Gini coefficient, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, happiness index / gross national happiness, Hernando de Soto, income inequality, index fund, interest rate swap, invisible hand, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, libertarian paternalism, low skilled workers, lump of labour, Malacca Straits, market bubble, microcredit, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, Network effects, new economy, open economy, presumed consent, price discrimination, price stability, principal–agent problem, profit maximization, profit motive, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, random walk, rent control, Richard Thaler, rising living standards, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, school vouchers, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, South China Sea, Steve Jobs, The Market for Lemons, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, Thomas Malthus, transaction costs, transcontinental railway, trickle-down economics, urban sprawl, Washington Consensus, Yogi Berra, young professional
And every shopkeeper selling cigars is paid the government wage for selling cigars, which is unrelated to how many cigars he or she sells. Gary Becker, a University of Chicago economist who won the Nobel Prize in 1992, has noted (borrowing from George Bernard Shaw) that “economy is the art of making the most of life.” Economics is the study of how we do that. There is a finite supply of everything worth having: oil, coconut milk, perfect bodies, clean water, people who can fix jammed photocopy machines, etc. How do we allocate these things? Why is it that Bill Gates owns a private jet and you don’t? He is rich, you might answer. But why is he rich? Why does he have a larger claim on the world’s finite resources than everyone else? At the same time, how is it possible in a country as rich as the United States—a place where Alex Rodriguez can be paid $275 million to play baseball—that one in five children is poor or that some adults are forced to rummage through garbage cans for food?
Wealthy Americans are willing to spend more money to protect the environment as a fraction of their incomes than are less wealthy Americans. The same relationship holds true across countries; wealthy nations devote a greater share of their resources to protecting the environment than do poor countries. The reason is simple enough: We care about the fate of the Bengal tiger because we can. We have homes and jobs and clean water and birthday cakes for our dogs. Here is a nettlesome policy question: Is it fair for those of us who live comfortably to impose our preferences on individuals in the developing world? Economists argue that it is not, though we do it all the time. When I read a story in the Sunday New York Times about South American villagers cutting down virgin rain forest and destroying rare ecosystems, I nearly knock over my Starbucks latte in surprise and disgust.
The fastest way to end any meaningful discussion of globalization is to wave the environment card. But let’s do a simple exercise to illustrate why it may be terribly wrong to impose our environmental preferences on the rest of the world. Here is the task: Ask four friends to name the world’s most pressing environmental problem. It’s a fair bet that at least two of them will say global warming and none will mention clean water. Yet inadequate access to safe drinking water—a problem easily cured by rising living standards—kills two million people a year and makes another half billion seriously ill. Is global warming a serious problem? Yes. Would it be your primary concern if children in your town routinely died from diarrhea? No. The first fallacy related to trade and the environment is that poor countries should be held to the same environmental standards as the developed world.
Hot: Living Through the Next Fifty Years on Earth by Mark Hertsgaard
Berlin Wall, business continuity plan, carbon footprint, clean water, Climategate, Climatic Research Unit, corporate governance, cuban missile crisis, decarbonisation, defense in depth, en.wikipedia.org, Fall of the Berlin Wall, food miles, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, peak oil, Port of Oakland, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, smart grid, South China Sea, the built environment, transatlantic slave trade, transatlantic slave trade, transit-oriented development, University of East Anglia, urban planning
Scientists calculate that ecosystems account for 40 to 50 percent of the poor's economic consumption, suggesting that the loss of these ecosystems would halve the poor's already meager living standards. Beyond that, the ecosystems with which we humans share the planet provide "ecosystem services" that make an indirect but absolutely indispensable contribution to our species' survival. Humans often forget that we rely on plant, animal, and microbial species to maintain healthy soil, clean water, breathable air, and other necessities of a livable planet. As naturalist E. O. Wilson has observed, "We need [ants] to survive, but they don't need us at all." Without ants, earthworms, and other unsung creatures to ventilate it, the earth's topsoil would soon rot, ending food production. Without vibrant forests, water supplies would shrink. To study nature is to realize, to quote the old environmental axiom, that everything is connected.
Thus FMNR's success does not depend on large donations from foreign governments or humanitarian groups—donations that often do not materialize or can be withdrawn when money gets tight. This is one reason Reij sees FMNR as superior to the Millennium Villages model promoted by Jeffrey Sachs, the economist who directs Columbia University's Earth Institute. The Millennium Villages program focuses on twelve villages in various parts of Africa, providing them free of charge with what are said to be the building blocks of development: modern seeds and fertilizer, boreholes for clean water, health clinics. "If you read their website, tears come to your eyes," said Reij. "It's beautiful, their vision of ending hunger in Africa. The problem is, it can only work temporarily for a small number of selected villages. Millennium Villages require continuing external inputs—not just fertilizer and other technology, but the money to pay for them—and that is not a sustainable solution. It's hard to imagine the outside world providing free or subsidized fertilizer and boreholes to every African village that needs them."
After reviewing scores of case studies from around the world, Burton had drawn up guidelines for adaptation in poor communities. His first recommendation echoed the advice of Aalt Leusink in the Netherlands. "We have to adapt now," he said. "We don't need to know how much CO2 concentrations will increase by 2100 in order to take action today." Burton also disputed the notion that poor communities can't afford to invest in adaptation because they face more urgent problems—shortages of clean water, food, health care, and so forth. "The dichotomy between adaptation and development is false," he said; communities—and countries, for that matter—that did not invest in adaptation would see their economies undermined by climate change, just as adaptation would falter without development to finance it. Burton offered nine guidelines in all, including the argument that poor countries deserve aid from rich industrial nations.
Berlin Wall, blood diamonds, BRICs, British Empire, central bank independence, clean water, colonial rule, corporate social responsibility, crony capitalism, Deng Xiaoping, Donald Trump, F. W. de Klerk, Gini coefficient, Livingstone, I presume, McMansion, megacity, offshore financial centre, oil shock, open economy, purchasing power parity, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, structural adjustment programs, trade route, transfer pricing, upwardly mobile, urban planning, Washington Consensus, WikiLeaks
It said the spill had been ‘contained and neutralized within the mine site’ and that ‘no pollution of the water sources downstream from the plant site has been found’ but that its staff were still trying to establish the cause of ‘a short-term environmental impact of fish mortality’.2 The adulterated liquid that flowed from the mine into the waterways around Kwamebourkrom and its neighbouring hamlets was too diluted to be a threat to human life, but aquatic life fared less well. Shortly after Newmont’s spill Gyakah and his fellow fishermen found the fish in their ponds floating belly-up. A delegation from Newmont brought the hamlet some clean water – although the villagers recalled that the security man on the team had been sure to bring his own personal supply. Six months after the spill Newmont announced that it would comply with an order from Ghana’s environment ministry to pay compensation, even though it stressed that a government panel that had investigated the spill ‘found no evidence of adverse consequences to human life or property’.3 The money would be split between the ‘development needs of the affected communities’ and two national regulatory bodies.
It drills the wells and pumps the crude but funds only 30 per cent of the expenditure and, thus, is entitled to only 30 per cent of the profits. The head of SPDC has two masters: the management of Shell and the Nigerian state. For his London appearance, even though public relations handlers prepped him, Sunmonu looked uncomfortable. ‘As a Nigerian,’ he said, ‘the situation in the Delta actually brings tears to my eyes. I see it, I feel it.’ He went on, ‘The people in the Delta, they don’t have access to clean water, and they don’t have access to good medical care. They don’t have access to education. There are no jobs, so everyone is trying to fend for himself, and they have seen this oil as an easy source to make money.’ It was a clear-eyed diagnosis of the maladies of the Delta, but it had one glaring omission: the role of the oil companies. On a November morning in 1995 Shell’s activities in the Niger Delta became headline news across the world.
While the children of eastern Congo, northern Nigeria, Guinea and Niger waste away, the beneficiaries of the looting machine grow fat. Amartya Sen, the Nobel Prize-winning Indian economist who has examined with great insight why mass starvation occurs, writes, ‘The sense of distance between the ruler and the ruled – between “us” and “them” – is a crucial feature of famines.’3 That same reasoning could be applied to the provision of other basic needs, including clean water and schooling. And rarely is the distance Sen describes as wide as in Africa’s resource states. Many of Africa’s resource states experienced very high rates of economic growth during the commodity boom of the past decade. The usual measure of average incomes – GDP per head – has risen. But on closer examination such is the concentration of wealth in the hands of the ruling class that that growth has predominantly benefited those who were already rich and powerful, rendering the increase in GDP per head misleading.
The Blue Sweater: Bridging the Gap Between Rich and Poor in an Interconnected World by Jacqueline Novogratz
access to a mobile phone, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, business process, business process outsourcing, clean water, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, half of the world's population has never made a phone call, Hernando de Soto, Kibera, Lao Tzu, market design, microcredit, out of africa, Ronald Reagan, sensible shoes, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, transaction costs
People the world over contract diseases from dirty water; an enormous global burden of disease is due to unsafe water and poor sanitation. Increasingly, we’re seeing skirmishes that may lead to big wars in this century over who has rights to water. Meanwhile, the water table in India alone is declining by 6 meters (20 feet) a year. Solving water-related issues is key. Again, no one has all the answers. If they did, we wouldn’t have a world where 1.2 billion—or one in five of us—have no access to a glass of clean water. As with public health, our approach to water at Acumen Fund has been to experiment and innovate to find solutions that can inform the public debate and show the way to wide-scale change. In India, for example, the platforms of many state governments have held largely that water is a human right and should be given free to everyone. At the same time, more than 180 million Indians have no access to safe, affordable water.
Of course, they weren’t carrying the water themselves, but hiring boys with bikes, rickshaws, and taxis. But what mattered was the change itself. A poultry farmer with a handlebar mustache and a big, intelligent smile explained that he purchased, on average, 10 containers a day. He fed the water to his chickens—about 7,000 of them, a big jump from the 5,000 he’d been raising before he had clean water, which, he said, made medicines unnecessary and enabled his chickens to grow about 20 percent more quickly. He was there to ask WHI to allow him to pipe water to his farm, but they refused, explaining that it would be too easy for people to steal water by drilling into the pipes. The farmer wasn’t convinced. He said he would pay for it, protect it, and take care of it. The group asked him to think about purchasing a water storage unit instead, at least as an intermediate step.
Because of efforts big and small, from multimillion-dollar contributions to one envelope we received stuffed with 20 $1 bills from a 7-year-old girl, by 2008 Acumen Fund had been able to approve more than $40 million in investments in 40 enterprises serving the poor. Through the entrepreneurs who run those companies, we were able to help create more than 23,000 jobs and bring basic services like water—and therefore health—to tens of millions of very-low-income people around the world. Today, more than 350,000 people in rural India are buying clean water for the first time in their lives. Thirty million people have access to lifesaving malaria bed nets each year. A hundred and fifty thousand farmers have doubled or tripled their family incomes because of drip irrigation. And this is just the start, the beginning of our own journey, in which entrepreneurial initiative is paving the way for significant social change. As for Acumen Fund itself, we were in the midst of raising $100,000,000 to invest in such enterprises.
Fool Me Twice: Fighting the Assault on Science in America by Shawn Lawrence Otto
affirmative action, Albert Einstein, anthropic principle, Berlin Wall, Brownian motion, carbon footprint, Cepheid variable, clean water, Climategate, Climatic Research Unit, cognitive dissonance, Columbine, cosmological constant, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, Dean Kamen, desegregation, double helix, energy security, Exxon Valdez, fudge factor, ghettoisation, Harlow Shapley and Heber Curtis, Harvard Computers: women astronomers, informal economy, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Louis Pasteur, mutually assured destruction, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, shareholder value, sharing economy, smart grid, Solar eclipse in 1919, stem cell, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, transaction costs, University of East Anglia, War on Poverty, white flight, Winter of Discontent, working poor
You have to have something for people who want to be against government. This is what went wrong with the energy bill in 2009. We put it in and people said we don’t believe it because there’s another ream of command and control language right alongside it.” Siegel says the command and control approach works, and if Republicans have rejected cap and trade, that’s their loss. “We already have all these laws set up and ready to go. The Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act, the Endangered Species Act. Maybe they’re not perfect but they’re the world’s best, most successful laws. A theoretical cap and trade system is not incompatible with them.” She says the only way to counter special interest money is for the administration to use the bully pulpit. “We need the government involved, and the Obama administration has really dropped the ball on climate.
These are the acts of our ignorant past, but once we build knowledge of environmental effects, once we “know better,” they become the acts of tyrants and bullies that deprive everyone of freedom and coerce everyone by removing choices, including those of the actor; they impose a tyranny of trash—of ignorance. Ignorance is not bliss. It’s tyranny. They take private property; they take health, life, and clean water; they take clean lungs and fresh air; they take fish by depleting the oceans, money by raising the cost of insurance. The shifting—or, as economists say, the externalizing—of private costs and risks onto the commons takes from everyone, and in fact reduces wealth. TYRANNY ON THE COMMONS All of this ties back in to the ideas of conservative economics, particularly those of its father, the American economist Milton Friedman.
It seeks to maximize productivity and biodiversity to provide maximum biological creativity and the attendant economic potential for finding the next big thing. This seeks, in other words, to maximize freedom. ECOSYSTEM SERVICES AND NATURAL PUBLIC CAPITAL For an economic model to include environmental sustainability, value must be assigned to common commodities, be they biodiversity, a stable climate, clean water, rain forests, parks, mineral resources, topsoil, what have you. Because the economy is a human system that trades in human values, the first principle of valuing the commons is to state it in terms of human values. Some environmentalists argue that this approach is wrong, that the values transcend human purposes. That may be true, but for purposes of trading in the human economic system, it has no meaning.
From my admittedly narrow perspective, the climate on patrol had worsened in only a few days. Violence and looting continued to plague a city lacking even basics such as electricity and clean water. I felt as if we were under constant scrutiny by people who were less and less impressed with what they saw. I stopped the platoon outside a collection of brick buildings three kilometers beyond Sadr City. A heavyset man with thinning hair led a crowd toward us. He introduced himself as Mr. Kadem and requested, with a ceremonial flourish, that all aid to the village be coordinated through him. I asked what sort of aid he wanted. “We need only two things: clean water and bronze statues of George Bush.” I decided to play along. “We can help you with the water, but what will you do with statues of George Bush?” “We will put them in our streets to show our loyalty.
Sitting around and talking with the platoon was my favorite pastime in Iraq. Sometimes I’d come up with new topics just because I didn’t want the conversations to end. “It’s too soon to say, but I’ll tell you what I hope will happen,” I said. “I hope we’ll stop moving around and be assigned a sector. I hope we’ll patrol in that sector day after day. These people don’t give a fuck about democracy right now. They need clean water. They need to know they won’t get shot in the middle of the night. People put their money on the horse that looks like a winner. We need to convince them that we’re the winner.” “But what are the odds of that happening, sir?” Corporal Chaffin asked, as he scrubbed a rifle balanced on his knees. “I bet we keep moving around, making promises we can’t keep, and then the normal people will start to see us as occupiers instead of liberators.”
Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed by Jared Diamond
clean water, colonial rule, correlation does not imply causation, cuban missile crisis, Donner party, European colonialism, Exxon Valdez, illegal immigration, job satisfaction, means of production, new economy, North Sea oil, Piper Alpha, polynesian navigation, profit motive, South Sea Bubble, statistical model, Stewart Brand, Thomas Malthus, trade route, transcontinental railway, unemployed young men
The 1970 Bolle Report, prepared by forestry professionals outside the Forest Service, criticized Forest Service policies and, fanned by similar disputes over clear-cutting of West Virginia national forests, led to national changes, including restrictions on clear-cutting and a return to emphasis on managing forests for multiple purposes other than timber production (as already envisioned when the Forest Service was established in 1905). In the decades since the Clearcut Controversy, Forest Service annual timber sales have decreased by more than 80%—in part because of environmental regulations mandated in the Endangered Species Act, the Clean Water Act, and requirements for national forests to maintain habitats for all species, and in part because of the decline in easily accessible big trees due to logging itself. When the Forest Service now proposes a timber sale, environmental organizations file protests and appeals that take up to 10 years to resolve and that make logging less economic even if the appeals are ultimately denied. Virtually all my Montana friends, even those who consider themselves dedicated environmentalists, told me that they consider the pendulum to have swung too far in the direction away from logging.
The literally innumerable examples include: the role of earthworms in regenerating soil and maintaining its texture (one of the reasons that oxygen levels dropped inside the Biosphere 2 enclosure, harming its human inhabitants and crippling a colleague of mine, was a lack of appropriate earthworms, contributing to altered soil/atmosphere gas exchange); soil bacteria that fix the essential crop nutrient nitrogen, which otherwise we have to spend money to supply in fertilizers; bees and other insect pollinators (they pollinate our crops for free, whereas it’s expensive for us to pollinate every crop flower by hand); birds and mammals that disperse wild fruits (foresters still haven’t figured out how to grow from seed the most important commercial tree species of the Solomon Islands, whose seeds are naturally dispersed by fruit bats, which are becoming hunted out); elimination of whales, sharks, bears, wolves, and other top predators in the seas and on the land, changing the whole food chain beneath them; and wild plants and animals that decompose wastes and recycle nutrients, ultimately providing us with clean water and air. 4. Soils of farmlands used for growing crops are being carried away by water and wind erosion at rates between 10 and 40 times the rates of soil formation, and between 500 and 10,000 times soil erosion rates on forested land. Because those soil erosion rates are so much higher than soil formation rates, that means a net loss of soil. For instance, about half of the topsoil of Iowa, the state whose agriculture productivity is among the highest in the U.S., has been eroded in the last 150 years.
Hence the companies have no interest in investing heavily to develop GM cassava, millet, or sorghum for Third World farmers. “As measured by commonsense indicators such as human lifespan, health, and wealth (in economists’ terms, per-capita gross national product or GNP), conditions have actually been getting better for many decades.” Or: “Just look around you: the grass is still green, there is plenty of food in the supermarkets, clean water still flows from the taps, and there is absolutely no sign of imminent collapse.” For affluent First World citizens, conditions have indeed been getting better, and public health measures have on the average lengthened lifespans in the Third World as well. But lifespan alone is not a sufficient indicator: billions of Third World citizens, constituting about 80% of the world’s population, still live in poverty, near or below the starvation level.
The new village green: living light, living local, living large by Stephen Morris
back-to-the-land, Buckminster Fuller, clean water, cleantech, collective bargaining, Columbine, Community Supported Agriculture, computer age, cuban missile crisis, deindustrialization, discovery of penicillin, distributed generation, energy security, energy transition, Fellow of the Royal Society, financial independence, Firefox, index card, Indoor air pollution, invisible hand, Kevin Kelly, Louis Pasteur, Mahatma Gandhi, McMansion, Menlo Park, Negawatt, peak oil, rolodex, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review
So, it might be that evolution is still occurring among the human species, and making the human species incrementally better capable of living in impoverished conditions in the tropics. Maybe we’re gradually acquiring some increased resistance to malaria. Maybe we’re gradually acquiring some sort of increased resistance to all sorts of intestinal parasites you’re afﬂicted with if you don’t have access to clean water. People who live under those circumstances and still have nine kids, of whom six survive, are the reproductively successful individuals of our global population. [Physical] evolution is happening – with the understanding that evolution doesn’t make a particular species better or smarter, necessarily, just better attuned to whatever circumstances it’s living in. That’s my guess. Polls still show that half of Americans, more than half in some polls, reject evolution.
To open clogs, pour 1/2 cup baking soda down drain, add 1/2 cup white vinegar, and cover the drain. The resulting chemical reaction can break fatty acids down into the soap and glycerine, allowing the clog to wash down the drain. Again, do not use this method after trying a commercial drain opener – the vinegar can react with the drain opener to create dangerous fumes. Floor cleaner and polish can be as simple as a few drops of vinegar in the cleaning water to remove soap traces. For vinyl or linoleum, add a capful of baby oil to the water to preserve and polish. For wood ﬂoors, apply a thin coat of 1:1 oil and vinegar and rub in well. For painted wooden ﬂoors, mix 1 teaspoon washing soda into 1 gallon hot water. For brick and stone tiles, use 1 cup white vinegar in 1 gallon water and rinse with clear water. Metal cleaners and polishes are different for each metal – just as in commercial cleaners.
The Caryatids by Bruce Sterling
Time and again Sonja had walked into the hellholes where they stored the sick and dying—the dead factories, the empty schoolyards—where, at the first sight of her, a medic without any dust, the moaning, sobbing crowds fell silent… In the midst of the filthiest inferno, there were people and things and actions and thoughts that were not of that inferno. They were beyond the grip of hell. The people could never leave hell with bullets. They needed a figure shining and white and clean who would hold out her two compassionate hands and pour fresh cleaning water on their split and aching faces. Despair was killing them faster than any physical threat. It was they, not she, who had begun hanging magic charms on her—the knickknacks they’d been clutching in their desperate hope of redemption. She looked different, she was different, and they were hanging meaning on her. They needed to hope in order to live, and for a dying public, a public image brought hope.
To endure the numbing hours of travel, Sonja wrapped herself in a riding cloak. The heavy cloak grew steadily heavier with the passing hours, for it was an air distillery. Its fibers were sewn through with crystalline salts, which chemically sucked humidity from the desert breezes. When the Badaulet scolded her for guzzling at his canteen, she stripped off her dark cloak, gave it one expert caressing twist, and clean water gushed down both her wrists in torrents. A curdled look of astonishment and disbelief and even rage crossed her husband’s face. The Badaulet had always suffered badly for his water. Water had been the cause of bitter discipline to him. The loss of water meant certain death … Yet here in this simple stupid rug, this plain womanly thing from off her back—she had only to twist it, and all his suffering was elided, erased, made senseless and irrelevant.
The Price of Everything: And the Hidden Logic of Value by Eduardo Porter
Asian financial crisis, Ayatollah Khomeini, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, British Empire, capital controls, Carmen Reinhart, Cass Sunstein, clean water, Credit Default Swap, Deng Xiaoping, Edward Glaeser, European colonialism, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial deregulation, Ford paid five dollars a day, full employment, George Akerlof, Gordon Gekko, guest worker program, happiness index / gross national happiness, housing crisis, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, income per capita, informal economy, invisible hand, Jean Tirole, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Kenneth Rogoff, labor-force participation, laissez-faire capitalism, loss aversion, low skilled workers, Martin Wolf, means of production, Menlo Park, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, new economy, New Urbanism, pension reform, Peter Singer: altruism, pets.com, placebo effect, price discrimination, price stability, rent-seeking, Richard Thaler, rising living standards, risk tolerance, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, superstar cities, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, trade route, transatlantic slave trade, transatlantic slave trade, ultimatum game, unpaid internship, urban planning, women in the workforce, World Values Survey, Yom Kippur War, young professional
That means he will catch as many as he can. So will every other fisherman in the vicinity. Overfishing—pulling them out faster than they can reproduce—is the inevitable consequence. We have done the same thing with most “free” resources of nature—from clean air to clean water. Water, mostly a public utility around the world, costs very little; its price doesn’t rise to reflect its growing scarcity and encourage us to consume it prudently. The cost of dealing with nitrogen runoff into streams is usually not incorporated into the price of our crops. Lacking prices to ration their use, free clean water and free clean air have met the fate of free things everywhere: they have started to run out. We are scrambling to deal with the fallout. Nowhere does this dynamic present a more menacing threat to humanity’s future than in the context of climate change.
The Weather of the Future by Heidi Cullen
2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, air freight, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, availability heuristic, back-to-the-land, bank run, California gold rush, carbon footprint, clean water, colonial rule, energy security, illegal immigration, Isaac Newton, megacity, millennium bug, out of africa, Silicon Valley, smart cities, trade route, urban planning, Y2K
“They don’t want to deal with the increased risks of droughts and floods,” he says, “Ideally, they’d be happier with a whole lot less climate change.” But California has already seen its share of climate change. During the last fifty years, winter and spring temperatures have been warmer, snowpack has been melting one to four weeks earlier, and flowers are blooming one to two weeks earlier. One of the fundamental problems with life on Earth is that natural resources, such as clean water for cities and for growing food, is not evenly distributed in space and time. As a result, we’ve tried to engineer the system to be more evenly distributed. Scientists even out the distribution by looking at past variability and building infrastructure to smooth away the bumps. But global warming is working against us. So far, California is still betting that a system built using historical hydrological data can protect the future water supply and provide sufficient flood protection.
Pumping water directly out of the Delta clearly hurts the environment. Water diversion pumps in the southern Delta are so powerful that they actually make the Delta’s maze-like channels flow backward. Hanak explains it this way: “You’re not sucking water through the Delta to the pumps. The peripheral canal decouples the management of water for humans with the water for the Delta ecosystem. You bring the clean water directly to the pumps and you don’t have to keep the Delta fresh. It’ll get saltier in the fall. We pump all year round right now. You’re also not sucking the fish down. We’ve been operating this system and pumping so much the rivers go backward. You’re not as vulnerable to a catastrophic levee failure. You just have to repair the canal, not the entire levee system.” The scientists see the canal as an essential way to separate the state’s water demand from a Delta environment under grave stress.
The Vanishing Neighbor: The Transformation of American Community by Marc J. Dunkelman
Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Albert Einstein, Berlin Wall, big-box store, blue-collar work, Bretton Woods, Broken windows theory, call centre, clean water, cuban missile crisis, dark matter, David Brooks, delayed gratification, double helix, Downton Abbey, Edward Glaeser, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Filter Bubble, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Gini coefficient, glass ceiling, global supply chain, global village, helicopter parent, if you build it, they will come, impulse control, income inequality, invention of movable type, Jane Jacobs, Khyber Pass, Louis Pasteur, Marshall McLuhan, Martin Wolf, McMansion, Nate Silver, Nicholas Carr, obamacare, Occupy movement, Peter Thiel, post-industrial society, Richard Florida, rolodex, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steve Jobs, telemarketer, The Chicago School, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the medium is the message, Thomas L Friedman, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, urban decay, urban planning, Walter Mischel, War on Poverty, women in the workforce, World Values Survey
When delivering speeches in big lecture halls during the summer months, President Clinton often notes that if the air-conditioning failed, the audience would be shocked. It goes without saying in most of the United States that a large auditorium will be kept at a comfortable temperature. He goes on: “You would be stunned if the screen went out or the microphone failed or the lights went dark. You don’t think about what it means to be drinking a glass of clean water. You know that you’re not going to get sick.”2 That level of comfort and security, which most Americans now take for granted, speaks to the most pervasive indication of how America’s quality of life has changed: as John Kenneth Galbraith argued in the late 1950s—and as has become more apparent ever since— we’ve become the “Affluent Society.”3 The engine of America’s newfound prosperity has surely been fueled by technological innovation.
Mortality rates dropped by 60 percent between 1935 and 2010, driving down the day-to-day concern that we’ll lose someone we love to an accident or an incurable disease.18 Two primary developments are responsible for the vast expansion of American longevity. First, those alive today are the unwitting beneficiaries of incredible advances in the field of public health (the bulk of which, it’s worth noting, preceded the Second World War).19 Breakthroughs fighting disease by improving clean water, sanitation, immunization, nutrition, education, and environmental preservation have combined to cut drastically the likelihood of premature death.20 And here, to a greater degree than in most other realms of American life, our newfound prosperity has been hidden from common appreciation. Consider how the routines of an archetypal middle-class family have changed since the 1950s. Back then, Mom and Dad would wake up to savor a leisurely cigarette in bed before waking the kids.
There are actually solar products that will heat your water to this temperature; if you use one of those methods, you won’t waste any fuel at all. As with boiling, pasteurization doesn’t remove debris, so you may still want to filter your water before you pasteurize it. Distillation This process is pretty complicated, but it produces water that’s extremely clean. To distill your water, you will boil it in an enclosed container that has a hose that allows the steam to escape. The steam then converts back into clean water that collects in another container, leaving the impurities behind. Chlorine Bleach Plain old household bleach (sodium hypochlorite) is your best friend in an emergency situation. It quite literally kills everything that could possibly harm you in water or on surfaces, and it’s dirt cheap. Simply add ¼ teaspoon to a gallon of water, and give it 30 minutes or so to work and your water is good to go.
Collapse by Jared Diamond
clean water, colonial rule, correlation does not imply causation, cuban missile crisis, Donner party, European colonialism, Exxon Valdez, illegal immigration, job satisfaction, means of production, new economy, North Sea oil, Piper Alpha, polynesian navigation, prisoner's dilemma, South Sea Bubble, statistical model, Stewart Brand, Thomas Malthus, trade route, transcontinental railway, unemployed young men
The 1970 Bolle Report, prepared by forestry professionals outside the Forest Service, criticized Forest Service policies and, fanned by similar disputes over clear-cutting of West Virginia national forests, led to national changes, including restrictions on clear-cutting and a return to emphasis on managing forests for multiple purposes other than timber production (as already envisioned when the Forest Service was established in 1905). In the decades since the Clearcut Controversy, Forest Service annual timber sales have decreased by more than 80%—in part because of environmental regulations mandated in the Endangered Species Act, the Clean Water Act, and requirements for national forests to maintain habitats for all species, and in part because of the decline in easily accessible big trees due to logging itself. When the Forest Service now proposes a timber sale, environmental organizations file protests and appeals that take up to 10 years to resolve and that make logging less economic even if the appeals are ultimately denied. Virtually all my Montana friends, even those who consider themselves dedicated environmentalists, told me that they consider the pen-dulum to have swung too far in the direction away from logging.
The literally innumerable examples include: the role of earthworms in regenerating soil and maintaining its texture (one of the reasons that oxygen levels dropped inside the Biosphere 2 enclosure, harming its human inhabitants and crippling a colleague of mine, was a lack of appropriate earthworms, contributing to altered soil/atmosphere gas exchange); soil bacteria that fix the essential crop nutrient nitrogen, which otherwise we have to spend money to supply in fertilizers; bees and other insect pollinators (they pollinate our crops for free, whereas it's expensive for us to pollinate every crop flower by hand); birds and mammals that disperse wild fruits (foresters still haven't figured out how to grow from seed the most important commercial tree species of the Solomon Islands, whose seeds are naturally dispersed by fruit bats, which are becoming hunted out); elimination of whales, sharks, bears, wolves, and other top predators in the seas and on the land, changing the whole food chain beneath them; and wild plants and animals that decompose wastes and recycle nutrients, ultimately providing us with clean water and air. 4. Soils of farmlands used for growing crops are being carried away by water and wind erosion at rates between 10 and 40 times the rates of soil formation, and between 500 and 10,000 times soil erosion rates on forested land. Because those soil erosion rates are so much higher than soil formation rates, that means a net loss of soil. For instance, about half of the topsoil of Iowa, the state whose agriculture productivity is among the highest in the U.S., has been eroded in the last 150 years.
Hence the companies have no interest in investing heavily to develop GM cassava, millet, or sorghum for Third World farmers. "As measured by commonsense indicators such as human lifespan, health, and wealth (in economists' terms, per-capita gross national product or GNP), conditions have actually been getting better for many decades." Or: "Just look around you: the grass is still green, there is plenty of food in the supermarkets, clean water still flows from the taps, and there is absolutely no sign of imminent collapse." For affluent First World citizens, conditions have indeed been getting better, and public health measures have on the average lengthened lifespans in the Third World as well. But lifespan alone is not a sufficient indicator: billions of Third World citizens, constituting about 80% of the world's population, still live in poverty, near or below the starvation level.
Imagining India by Nandan Nilekani
affirmative action, BRICs, British Empire, business process, business process outsourcing, call centre, clean water, colonial rule, corporate governance, cuban missile crisis, deindustrialization, demographic dividend, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, distributed generation, farmers can use mobile phones to check market prices, full employment, ghettoisation, glass ceiling, global supply chain, Hernando de Soto, income inequality, informal economy, joint-stock company, knowledge economy, labour market flexibility, land reform, LNG terminal, load shedding, Mahatma Gandhi, market fragmentation, Mikhail Gorbachev, Network effects, new economy, New Urbanism, open economy, pension reform, Potemkin village, price mechanism, race to the bottom, rent control, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, school vouchers, Silicon Valley, smart grid, special economic zone, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, Thomas Malthus, transaction costs, trickle-down economics, unemployed young men, upwardly mobile, urban planning, urban renewal, women in the workforce, working poor, working-age population
Our approach to these problems has to be upgraded into a far more wide-ranging mix of new policy ideas. Only then will we be in a position to address the gritty, real-life concerns of our billion-plus citizens. Cards on the table My own position on the way forward is unequivocal. I believe that the most important driver for growth lies in expanding access to resources and opportunity. People everywhere, regardless of their income levels, should have access to health facilities, clean water, basic infrastructure, jobs and capital, a reliable social security system and good schools where their children can be educated in the English language. While this kind of access seems obvious as a goal, most countries are not designed to provide it. This dawned on me fully only when I heard the Nobel Prize-winning economist-historian Douglass North speak on how economies limit such opportunities for citizens.
The population had languished in filth for much of the time before then—people rarely bathed and considered bathing unhygienic, and communities lived in crowded huts surrounded by sewage. The European writer St. Bernard, noting the common filth the people wallowed in, said, “Where all stink, no one smells.”1 These attitudes changed only with the hygiene movements and medical advances of the nineteenth century, when European administrations installed more effective sanitation measures and emphasized personal health care, clean water and food to counter the constant outbreaks of cholera and dysentery. But when they arrived in India, British officials found a state of affairs very like England, pre-health reforms. Much of the discussion on public health as a result was conducted by these fastidious Victorian-era officials in a tone of muted horror. Administrators wrote in traumatized reports of a “shocking indifference” to the basic concerns of hygiene and cleanliness, and near-total ignorance when it came to aspects of preventive health care.
A prominent British surgeon general remarked about this problem in the 1880s, “Those who know anything about . . . sanitary reform in England are aware that sanitation was to a great extent forced on the people.”4 At best analysts damned Indian attitudes toward preventive health care with faint praise, noting that Indians “were not uniformly hostile” to the idea.5 The yawning gaps in India between the rulers and the ruled were not just a conflict on sewage lines and clean water, but also cultural and traditional. For instance, parts of north India had a smallpox deity called Sitala—“the white-bodied one, mounted on an ass”—and vaccinations for the disease were considered a direct insult to the goddess.6 Health laws in British India as a result largely gave up on persuading people toward better habits and remained draconian and imperious. Health ordinances such as the Contagious Disease Act in Calcutta and the Plague Prevention Measures in the Bombay Presidency were effective mainly as instruments of harassment in the hands of the police.
Power at Ground Zero: Politics, Money, and the Remaking of Lower Manhattan by Lynne B. Sagalyn
affirmative action, airport security, Bonfire of the Vanities, clean water, conceptual framework, corporate governance, deindustrialization, Donald Trump, Edward Glaeser, estate planning, Frank Gehry, Guggenheim Bilbao, high net worth, informal economy, intermodal, iterative process, Jane Jacobs, mortgage debt, New Urbanism, place-making, rent control, Rosa Parks, Silicon Valley, sovereign wealth fund, the built environment, the High Line, time value of money, too big to fail, Torches of Freedom, urban decay, urban planning, urban renewal, white flight, young professional
Century after century since 1650, landfill projects had accommodated Manhattan’s endless hunger for additional land. By 1972, approximately 643 acres of new waterfront had been added, nearly doubling that area of lower Manhattan (figure 1.6). Following prohibitions put in place by the federal government’s Clean Water Act of 1972, which ended the practice of discharging into the waters of the United States, unless authorized by a permit issued by the U.S Army Corps of Engineers, Battery Park City became the city’s last landfill expansion project. FIGURE 1.6 The history of successive landfill expansions of lower Manhattan: 1650–1980; the 1980s line is a projection as of 1966. After the Clean Water Act of 1972 ended the practice of discharging into the waters of the United States, unless authorized by a permit issued by the U.S Army Corps of Engineers, Battery Park City became the city’s last landfill expansion project.
It was renamed “Westway” in 1974; the idea was to bury the highway in new landfill south of Fortieth Street (requiring about two hundred acres of the Hudson River to be landfilled) and place development atop the land so created along with a ninety-three-acre park; the 1981 price tag was $2.1 billion. Controversy and lawsuits erupted, and when Judge Thomas Griesa of the U.S. District Court ruled against a needed dredge-and-fill permit filed by New York State because the proposed road would harm striped bass (and therefore violated the National Environmental Policy Act and the Clean Water Act) and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit upheld the decision, the project was essentially dead; in September 1985, New York City officials gave up on the project. A gulf of 260 feet separating Battery Park City from the rest of Manhattan remained in place. Fast forward to 2002 WTC rebuilding: The resuscitated idea of burying West Street, this time from Chambers Street south to Battery Place, would free up sixteen acres of land for other uses.
The type of chiller plant that the PA planned to use, a so-called river-water plant, is far more energy efficient than those drawing water from the city’s drinkable water system. More efficient it may be, but river-water plants also consume aquatic micro-organisms (fish eggs and larvae), which caused consternation for environmental groups. The original WTC chiller system was designed before the passage of the Clean Water Act of 1972, and apart from the United Nations and a couple of hospitals, few such systems still exist in New York City. Whether from inattention or automatic expiration because it was out of use, the permit for the existing WTC water-river chiller plant had expired. To build and operate a new plant, the PA needed a new permit from the New York State Department of Conservation, which opened up the issue to environmental challenges.
Salt by Mark Kurlansky
British Empire, clean water, Deng Xiaoping, domestication of the camel, haute cuisine, Hernando de Soto, Honoré de Balzac, invention of movable type, Mahatma Gandhi, spice trade, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade route
The splitters immediately split them beginning at the tail and continuing to the head, close by the back fin, leaving the Chine of salmon on the under side [the belly intact], taking the guts clear out and the gils out of the head, without defacing the least fin and also take out a small bone from the underside, whereby they get to the blood to wash it away. 5. Afterward the fish is put into a great tub, and washed outside and inside and scraped with a mussuel shell or a thin iron like it; and from thence put into another tub of clean water, where they are washed and scraped again, and from thence taken out, and laid upon wooden forms, there to lie and dry for four hours. 6. Thence they are carried into the cellars, where they are opened, or layed into a great vat or pipe with the skinside downward and covered all over with French salt and the like upon another lay and so up to the top and are there to remain six weeks. In which time tis found by experience, they will be suffeciently salted. 7.
French salt makers do battle in court over what is true fleur de sel. Guérande has sued Aigues-Mortes—all the more suspect since it was bought by “the Americans”—over its use of the term. But fleur de sel is not unique to Brittany, and may be as old as making sea salt. In the second century B.C., Cato gave instructions for making fleur de sel in De agricultura: Fill a broken-necked amphora with clean water, place in the sun. Suspend in it a strainer of ordinary salt. Agitate and refill repeatedly; do this several times a day until salt remains two days undissolved. A test: drop in a dried anchovy or an egg. If it floats, the brine is suitable for steeping meat, cheese or fish for salting. Put out this brine in pans or baking dishes in the sun, and leave in the sun until crystallized. This gives you “flower of salt.”
Inversions by Iain M Banks - Culture 06
She swung the man in the cage-chair back upright and opened a vial in her bag, wiped a wooden spatula round the inside of the vial and then, opening the bloody mess that was the man's mouth, applied some of the ointment to his gums. He moaned again. The Doctor stood watching him for a moment, then stepped to the brazier and put the spatula into it. The wood flamed and spluttered. She looked at her hands, then at Nolieti. 'Do you have any water down here? I mean clean water.' The chief torturer nodded at Unoure, who disappeared into the shadows for a while before bringing a bowl which the Doctor washed her hands in. She was wiping them clean on the kerchief which had been her blindfold when the man in the chair cage gave a terrible screech of agony, shook violently for a few moments, then stiffened suddenly and finally went limp. The Doctor stepped towards him and went to put her hand to his neck but she was knocked aside by Nolieti, who gave an angry, anguished shout of his own and reached through the iron hoops to place his finger on the pulse-point on the neck which the Doctor has taught me is the best place to test the beat of a man's vitality.
The Doctor had me remove her cloak from underneath Mrs Elund and then hold the cloak out of a window in the other room, waiting — with arms that became increasingly sore — until it was saturated with water before bringing it back inside and placing its dark, sopping folds over the child, whose clothes, save for a single tatty shift, the Doctor had removed. The girl continued to shake and twitch, and seemed no better than when we had arrived. When Mrs Elund made the noises that indicated she was coming back from her faint, the Doctor ordered her to find a fire, a kettle and some clean water to boil. Mrs Elund seemed to resent this, but left without too many curses muttered under her breath. 'She's burning up,' the Doctor whispered to herself, one graceful, long-fingered hand on the child's forehead. It occurred to me then, for the first time, that the girl might die. 'Oelph,' the Doctor said, looking at me with worry in her eyes. 'Would you see if you can find the children? Hurry them up.
affirmative action, airport security, Ayatollah Khomeini, clean water, cognitive dissonance, corporate governance, data acquisition, death of newspapers, Extropian, Howard Rheingold, illegal immigration, informal economy, Iridium satellite, Jaron Lanier, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, means of production, mutually assured destruction, offshore financial centre, open economy, packet switching, pattern recognition, pirate software, placebo effect, Plutocrats, plutocrats, prediction markets, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, Saturday Night Live, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, telepresence, trade route, Vannevar Bush, Vernor Vinge, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review, Yogi Berra, Zimmermann PGP
New communication arts prove at once both empowering and potentially manipulative of the common man or woman. As for the vaunted Internet, both messianic utopians and pessimistic critics may be missing the point. Amid all the abstract theorizing, why arenʼt we asking important, pragmatic questions, such as what will happen when personal computers become so cheap that citizens of the poorest Third World nations will have readier access to data than food or clean water? We are bound for interesting times. Nothing makes me happier on a sunny day than to think of how wrong Iʼve been in the past. The old fears of people like me that technology leads to totalitarianism and cultural sterility do not come true. The computer, the fax, the car phone, the answering machine, all seem to lead to a more civilized life, affording us greater privacy and freedom, not less.
For many years, actuaries and officials at insurance companies and government regulatory agencies have tried to appraise danger in all corners of society, from airlines and automobiles to food safety and prescription packaging. In a sense, this is fine T-cell activity, since our institutions should endeavor to help us all thrive safely. And it is easy to see the success that some efforts have achieved, such as delivering clean water supplies, providing safer cars, and reducing pollution in our rivers and skies. We live longer and travel with more confidence, because many varied hazards are sniffed out by those with the expertise to find them. Some may object in principle that we should not be coddled by bureaucrats, or that the free market ( caveat emptor) could protect us better still. But contentious issues of paternalism will be dealt with later.
In the Graveyard of Empires: America's War in Afghanistan by Seth G. Jones
business climate, clean water, colonial rule, cuban missile crisis, failed state, friendly fire, invisible hand, Khyber Pass, Mikhail Gorbachev, Murray Gell-Mann, open borders, purchasing power parity, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, trade route
“Since there were no volunteers, the policy was useless.”4 In a 2004 public-opinion poll conducted by the Asia Foundation, Afghans responded that two of the biggest problems in their local areas were the lack of jobs and the lack of electricity.5 Over the course of the next two years, jobs and electricity would remain the most significant infrastructure problems, in addition to access to water.6 U.S. government polls—most of which were not released publicly—showed similar results. In one survey conducted between August 30 and September 9, 2006, by the U.S. State Department, Afghans who supported the Taliban complained that they had little access to clean water and employment.7 There was international assistance to fix these problems, but it didn’t always reach its intended targets. One study found that the primary beneficiaries of assistance were “the urban elite.”8 This triggered deep-seated frustration and resentment among the rural population. There’s no doubt that the Afghan government suffered from a number of systemic problems and had difficulty attracting and retaining skilled professionals with management and administrative experience.
Ambitiously, the Afghan government set a goal to increase coverage of the electricity grid in urban areas to 90 percent by 2015.11 For those rich enough to buy generators, electricity was not a problem; their needs were met by the Afghan economy’s dominant informal sector. A large portion of the electricity supply, for example, was provided by small-scale generators. “The bulk of Afghans,” reported the World Bank, however, “still do not have reliable electric power supply and clean water. Thus the situation that prevailed in the 1970s and during the long period of conflict—basic social services not reaching most of Afghanistan’s people—has not yet been fundamentally changed, with the only partial exception being primary education, which actually improved considerably after the U.S. arrived in 2001.”12 Numerous government efforts to increase electricity ground to a halt. In 2002, for example, President Karzai’s cabinet explored the possibility of importing electricity into Kabul from Uzbekistan, which already supplied electric power to the northern area around Mazar-e-Sharif, supplementing a small local gas-fired power plant.
Cities Under Siege: The New Military Urbanism by Stephen Graham
airport security, anti-communist, autonomous vehicles, Berlin Wall, call centre, carbon footprint, clean water, congestion charging, credit crunch, DARPA: Urban Challenge, defense in depth, deindustrialization, edge city, energy security, European colonialism, failed state, Food sovereignty, Gini coefficient, global supply chain, Google Earth, illegal immigration, income inequality, knowledge economy, late capitalism, loose coupling, market fundamentalism, McMansion, megacity, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, New Urbanism, offshore financial centre, pattern recognition, peak oil, planetary scale, private military company, RAND corporation, RFID, Richard Florida, Scramble for Africa, Silicon Valley, smart transportation, surplus humans, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, urban decay, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, Washington Consensus, white flight
During such moments, fairly normal in cities of the global South but much less so in cities of the global North, the vast edifices of infrastructure become so much useless junk – temporary (or perhaps not) ruins of the dreams of Enlightenment and Modernity. The daily life of cities turns into a massive struggle against darkness, cold, immobility, hunger, isolation, fear of crime and violence, and – if water-borne diseases threaten – a catastrophic and rapid degeneration in public health. The perpetual technical flux of modern cities is suspended. Improvization, repair, and the search for alternative means of keeping warm and safe, of drinking clean water, of eating, of moving about and disposing of wastes, swiftly become the overriding imperatives. All of a sudden, the normally hidden background of everyday urban life becomes palpably clear to all. Obviously, ‘tremendous lethal capabilities can be created simply by contra-functioning the everyday applications’ of a number of ordinary urban infrastructures.8 The act of using systems and technologies normally taken for granted, ignored, or viewed as banal artifacts of daily life thus becomes charged with anxiety and geopolitical imaginaries.
In al-Nasiriyya, Human Rights Watch researchers found that ‘in many places people had dug up water and sewage pipes outside their homes in a vain attempt to get drinking water’.73 Not surprisingly, large numbers of water-borne intestinal infections were once again reported after the war, a direct result of the targeting of electrical distribution systems. By December 2007, cholera epidemics were occurring in Baghdad, reflecting the fact that 70 per cent of Iraqis still did not have access to clean water.74 SWITCHING OFF THE OCCUPIED TERRITORIES As we saw in Chapter 7, criticisms of Israeli policies of besieging the West Bank and Gaza have concentrated mostly on civilian deaths caused by air and tank raids; on mass house demolitions and the bulldozing of settlements with massive D9 Caterpillar bulldozers75; on the drawing of extremely tight limits on Palestinian enclaves and the construction of brutal apartheid-style walls, check-points, registers, laws and databases; and on the construction of a parallel world of generously proportioned, expanding Jewish-only settlements, linked together with their own private infrastructures and cleared, free-fire ‘buffer zones’.76 Much less reported has been a systematic and continuous programme by Israeli forces which adds a new twist to the geographies and politics of contemporary siege warfare against urban civilians: the targeting and destruction of modern infrastructure systems.
One Less Car: Bicycling and the Politics of Automobility by Zack Furness, Zachary Mooradian Furness
active transport: walking or cycling, affirmative action, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, back-to-the-land, Build a better mousetrap, Burning Man, car-free, carbon footprint, clean water, colonial rule, conceptual framework, dumpster diving, Enrique Peñalosa, European colonialism, feminist movement, ghettoisation, Golden Gate Park, interchangeable parts, intermodal, Internet Archive, Jane Jacobs, market fundamentalism, means of production, Naomi Klein, New Urbanism, peak oil, place-making, post scarcity, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, sustainable-tourism, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, Thomas L Friedman, Thorstein Veblen, urban planning, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review, working poor, Yom Kippur War
instead, by making bikes more affordable, they become more associated with success, and psychologically more attractive.”96 The present-day promotion of the bicycle as a pragmatic technological means to an end vision of cultural and economic development all but demonstrates the moral bankruptcy and ultimate failures of an economic system that once promised, ironically enough, the means by which one could obtain a luxury commodity such as a bicycle. Work, in other words, is now promoted as its own luxury reward in the twenty-first century: the bicycle is simply there to facilitate the process. like widespread poverty or the lack of access to schools, jobs, and clean water, the need to introduce or reintroduce bicycles to many african nations reveals the extent to which modernity and capitalism were never meant to benefit africans in the first place, though the dominant narrative produced by Western economists, politicians, and most nGOs suggests otherwise. all too often, the root cause of africa’s maladies is instead attributed to africans themselves; they are seen, Manji and O’Coill argue, for what they are not: “They are chaotic not ordered, traditional not modern, corrupt not honest, underdeveloped not developed, irrational not rational, lacking in all of those things the West presumes itself to be.”97 in addition to these characteristics, development theory also stresses the importance of combating the “culture of dependence” ostensibly cultivated by lazy and/or entitled populations who collectively expect a “free ride from a passing nGO or rich uncle,” as David peckham puts it.98 Consequently, the multifaceted project of development demands the retraining of its subjects in order to instill the right attitude and moral fitness, lest they plummet down the path blazed by americans. people’s faith in the merits of modernity and free market capitalism also requires restoration: one has to “believe in social mobility,” as Thomas Friedman preposterously asserts while defining social class as “a state of mind, not a state of income.”99 However, affirming the implicit infallibility of free market economics to countries presently suffering from free market policies is no small feat, particularly when the same modes of domestic agricultural and industrial production that buttressed the entire Western success story are perpetually eschewed in order to promote structurally adjusted economies based on the exportation of a few specific commodities and luxury goods (à la colonialism), as well as the development of a retail and service sector in which workers become entirely dependent on the importation of all goods they must sell (or service) in order to survive.
The prospects of creating a sustainable or viable business in virtually any postcolonial country are dependent on a multitude of tenuous factors, the least of which are the whims of international markets, the lending and trade policies of transnational bodies like the World Bank, iMF, and WTO, the price of oil, and the general economic stranglehold that multinational corporations have on both global resources and trade. Within this globalized economic context it is still possible for bicycles to make a dramatic and indeed critical difference in people’s quality of life, whether improving access to clean water and marketplaces in rural Ghana, enabling better home care for aiDS patients in namibia, encouraging rural girls to attend school in Mozambique, or facilitating coffee production for co-operative farmers in rwanda. For these and many other reasons, international bicycle donation programs as well as their supplementary educational initiatives, are invaluable. What needs to be questioned, then, is certainly not the merit of distributing bikes to people in need or the value of promoting affordable and environmentally sustainable transportation, but rather, the uncritical assumption that people can literally pedal themselves out of poverty, given the opportunity to do so.
Common Wealth: Economics for a Crowded Planet by Jeffrey Sachs
agricultural Revolution, air freight, back-to-the-land, British Empire, business process, carbon footprint, clean water, colonial rule, corporate social responsibility, correlation does not imply causation, demographic transition, Diane Coyle, Edward Glaeser, energy security, failed state, Gini coefficient, Haber-Bosch Process, income inequality, income per capita, intermodal, invention of agriculture, invention of the steam engine, invisible hand, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge worker, labor-force participation, labour mobility, low skilled workers, microcredit, oil shale / tar sands, peak oil, profit maximization, profit motive, purchasing power parity, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, Simon Kuznets, Skype, statistical model, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, trade route, transaction costs, unemployed young men, War on Poverty, women in the workforce, working-age population
Chapter 5 Securing Our Water Needs THE CHALLENGE OF SECURING SAFE and plentiful water for all regions of the world will prove to be one of our most daunting tasks. Water stress is already a grim fact in many regions, and climate change will disrupt the water cycle on a global scale. The impacts on global society, and especially the poor, can be devastating. Without drinking water there is no survival beyond a few days. Without water for crops, there is no food. Without clean water, there is pervasive disease, especially killer infectious diseases that claim millions of children’s lives each year. Without readily accessible water, available in convenient locations, if not pumped directly to the household, there is drudgery in the world’s impoverished villages for women and girls, who often spend hours each day walking many miles to fetch the household’s water supply. And without secure water—for crops, livestock, and human use—there is conflict.
And ecosystems sustain cultural and ethical values in beauty, relations with other species, scientific inquiry, and artistic endeavors. Clearly, our well-being depends fundamentally on these ecosystem services. The MEA discusses four end points of well-being supported by these varied services: Security includes protection from natural hazards (floods, droughts, predators). Material needs include foodstuffs, building materials, fibers for clothing, and energy supplies. Health includes clean water and air, and relative safety from pathogens. Social cohesion includes community trust and well-being that is supported by a shared and trusting community commitment to a healthy environment. All of these are a form of empowerment of individuals and communities to meet desired objectives, material and spiritual. The main lesson of ecology is the interconnectedness of the various parts of an ecosystem and the dangers of abrupt, nonlinear, and even catastrophic changes caused by modest forcings.
Berlin Wall, business climate, clean water, colonial rule, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, land tenure, Mahatma Gandhi, means of production, microcredit, technology bubble, transfer pricing, unemployed young men, working-age population, éminence grise
The name for the town meant “swamp,” and it lived up to its name; mosquitoes and dirty groundwater plagued the refugees. Beatrice had lost over thirty pounds by the time she arrived there; her skin was leathery and stiff, her muscles were sore, and she was so hungry that the sight of food made her salivate. To the refugees’ dismay, no humanitarian organization was there to help them; there were few latrines and no clean water. A dysentery epidemic broke out shortly after their arrival, followed by cholera. Soon, aid workers did arrive, but they were overwhelmed by the needs of 80,000 people. Every day, bodies, partially covered by white sheets, would be carried away on stretchers. The refugees looked as if they had aged twenty years—their eyes sunk deep into their skulls, skin hanging loosely from their bodies, and their feet swollen from malnutrition and hundreds of miles of walking.
They subtracted from this the rate of deaths from before the war and obtained an “excess death rate”—in other words how many more people died than was normal.2 The number of deaths is so immense that it becomes incomprehensible and anonymous, and yet the dying was not spectacular. Violence only directly caused 2 percent of the reported deaths. Most often, it was easily treatable diseases, such as malaria, typhoid fever, and diarrhea, that killed. There was, however, a strong correlation between conflict areas and high mortality rates. As fighting broke out, people were displaced to areas where they had no shelter, clean water, or access to health care and succumbed easily to disease. Health staff shuttered up their hospitals and clinics to flee the violence, leaving the sick to fend for themselves. Almost half of the victims were children—the most vulnerable to disease and malnutrition. A full 60 percent of all children died before their fifth birthday. Step out of a car in many areas of the eastern Congo during the war, and you were often confronted with children suffering from kwashikor, or clinical malnutrition.
clean water, collective bargaining, Community Supported Agriculture, Donald Trump, happiness index / gross national happiness, illegal immigration, indoor plumbing, land reform, life extension, Maui Hawaii, meta analysis, meta-analysis, randomized controlled trial, Silicon Valley, telemarketer
But China is the country where the pell-mell pursuit of consumption is happening fastest, and where the environmental implications are being felt most intensely. China is now dealing with massive and uncontrolled air and water pollution. From the dismal air quality in its cities to the spreading deserts in its northwest, China is a nation with enormous environmental problems. When so much is changing in our world, and at such a mind-boggling pace, some of us easily forget that the needs of our bodies for fresh air, clean water, exercise, a healthy environment, and wholesome natural food remain essentially the same as they have been for tens of thousands of years. Remarkably, it is a study that took place in China, just as the world’s most populous nation began its recent massive changes, that may hold a key to our understanding how to live the longest and healthiest lives we can. I’m referring to the extraordinary China Study, which The New York Times called “the most comprehensive large study ever undertaken of the relationship between diet and the risk of developing disease.”2 How did it happen that in a nation about to embark on such a massive economic and social transformation, the diet and health of an extremely large number of people were studied with a level of depth that is unmatched anywhere in world medical history?
Among well-nourished children, measles is rarely fatal, yet this disease kills some 800,000 children annually, nearly all of them already weakened by hunger. Respiratory illnesses are usually a minor problem in a healthy population, but they take a heavy toll among malnourished people with weakened immune systems. The China Study made clear that the underlying causes of “diseases of poverty” are actually nutritional inadequacy and poor sanitation. In fact, since it is not poverty itself that causes these diseases, but the lack of clean water and adequate food, it would be more precise to call them “diseases of nutritional inadequacy and poor sanitation.” Similarly, the China Study demonstrated that the underlying cause of most “diseases of affluence”—including diabetes, coronary heart disease, obesity, and many forms of cancer—is not affluence itself, but rather the nutritional excess that typically accompanies affluence. In fact, so tightly are “diseases of affluence” linked in the China Study data to eating habits that Dr.
Happy City: Transforming Our Lives Through Urban Design by Charles Montgomery
2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, agricultural Revolution, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, Bernie Madoff, British Empire, Buckminster Fuller, car-free, carbon footprint, centre right, City Beautiful movement, clean water, congestion charging, correlation does not imply causation, East Village, edge city, energy security, Enrique Peñalosa, experimental subject, Frank Gehry, Google Earth, happiness index / gross national happiness, Home mortgage interest deduction, housing crisis, income inequality, income per capita, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, license plate recognition, McMansion, means of production, megacity, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, mortgage tax deduction, New Urbanism, peak oil, Ponzi scheme, rent control, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, science of happiness, Seaside, Florida, Silicon Valley, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the High Line, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade route, transit-oriented development, upwardly mobile, urban planning, urban sprawl, wage slave, white flight, World Values Survey, Zipcar
The mop-topped thirty-seven-year-old had spent his career blending modernist ambitions and aesthetics with an almost fantastical sense of playfulness. Ingels had already convinced Denmark to pluck the iconic Little Mermaid statue from Copenhagen’s shoreline so he could set her inside a whorl he designed for the country’s pavilion at the 2010 Shanghai World Expo. He had codesigned a swimming pool to sit in the inner harbor so that citizens could do laps in the clean waters. And he had tried to sate Copenhageners’ desire to bike absolutely everywhere by creating an apartment building whose figure-eight shape allowed residents to cycle a gentle promenade all the way up to their tenth-floor apartments. Much of Ingels’s previous work had broken down the separation of uses that so often characterizes architecture and urban planning. The power plant would take this theme further.
This is how the Southeast False Creek Neighbourhood Utility works: Every time residents of the Village do their dishes or take a shower or use the toilet, they flush thermal energy—either in the form of room-temperature water or considerably warmer human waste—down the drain. The wastewater gets piped to a sewage pumping station submerged under a nearby bridge. Inside that station is a small energy plant that uses a process of evaporation and compression to suck the heat from the wastewater. That energy gets transferred to clean water, which is then sent back to provide radiant heat and hot water for everyone in the Village. This is one reason that residents have cut their household greenhouse gas emissions by three-quarters. The energy plant emits no odor or toxins, but its exhaust flues have been turned into public art: five stainless steel pipes reach several stories into the sky, like the outstretched fingers of a giant robot hand.
A Line in the Tar Sands: Struggles for Environmental Justice by Tony Weis, Joshua Kahn Russell
Bakken shale, bilateral investment treaty, call centre, carbon footprint, clean water, colonial exploitation, conceptual framework, corporate social responsibility, decarbonisation, Deep Water Horizon, en.wikipedia.org, energy security, energy transition, Exxon Valdez, failed state, global village, guest worker program, happiness index / gross national happiness, hydraulic fracturing, immigration reform, investor state dispute settlement, invisible hand, LNG terminal, market fundamentalism, means of production, Naomi Klein, new economy, Occupy movement, oil shale / tar sands, peak oil, profit maximization, race to the bottom, smart grid, special economic zone, working poor
Over fourteen hundred square kilometres of leases have been granted for tar sands and fracking development in Lubicon territory, and almost 70 per cent of the remaining land has been leased for future development. Where there once was self-sufficiency, we are seeing increased dependency on social services, as families are no longer able to sustain themselves in what was once a healthy environment with clean air, clean water, medicines, berries, and plants from the boreal forest. Our way of life is being replaced by industrial landscapes, polluted and drained watersheds, and contaminated air. And it’s very much a crisis situation. In the North, we are seeing elevated rates of cancers and respiratory illnesses as a consequence of the toxic gases being released into the air and water. And while over $14 billion in oil and gas revenues have been taken from Lubicon territory, our community lives in extreme poverty and still lacks basic medical services and running water.
The day after the passing of Bill C-45, we were left with ninety-seven protected lakes and sixty-two protected rivers. This bill was followed by Bill S-8, which the federal government supposedly enacted to provide safe drinking water for First Nations. In reality, it will result in the privatization of our water, thereby taking the milk of our Mother and turning it into a commodity. Our people would be forced to pay fees for clean water because of this government’s attempt to sell what was never theirs in the first place. Who can afford this? The poor First Nations people living in Third World conditions in a First World country? The poor farmer who relies on his crops to feed his family, and the 99 per cent? No. It is industry that can afford it, and this government has made sure of that. This government also has pulled out of the Kyoto Protocol, and has signed a Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement with China.
3D printing, agricultural Revolution, AI winter, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, algorithmic trading, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, bitcoin, blockchain, clean water, cognitive dissonance, Colonization of Mars, complexity theory, computer age, computer vision, constrained optimization, corporate personhood, cosmological principle, cryptocurrency, cuban missile crisis, Danny Hillis, dark matter, discrete time, Elon Musk, Emanuel Derman, endowment effect, epigenetics, Ernest Rutherford, experimental economics, Flash crash, friendly AI, Google Glasses, hive mind, income inequality, information trail, Internet of things, invention of writing, iterative process, Jaron Lanier, job automation, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, loose coupling, microbiome, Moneyball by Michael Lewis explains big data, natural language processing, Network effects, Norbert Wiener, pattern recognition, Peter Singer: altruism, phenotype, planetary scale, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Republic of Letters, RFID, Richard Thaler, Rory Sutherland, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart contracts, speech recognition, statistical model, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, strong AI, Stuxnet, superintelligent machines, supervolcano, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, theory of mind, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, Turing machine, Turing test, Von Neumann architecture, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Y2K
Will our human cognitive facilities be shaped by interacting with technology? It’s important to remember how diverse and downright enormous the human population is. Computer use hasn’t been linked to passing more offspring into the next generation. Most of the human population has, as yet, limited access to technology. The evolution of our species will be slow, and it will be importantly influenced by our environment and collective access to clean water, nutritive food, and health care. If we can be as inclusive in our discussions of humanity as we are in what we want to call “thinking,” we might end up in a better place. A UNIVERSAL BASIS FOR HUMAN DIGNITY MICHAEL MCCULLOUGH Professor of psychology, director, Evolution and Human Behavior Laboratory, University of Miami; author, Beyond Revenge: The Evolution of the Forgiveness Instinct “The human brain is a thought machine” is one of the truest scientific truisms you can utter about human beings, right up there with “The heart is a blood pump” or “The eye is a camera.”
That process has been a hallmark of human thinking since we walked out onto the savannah, and as the world’s problems become more dire and more complicated, we ought to accept any effective tool to battle them. I could live with a partnership with machine learning in order to make complex modern life more resource-efficient in a way that human brains cannot. A world of sustainably grown food, sufficient clean water for humans and ecosystems, and comfortable, energy-efficient lodging is still possible and could be advanced in part by thinking machines. History suggests that the partnership will proceed in an incremental way, relatively unnoticed by busy people living out their busy lives. But for the sake of argument, let’s assume that our worst fears come true, things get out of hand, and at some point thinking machines topple the reign of Homo sapiens.
Business Lessons From a Radical Industrialist by Ray C. Anderson
Albert Einstein, banking crisis, carbon footprint, centralized clearinghouse, clean water, cleantech, corporate social responsibility, Credit Default Swap, dematerialisation, distributed generation, energy security, Exxon Valdez, fear of failure, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, Indoor air pollution, intermodal, invisible hand, late fees, Mahatma Gandhi, market bubble, music of the spheres, Negawatt, new economy, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, peak oil, renewable energy credits, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, six sigma, supply-chain management, urban renewal, Y2K
Our plan to deal with chemical pollutants followed a similarly bold strategy: to eliminate all harmful releases by the year 2020, and to operate profitable factories that do not even need smokestacks and effluent pipes, that do not generate hazardous waste of any kind. The inventory created the agenda of items for which substitutes had to be found. Ultimately, we would send out into the world only valuable products (like carpet tiles and broadloom carpets), plus clean air, clean water, and biodegradable materials the earth can use to regenerate itself. You may well ask, is that even remotely possible? Well, our evolving biosphere did it, though it required billions of years of natural selection. Of course, finding a surviving, healthy piece of the biosphere (like an old-growth forest) is getting mighty difficult these days. And we don’t have billions of years, even hundreds, to get this job done, either.
You might say Huey was onto that leadership principle I mentioned earlier—that there is a natural limit to what any one of us can do, but no natural limit to the positive power of leadership. That is the true power of one. So I reluctantly agreed. The culmination of PCSD’s work during Clinton’s first term was a report entitled “Sustainable America, A New Consensus.” It advocated noble goals. Here they are, as they were delivered to the president just before I showed up. Goal 1: Health and the Environment Ensure that every person enjoys the benefits of clean air, clean water, and a healthy environment at home, at work, and at play. Goal 2: Economic Prosperity Sustain a healthy U.S. economy that grows sufficiently to create meaningful jobs, reduce poverty, and provide the opportunity for a high quality of life for all in an increasingly competitive world. Goal 3: Equity Ensure that all Americans are afforded justice and have the opportunity to achieve economic, environmental, and social well-being.
Diet for a New America by John Robbins
Speaking about her work, one year’s American Pork Queen, Pam Carney, explained: Well, I kind of told about myself from the perspective of being a pig…You see, we are getting a lot of questions from people now who are for animal rights and who are worried about pigs being put into small pens and farrowing crates. So, I talked about how much we pigs like the new confinement barns as opposed to living outside in the natural environment, because a herdsman can keep a close eye on us, watch for disease, give us warmth, good feed, and clean water.45 The American Pork Queen reassures us today’s pigs receive good feed and clean water. But the truth, as you might guess, is a little different. In nature, pigs live with gusto and passion, foraging in the earth for their food. Even in a barnyard setting they root around as much as they can, and their diet consists of table scraps along with the foods they can root from the earth. But today, they are fed a completely unnatural diet designed with one thing alone in mind—to make them as fat as possible, as cheaply as possible.
anti-communist, back-to-the-land, bank run, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, British Empire, capital asset pricing model, capital controls, centre right, Chelsea Manning, clean water, collateralized debt obligation, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, Donald Trump, energy security, Exxon Valdez, invisible hand, means of production, offshore financial centre, random walk, Ronald Reagan, sensible shoes, transfer pricing, uranium enrichment, Washington Consensus, Yogi Berra
Rather than drill from a platform, it created a fake island, then drilled sideways for eight miles under the Arctic Ocean floor. Liberty is a Deepwater Horizon operation, but turned on its side. (These guys think Americans are stupid; but why is it necessary to prove it?) Is BP operating more safely here than in the Gulf? When we landed, the Arctic Slope Regional Corporation (the one founded by Etok) was still cleaning up BP’s huge spill from 2006, four years earlier. BP pled guilty to criminal violations of the Clean Water Act and was put on three years’ probation. The company was still on probation when it blew out the Macondo well in the Gulf. Now, if you steal a bike and break probation, you go to jail. If a corporation breaks probation, they go to . . . what? BP did not even lose its Gulf lease or its right to operate the Pipeline. Apparently, Power and Mystification overbalances Crime. The company paid a $20 million fine for failing to inspect the Alaska Pipeline for corrosion.
Smaller, true, but it would have signaled the system had gone to hell. BP’s Alyeska’s water samples would have picked up the traces of spilled oil. Lenora found Erlene Blake, a technician in the Alyeska testing lab. Erlene told us that Alyeska kept a bucket of oil-free seawater in the lab. If they found evidence of hydrocarbon in the Sound’s waters, they were directed to dump it down the sink and refill the sample vials from the bucket of clean water. They called it the Miracle Barrel. What else? The Chugach agreement to sign away Valdez imposed a requirement on the companies:“BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the several oil companies employ the latest chemical and other anti-pollution methods for protection of the fisheries, wild life and migratory birds at all times.” The state rules required it anyway, so the oil men agreed. You want equipment?
Arabian Sands by Wilfred Thesiger
In the desert I had found a freedom unattainable in civilization; a life unhampered by possessions, since everything that was not a necessity was an encumbrance. I had found, too, a comradeship inherent in the circumstances, and the belief that tranquillity was to be found there. I had learnt the satisfaction which comes from hardship and the pleasure which springs from abstinence: the contentment of a full belly; the richness of meat; the taste of clean water; the ecstasy of surrender when the craving for sleep becomes a torment; the warmth of a fire in the chill of dawn. I went back to the Nuer, but I was lonely, sitting apart on a chair, among a crowd of naked savages. I wanted more than they could give me, even while I enjoyed being with them. The Danakil journey had unsuited me for life in our civilization; it had confirmed and strengthened a craving for the wilds.
Half an hour later he and Hamad came over to us with a young man who greeted us and then told us to unload our camels and make ourselves comfortable; he said that when he had finished watering he would take us to his encampment. The caravan from Ibri watered their animals. One of them unexpectedly gave Hamad a small package of dates; they were very large and very sweet, but I was sick of dates and never wanted to see another. They moved off up the wadi and we then went over to the well, which had clean water at a depth of twenty feet. In the afternoon the young herdsman, whose name was Ali, led us to his encampment two miles away. Here the Wadi al Ain, the largest of the three great wadis which run down from the Oman mountains into the desert to the west, consisted not of a single dry river-bed, but of several smaller watercourses separated by banks of gravel and drifts of sand. The trees and shrubs that grew here were parched with drought but, even so, they made a pleasant change after the bare gravel plain which we had just crossed.
The Way of the Gun: A Bloody Journey Into the World of Firearms by Iain Overton
air freight, airport security, back-to-the-land, British Empire, Chelsea Manning, clean water, Columbine, David Attenborough, Etonian, Ferguson, Missouri, gender pay gap, gun show loophole, illegal immigration, interchangeable parts, Julian Assange, knowledge economy, Louis Pasteur, Mahatma Gandhi, More Guns, Less Crime, offshore financial centre, Ronald Reagan, Y2K, Yom Kippur War
The latter are like the dog that was performing before me – able to smell the remnants of an explosive blast, detecting cordite and primer. Gun dogs in a unique sense. In South Africa such dogs are in constant use. In the south-west the Cape gangs have an estimated 51,000 guns. And this is just the southern tip of the country. Nationally there are as many as 4 million illegal guns; in some areas I was told, with the right contacts, a gun is easier to get hold of than a glass of clean water.3 The effects of this profusion of illegal weapons is clear: at one stage 15,000 South Africans were dying from gunshots a year.4 Police and their gun dogs here, frankly, have their work cut out. This is why, having met the doctors whose jobs it was to patch up the wounded, I had arranged to meet a police squad dedicated, literally, to sniffing out guns in one of the most violent parts of the world.
At forty-three, he has the trim appearance of a military man, hair shorn hard at the sides, a face showing more pride than humour. Photos catch him posing with the antlers of downed stags74 or crouching behind a freshly killed bear.75 His wife, Karen Kollitides, blonde, groomed in a specific way, is captured in the glare of high-society events such as ‘Models 4 Water’, a charity that provides clean water to remote parts of Africa.76 It makes you wonder whether the guns her husband produces have been involved in displacing refugees in Africa and causing untold families to eke out dry-mouthed lives in endless scorched deserts.77 Certainly his company’s guns have been found in the hands of militants murdering for the Islamic State.78 Like Feinberg, George Kollitides is also a major donor to politics and lobby groups.
The Great Turning: From Empire to Earth Community by David C. Korten
Albert Einstein, banks create money, big-box store, Bretton Woods, British Empire, clean water, colonial rule, Community Supported Agriculture, death of newspapers, declining real wages, European colonialism, Francisco Pizarro, full employment, George Gilder, global supply chain, global village, Hernando de Soto, Howard Zinn, informal economy, invisible hand, joint-stock company, land reform, market bubble, market fundamentalism, Monroe Doctrine, Naomi Klein, neoliberal agenda, new economy, peak oil, planetary scale, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, South Sea Bubble, stem cell, structural adjustment programs, The Chicago School, trade route, Washington Consensus, World Values Survey
The index is unlikely to reach zero — a dead planet — because the planet will surely rid itself of the offending species long before this occurs.8 About 420 million people now live in countries that depend on imported food because they lack sufﬁcient farmland per capita to feed their people. By 2025, this number could exceed 1 billion as population grows and the amount and quality of cropland decline. More than a half billion people now live in regions prone to chronic drought. This number is expected to grow to as high as 3.4 billion by 2025.9 A combination of ecosystem disruption, malnutrition, a lack of access to clean water, and the rapid movement of people and goods across ecological boundaries has spread devastating new diseases such as HIV/ AIDS with unprecedented speed. Diseases like malaria and tuberculosis, once thought to be all but eradicated, are reasserting themselves in more virulent forms. Climatic disruptions and the imminent end to the ready availability of cheaply extracted oil that has made many of our 60 PART I: CHOOSING OUR FUTURE contemporary human excesses possible will accelerate the crisis and constrain our human capacity to address it.
. • There is a vibrant community life grounded in mutual trust, shared values, and a sense of connection. Risks of physical harm perpetrated by humans against humans through war, terrorism, crime, sexual abuse, and random violence are minimal. Civil liberties are secure even for the most vulnerable. • All people have a meaningful and digniﬁed vocation that contributes to the well-being of the larger community and fulﬁlls their own basic needs for healthful food, clean water, clothing, shelter, transport, education, entertainment, and health care. Paid employment allows ample time for family, friends, participation in community and political life, healthful physical activity, learning, and spiritual growth. • Intellectual life and scientiﬁc inquiry are vibrant, open, and 298 PART IV: THE GREAT TURNING dedicated to the development and sharing of knowledge and life-serving technologies that address society’s priority needs. • Families are strong and stable.
The Sovereign Individual: How to Survive and Thrive During the Collapse of the Welfare State by James Dale Davidson, Rees Mogg
affirmative action, agricultural Revolution, bank run, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, borderless world, British Empire, California gold rush, clean water, colonial rule, Columbine, compound rate of return, Danny Hillis, debt deflation, ending welfare as we know it, epigenetics, Fall of the Berlin Wall, falling living standards, feminist movement, financial independence, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, George Gilder, Hernando de Soto, illegal immigration, income inequality, informal economy, information retrieval, Isaac Newton, Kevin Kelly, market clearing, Martin Wolf, Menlo Park, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, new economy, New Urbanism, offshore financial centre, Parkinson's law, pattern recognition, phenotype, price mechanism, profit maximization, rent-seeking, reserve currency, road to serfdom, Ronald Coase, school vouchers, seigniorage, Silicon Valley, spice trade, statistical model, telepresence, The Nature of the Firm, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, Thomas Malthus, trade route, transaction costs, Turing machine, union organizing, very high income
Equally, regulations that make it costly or impossible to operate a rendering plant in a certain jurisdiction may drive the rendering elsewhere without depriving the jurisdiction as a whole of income. These examples demonstrate how regulations may in rare circumstances have a positive rather than a negative market value, especially in a world with a rapidly mulitiplying number of jurisdictions. Rules that preserve high standards of public health, clean air, and clean water will be highly valued in many locales. So will other, sometimes more exotic regulations and covenants of the kind that might be imposed by real estate developers or hotels catering to certain market segments. No Customs House in Cyberspace 180 We expect the commercialization of sovereignty to rapidly lead to the devolution of many large territorial sovereignties. The very fact that information technology cannot be subjected to border controls of the kind that can still impede the trade of manufactures and farm goods has important implications.
As the larger, more inclusive national grouping begins to break down, with the more mobile "information elite" globalizing their affairs, the "losers and leftbehinds" fall back upon membership in an ethnic subgroup, a tribe, a gang, a religious or linguistic minority. Partly, this is a practical and pragmatic reaction to the collapse of services, including law and order, formerly provided by the state. For persons with few marketable resources, it often proves difficult to purchase access to market alternatives to failed public services. The transformation of what were formerly treated as public goods, such as education, provision of clean water, and neighborhood policing, into private goods is obviously easier to manage for those with sufficient resources to purchase high-quality private alternatives. For those wanting cash, however, the most practical alternative is often to depend upon kin, or join a mutual-aid group organized along ethnic lines, like the old ethnic Chinese "Hokkien" of Southeast Asia, or through a religious congregation.
Albert Einstein, clean water, energy security, hydrogen economy, illegal immigration, invisible hand, new economy, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, peak oil, post-oil, Ralph Nader, reserve currency, Rosa Parks, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Y2K
Professor Thomas Nagy of George Washington University unloaded a massive compilation of US Government documents from 1990-1991 that showed in no uncertain terms the malevolent intent to target sites of vital civilian importance in the first Gulf War. In an exposé entitled "The Secret Behind the Sanctions" Nagy cites macabre foreknowledge of the effects of bombing water purification and sewage treatment facilities which provide clean water to the Iraqi people. Moreover, these documents detail how the economic sanctions, imposed when Iraq invaded Kuwait in August 1990, would crescendo the effects of the bombings by banning items like water chlorinators and spare parts to rebuild the obliterated infrastructure, claiming that they could serve "dual use" purposes in making weapons of mass destruction.154 That a program of depopulation is in place in Iraq is further evidenced when one considers the effects that Depleted Uranium (DU) munitions have had on the Iraqi population.
Blockchain: Blueprint for a New Economy by Melanie Swan
23andMe, Airbnb, altcoin, Amazon Web Services, asset allocation, banking crisis, bioinformatics, bitcoin, blockchain, capital controls, cellular automata, central bank independence, clean water, cloud computing, collaborative editing, Conway's Game of Life, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, disintermediation, Edward Snowden, en.wikipedia.org, ethereum blockchain, fault tolerance, fiat currency, financial innovation, Firefox, friendly AI, Hernando de Soto, Internet Archive, Internet of things, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, litecoin, Lyft, M-Pesa, microbiome, Network effects, new economy, peer-to-peer lending, personalized medicine, post scarcity, prediction markets, ride hailing / ride sharing, Satoshi Nakamoto, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, SETI@home, sharing economy, Skype, smart cities, smart contracts, smart grid, software as a service, technological singularity, Turing complete, unbanked and underbanked, underbanked, web application, WikiLeaks
A clear use case for the demurrage dynamic redistribution feature is in the case of resource allocation through automatic networks or tradenets. Here, more efficient, larger, more scalable, more trackable systems are sought for the distribution of consumable resources like gas and electricity, transportation quanta (i.e., Uber/LaZooz, self-driving vehicles, or automated pod transport systems envisioned in the farther future), clean water, food, health-care services, relief aid, crisis-response supplies, and even emotional support or mental-performance coaching (for individuals permissioned in consumer EEG rigs). This is the idea of using the demurrage concept in other network systems to dynamically, automatically redistribute resources for optimization. The concept is combining networks and demurrage currency to enable new functionality like dynamic automatic redistribution across network nodes and enable the predictive and on-demand smart clustering of resources where needed.
50 Future Ideas You Really Need to Know by Richard Watson
23andMe, 3D printing, access to a mobile phone, Albert Einstein, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, BRICs, Buckminster Fuller, call centre, clean water, cloud computing, collaborative consumption, computer age, computer vision, crowdsourcing, dark matter, dematerialisation, digital Maoism, Elon Musk, energy security, failed state, future of work, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, germ theory of disease, happiness index / gross national happiness, hive mind, hydrogen economy, Internet of things, Jaron Lanier, life extension, Marshall McLuhan, megacity, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, oil shale / tar sands, pattern recognition, peak oil, personalized medicine, phenotype, precision agriculture, profit maximization, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, Richard Florida, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, self-driving car, semantic web, Skype, smart cities, smart meter, smart transportation, statistical model, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, strong AI, Stuxnet, supervolcano, telepresence, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Malthus, Turing test, urban decay, Vernor Vinge, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, web application, women in the workforce, working-age population, young professional
Unmetered water will increasingly be a thing of the past. Water recycling (purifying waste water) will soar and water infrastructure will be upgraded using the latest technology, especially to prevent leakage. Some countries will start to import water, possibly even transporting icebergs, much as they currently import oil, and some water-poor countries may start trading commodities, such as oil, for clean water. Expect to see water theft emerging as a major problem, with legal action being initiated by one country, or region, against another for water shortages created by cloud seeding—the artificial, or at least premature, creation of rain from water-laden clouds via the sprinkling of, typically, dry ice or silver iodine into clouds—or geo-engineering projects. Also expect to see a shift in agriculture toward less thirsty crops.
Thrifty Ways for Modern Days by Martin Lewis
Microwave Magic Put a bowl of vinegar on ‘high’, let it steam for a few minutes then wipe out the microwave with a cloth dipped in the vinegar. Comes up spotless and non-smelly! Another option is hot water with a tablespoon of bicarbonate of soda in it. Stick it on high for five minutes and then wipe clean. Get a fresh lemon, cut it in half and squeeze out the juice into a glass bowl of warm water. Put the remains of the lemon into the bowl as well, run the microwave on defrost for 15 minutes, then wipe out with clean water. Bathroom What You’ll Need White vinegar Newspaper (the free ones that come through the door!) Bicarbonate of soda Flat or cheap cola Lemon juice Cheap washing powder Car polishing wax Denture tablets (value ones from Tesco) Toothpaste (cheapest whitening one you can find) Windows and Mirrors For added sparkle mix one part vinegar to 10 parts water and spray on as you would your usual glass cleaner.
Why Nudge?: The Politics of Libertarian Paternalism by Cass R. Sunstein
Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Andrei Shleifer, availability heuristic, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, clean water, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Edward Glaeser, endowment effect, energy security, framing effect, invisible hand, late fees, libertarian paternalism, loss aversion, nudge unit, randomized controlled trial, Richard Thaler
[S]top berating people for not being responsible and start to think of ways instead of providing the poor with the luxury that we all have, which is that a lot of decisions are taken for us. If we do nothing, we are on the right track. For most of the poor, if they do nothing, they are on the wrong track.9 Duflo’s central claim is that people who are well off do not have to be responsible for a wide range of things, because others are making the relevant decisions, and to their benefit. Recall David Foster Wallace’s “what’s water?” joke. Rich people swim in clean water, and they don’t have to think about it; indeed, they might not even notice it. Those who are well off need not take burdensome steps to ensure that that their water, food, and streets are safe. We need not focus in particular on the disparity between rich and poor to see that as a matter of fact, decisions are taken for all of us by both private and public institutions. Of course it is exceedingly important that we can revisit (many of) those decisions if we do not like them.
The Coming Anarchy: Shattering the Dreams of the Post Cold War by Robert D. Kaplan
Berlin Wall, clean water, Deng Xiaoping, edge city, European colonialism, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, global village, Honoré de Balzac, Peace of Westphalia, Ronald Reagan, Thomas Malthus, trade route, unemployed young men, Yom Kippur War
This is another indication of how political maps are the prod ucts of tired conventional wisdom and, in the Ivory Coast's case, of an elite that will ultimately be forced to relinquish power. Chicago, like more and more of Abidjan, is a slum in the bush: a checkerwork of corrugated zinc roofs and walls made of cardboard and black plastic wrap. It is located in a gully teem ing with coconut palms and oil palms, and is ravaged by flood ing. Few residents have easy access to electricity, a sewage system, or a clean water supply. The crumbly red latérite earth THE COMING ANARCHY / 11 crawls with foot-long lizards both inside and outside the shacks. Children defecate in a stream filled with garbage and pigs, droning with mosquitoes. In this stream women do the washing. Young unemployed men spend their time drinking beer, palm wine, and gin while gambling on pinball games constructed out of rotting wood and rusty nails.
The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy
That’s also why I read something inspirational and instructional for thirty minutes in the morning and evening, and have personal-development CDs playing in my car. I’m flushing my glass and feeding my mind. Does this give me an edge over the guy who gets up and first thing reads the newspaper, listens to news radio on his commute to and from work, and watches the evening news before going to bed? You bet it does! And it can for you, too. Fig. 12 Flush out the negative (dirty water) with positive, inspirational and supportive ideas (clean water). Step 1: Stand Guard Unless you decide to hole up in a cave or on a desert island, you’re going to get dirty water in your glass. It’s going to be on billboards, on CNN while you’re walking through the airport, on the screaming tabloid headlines at the checkout when you’re buying groceries, etc. Even your friends, family members, and your own negative mental tapes can flood dirty water into your glass.
The Internet of Money by Andreas M. Antonopoulos
AltaVista, altcoin, bitcoin, blockchain, clean water, cognitive dissonance, cryptocurrency, ethereum blockchain, global reserve currency, litecoin, London Interbank Offered Rate, Oculus Rift, packet switching, peer-to-peer lending, Ponzi scheme, ransomware, reserve currency, Satoshi Nakamoto, self-driving car, Skype, smart contracts, the medium is the message, trade route, underbanked, WikiLeaks
That’s a terrible way to build a payment network. 10.4. Banking Privilege and Surveillance Effectively, what the banks are saying to us is, "We focus tested this. What people want is the ability, instead of swiping their Visa card, to wave it over the reader, saving almost two seconds and reducing their effort by at least four calories. I mean, we could deal with the 4 billion people who have no access to banking or clean water. We could deal with the fact that our world is a fragmented mess, where the vast majority of humanity have no access to financial services. Or, we could reduce the shopper’s effort and make a swipe card into a float card. We could face the fact that the reason more than 4 billion people are unbanked is because we require everyone to be identified on every side of every transaction, so that we can build a totalitarian surveillance system that the Stasi would be jealous of, to monitor every financial transaction from every corner of the planet.
The Coffee Book: Anatomy of an Industry From Crop to the Last Drop by Gregory Dicum, Nina Luttinger
California gold rush, clean water, corporate social responsibility, cuban missile crisis, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, European colonialism, Honoré de Balzac, illegal immigration, land reform, land tenure, open economy, price stability, Ray Oldenburg, The Great Good Place
But with the advent of the specialty sector and increased interest on the part of consumers in where their coffee comes from, more information started to make it into the cup as well, and this soon became the basis for new ways of doing business. Early Awakenings Consciousness about the social and ecological dimensions of our consumption first emerged in the 1960s and 1970s with a series of interrelated milestones, including the publication of Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring (1962), the passage of the Clean Air Act (1970), the first Earth Day (1970), the Clean Water Act (1972), and the growth of the farmworkers’ movement and grape boycott of the 1970s. Soon after, disasters like Love Canal (1978), Three Mile Island (1979), Bhopal (1984), and Chernobyl (1986), as well as mounting evidence against dioxin (through the 1970s and 1980s), triggered a healthy public skepticism about corporate and government accountability. Together, these developments laid the groundwork for a consumer movement that embraced natural, nonchemical living and was deeply suspicious of the established corporate order.
The Fourth Industrial Revolution by Klaus Schwab
3D printing, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, bitcoin, blockchain, Buckminster Fuller, call centre, clean water, collaborative consumption, conceptual framework, continuous integration, crowdsourcing, disintermediation, distributed ledger, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, epigenetics, Erik Brynjolfsson, future of work, global value chain, Google Glasses, income inequality, Internet Archive, Internet of things, invention of the steam engine, job automation, job satisfaction, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, life extension, Lyft, megacity, meta analysis, meta-analysis, more computing power than Apollo, mutually assured destruction, Narrative Science, Network effects, Nicholas Carr, personalized medicine, precariat, precision agriculture, Productivity paradox, race to the bottom, randomized controlled trial, reshoring, RFID, rising living standards, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, smart cities, smart contracts, software as a service, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stuxnet, The Spirit Level, total factor productivity, transaction costs, Uber and Lyft, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, WikiLeaks, winner-take-all economy, women in the workforce, working-age population, Y Combinator, Zipcar
Today, 43% of the world’s population is connected to the internet.79 And, 1.2 billion smart phones were sold in 2014 alone.80 In 2015, sales of tablets are estimated to take over sales of personal computers (PCs), while mobile phone sales (all combined) will outpace computers by six to one.81 As the internet has been outgrowing every other media channel in speed of adoption, it is expected that, in only a few years, three-quarters of the world’s population will have regular access to the web. In the future, regular access to the internet and information will no longer be a benefit of developed economies, but a basic right just like clean water. Because wireless technologies require less infrastructure than many other utilities (electricity, roads and water), they will very likely become accessible much quicker than the others. Hence, anyone from any country will be able to access and interact with information from the opposite corner of the world. Content creation and dissemination will become easier than ever before. Positive impacts – More economic participation of disadvantaged populations located in remote or underdeveloped regions (“last mile”) – Access to education, healthcare and government services – Presence – Access to skills, greater employment, shift in types of jobs – Expanded market size/e-commerce – More information – More civic participation – Democratization/political shifts – “Last mile”: increased transparency and participation versus an increase in manipulation and echo chambers Negative impacts – Increased manipulation and echo chambers – Political fragmentation – Walled gardens (i.e. limited environments, for authenticated users only) do not allow full access in some regions/countries The shift in action To make the internet available to the next 4 billion users, two key challenges must be overcome: access must be available, and it must be affordable.
The botany of desire: a plant's-eye view of the world by Michael Pollan
back-to-the-land, clean water, David Attenborough, double entry bookkeeping, double helix, Francisco Pizarro, invention of agriculture, Joseph Schumpeter, Maui Hawaii, means of production, paper trading, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Steven Pinker
But the appeal of apples to humans (and perhaps especially to American humans) probably owes to their figurative as well as literal sweetness. The earliest settlers lighting out from places like Marietta wanted apple trees nearby because they were one of the comforts of home. Since the time of the New England Puritans, apples have symbolized, and contributed to, a settled and productive landscape. In the eyes of a European, fruit trees were part and parcel of a sweet landscape, along with clean water, tillable land, and black soil. To call land “sweet” was a way of saying it answered our desires. The fact that the apple was generally believed to be the fateful tree in the Garden of Eden might also have commended it to a religious people who believed America promised a second Eden. In fact, the Bible never names “the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden,” and that part of the world is generally too hot for apples, but at least since the Middle Ages northern Europeans have assumed that the forbidden fruit was an apple.
3D printing, call centre, clean water, dematerialisation, demographic transition, Edward Glaeser, extreme commuting, feminist movement, financial independence, Firefox, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, Home mortgage interest deduction, income inequality, informal economy, Jane Jacobs, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, labor-force participation, late capitalism, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, McMansion, mortgage tax deduction, new economy, oil shock, PageRank, Ponzi scheme, positional goods, post-industrial society, Post-materialism, post-materialism, principal–agent problem, recommendation engine, Richard Florida, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Skype, statistical model, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Great Moderation, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, transaction costs, women in the workforce, Yom Kippur War
Or that it presents perhaps the most tragic case of privatization when water bottle vending machines are allowed into public parks and schools and the existing water fountains are left unrepaired. Or that for one tenth of the money Americans spend on bottled water in a single year while good, clean FREE water flows all around them, they could solve the problem for the billion plus poor people of the world who truly don’t have access to clean water, making water scarcity and insufficient sanitation the number one cause of death for children under five in the world.8 Or that there exist more health monitoring and safeguards for public water sources than there are for private bottlers. The point is that, like the McDonald’s tray bussing, we never have time to stop and think how we got here and what the alternatives are (or might have been?).
Let My People Go Surfing by Yvon Chouinard
Each dye house takes in water and then pours it back into the river after using it, so by the time the river reaches the last dye house downstream, it’s all black and polluted. This last dye house had to install expensive German equipment to clean the water before it could use it, but it also decided to run the water through the cleaners again before putting it back into the river. This dye house, the one that discharges clean water, is the one that we chose to do our dying. Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) is a toxic, carcinogenic plastic used everywhere in our society. It’s in the coating on durable vinyl luggage, and it’s a plasticizer for printing on T-shirts. We spent years trying to eliminate its use throughout the company and have found a way to take it out of all of our products, the sole exception being the foam on the Lotus Designs life jackets and some print on T-shirts, but we are still actively working on that.
Sex, Lies, and Pharmaceuticals: How Drug Companies Plan to Profit From Female Sexual Dysfunction by Ray Moynihan, Barbara Mintzes
At that point, a decision was made to gather together a small group of researchers who specialised in women’s sexuality, to start getting some answers. It would prove to be an historic gathering. The quality of the light is one of the things that strike you first about Cape Cod in Massachusetts, in the northeast corner of the United States. It’s as if you can see things more clearly from there. The wildness of the beaches, the sensuality of the sunken meadows and the clean waters of the pristine ponds are a world away from the hustle and bustle of busy Boston and metropolitan America, a couple of hours up the highway. The Cape’s beauty has long attracted artists, travellers and holidaymakers, and in the spring of 1997 it brought together a very important group of doctors, sex researchers and drug company officials. They’d been assembled with the aid of a charismatic psychologist called Ray Rosen.
Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion by Elizabeth L. Cline
big-box store, clean water, East Village, feminist movement, income inequality, informal economy, Maui Hawaii, McMansion, megacity, race to the bottom, Skype, special economic zone, trade liberalization, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, upwardly mobile
We’re an audit system, so it works both from employees speaking up as well as auditors going in and making sure everything is on track.” Fair Trade buyers must also pay a “premium” of up to 10 percent of the cost of each garment produced. The factory workers and managers cooperatively run a community fund created by their Fair Trade premiums, which they can choose to either invest in bonus checks or in such community development projects as education or clean water. The first Fair Trade USA–certified label was sewn into a shirt in late 2010. So far, a limited number of socially conscious brands have stepped up for certification, such as Maggie’s Organics and HAE Now, which are both basics companies. Project Runway’s Korto Momolu has produced a line of certified graphic-print T-shirts as well. Fair Trade USA has recently been criticized for breaking off from the umbrella group, Fair Trade International, which coordinates fair-trade groups around the world and sets the standards for certification.
Albert Einstein, Ayatollah Khomeini, Cal Newport, clean water, collective bargaining, corporate governance, Credit Default Swap, haute couture, Honoré de Balzac, Howard Zinn, illegal immigration, income inequality, Joseph Schumpeter, Naomi Klein, offshore financial centre, Ralph Nader, Ronald Reagan, single-payer health, statistical model, uranium enrichment
The engine of the Christian Right— as is true for all radical movements—is personal and economic despair. And despair, in an age of increasing shortages, poverty and hopelessness, will be one of our few surplus commodities. But our collapse is more than an economic and political collapse. It is a crisis of faith. The capitalist ideology of unlimited growth has failed. It did not take into account the massive depletion of the world’s resources, from fossil fuels to clean water to fish stocks to soil erosion, as well as overpopulation, global warming, and climate change. It failed to understand that the huge, unregulated international flows of capital and assault on manufacturing would wreck the global financial system. An overvalued dollar (which could soon deflate); wild tech; stock and housing financial bubbles; unchecked greed; the decimation of our manufacturing sector; the empowerment of an oligarchic class; the corruption of our political elite; the impoverishment of workers; a bloated military and defense budget; and unrestrained credit binges are consequences of a failed ideology and conspire to bring us down.
Stuffocation by James Wallman
3D printing, Airbnb, back-to-the-land, Berlin Wall, big-box store, Black Swan, BRICs, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, clean water, collaborative consumption, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, Fall of the Berlin Wall, happiness index / gross national happiness, high net worth, income inequality, James Hargreaves, Joseph Schumpeter, Martin Wolf, McMansion, means of production, Nate Silver, Occupy movement, post-industrial society, Post-materialism, post-materialism, Richard Florida, Richard Thaler, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, Skype, spinning jenny, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, Thorstein Veblen, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, World Values Survey, Zipcar
I don’t want to bash materialism either. Or, rather, not just bash it, at any rate. (I want, of course, to replace it.) Materialism, and the consumer culture and capitalist system it underpinned, was the right idea for the right time. It meant that the masses, for the first time in human history, lived in abundance rather than scarcity. It gave us washing machines, TVs, and indoor toilets. It delivered clean water, the welfare state, and health care that has improved the length and quality of our lives. It has lifted living standards for us, and it is now doing the same for billions of others, from Beijing to Bangalore and Sao Paolo. But materialism’s success has caught up with us. All that abundance has, paradoxically, brought scarcity once again. Now, for all the reasons causing Stuffocation, materialism is no longer such a great idea.
Final Jeopardy: Man vs. Machine and the Quest to Know Everything by Stephen Baker
23andMe, AI winter, Albert Einstein, artificial general intelligence, business process, call centre, clean water, computer age, Frank Gehry, information retrieval, Iridium satellite, Isaac Newton, job automation, pattern recognition, Ray Kurzweil, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, statistical model, theory of mind, thinkpad, Turing test, Vernor Vinge, Wall-E, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!
But given the data and much more that was en route, mathematically savvy analysts were able to revamp haphazard systems, saving time and energy. Science would replace intuition. The electrical grids, infused with new information technology, would grow smarter, predicting demand—house by house, business by business—and providing just the right amount of current to each user. Traffic patterns would be organized to reduce congestion and pollution. So would garbage collection, the delivery of health care and clean water, and the shuttling of farm goods to the cities. These intelligent systems were IBM’s niche. Technology would lead to what the company called a Smarter Planet. Two days after the election of Barack Obama as president, on November 6, 2008, IBM´s chairman, Sam Palmisano, appeared before the Council on Foreign Relations in New York City to unveil the Smarter Planet initiative. He framed it in the context of the global economic crisis, saying that the world would adopt these approaches “because we must.”
The Secret Female Hormone by Kathy C. Maupin, M.D.
Buss, PhDs, and The Science of Orgasm, by Barry R. Komisaruk, Carlos Beyer-Flores, and Beverly Whipple, PhDs. The short answer to the question is that our life expectancy has been increasing since prehistory, from an average life span of less than 35 years to one of more than 75 today. Up until about 200 years ago, women often died in childbirth. Both sexes had shortened life spans because of lack of clean water, vaccines, and advances in medicine. Women rarely experienced TDS simply because they rarely lived long enough to reach the age of its onset; their natural life expectancy was limited to the age of reproduction. So when the loss of testosterone decreases desire and progesterone, it also causes the increased chance of miscarriage, starting about age 40. As women’s life spans have extended beyond the time they can reproduce, the age of marriage and the end of adolescence have been delayed.
Social Democratic America by Lane Kenworthy
affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, barriers to entry, Celtic Tiger, centre right, clean water, collective bargaining, corporate governance, David Brooks, desegregation, Edward Glaeser, full employment, Gini coefficient, hiring and firing, Home mortgage interest deduction, illegal immigration, income inequality, invisible hand, labor-force participation, manufacturing employment, market bubble, minimum wage unemployment, new economy, postindustrial economy, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, rent-seeking, rising living standards, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, school choice, shareholder value, sharing economy, Skype, Steve Jobs, too big to fail, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, union organizing, universal basic income, War on Poverty, working poor, zero day
But it’s now widely agreed that private ownership and market competition are more effective at delivering innovation, good quality, and low cost in manufacturing. Services are different in that we often want not just innovation, quality, and low cost but also universal access. It isn’t necessary that all citizens have a car. But everyone should have physical safety, schooling, healthcare, basic transportation (roads, buses, subways, trains), clean water, sewage, electricity, mail delivery (yes, still), and Internet access. That doesn’t mean government must be the provider, however. We could rely on private providers, regulating them to ensure that they extend service to all. Broadly speaking, we have three options: monopoly public provision, a mix of public and private provision, and fully private provision with regulation. Which should we choose when universal access to a service is critical?
ActionAid is one of the UK’s leading overseas development charities and has been working with poor communities for over 35 years. Last year alone, we reached more than 13 million people. Please help us continue our work for as long as it’s needed. Whether large or small, a gift in your Will could leave the world a better place for countless poor children and their families. It could give them access to clean water, sufficient food or the chance to go to school. Call now on 020 7561 7668, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.actionaid.org.uk ActionAid is a registered charity, no. 274467 iv THIS PAGE HAS BEEN INTENTIONALLY LEFT BLANK v how to WRITE yourWILL The complete guide to structuring your will, inheritance tax planning, probate and administering an estate 19th edition Marlene Garsia vi Readers should check before taking irrevocable action in case of changes to the law.
Fred Dibnah's Age of Steam by David Hall, Fred Dibnah
A rapidly growing population together with the development of new industries and the expansion of older ones produced a rapidly increasing demand for water for domestic and industrial requirements. This increased demand for water, combined with an awareness that a plentiful supply of pure water was essential to the health of the people, led to parliamentary legislation for the supply of water. As well as getting clean water into the cities, there was also the problem of removing waste. Yet again, steam power was the key, providing the power that brought the fresh water in and took the sewage out. During the Victorian age things were built bigger than ever before and a perfect symbol of the time was London’s Tower Bridge: a massive feat of engineering. The nineteenth century had seen the population of London’s East End grow so rapidly that a downstream crossing over the River Thames was needed.
Thinking in Systems: A Primer by Meadows. Donella, Diana Wright
affirmative action, agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, Buckminster Fuller, clean water, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, game design, illegal immigration, invisible hand, Just-in-time delivery, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, peak oil, race to the bottom, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ronald Reagan, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas L Friedman, Whole Earth Review
Rich countries transfer capital or technology to poor ones and wonder why the economies of the receiving countries still don’t develop, never thinking that capital or technology may not be the most limiting factors. Economics evolved in a time when labor and capital were the most common limiting factors to production. Therefore, most economic production functions keep track only of these two factors (and sometimes technology). As the economy grows relative to the ecosystem, however, and the limiting factors shift to clean water, clean air, dump space, and acceptable forms of energy and raw materials, the traditional focus on only capital and labor becomes increasingly unhelpful. One of the classic models taught to systems students at MIT is Jay Forrester’s corporate-growth model. It starts with a successful young company, growing rapidly. The problem for this company is to recognize deal with its shifting limits—limits that change in response to the company’s own growth.
The End of the Suburbs: Where the American Dream Is Moving by Leigh Gallagher
Airbnb, big-box store, Burning Man, call centre, car-free, Celebration, Florida, clean water, collaborative consumption, Columbine, crack epidemic, East Village, edge city, Edward Glaeser, extreme commuting, helicopter parent, Home mortgage interest deduction, housing crisis, Jane Jacobs, low skilled workers, Mark Zuckerberg, McMansion, Menlo Park, mortgage tax deduction, New Urbanism, peak oil, Ponzi scheme, Richard Florida, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Sand Hill Road, Seaside, Florida, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, Tony Hsieh, transit-oriented development, upwardly mobile, urban planning, urban sprawl, Victor Gruen, walkable city, white flight, young professional, Zipcar
“In reality, I was making their street more dangerous, and in the process, I was not only taking out their trees, I was pretending I knew more than them.” In 2000, Marohn found himself assigned to fix a leaky pipe in Remer, a small town north of Brainerd. It was a routine project, but it would ultimately lead him to an epiphany. A sewer pipe that sat under a highway had a leak that was allowing clean groundwater to flow in. That meant that the clean water was getting pumped out to sewage treatment ponds, which were exceeding their capacity and would soon overflow. It was easily fixable, but it would cost $300,000, a hefty sum considering the town’s total budget for such projects was $120,000 a year; sure enough, the town said no. But the pipe was going to cause the sewage ponds to overflow, undermine the dike, knock down its wall, and pour into the neighboring river “in like a catastrophic way,” Marohn says.
Planet of Slums by Mike Davis
barriers to entry, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, British Empire, Brownian motion, centre right, clean water, conceptual framework, crony capitalism, declining real wages, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, edge city, European colonialism, failed state, Gini coefficient, Hernando de Soto, housing crisis, illegal immigration, income inequality, informal economy, Internet Archive, jitney, Kibera, labor-force participation, land reform, land tenure, low-wage service sector, mandelbrot fractal, market bubble, megacity, microcredit, New Urbanism, Ponzi scheme, RAND corporation, rent control, structural adjustment programs, surplus humans, upwardly mobile, urban planning, urban renewal, War on Poverty, Washington Consensus, working poor
The 1980s were the UN's Decade of International Drinking Water and Sanitation, but as World Bank researcher Anqing Shi emphasizes, "At the end of the 1980s, the situation had not improved greatly."85 Indeed, the WHO concedes that "there will still be about 5 million [preventable] deaths in children younger than five years by 2025 ... mostly caused by infectious diseases, within which diarrhoea will continue to play a prominent part."86 "At any one time," a 1996 WHO report adds, "close to half of the South's urban population is suffering from one or more of the main diseases associated with inadequate provision for water and sanitation."87 Although clean water is the cheapest and single most important medicine in the world, public provision of water, like free toilets, often competes with powerful private interests. Water sales is a lucrative industry in poor cities. Nairobi, as usual, is an egregious example, where politically connected entrepreneurs resell 83 Skidmore, Karaoke Fascism, p. 156. 84 Los Angeles Times, 4 August 2004. 85 Shi, "How Access to Urban Potable Water and Sewerage Connections Affects Child Mortality," p. 2. 86 Thapar and Sanderson, " Diarrhoea in Children," p. 650. 87 1996 WHO report paraphrased by David Satterthwaite, "The Links Between Poverty and the Environment in Urban Areas of Africa, Asia, and Latin America," The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 590 (1993), p. 80.
Airbnb, airport security, Al Roth, Andrei Shleifer, attribution theory, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, Brownian motion, centralized clearinghouse, clean water, conceptual framework, constrained optimization, continuous double auction, deferred acceptance, Donald Trump, Edward Glaeser, experimental subject, first-price auction, framing effect, frictionless, fundamental attribution error, George Akerlof, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, helicopter parent, Internet of things, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, iterative process, Jean Tirole, Jeff Bezos, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, John Nash: game theory, John von Neumann, Joseph Schumpeter, late fees, linear programming, Lyft, market clearing, market design, market friction, medical residency, multi-sided market, mutually assured destruction, Nash equilibrium, Occupy movement, Peter Thiel, pets.com, pez dispenser, pre–internet, price mechanism, price stability, prisoner's dilemma, profit motive, proxy bid, RAND corporation, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, school choice, school vouchers, sealed-bid auction, second-price auction, second-price sealed-bid, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, spectrum auction, Steve Jobs, Tacoma Narrows Bridge, technoutopianism, telemarketer, The Market for Lemons, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, trade route, transaction costs, two-sided market, uranium enrichment, Vickrey auction, winner-take-all economy
In his memoirs he recalls saving himself and others in the docket by telling the camp commander, “Men, don’t try to fool the Japanese; they are very smart. Do what they say and you will live to see your families again. Do what I did, and you will die here in Japan.” The commander, his “chest puffed out to its fullest . . . impressed us all as being one very happy man.” Tenney and the rest were sent to the guardhouse with clean water and a full meal each day for ten days. Whoever said flattery will get you nowhere? Tenney survived the camps, as well as the Bataan Death March, and went on to apply his trading instincts as a finance professor at Arizona State University. Broadly speaking, a market is just a technology, a mechanism where participants have the chance to directly affect resource allocation through an expression of their preferences—a way for deciding how goods are distributed based on which ones people want and how badly they want them.
What They Do With Your Money: How the Financial System Fails Us, and How to Fix It by Stephen Davis, Jon Lukomnik, David Pitt-Watson
Admiral Zheng, banking crisis, Basel III, Bernie Madoff, Black Swan, centralized clearinghouse, clean water, corporate governance, correlation does not imply causation, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, diversification, diversified portfolio, en.wikipedia.org, financial innovation, financial intermediation, Flash crash, income inequality, index fund, invisible hand, London Whale, Long Term Capital Management, moral hazard, Northern Rock, passive investing, performance metric, Ponzi scheme, principal–agent problem, rent-seeking, Ronald Coase, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, South Sea Bubble, sovereign wealth fund, statistical model, Steve Jobs, the market place, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transaction costs, Upton Sinclair, value at risk, WikiLeaks
This can happen only if certain conditions hold. One is that production and consumption do not affect others; for example, that manufacturing does not pollute someone else’s water supply. If markets create such “externalities” (costs and benefits that are not included in the price of goods), then they won’t work as well, since neither the manufacturer nor the consumer is charged for the loss of other people’s clean water supply. Similarly, if buyers don’t know what they are purchasing, they may be sold a poor product. Again, the market will not work well. In theory, we could create market solutions for these problems. Take regulation of the pharmaceuticals industry. Most of us don’t really know how the chemicals we are swallowing to cure our illness actually affect our bodies, and so we could be poisoned if we buy a poor product.
In the Devil's Garden: A Sinful History of Forbidden Food by Stewart Lee Allen
“With millions of dollars’ worth of baby formula sold each year,” writes scholar Marilyn Yalom in her History of the Breast , “the growth of bottle feeding can be attributed sheerly to the profits involved . . . and their promotion by both the industry and the medical profession.” The cumulative result is comparable to the Holocaust. World health organizations estimate that 1.5 million babies die unnecessarily each year because they are nursed with baby formula instead of breast milk. These deaths are not the fault of the formula product itself, but stem from the unclean water used to reconstitute the stuff in some areas of the world. But countries with relatively clean water also suffer because bottle-fed children everywhere are more likely to be obese, score lower on IQ tests, and suffer serious allergies. Bottle-feeding is also sometimes associated with learning disorders. The United States alone is thought to spend between $2 billion and $4 billion a year fighting diseases connected to bottle feeding. Baby formulas were originally created to help mothers who could neither breast-feed nor afford a human milk nurse, and they were doubtless an improvement on the practice of nursing babies on donkey’s milk.
Albert Einstein, anti-communist, clean water, cosmic abundance, dark matter, demographic transition, Exxon Valdez, F. W. de Klerk, germ theory of disease, invention of agriculture, invention of radio, invention of the telegraph, invention of the telephone, Isaac Newton, Mikhail Gorbachev, pattern recognition, planetary scale, prisoner's dilemma, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ronald Reagan, stem cell, the scientific method, Thomas Malthus
That means that 99.9 percent of us owe our lives to agricultural technology and the science that underlies it—plant and animal genetics and behavior, chemical fertilizers, pesticides, preservatives, plows, combines and other agricultural implements, irrigation—and refrigeration in trucks, railway cars, stores, and homes. Many of the most striking advances in agricultural technology—including the "Green Revolution"—are products of the twentieth century. Through urban and rural sanitation, clean water, other public health measures, acceptance of the germ theory of disease, antibiotics and other pharmaceuticals, and genetics and molecular biology, medical science has enormously improved the well-being of people all over the world—but especially in the developed countries. Smallpox has been eradicated worldwide, the area of the Earth in which malaria flourishes shrinks year by The Twentieth Century • 247 year, and diseases I remember from my childhood, such as whooping cough, scarlet fever, and polio, are almost gone today.
accounting loophole / creative accounting, Albert Einstein, Bernie Madoff, Broken windows theory, cashless society, clean water, cognitive dissonance, Credit Default Swap, Donald Trump, fudge factor, new economy, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Schrödinger's Cat, shareholder value, Steve Jobs, Walter Mischel
We honor innovators, praise and envy those who have original minds, and shake our heads when others aren’t able to think outside the box. There’s good reason for all of this. Creativity enhances our ability to solve problems by opening doors to new approaches and solutions. It’s what has enabled mankind to redesign our world in (sometimes) beneficial ways with inventions ranging from sewer and clean water systems to solar panels, and from skyscrapers to nanotechnology. Though we still have a way to go, we can thank creativity for much of our progress. After all, the world would be a much bleaker place without creative trailblazers such as Einstein, Shakespeare, and da Vinci. But that’s only part of the story. Just as creativity enables us to envision novel solutions to tough problems, it can also enable us to develop original paths around rules, all the while allowing us to reinterpret information in a self-serving way.
Never Split the Difference: Negotiating as if Your Life Depended on It by Chris Voss, Tahl Raz
banking crisis, Black Swan, clean water, cognitive bias, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Donald Trump, framing effect, friendly fire, iterative process, loss aversion, market fundamentalism, price anchoring, telemarketer, ultimatum game, uranium enrichment
He wants to sell you magazine subscriptions, water filters, frozen Argentine beef—to be honest, it doesn’t matter, as the script is always the same. After butchering your name, and engaging in some disingenuous pleasantries, he launches into his pitch. The hard sell that comes next is a scripted flowchart designed to cut off your escape routes as it funnels you down a path with no exit but “Yes.” “Do you enjoy a nice glass of water from time to time.” “Well, yes, but . . .” “Me, too. And like me I bet you like crisp, clean water with no chemical aftertaste, like Mother Nature made it.” “Well, yes, but . . .” Who is this guy with a fake smile in his voice, you wonder, who thinks he can trick you into buying something you don’t want? You feel your muscles tighten, your voice go defensive, and your heart rate accelerate. You feel like his prey, and you are! The last thing you want to do is say “Yes,” even when it’s the only way to answer, “Do you drink water?”
Economic Gangsters: Corruption, Violence, and the Poverty of Nations by Raymond Fisman, Edward Miguel
accounting loophole / creative accounting, Andrei Shleifer, Asian financial crisis, barriers to entry, blood diamonds, clean water, colonial rule, congestion charging, European colonialism, failed state, feminist movement, George Akerlof, income inequality, income per capita, invisible hand, megacity, oil rush, prediction markets, random walk, Scramble for Africa, Silicon Valley, South China Sea, unemployed young men
Ted would like to thank his colleagues in the Berkeley Economics Department for believing in the research; friends at Princeton University’s Center for Health and Wellbeing, where some of the research was written during 2002–2003; and Stanford University’s Center for International Development, where the book finally came together in 2007. Finally, Ted could never have written this book without the love of wife Ali, to whom he dedicates this book, or without the support of his parents Krystyna and Eduardo, or without the example of his uncle Adolfo Cutinella in Montevideo, who has devoted his life to bringing clean water to people everywhere. 213 Notes ½ Chapter 1: Fighting for Economic Development 1. Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o (1967). A Grain of Wheat (London: Heinemann), 1967. 2. Lynne Duke, “Kenyan novelist Ngugi wa Thiong’o writes truth to power, speaking a language it can understand. Trouble is, sometimes power answers back.” Washington Post, Sunday, September 17, 2006, p. D01. 3. “The outsider,” The Guardian (UK), January 28, 2006. 4.
How to Run the World: Charting a Course to the Next Renaissance by Parag Khanna
Albert Einstein, Asian financial crisis, back-to-the-land, bank run, blood diamonds, borderless world, BRICs, British Empire, call centre, carbon footprint, charter city, clean water, cleantech, cloud computing, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, Deng Xiaoping, Doha Development Round, don't be evil, double entry bookkeeping, energy security, European colonialism, facts on the ground, failed state, friendly fire, global village, Google Earth, high net worth, index fund, informal economy, invisible hand, labour mobility, laissez-faire capitalism, Masdar, megacity, microcredit, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, New Urbanism, offshore financial centre, oil shock, open economy, out of africa, private military company, Productivity paradox, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, reserve currency, Silicon Valley, smart grid, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, sustainable-tourism, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, The Wisdom of Crowds, too big to fail, trade liberalization, trickle-down economics, UNCLOS, uranium enrichment, Washington Consensus, X Prize
The goal is not to find a single breakthrough, but to create an innovation space such as the GreenXchange, in which Nike, Best Buy, Yahoo!, and Salesforce operate an online commons to track and share eco-innovations seeking investment. Nobody holds a monopoly on providing incentives to those interested in saving the planet. Companies and charities together fund huge competitions such as Coke’s clean water prize and the X-Prize, which awards $250 million in prizes across fifteen areas but has inspired $2.5 billion in investment among the competing teams to find solutions to cancer, emission-free driving, and human genome sequencing. Richard Branson has put $25 million into a “Carbon War Room” to fund emissions reductions in “battle theaters” such as industrialization, transport, electricity, and deforestation.
The Geek Feminist Revolution by Kameron Hurley
affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, clean water, desegregation, en.wikipedia.org, Ferguson, Missouri, game design, Google Hangouts, hiring and firing, Kickstarter, means of production, Skype, women in the workforce
If you aren’t a woman, or nonwhite, or gay, or disabled, or poor, or chronically ill, it’s really easy to just keep your head down and shut up. “It’s not my concern,” you say, while totally forgetting that we live in a world where our own quality of life is directly impacted by the quality of life of others (vaccinations are a really easy one to point to; so’s universal health care). We forget that our way of life—access to life-saving drugs, clean water, abundance of food—is wholly contingent on the skills and abilities of many millions of others who support the systems that care for us. We also forget that for many of us, being a part of some of these groups harshly affected by social policies is just one accident or “bad luck” incident away. Poverty, chronic illness, and disability can happen gradually or suddenly, often when you’re paying the least attention.
MacroWikinomics: Rebooting Business and the World by Don Tapscott, Anthony D. Williams
accounting loophole / creative accounting, airport security, Andrew Keen, augmented reality, Ayatollah Khomeini, barriers to entry, bioinformatics, Bretton Woods, business climate, business process, car-free, carbon footprint, citizen journalism, Clayton Christensen, clean water, Climategate, Climatic Research Unit, cloud computing, collaborative editing, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, colonial rule, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, crowdsourcing, death of newspapers, demographic transition, distributed generation, don't be evil, en.wikipedia.org, energy security, energy transition, Exxon Valdez, failed state, fault tolerance, financial innovation, Galaxy Zoo, game design, global village, Google Earth, Hans Rosling, hive mind, Home mortgage interest deduction, interchangeable parts, Internet of things, invention of movable type, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Jaron Lanier, jimmy wales, Joseph Schumpeter, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, Marshall McLuhan, medical bankruptcy, megacity, mortgage tax deduction, Netflix Prize, new economy, Nicholas Carr, oil shock, online collectivism, open borders, open economy, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer lending, personalized medicine, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, scientific mainstream, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart grid, smart meter, social graph, social web, software patent, Steve Jobs, text mining, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, transaction costs, transfer pricing, University of East Anglia, urban sprawl, value at risk, WikiLeaks, X Prize, young professional, Zipcar
Partnering with IBM, the Canadian government, through its sponsorship of the World Urban Forum Secretariat, decided to take the conversation about urban sustainability issues to the streets on a global scale. The idea was to bring thousands of participants from government, business, academia, and civil society together for a seventy-two-hour facilitated online discussion where they could strategize around how to provide access to clean water and sanitation, boost environmental sustainability, and improve local governance in the world’s rapidly growing metropolitan regions. The engagement process, a digital brainstorm, was modeled after an event IBM first held in 2001, called an Innovation Jam, where IBM brought together its employees worldwide to explore solutions to global problems. In 2006, the same event was even more successful, bringing together 150,000 employees and dozens of thought leaders online to brainstorm new areas of opportunity for IBM in sectors such as health care, transportation, and energy.
CEO Sam Palmisano believed so strongly in the concept that he committed up to $100 million to develop the ideas with the most social and economic potential.20 The World Urban Forum Secretariat didn’t have that kind of money to throw at urban sustainability initiatives, but through the courage and support of hundreds of organizations and individuals from around the world, the Habitat Jam broke down the barriers of language, literacy, disability, poverty, war, and the digital divide to enable over 39,000 people from 158 countries to begin a conversation that some say will change the world.21 The diversity of the 39,000 was impressive. Slum dwellers participated alongside government ministers, who participated alongside schoolchildren, who participated alongside leading academics. The conversation ranged across issues of transportation, clean water, governance, poverty, and other issues of importance to people living in cities—especially those who are poor. As perhaps one of the largest public consultation exercises ever attempted, the event proved that it is possible to reach out to thousands to discuss and deliberate about ideas that might be the source of new and more effective policies and services. Indeed, these loosely distributed networks can coalesce to provide focused advice from those most affected by an issue, or those in the best position to take action.
Two Georges by Richard Dreyfuss, Harry Turtledove
He turned left onto the grounds of the mansion. A New Liverpool constable in dark blue, a billy club swinging from his belt, gestured with a red lantern to guide the steamer toward the carpark west of the building. “Just put it anywhere, gents,” he said. By the way he sounded, keeping an eye on where cars parked was the least of his worries tonight. The picketers started a chant: “Clean air, clean water, clean work! Filthy air, filthy water, no work! Clean air, clean water, clean - ” The constable rolled his eyes. “God damn me to hell, gents, if one in three of those sons of bitches don’t belong to the Sons of Liberty.” “I shouldn’t be surprised,” Bushell said solemnly. “Bloody fools,” Samuel Stanley said. “Some people are never satisfied, don’t know when they’re well off. What would North America be outside the British Empire?
Thank You for Being Late: An Optimist's Guide to Thriving in the Age of Accelerations by Thomas L. Friedman
3D printing, additive manufacturing, affirmative action, Airbnb, AltaVista, Amazon Web Services, autonomous vehicles, Ayatollah Khomeini, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, blockchain, business process, call centre, centre right, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, corporate social responsibility, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, demand response, demographic dividend, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, Donald Trump, Erik Brynjolfsson, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Ferguson, Missouri, first square of the chessboard / second half of the chessboard, Flash crash, game design, gig economy, global supply chain, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, indoor plumbing, Internet of things, invention of the steam engine, inventory management, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John von Neumann, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, land tenure, linear programming, low skilled workers, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, Maui Hawaii, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, pattern recognition, planetary scale, pull request, Ralph Waldo Emerson, ransomware, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Florida, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, South China Sea, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, Thomas L Friedman, transaction costs, Transnistria, urban decay, urban planning, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, WikiLeaks, women in the workforce, Y2K, Yogi Berra
The economist Robert Gordon has made a compelling case in his book The Rise and Fall of American Growth: The U.S. Standard of Living Since the Civil War that the days of steadily rising growth are probably behind us. He believes all the big gains were made in the “special century” between 1870 and 1970—with the likes of automobiles, radio, television, indoor plumbing, electrification, vaccines, clean water, air travel, central heating, women’s empowerment, and air-conditioning and antibiotics. Gordon is skeptical that today’s new technologies will ever produce another leap forward in productivity comparable to that special century. But MIT’s Erik Brynjolfsson has countered Gordon’s pessimism with an argument I find even more compelling. As we transition from an industrial-age economy to a computer-Internet-mobile-broadband-driven economy—that is, a supernova-driven economy—we are experiencing the growing pains of adjusting.
Al Qaeda and ISIS, using high-density fossil fuels, are trying to wipe out all that diversity and create a monoculture that is enormously susceptible to conspiracy theories and diseased ideas. This has left that region barren, weak and unhealthy for all its inhabitants. I would argue the same thing happened to the Republican Party in America. The G.O.P. used to be an incredibly rich polyculture. It gave us ideas as diverse as our national parks (under Theodore Roosevelt), the Environmental Protection Agency and Clean Air and Clean Water Acts (under Richard Nixon), radical nuclear arms control and the Montreal Protocol to close the ozone hole (under Ronald Reagan), cap-and-trade to curb acid rain (under George H. W. Bush), and market-based health care reform (under Mitt Romney when he was governor of Massachusetts). And for decades the party itself was a pluralistic amalgam of northern liberal Republicans and southern and western conservatives.
Sundiver by David Brin
A lot of the fleshiness had departed in recent weeks. LaRoque raised his shoulders once in a gallic shrug. Fagin was silent. Not even the silvery chimes moved at the ends of his blue-green branches. “Come on in and sit down, Helene,” the physician said. “I’m sure the others will be here soon.” With his eyes he commiserated. Walking into this room was like wading into a pool of very cold and not very clean water. She found a seat as far from the-others as possible. Unhappily, she wondered what Jacob Demwa was up to. I hope it’s not the same thing, she thought. If this group in here has anything in common, it’s the fact that they don’t even want the word “Sundiver” mentioned. They’re just on the edge of tearing each others’ throats out, but all the same there’s this conspiracy of silence. She shook her head.
Unhealthy societies: the afflictions of inequality by Richard G. Wilkinson
attribution theory, clean water, correlation coefficient, experimental subject, full employment, fundamental attribution error, Gini coefficient, income inequality, income per capita, Indoor air pollution, invisible hand, land reform, means of production, purchasing power parity, rising living standards, upwardly mobile
The most generous recent estimate based on an analysis of major medical procedures, including medical forms of prevention such as screening and immunisation, suggests that the whole modern medical effort Rising life expectancy 31 adds no more than about five years’ difference to modern life expectancy (Bunker et al. 1994). Most of this comes from treatment rather than prevention. There are other indicators which suggest that medicine may play a substantially smaller role than this. Even among those causes of death where medical treatment is most effective, the social and economic determinants of mortality remain substantially more powerful (Mackenbach et al. 1990). The common assumption that the provision of clean water supplies and sewers accounts for past improvements in health ignores the fact that the bulk of the decline in mortality has been from airborne rather than waterborne diseases. However, we should note that Szreter (1988) has argued that public health measures may have been important beyond the confines of waterborne diseases partly because any measures which reduced the combined onslaught of disease on our immune systems would probably have made us better able to cope with other infections.
Let them eat junk: how capitalism creates hunger and obesity by Robert Albritton
Bretton Woods, California gold rush, clean water, collective bargaining, computer age, corporate personhood, deindustrialization, Food sovereignty, Haber-Bosch Process, illegal immigration, immigration reform, invisible hand, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, land reform, late capitalism, means of production, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, peak oil, price stability, profit maximization, profit motive, South Sea Bubble, the built environment, union organizing, Unsafe at Any Speed, upwardly mobile
This cannot be done if their standard of living is dependent on commodity prices in the New York or Chicago commodity exchanges or on the enormous bargaining power of giant corporations. 6 AGRICULTURE, FOOD PROVISIONING AND THE ENVIRONMENT Unless greenhouse gas emissions begin t