clean water

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pages: 692 words: 167,950

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, activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, big-box store, bilateral investment treaty, carbon footprint, clean water, commoditize, corporate raider, Deep Water Horizon, en.wikipedia.org, Exxon Valdez, hydraulic fracturing, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, Joan Didion, John Snow's cholera map, Louis Pasteur, mass immigration, 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, William Langewiesche

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.


pages: 257 words: 68,383

Bottled and Sold: The Story Behind Our Obsession with Bottled Water by Peter H. Gleick

Boris Johnson, carbon footprint, clean water, commoditize, cuban missile crisis, John Snow's cholera map, Nelson Mandela, place-making, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley

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.


pages: 335 words: 96,002

WEconomy: You Can Find Meaning, Make a Living, and Change the World by Craig Kielburger, Holly Branson, Marc Kielburger, Sir Richard Branson, Sheryl Sandberg

Airbnb, Albert Einstein, barriers to entry, blood diamonds, business intelligence, business process, carbon footprint, clean water, cleantech, Colonization of Mars, corporate social responsibility, Downton Abbey, Elon Musk, energy transition, family office, future of work, global village, inventory management, James Dyson, job satisfaction, Kickstarter, market design, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microcredit, Nelson Mandela, Occupy movement, pre–internet, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, Steve Jobs, telemarketer, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, working poor, Y Combinator

Because RBC helped us with a logistical hurdle that we couldn't possibly have done in-house—processing millions of loose coins—more than 56,000 people received a sustainable source of clean drinking water, with wells dug and pump systems installed, community members trained in maintenance and repairs, and small businesses established to generate funds for any future repairs and expansion. Clean water scarcity still affects almost 40 percent of the global population, creating a host of sanitary and disease concerns. But clean water also has an economic benefit. The United Nations estimates that every US$1 invested in clean water translates into an average return of US$9, with those benefits being experienced specifically by poor children in disadvantaged communities.3 Canadian kids rolled up their sleeves to help impoverished children they'd likely never meet. All of that social impact delivered, and scores of beaming parents watched their children give back while standing in line at the bank, not queuing for mortgage advice or currency exchange, but for purpose.

We helped families who had relied on polluted water sources carry clean water from their new community well to their homes. We attended a Lean In Circle meeting with women who are participating in a financial literacy program that has helped them save money and send their daughters to school for the first time. All of this is happening because WE Charity, a program started by Craig when he was just 12 years old, is working in these communities—and making a huge difference. This book is about how we can all work to improve the lives of others. The problems in the world can seem overwhelming—5.9 million children under the age of five die each year of preventable or curable diseases,1 more than 700 million people still lack access to clean water,2 and 46 million people live in slavery.3 But even a single person can make a huge difference, as each of the authors of this book shows us every day.

It was a natural progression to choose clean water as the social impact these products would deliver, since personal care products are often used with and linked to water. Want to see just how Track Your Impact works? Click for video. In other words, if you own a restaurant, you probably want to consider hunger or food waste as a cause, over, say, animal rescue. Pick something with an intuitive connection to what you do, making it easier for consumers to link it to your brand. Again, we'll talk more about you creating your own purpose plan in Part Three. Customers tend to respond better to cause marketing that makes an authentic connection to the core business. So it was settled: Every purchase of one of these shampoos would provide five gallons of clean water to a child in a developing country through our charitable programs.


pages: 258 words: 77,601

Everything Under the Sun: Toward a Brighter Future on a Small Blue Planet by Ian Hanington

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, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), 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.


pages: 598 words: 140,612

Triumph of the City: How Our Greatest Invention Makes Us Richer, Smarter, Greener, Healthier, and Happier by Edward L. Glaeser

affirmative action, Andrei Shleifer, Berlin Wall, British Empire, Broken windows theory, carbon footprint, Celebration, Florida, clean water, congestion charging, declining real wages, desegregation, different worldview, 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, Thales and the olive presses, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the new new thing, 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.


pages: 346 words: 101,255

The Big Necessity: The Unmentionable World of Human Waste and Why It Matters by Rose George

American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, Anton Chekhov, Bob Geldof, Celtic Tiger, clean water, glass ceiling, indoor plumbing, informal economy, job satisfaction, John Snow's cholera map, joint-stock company, land reform, low cost airline, Nelson Mandela, New Urbanism, Pepto Bismol, 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.


pages: 372 words: 94,153

More From Less: The Surprising Story of How We Learned to Prosper Using Fewer Resources – and What Happens Next by Andrew McAfee

back-to-the-land, Bartolomé de las Casas, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, Branko Milanovic, British Empire, Buckminster Fuller, call centre, carbon footprint, clean water, cleantech, cloud computing, Corn Laws, creative destruction, crony capitalism, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, decarbonisation, dematerialisation, Deng Xiaoping, Donald Trump, Edward Glaeser, en.wikipedia.org, energy transition, Erik Brynjolfsson, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Haber-Bosch Process, Hans Rosling, humanitarian revolution, hydraulic fracturing, income inequality, indoor plumbing, intangible asset, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Snow's cholera map, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Khan Academy, Landlord’s Game, Louis Pasteur, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, market fundamentalism, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, oil shale / tar sands, Paul Samuelson, peak oil, precision agriculture, profit maximization, profit motive, risk tolerance, road to serfdom, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Scramble for Africa, Second Machine Age, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, telepresence, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Davenport, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, total factor productivity, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, Veblen good, War on Poverty, Whole Earth Catalog, World Values Survey

Growing with the Flow: Indoor Plumbing To some, indoor plumbing might not seem a profound enough innovation to stand alongside electricity and internal combustion. A flush toilet and water on demand out of a tap are certainly convenient, but are they fundamentally important to the story of twentieth-century growth? They absolutely are. Health researchers David Cutler and Grant Miller estimate that the availability of clean water explains fully half of the total decline in the overall US mortality rate between 1900 and 1936, and 75 percent of the decline in infant mortality. Historian Harvey Green calls the technologies of widespread clean water “likely the most important public health intervention of the twentieth century.” Plumbing was critical in the countryside as well as in the city. Before it came along, domestic work on farms could literally be close to backbreaking. Bringing enough water to run a household from a remote well each day was a staggering amount of work that often fell to women and children, since men typically worked outside the home all day.

Poverty pollutes, while affluence cleans up from its prior mistakes via public awareness and responsive government. A clear example of this is the effort by both government and industry in the United States to clean up the country’s lakes, ponds, streams, and rivers after the passage of 1972’s Clean Water Act. Economists David Keiser and Joseph Shapiro brought together 50 million pollution readings from 170,000 sites across the country and concluded that “water pollution has declined dramatically over time and that the Clean Water Act… contributed to this decline.” After ocean acidification and plastic trash, nitrogen pollution might well be the most serious problem facing the world’s waters. Nitrogen fertilizer that isn’t absorbed by crops can wash into rivers and oceans. There it causes a number of harms including large “dead zones” of oxygen-poor water that can suffocate fish and other marine life.VI As we saw in chapter 2, the Industrial Era saw massive increases in the amount of nitrogen fertilizer used around the world.

and years of life lost have fallen even more quickly: Hannah Ritchie and Max Roser, “Air Pollution,” Our World in Data, April 17, 2017, https://ourworldindata.org/air-pollution. “Poverty is the biggest polluter”: Akash Kapur, “Pollution as Another Form of Poverty,” New York Times, October 8, 2009, https://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/09/world/asia/09iht-letter.html. “the Clean Water Act… contributed to this decline”: David A. Keiser and Joseph S. Shapiro, “Consequences of the Clean Water Act and the Demand for Water Quality,” Quarterly Journal of Economics 134, no. 1 (2018): 349–96. The results of this intervention were impressive: Zhenling Cui et al., “Pursuing Sustainable Productivity with Millions of Smallholder Farmers,” Nature 555, no. 7696 (2018): 363. his conclusion was notably exuberant: Noah Smith, “The Incredible Miracle in Poor Country Development,” Noahpinion (blog), May 30, 2016, http://noahpinionblog.blogspot.com/2016/05/the-incredible-miracle-in-poor-country.html.


pages: 651 words: 161,270

Global Spin: The Corporate Assault on Environmentalism by Sharon Beder

American Legislative Exchange Council, battle of ideas, business climate, centre right, clean water, corporate governance, Exxon Valdez, Gary Taubes, global village, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, laissez-faire capitalism, oil shale / tar sands, old-boy network, 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.


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, low earth orbit, 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—╉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—╉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—╉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.


pages: 308 words: 98,729

Garbage Land: On the Secret Trail of Trash by Elizabeth Royte

clean water, low earth orbit, Maui Hawaii, Norman Mailer, Parkinson's law, RAND corporation, Silicon Valley, thinkpad, upwardly mobile, working poor

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.


pages: 1,631 words: 468,342

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, 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.


pages: 435 words: 120,574

Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right by Arlie Russell Hochschild

affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Bernie Sanders, business cycle, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Cass Sunstein, clean water, collective bargaining, Deep Water Horizon, desegregation, Donald Trump, ending welfare as we know it, equal pay for equal work, Exxon Valdez, feminist movement, full employment, greed is good, guest worker program, invisible hand, knowledge economy, McMansion, minimum wage unemployment, new economy, obamacare, oil shock, payday loans, Richard Florida, Ronald Reagan, school vouchers, Silicon Valley, sovereign wealth fund, Thorstein Veblen, urban sprawl, working poor, Yogi Berra

Meanwhile, as we scrape the last delicious morsels from our dessert plates—no one had said no to the strawberries and Brother Cappy had never reached for the Vidalia onion—Tritico makes a last try to bait his adversarial friend. “So Donny, how do you feel about crossing the I-10 bridge?” “If my kids weren’t with me,” Donny answers, smiling. “I’d drive fast.” 13 The Rebel: A Team Loyalist with a New Cause Handmade signs bob and lurch above the heads of the sparse crowd: “Clean Water for Baton Rouge,” “Friends of Lake Peigneur,” “Clean Water for Clean Seafood,” “Oil Companies: Fix What You Broke.” A rotund musician dressed in loose purple pants, a striped shirt, and a white fedora sits with his washboard, waiting to start his three-person Cajun band. A protestor walks about dressed as a large brown pelican. Organizers had tried to rouse interest, but in a city of 230,000, on this sunny Saturday, only about 150 have shown up.

The government was a job killer, and many jobs were at stake: Shrimp provided 15,000 jobs, oysters 4,000 jobs, crab 3,000 jobs, and crawfish provided 1,800 jobs, including 1,000 crawfish farmers and the 800 commercial fishermen who catch wild crawfish. By 1987 several things had transpired that would affect the fishermen’s response to the edict. For one thing, PPG was not alone. Other industries had been polluting so much that Louisiana had become the number-one hazardous waste producer in the nation. For another thing, the U.S. Congress had established the Environmental Protection Agency (1970), the Clean Air Act (1970), and the Clean Water Act (1972). In addition, many small grassroots environmental groups had sprung up throughout the state, led by homemakers, teachers, farmers, and others appalled to discover backyard toxic waste, illness, and disease. Around the time of the advisory, local activists were rising up against toxic dumping around Lake Charles and nearby Willow Springs, Sulphur, Mossville, and elsewhere, part of the “front-porch”—or “kitchen-sink”—politics of the 1970s and 1980s.

People said we weren’t Christian but animists who worshiped the Earth instead of God. We were called ‘zealots’ and ‘country goats.’ We tried to meet state legislators, who ignored us as silly housewives.” As Frankland tells the story in her book Women Pioneers of the Louisiana Environmental Movement, “companies were treating our land and rivers like toilets, and we were standing up to it.” As Frankland, a Democrat, noted, “We could say, ‘Hey, there’s a federal law about clean water. You’ve contaminated our water. How’re you going to clean it up?’” But most of Frankland’s activists are now Tea Party Republicans and, like Lee Sherman himself, are averse to an overbearing federal government, and even to much of the EPA. There it was: the Great Paradox through a keyhole. In the meantime, the Louisiana Department of Health and Human Services posted warning signs about fishing and swimming, signs promptly riddled with bullets or stolen.


pages: 219 words: 74,775

Liquid: The Delightful and Dangerous Substances That Flow Through Our Lives by Mark Miodownik

3D printing, airport security, clean water, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, mass immigration, megacity, The Design of Experiments

Even seemingly mundane activities such as eating a hamburger, reading the newspaper and buying a T-shirt have a big impact on a person’s water footprint. Hence the sign in the hotel bathroom, reminding me that water is a valuable resource, and encouraging me not to request new towels every day. As the world population increases to ten billion over the next few decades it is estimated that access to clean water will be an increasing struggle in many parts of the world. Currently one billion people lack access to clean water, and a third of the global population experiences shortages through the year. Without access to clean water, we can expect an increase in poverty, malnutrition and the spread of disease. It should be emphasized that this issue affects big cities as well as rural communities. For instance, the Brazilian city of São Paolo experienced severe water shortages in 2015 when the strain of drought emptied its main reservoir.

The outbreak of cholera in Yemen, which began in 2016, and is now nearing one million cases, was caused by the breakdown of a clean water supply. Not surprisingly, the fear of mass infection and poisoning has become a common motif in fiction over time, perhaps most famously in the film Dr Strangelove, in which General Jack D. Ripper identifies the fluoridation of water in the USA as a Communist plot to undermine the American way of life: ‘I can no longer sit by and allow the international Communist conspiracy to sap and impurify all of our precious bodily fluids,’ says General Ripper, before initiating a nuclear attack on the USSR. This movie, perhaps the greatest film to examine the circumstances under which a nation would initiate nuclear war, is right to identify the adulteration of water as a potential motive for global conflict. We all need clean water to drink – we cannot live without it – and if our water is adulterated or contaminated, it brings about death and disease on an epic scale: the pandemics of cholera in the nineteenth century killed tens of millions of people before anyone understood that the disease was brought on by waterborne bacteria.

The Romans didn’t really use it, preferring to scrape off their sweat and dirt mechanically, and then bathe in first hot then cold water, to get clean. Their public baths were an important part of their culture, and relied on a sophisticated engineering infrastructure to provide hot and cold water. In Europe, after the Roman Empire collapsed, the infrastructure that kept the public baths going fell into ruin, and so bathing went out of fashion. In crowded cities and towns, without access to clean water, bathing was increasingly considered a health risk. During the Middle Ages, many Europeans believed that diseases were spread through miasma and bad air. They thought that washing, especially with hot water, opened up the pores and made a person more susceptible to diseases, such as the bubonic plague, also known as the Black Death. There was also a moral component associated with washing at this time, where to be holy like a hermit or saint involved rejection of comfort and luxury.


The White Man's Burden: Why the West's Efforts to Aid the Rest Have Done So Much Ill and So Little Good by William Easterly

airport security, anti-communist, Asian financial crisis, bank run, banking crisis, Bob Geldof, Bretton Woods, British Empire, call centre, clean water, colonial exploitation, colonial rule, Edward Glaeser, end world poverty, European colonialism, failed state, farmers can use mobile phones to check market prices, George Akerlof, Gunnar Myrdal, Hernando de Soto, income inequality, income per capita, Indoor air pollution, invisible hand, Kenneth Rogoff, laissez-faire capitalism, land reform, land tenure, Live Aid, microcredit, moral hazard, Naomi Klein, Nelson Mandela, publication bias, 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.


pages: 341 words: 111,525

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, Live Aid, Livingstone, I presume, Scramble for Africa, 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.


pages: 348 words: 102,438

Green and Prosperous Land: A Blueprint for Rescuing the British Countryside by Dieter Helm

3D printing, Airbnb, barriers to entry, British Empire, clean water, conceptual framework, corporate social responsibility, decarbonisation, deindustrialization, demographic transition, Diane Coyle, digital map, facts on the ground, food miles, Haber-Bosch Process, illegal immigration, Internet of things, Kickstarter, land reform, mass immigration, New Urbanism, North Sea oil, precision agriculture, quantitative easing, smart meter, sovereign wealth fund, the built environment, urban planning, urban sprawl

The water companies Water companies are obviously key players in the river catchments. Water is for the companies a ‘crop’, to be harvested as a renewable that nature will keep giving them for free from rivers (and groundwater sources). The companies want ‘clean’ water and hence want to limit pollution from others. Cleanness in drinking water is a chemical concept: it does not necessary mean that it is biodiversity-rich, and indeed there are many organisms that water companies would rather not have in their water supplies. We want to drink clean water, pure H2O, not a host of other things that live in the river environments. Solving jointly for clean water and for biodiversity is not the same thing as just wanting the former. In providing us with clean drinking water, water companies abstract water, which reduces flows, and they discharge our sewage and the waterborne waste of industry, suitably treated.

There are those who decry economic approaches to the environment; who claim that they overlook the beauty and spiritual values and intrinsic nature. They make a good point when the target is a narrow and crude cost–benefit analysis. But they are wrong in two key ways: prosperity is a broad, not a narrow, concept; and the value to people of nature and all its beauty is every bit as important as the health benefits of clean water. The conventional metric of economic success, Gross Domestic Product (GDP), is a pathetically poor measure of what we get out of nature; and if conservation and enhancing the environment does not make economic sense then the evidence from the last two centuries at least is that it will be neglected. Sadly, appealing to intrinsic nature and spiritual values has not worked so far. LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS AI, artificial intelligence AONB, Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty BBOWT, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire Wildlife Trust BEIS, Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy BSE, bovine spongiform encephalopathy CAP, Common Agricultural Policy CFP, Common Fisheries Policy CLA, Country Land and Business Association DDT, dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane DEFRA, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs DWI, Drinking Water Inspectorate EEC, European Economic Community GDP, Gross Domestic Product GM, genetically modified GPS, global positioning system HMIP, Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Pollution HS2, a planned high-speed railway project NCC, Natural Capital Committee NFU, National Farmers’ Union NGO, non-governmental organisation NRA, National Rivers Authority OFWAT, Water Services Regulation Authority ONS, Office for National Statistics RSPB, Royal Society for the Protection of Birds SEPA, Scottish Environment Protection Agency SSSI, Site of Special Scientific Interest TB, tuberculosis Introduction OUR NATURAL CAPITAL INHERITANCE Britain’s natural environment is shaped by its past and its biodiversity.

It is about the things we no longer see so often, like insects and butterflies, and about the once-common that is slipping from our grasp. How many people realise that the rabbits, which were ubiquitous, have now almost vanished from some areas? That the hares may follow? And how many have failed to notice that the swallows are harder to sight now? It means fertile and productive soils, lots of pollinators, clean water and clean air, and natural flood defences too. These rely on a host of creatures at the more microscopic level, and beneath the soils and under water. The focus is often on the more iconic species at risk, since these are usually easy to measure and easy to design conservation strategies for. In almost every case, what is required is a habitat within which they can thrive, and an end to persecution.


A Sea in Flames: The Deepwater Horizon Oil Blowout by Carl Safina

addicted to oil, big-box store, clean water, cognitive dissonance, energy security, Exxon Valdez, hydraulic fracturing, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Jones Act, North Sea oil, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, Piper Alpha, Ronald Reagan

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.


pages: 441 words: 113,244

Seasteading: How Floating Nations Will Restore the Environment, Enrich the Poor, Cure the Sick, and Liberate Humanity From Politicians by Joe Quirk, Patri Friedman

3D printing, access to a mobile phone, addicted to oil, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, barriers to entry, Branko Milanovic, British Empire, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, business climate, business cycle, business process, California gold rush, Celtic Tiger, Charles Lindbergh, clean water, Colonization of Mars, Dean Kamen, Deng Xiaoping, drone strike, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, failed state, financial intermediation, Gini coefficient, happiness index / gross national happiness, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, Kickstarter, low skilled workers, Machinery of Freedom by David Friedman, Mark Zuckerberg, megacity, minimum wage unemployment, Network effects, new economy, obamacare, offshore financial centre, open borders, paypal mafia, peak oil, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, Peter Thiel, price stability, profit motive, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, special economic zone, standardized shipping container, stem cell, trade route, UNCLOS, UNCLOS, undersea cable, young professional

Next time you eat an omelet, consider that it takes 120 gallons of water to produce one egg. “A rule of thumb,” Ricardo said, “is that a dietary calorie takes a liter of water to be produced, meaning we each consume about 3,000 liters of ‘virtual’ water per day just in our food alone.” The lack of clean water kills far more people than warfare. The Blue Planet Network, a charity dedicated to organizing globally to bring safe drinking water to people around the world, lists some sobering facts. Six thousand children die every day for lack of clean water to drink. Diarrhea has killed more children in the last decade than all humans killed in armed conflict since World War II. Eighty percent of diseases in the developing world are caused by contaminated water, and half of all hospital beds are filled with people suffering from water-related illnesses.

“It is estimated that 5.3 billion people, two-thirds of the world’s population, will suffer from water shortages by 2025.” See also “What Makes Clean Water So Important?,” accessed March 21, 2016, http://blueplanetnetwork.org/water. The twenty-five poorest countries spend 20 percent of their GDP on water: Dean Kamen, quoted in Abundance: The Future Is Better Than You Think (New York: Free Press, 2012), 86. Also in Forbes: www.forbes.com/sites/briancaulfield/2012/01/26/abundance-why-the-future-will-be-much-better-than-you-think. More than a billion people do not have access to safe drinking water, and Six thousand children die every day for lack of clean water to drink, and African and Asian women walk an average of six kilometers each day to provide water: accessed March 21, 2016, http://econopure.com/drinking-water. 120 gallons of water to produce one egg: accessed www.amwater.com/learning-center/water-101/what-is-water-used-for.html.

Sea farms won’t need water from land; sea farms supported by OTEC will produce water for land. “This additional capability would prove invaluable in areas of the world where fresh water is a dwindling resource,” Lockheed reports. Energy, food, water. If we see outside our land-based blinders and take a planet-sized view, we can see renewable solar energy stored in the ocean, a thick layer of nutrient wealth covering the ocean floor, and clean water as a by-product from harvesting this abundance. “So the question is how many megawatts can you generate ultimately?” asks Takahashi. “The answer is, we don’t know. One of the engineers from the University of Hawaii, whom I hired a long time ago, came up with a figure of twenty-five terawatts [25 million watts] that you can sustainably draw from the ocean. That’s much higher than all the energy humans use today.


pages: 437 words: 115,594

The Great Surge: The Ascent of the Developing World by Steven Radelet

"Robert Solow", 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, creative destruction, 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 pandemic, global supply chain, income inequality, income per capita, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of the steam engine, James Watt: steam engine, John Snow's cholera map, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, land reform, low skilled workers, M-Pesa, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, Nelson Mandela, off grid, 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, standardized shipping container, 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).


pages: 374 words: 114,660

The Great Escape: Health, Wealth, and the Origins of Inequality by Angus Deaton

"Robert Solow", Admiral Zheng, agricultural Revolution, Branko Milanovic, BRICs, British Empire, call centre, clean water, colonial exploitation, Columbian Exchange, creative destruction, declining real wages, Downton Abbey, end world poverty, 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.


pages: 414 words: 119,116

The Health Gap: The Challenge of an Unequal World by Michael Marmot

active measures, 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, longitudinal study, 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, twin studies, 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.


pages: 181 words: 52,147

The Driver in the Driverless Car: How Our Technology Choices Will Create the Future by Vivek Wadhwa, Alex Salkever

23andMe, 3D printing, Airbnb, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, blockchain, clean water, correlation does not imply causation, distributed ledger, Donald Trump, double helix, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, Erik Brynjolfsson, Google bus, Hyperloop, income inequality, Internet of things, job automation, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, Law of Accelerating Returns, license plate recognition, life extension, longitudinal study, Lyft, M-Pesa, Menlo Park, microbiome, mobile money, new economy, personalized medicine, phenotype, precision agriculture, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart grid, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Wozniak, Stuxnet, supercomputer in your pocket, Tesla Model S, The Future of Employment, Thomas Davenport, Travis Kalanick, Turing test, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, uranium enrichment, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, zero day

Despite a wet 2015 El Niño year, the California drought is causing a fear that agriculture will have to be permanently curtailed, leading to long-term shortages of fruits, vegetables, and nuts. Access to clean water is one of the most serious problems in the developing world. According to the World Health Organization, 1.8 million people die every year from diarrheal diseases.1 Of these victims, 90 percent are children under five, mostly in developing countries. Eighty-eight percent of these cases are attributed to unsafe water supply and sanitation. It’s not shortage of water per se that is the problem; it’s access to clean water. Water obtained from rivers and wells is infested with deadly bacteria, viruses, and larger parasites. These could be killed by simply boiling the water, but the energy necessary to do that is prohibitively expensive, so people die or suffer.

12 Your Own Private Driver: Self-Driving Cars, Trucks, and Planes 13 When Your Scale Talks to Your Refrigerator: The Internet of Things 14 The Future of Your Body Is Electric 15 Almost Free Energy and Food Conclusion: So Will It Be Star Trek or Mad Max? Notes Acknowledgments Index About the Authors PREFACE Not long ago, I was very pessimistic about the future. I was worried about hunger and poverty, disease, overpopulation. I believed that the world would run out of clean water and energy and that we would be fighting world wars over scarce resources. Today, I talk about this being the greatest period in history, when we will solve the grand challenges of humanity and enter an era of enlightenment and exploration such as we saw in my favorite TV series, Star Trek. Yes, I grew up dreaming of tricorders, replicators, and androids and wanting to be an astronaut so that I could join Starfleet Academy.

You will live far longer than you expect to right now, because advanced medical treatments will stave off many debilitating diseases. You will pay practically nothing for electricity. You will use a 3-D printer to build your house or a replacement kidney. Your grandchildren will have an astoundingly good education delivered by an avatar—and children all over the world, in every country, will have an equally good education. There will be no more poverty. We will have plenty of clean water for everyone. We will no longer fight over oil. We won’t have any more traffic lights, because the robo-cars won’t need them! And no more parking tickets, of course. Best of all, you will have far more time to do what you want to: art, music, writing, sports, cooking, classes of all sorts, and just daydreaming. Early disruptions arising from computing power and the Internet provided faster tools for doing what we had been doing, so we took advantage of spreadsheets, word processing, e-mail, and mobile phones.


pages: 538 words: 138,544

The Story of Stuff: The Impact of Overconsumption on the Planet, Our Communities, and Our Health-And How We Can Make It Better by Annie Leonard

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, Kickstarter, liberation theology, McMansion, Nelson Mandela, 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.


pages: 369 words: 98,776

The God Species: Saving the Planet in the Age of Humans by Mark Lynas

Airbus A320, 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, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), 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, undersea cable, 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 Atlas of Disease by Sandra Hempel

clean water, coronavirus, global pandemic, John Snow's cholera map, Louis Pasteur, out of africa, trade route, wikimedia commons

Other symptoms include fever and chills, abdominal pain and weight loss. Incidence Shigellosis is responsible for an estimated 165 million cases of severe dysentery a year Prevalence Shigellosis and amoebiasis are endemic throughout the world Prevention Clean water, good sanitation and good hygiene practices, particularly hand-washing Treatment Antibiotics for shigellosis and antiparasitic drugs for amoebiasis. Rehydration to replace fluids and body salts lost through diarrhoea. Global strategy Provision of clean water, efficient sanitation and promotion of good hygiene practices Illustration of a soldier suffering from dysentery, from a German publication on diseases, 1929. The Crusaders of the Middle Ages were defeated ‘not so much by the scimitars of the Saracens as by the hostile bacteria of dysentery and other epidemics’, according to the nineteenth-century historian Charles Creighton.

Virtually non-existent in developed countries Prevention Provision of clean drinking water and efficient sewers; oral vaccines in high-risk areas Treatment Oral rehydration in mild cases; rapid treatment with intravenous fluids and antibiotics in severe cases Global strategy The World Health Organization (WHO) aims to reduce cholera deaths by 90 per cent by 2030. Strategy includes: specialist treatment centres and better access to clean water, effective sanitation and waste management; good hygiene and food safety practices; and public information. Satirical lithograph of John Bull (the personification of Britain) defending his country against the invasion of cholera, c. 1832. Cholera has probably been endemic to India for centuries. Ancient Indian texts describe a disease that is almost certainly cholera, and there are accounts by sixteenth-century Portuguese colonists of a mysterious sickness with similar symptoms.

Typhoid Causal agent Bacterium Salmonella Typhi Transmission Contaminated food and water Symptoms Fever, fatigue, headache, nausea, abdominal pain, constipation or diarrhoea and sometimes a rash Incidence and deaths Estimated 11–20 million cases and 128,000–161,000 deaths a year worldwide Prevalence Global but mainly parts of Africa, the Americas, Southeast Asia and the Western Pacific Prevention Vaccination; provision of clean water, good sanitation and food hygiene Treatment Antibiotics but drug resistance is growing Global strategy US$85 million funding made available from 2019 for routine vaccination of children in countries where typhoid is endemic Illustration of a man suffering with typhoid, from a German publication on diseases, 1929. On the night of 28 April 1900, hundreds of British soldiers lay desperately sick, many of them dying.


pages: 310 words: 91,151

Leaving Microsoft to Change the World: An Entrepreneur's Odyssey to Educate the World's Children by John Wood

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, Marc Andreessen, 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 wood@roomtoread.org. 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.


pages: 501 words: 114,888

The Future Is Faster Than You Think: How Converging Technologies Are Transforming Business, Industries, and Our Lives by Peter H. Diamandis, Steven Kotler

Ada Lovelace, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, bitcoin, blockchain, blood diamonds, Burning Man, call centre, cashless society, Charles Lindbergh, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, Colonization of Mars, computer vision, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, Dean Kamen, delayed gratification, dematerialisation, digital twin, disruptive innovation, Edward Glaeser, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, Erik Brynjolfsson, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, experimental economics, food miles, game design, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, gig economy, Google X / Alphabet X, gravity well, hive mind, housing crisis, Hyperloop, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, invention of the telegraph, Isaac Newton, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, late fees, Law of Accelerating Returns, life extension, lifelogging, loss aversion, Lyft, M-Pesa, Mary Lou Jepsen, mass immigration, megacity, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microbiome, mobile money, multiplanetary species, Narrative Science, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, New Urbanism, Oculus Rift, out of africa, packet switching, peer-to-peer lending, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, Peter Thiel, QR code, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, Richard Feynman, Richard Florida, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, Satoshi Nakamoto, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, smart contracts, smart grid, Snapchat, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, stealth mode startup, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, supercomputer in your pocket, supply-chain management, technoutopianism, Tesla Model S, Tim Cook: Apple, transaction costs, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, unbanked and underbanked, underbanked, urban planning, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, X Prize

That same child, connected to the bandwidth explosion heading her way, will soon be able to spin up thousands of processor cores belonging to any number of cloud-based services, and tap into everything from the billions of hours of free entertainment on YouTube to our ever-thriving gig economy. Conveniently, the poorest nations on Earth are also the sunniest and with that sun—and the ever-increasing spread of solar—comes the opportunity for abundant energy. With energy comes the power to provide clean water and with clean water comes massive increases in health and wellness, which together with increased education and lower birth rates, can help stem the tide of overpopulation. To be clear, there will still be terrorism, war, and murder. Dictatorship and disease won’t go away. But the world will quietly continue to get better. And, as we described in Abundance, the goal here isn’t about creating a life of luxury, but rather a life of possibility.

half the globe will be water stressed: World Health Organization, “Drinking Water,” June 14, 2019. See: https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/drinking-water. Kamen had just made a handshake deal with Coca-Cola: Coca Cola Corporate, “Coca-Cola Announces Long-Term Partnership with DEKA R&D to Help Bring Clean Water to Communities in Need,” September 25, 2012. See Coca-Cola’s press release about their agreement here: https://www.coca-colacompany.com/press-center/press-releases/deka-partnership-announcement. See also: “EKOCENTER & Slingshot Clean Water Partnerships,” https://www.coca-colaafrica.com/stories/sustainability-water-ekocenter#. “Freestyle Fountain Beverage Dispenser”: Ted Ryan, “From Big Idea to Big Bet: How the Coca-Cola Freestyle Fountain Dispenser Came to Be,” December 6, 2017. See: https://www.coca-colacompany.com/stories/freestyle-q-a.

In the millennia that followed, little changed. By the Middle Ages, lifespan had crept up to thirty-one. By the end of the nineteenth century, we broke forty for the first time. It was at the turn of the twentieth that real acceleration emerged. Everything from the discovery of germ theory and the creation of antibiotics, to the implementation of better sanitation and the increased availability of clean water, radically improved childhood mortality. In 1900, 30 percent of all deaths in the United States were children under five. By 1999, it was 1.4. In parallel, the green revolution and better transportation networks increased average caloric intake, thus increasing lifespan yet again. The end result was a net gain of nearly thirty years, with average lifespan hitting seventy-six by the turn of the millennium.


pages: 393 words: 91,257

The Coming of Neo-Feudalism: A Warning to the Global Middle Class by Joel Kotkin

Admiral Zheng, Andy Kessler, autonomous vehicles, basic income, Bernie Sanders, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, clean water, creative destruction, deindustrialization, demographic transition, don't be evil, Donald Trump, edge city, Elon Musk, European colonialism, financial independence, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, gig economy, Gini coefficient, Google bus, guest worker program, Hans Rosling, housing crisis, income inequality, informal economy, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, job satisfaction, Joseph Schumpeter, land reform, liberal capitalism, life extension, low skilled workers, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, mass immigration, megacity, Nate Silver, new economy, New Urbanism, Occupy movement, Parag Khanna, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, post-industrial society, post-work, postindustrial economy, postnationalism / post nation state, precariat, profit motive, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, rent control, Richard Florida, road to serfdom, Robert Gordon, Sam Altman, Satyajit Das, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, smart cities, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, superstar cities, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Future of Employment, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, Thomas L Friedman, too big to fail, trade route, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, universal basic income, unpaid internship, upwardly mobile, We are the 99%, Wolfgang Streeck, women in the workforce, working-age population, Y Combinator

., “China Wrestles with Power Shortages,” Power Magazine, May 1, 2013, https://www.powermag.com/china-wrestles-with-power-shortages/; Rajesh Kumar Singh and Saket Sundria, “India Nears Power Success, But Millions Still in the Dark,” T&D World, May 2, 2018, https://www.tdworld.com/utility-business/india-nears-power-success-millions-still-dark; Project Partner, “China’s Clean Water Shortage Intensifies the Poverty Crisis,” https://projectpartner.org/clean-water/chinas-clean-water-shortage-intensifies-the-poverty-crisis/; Rina Chandran, “163,000,000 People in India Don’t Have Clean Water. This Is Why,” Global Citizen, April 25, 2018, https://www.globalcitizen.org/en/content/india-day-zero-clean-water-access-shortage/; Hannah Daly, “1.1 billion people still lack electricity. This could be the solution,” World Economic Forum, June 20, 2018, https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2018/06/1-billion-people-lack-electricity-solution-mini-grid-iea/. 37 Ted Nordhaus, “Impossible Environmentalism: Green groups promote utopian fantasies,” USA Today, September 7, 2017, https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2017/09/07/impossible-environmentalism-does-not-address-sustainability-ted-nordhaus-column/570651001/. 38 Lewis Page, “Renewable energy ‘simply won’t work’: Top google engineers,” Register, November 21, 2014, https://www.theregister.co.uk/2014/11/21/renewable_energy_simply_wont_work_google_renewables_engineers/; Lewis Page, “Renewable energy can’t do the job.

One problem is that a Malthusian approach to demographics and economics tends to favor those who are already rich, to empower the clerisy, and generally to reinforce social hierarchy.34 Moreover, the measures taken by Western nations are unlikely to affect climate change much when virtually all the growth in emissions comes from developing countries, led by China.35 Poorer developing countries also must accommodate the needs of large populations living in poverty and lacking basic amenities such as adequate electricity or clean water. Globally over one billion people lack reliable electricity. Leaders in countries such as India tend to be more concerned about the availability of energy than about reducing greenhouse gas emissions.36 Investing in Resilience In order to ind effective solutions to climate change and other problems, the environmental movement needs to give up “utopian fantasies,” writes Ted Nordhaus, a longtime California environmentalist, and “make its peace with modernity and technology.”37 Given existing technologies, the much-anticipated shift to solar and wind energy seems largely impractical as a way of cutting emissions without dramatically raising energy costs, reducing reliability, and increasing poverty.


pages: 219 words: 59,600

The More of Less: Finding the Life You Want Under Everything You Own by Joshua Becker

clean water, follow your passion, helicopter parent, mortgage debt, sharing economy

Riding the momentum, Ali established a nonprofit organization called With This Ring that calls men and women into radical generosity, boldly asking them to part with their most prized possessions for the sake of others. To date, With This Ring has collected over a thousand rings and has provided clean water for tens of thousands of people in Africa, Central America, and India.2 Ali has experienced joy in giving and fulfillment in generosity. Indeed, she would attest that it is far better to give than to accumulate. You may never feel moved to give up your wedding ring for the sake of providing clean water to people in Africa. Ali would be the first to admit that hers was a rare first step toward generosity. But each of us should feel moved to care for the poor and the needy, not just for their sake but for ours as well. Giving away our possessions offers an immediate way to start helping the most vulnerable around us.

We quickly discovered more joy in delivering those unneeded items to local charities than we could ever have found in the money earned from selling them. This experience changed my view of minimizing and forever changed my advice to others embarking on the journey. Rather than sell your unwanted items, give them away. Practice generosity with them. There’s no lack of opportunity. Countless charitable organizations around the world meet real and urgent needs. They provide food and shelter to those without. They deliver clean water to villages lacking a well. They protect battered women. They place orphans in loving families. They offer educational assistance and job training to people who need help getting a start. And much, much more. By giving your unneeded possessions to such organizations, you can make a real difference quickly and easily. And by getting a tax-deductible receipt, you can probably come out financially ahead of where you would have if you had sold items on eBay or at a garage sale — with much less effort!

Setting a specific period of time for the experiment should make it completely achievable for you. 4. Fund a cause based on your passions. There are countless charities and causes that need your support. And some of them are directly in line with your most compelling passions. What are you most passionate about? Is it the environment, poverty, or religion? Maybe it’s world peace, child nutrition, or animal rights. What about education, civil rights, or clean water? Identify what passions already move you, find a committed organization working in that area, and then joyfully help them in their work. 5. Spend time with a generous person. Once, I found myself out to lunch with an older gentleman whose generosity I had admired for years and decided to ask questions about the practice in his life. I started with “Have you always been such a generous guy?” When he answered, “No, I haven’t been,” I immediately followed with more: “When did you become so generous?”


pages: 382 words: 107,150

We Are All Fast-Food Workers Now: The Global Uprising Against Poverty Wages by Annelise Orleck

airport security, American Legislative Exchange Council, anti-communist, Bernie Sanders, big-box store, British Empire, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, card file, clean water, collective bargaining, corporate social responsibility, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, Donald Trump, Ferguson, Missouri, financial deregulation, Food sovereignty, gig economy, global supply chain, global value chain, immigration reform, indoor plumbing, Kickstarter, land reform, land tenure, Mahatma Gandhi, mass immigration, McJob, means of production, new economy, payday loans, precariat, race to the bottom, Rana Plaza, rent-seeking, ride hailing / ride sharing, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, shareholder value, Skype, special economic zone, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, union organizing, War on Poverty, women in the workforce, working poor

It’s the same story around the world. In 2012, Via Campesina began to push the United Nations to adopt an International Declaration of the Rights of Peasants to enshrine rights to land, clean water, and freedom from violence.2 “In most regions where Via Campesina is present, the leaders are women,” Mpofu says. Women are “the backbone of agriculture” and have been at the forefront of farm protests. In South Africa in 2012, women grape pickers sparked the largest farmworker strike the country had seen in decades. In the Western Cape Winelands, thousands laid down their hoes and scythes to demand gender and race equity in pay, clean water, decent housing, and an end to sexual harassment and violence. By strike’s end, they had nearly doubled their wage to $10 daily. Most importantly, they overcame their fear and learned they could win gains if they fought.3 When Oaxacan migrant berry pickers in the US and Mexico began organizing en masse in the twenty-first century, women played a crucial role as well.

Driscoll’s affiliate BerryMex obeyed state laws, investigators reported. But workers said picking quotas were brutal and the hours inhuman.4 Lack of clean water was what finally moved them to organize. “They say what they offer is safe,” said Alexandra, “but it tastes like pond water and it has green slime on it.” People get “a tremendous sore stomach” from drinking it. Decades of industrial agriculture had drained the aquifer till salt seeped into San Quintín’s groundwater. Workers’ children got sick when they drank it and developed rashes when they used it to bathe. In the spring of 2015, San Quintín pickers formed the Alliance for Social Justice. Their first demand was clean water.5 But they soon moved beyond that. The $6 daily wage that was standard in Baja berry fields in 2015 had not increased since 1994.

I began this work because I felt called on in a time of globalization, as an ever-spreading flood of capital transforms our world, to better understand how low-wage workers are starting to resist, to think and act globally as well as locally. Since that time, I have spoken to many workers about what moved them to rise against poverty wages. These conversations transformed what I see, think, and feel every time I buy a shirt or a flat of berries, shop at a big-box store, check out of a hotel, or drink clean water from my kitchen faucet. Researching this book was revelatory. I traveled across the United States and to parts of the world I had never before visited. I drove, flew, walked, rode in open-air tuk-tuks and on the backs of motorcycles. With photographer Elizabeth Cooke, I conducted interviews in windowless worker dormitories, union offices, and on the streets, at protest marches, in city council hearing rooms, in brightly lit restaurants and shaded back rooms, in elegantly shabby colonial hotels, at factory gates, by phone and via Skype.


pages: 219 words: 61,720

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, 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, low earth orbit, 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.


pages: 128 words: 38,187

The New Prophets of Capital by Nicole Aschoff

3D printing, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, American Legislative Exchange Council, basic income, Bretton Woods, clean water, collective bargaining, commoditize, 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, mass incarceration, means of production, performance metric, post-work, profit motive, rent-seeking, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, school vouchers, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Slavoj Žižek, structural adjustment programs, Tim Cook: Apple, urban renewal, women in the workforce, working poor, zero-sum game

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.


pages: 304 words: 88,773

The Ghost Map: A Street, an Epidemic and the Hidden Power of Urban Networks. by Steven Johnson

call centre, clean water, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, Dean Kamen, digital map, double helix, edge city, germ theory of disease, global pandemic, Google Earth, Jane Jacobs, John Nash: game theory, John Snow's cholera map, lone genius, Louis Pasteur, mass immigration, 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.


pages: 322 words: 89,523

Ecovillages: Lessons for Sustainable Community by Karen T. Litfin

active transport: walking or cycling, agricultural Revolution, back-to-the-land, car-free, carbon footprint, clean water, collaborative consumption, Community Supported Agriculture, complexity theory, corporate social responsibility, glass ceiling, global village, hydraulic fracturing, megacity, new economy, off grid, oil shale / tar sands, peak oil, planetary scale, publish or perish, Silicon Valley, the built environment, the scientific method, The Spirit Level, urban planning, Zipcar

Karen Collins, the young woman running the facility, walked me through the various anaerobic and aerobic tanks that transform wastewater into clean water in just four days. At the far end of the Living Machine was an impeccable garden with a lovely fountain with sparkling clean water flowing from it. I was curious to learn about Karen’s technical background. Was she a biologist? “No,” she said. “I’m a grade school teacher and a mom. Here, it’s been on-the-job training. You don’t need to know the science of bacteria; you just need to know how the system works. I work here alone 16 hours a week, with outside help for heavy work now and then.” The electricity from Findhorn’s windmills pumps 10,000 gallons of clean water uphill to the community every day. By filtering its wastewater and replenishing its well through wind power, Findhorn is closing the circle for both energy and water.

Once a village achieves financial self-sufficiency, it helps other villages to organize their first shramadana camps. By working together, the villagers simultaneously build a cooperative spirit and enhance their material wellbeing. As one Sarvodaya activist told me, “We build the road, and the road builds us.” I traveled to Gunambil, a Sarvodaya village in the rugged hill country near Kandy, to see these ideals put into practice. Even though rain is plentiful, remote villages like Gunambil lack clean water because the rain runs off and the government will not plumb such steep terrain. In 1980, Gunambil held its first shramadana camp to build a gravity-fed system. Six months later, thanks to the backbreaking work of fifty volunteers, most households were receiving fresh water. Each family pays less than a dollar each month to the caretaker, the Shramadana Society’s only employee, who services the system.

With an awareness that affluence is neither sustainable nor the fast track to happiness, ecological economists are devising alternatives to GDP/capita to measure progress.6 In 2012, the Happy Planet Index, which measures sustainable wellbeing, ranked Costa Rica as No. 1 and the United States as No. 114.7 National governments, including the United Kingdom’s Office of National Statistics, are taking this work seriously and developing means other than GDP/capita to measure national wellbeing.8 Like governments, ecovillages subsidize what they value. Ecovillages create a viable future by supporting common spaces and amenities, healthy food, access to clean water, and strong relationships. For reasons ranging from entrenched ideologies to corporate lobbying, governments often end up bankrolling a highly undesirable future. Think, for instance, of the trillions of dollars spent on militarizing the Middle East. A major step toward creating a positive future would be to end subsidies for programs that foster fossil-fuel dependency, a move that is particularly urgent in the United States and Canada.


pages: 262 words: 66,800

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, continuation of politics by other means, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, demographic transition, desegregation, Donald Trump, Flynn Effect, germ theory of disease, Gini coefficient, Gunnar Myrdal, 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, Nelson Mandela, open economy, place-making, Rosa Parks, sexual politics, special economic zone, Steven Pinker, telerobotics, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transatlantic slave trade, very high income, working poor, Xiaogang Anhui farmers, zero-sum game

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.


pages: 257 words: 67,152

The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels by Alex Epstein

addicted to oil, carbon footprint, clean water, glass ceiling, hydraulic fracturing, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), LNG terminal, oil shale / tar sands, profit motive, Saturday Night Live, the scientific method

We’ll look at all major measures of environmental quality in chapter 8, but for now let’s look at clean air and clean water. Both have increased substantially. Here are measurements from the EPA of six major air pollutants. As fossil fuel use goes up, they go down. Figure 1.6: U.S. Air Pollution Goes Down Despite Increasing Fossil Fuel Use Source: U.S. EPA National Emissions Inventory Air Pollutant Emissions Trends Data And here are international data for the percentage of people in the world with good water quality, which has gone up dramatically in the last 25 years as countries have used more and more fossil fuels. Figure 1.7: More Fossil Fuels, More Clean Water Sources: BP, Statistical Review of World Energy 2013, Historical data workbook; World Bank, World Development Indicators (WDI) Online Data, April 2014 Overall, the improvement is incredible.

And it turns out that those benefits far, far outweigh the negatives—and technology is getting ever better at minimizing and neutralizing those risks. How much of a positive difference does fossil fuel energy make to environmental quality? Let’s look at modern trends in four key areas of environmental quality: water, disease, sanitation, and air. Here’s water quality—measured by the percentage of world population with “access to improved water sources.” Figure 6.1: More Fossil Fuels, More Clean Water Sources: BP, Statistical Review of World Energy 2013, Historical data workbook; World Bank, World Development Indicators (WDI) Online Data, April 2014 Fossil fuel energy was essential to this improvement. It enabled us to transform once unusable water into usable water. Most of Earth’s surface is covered with water. The problem is that most of it is naturally in a chemical state unusable for our high standards and purposes.

Historically, a person’s sewer tended to be connected, at least in part, to his drinking water. This was rarely intentional, and early civilizations did construct sewer systems to isolate human waste, but natural, unrestricted water flows usually lead to a certain amount of mixing between the human waste and the nearest freshwater source—particularly as more and more people group together. Today, sewage is not only kept separate from clean water sources, but it is also extensively treated to render its most dangerous elements harmless so that it can be disposed of safely, in some cases used as a fertilizer or even, thanks to the latest technology, turned into drinking water.7 The technology of sewage treatment is another advance made possible by industrialization, and it is yet another energy-intensive process for transforming our environment.


Smart Cities, Digital Nations by Caspar Herzberg

Asian financial crisis, barriers to entry, business climate, business cycle, business process, carbon footprint, clean water, cloud computing, corporate social responsibility, Dean Kamen, demographic dividend, Edward Glaeser, Edward Snowden, hive mind, Internet of things, knowledge economy, Masdar, megacity, New Urbanism, packet switching, QR code, remote working, RFID, rising living standards, risk tolerance, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, smart cities, Smart Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers, and the Quest for a New Utopia, smart meter, social software, special economic zone, Stephen Hawking, telepresence, too big to fail, trade route, transcontinental railway, upwardly mobile, urban planning, urban sprawl, women in the workforce, working poor, X Prize

The World Health Organization stated in 2014 that 1.8 billion people rely on contaminated water sources, and that half of the world’s population will live in a “water-stressed” area by 2025. Among all the threats to human progress, clean water shortages are the least discriminating, affecting the city and village alike. See also Rececca Borison, “The Guy Who Invented the Segway Is Working with Coca-Cola to Bring His Water Distilling Invention to Third World Countries.”Business Insider, June 2014. http://www.businessinsider.com/segway-inventor-coke-spread-clean-water-2014-6. 3 Timothy Ogden, “Techno-Optimists Beware,” Stanford Social Innovation Review, Summer 2012, https://ssir.org/book_reviews/entry/techno_optimists_beware1. 4 Moore’s Law is cofounder of Intel Gordon Moore’s 1965 supposition that the number of transistors per square inch on integrated circuits will double every year into the foreseeable future. 5 The challenges facing the implementation of technology are illustrated by iBOT’s declining fortunes.

Singapore is contrasted favorably with Mumbai; the former is “tall and connected,” while Mumbai, like much of India, is burdened by building height restrictions that require its slums to spread out and increase commuting time and congestion. He also makes the point that basic infrastructure should come first: “One curse of the developing world is that governments take on too much and fail at their core responsibilities. Countries that cannot provide clean water for their citizens should not be in the business of regulating currency exchanges.”10 By the same token, a reliable Internet service delivery platform is an essential component of green- or brownfield development. Because IoE technology has the capability to deliver resources and services with greater efficiency, it should be designed and implemented as a primary tool for providing those “core responsibilities.”

“Like skilled people, skilled cities also seemed to be better at reinventing themselves during volatile times.”11 Dubai, once again, is an excellent example. A strong Internet platform and connectivity is imperative to the flexible city of the twenty-first century. In terms of economic competitiveness, it is nearly as important to provide a data network and security features as it is to provide clean water. Meanwhile, much of the flexibility of cities will depend on their ability to provide and manipulate information. By Glaeser’s thinking, the city is the best vehicle for smart services, simply because it provides the density we need for innovation and to counteract the twentieth-century, mostly American, predilection for sprawl, suburbs, car culture, and other sources of environmental degradation.


pages: 505 words: 147,916

Adventures in the Anthropocene: A Journey to the Heart of the Planet We Made by Gaia Vince

3D printing, agricultural Revolution, bank run, car-free, carbon footprint, citizen journalism, clean water, congestion charging, crowdsourcing, decarbonisation, deindustrialization, energy security, failed state, Google Earth, Haber-Bosch Process, hive mind, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Kickstarter, load shedding, M-Pesa, Mars Rover, Masdar, megacity, mobile money, off grid, oil shale / tar sands, out of africa, Peter Thiel, phenotype, planetary scale, Ray Kurzweil, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, smart grid, smart meter, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, stem cell, supervolcano, sustainable-tourism

Sandwiched politically, culturally and geographically between two of the world’s fastest emerging economies, Nepal has avoided following either the Chinese or Indian model for national growth and slid further into decline. It is one of the ten poorest countries, with more than one-third of the population living below the poverty line on less than $0.40 per day and half of children under 5 malnourished. Around 90% of Nepalis live in rural areas, many depending for survival on subsistence plots too small to support them, with little or no access to electricity, clean water, sanitation, education or health care, and national shortages of everything from rice to kerosene. More than a decade of Maoist insurgency and civil unrest has wrecked the economy and crippled infrastructure. Nepal has been incapable of even basic governance over the past few decades, and relies on an army of aid charities to avoid mass starvation – the number of NGOs in the country soared from 220 in 1990 to more than 15,000, now contributing around 60% of GDP.

The system works on the basis of social equity, in which all castes get equal vote, and the village community helps those who need it, in every way from physical labour to financial assistance. But idleness is not tolerated. This social structure, which has produced such an undeniably clean and functioning society, owes its success to the unique way the village manages and shares its most valuable resource: water. And that is due in no small part to Jadeja’s ingenuity and foresight – he decided some thirty years ago that clean water and sanitation were essential to underpin development, and that his village should have them. After each monsoon, the village wells would fill, indicating that the underlying aquifer here is rain-fed. The problem was that most of the monsoon rains were wasted, streaming off and disappearing before reaching the aquifer. With the monsoons in the region becoming briefer, the deluges stronger and the evaporation of surface water faster, due to climate change, the problem of vanishing water became more severe.

Since oil was found, parts of their tribal land have become no-go areas given over by the government to oil prospectors without the communities’ consent. But the wind farm’s project’s leader, Carlo van Wageningen, insists his development will bring opportunities, including jobs, infrastructure and electricity, to the north-east for the first time. He says that the consortium will establish fisheries at Lake Turkana, and clean-water projects that could end the interethnic conflicts over water. A promised new clinic could give these isolated people real health improvements. Some people here are already benefiting from electricity for the first time, thanks to the desert’s other major power source: the sun. A couple of the El Moro men have solar-powered mobile phones, which are sold cheaply in Nairobi, and one of the straw huts in the village has two solar panels on its roof.


pages: 829 words: 229,566

This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate by Naomi Klein

1960s counterculture, activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, 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, coherent worldview, colonial rule, Community Supported Agriculture, complexity theory, crony capitalism, decarbonisation, deindustrialization, dematerialisation, different worldview, 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, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet Archive, invention of the steam engine, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Jones Act, Kickstarter, light touch regulation, market fundamentalism, moral hazard, Naomi Klein, new economy, Nixon shock, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, open borders, patent troll, Pearl River Delta, planetary scale, post-oil, profit motive, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Rana Plaza, renewable energy transition, 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, 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.


pages: 421 words: 120,332

The World in 2050: Four Forces Shaping Civilization's Northern Future by Laurence C. Smith

Bretton Woods, BRICs, business cycle, clean water, Climategate, colonial rule, deglobalization, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, energy security, flex fuel, G4S, global supply chain, Google Earth, guest worker program, Hans Island, hydrogen economy, ice-free Arctic, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of agriculture, invisible hand, land tenure, Martin Wolf, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, New Urbanism, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, peak oil, Pearl River Delta, purchasing power parity, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, side project, Silicon Valley, smart grid, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, standardized shipping container, 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.


pages: 412 words: 128,042

Extreme Economies: Survival, Failure, Future – Lessons From the World’s Limits by Richard Davies

agricultural Revolution, air freight, Anton Chekhov, artificial general intelligence, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, big-box store, cashless society, clean water, complexity theory, deindustrialization, eurozone crisis, failed state, financial innovation, illegal immigration, income inequality, informal economy, James Hargreaves, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, joint-stock company, large denomination, Livingstone, I presume, Malacca Straits, mandatory minimum, manufacturing employment, means of production, megacity, meta analysis, meta-analysis, new economy, off grid, oil shale / tar sands, pension reform, profit motive, randomized controlled trial, school choice, school vouchers, Scramble for Africa, side project, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, Skype, spinning jenny, The Chicago School, the payments system, trade route, Travis Kalanick, uranium enrichment, urban planning, wealth creators, white picket fence, working-age population, Y Combinator, young professional

Christian’s success is a first lesson in how the harshness of life in Kinshasa also creates opportunities. He first came to the market as an 11-year-old, and quickly spotted a way to make money. Despite the proximity of such a mighty river, Kinshasa has no proper supply of clean drinking water. Gombe, the rich suburb, is tiny and outside it few homes have taps that are safe to drink from. Selling small plastic bags filled with clean water is a major industry here, and as a teenager Christian worked out a scheme to buy clean water cheaply in bulk, allowing him to make around 1,000 Congolese francs (60¢) each time he sold 20 water sachets. He worked his way up, first as a market porter, then opening his own retail store and finally moving into wholesale trade, which is more lucrative and more stable, he says. It adds up to 22 years of experience in the heart of the city, and he is happy to explain how to get ahead here.

Sitting at one of the tables on a quiet night she puts Aceh’s improved economy down to something less palatable: sewerage. Some things are worse today, she says: the traditional houses were preferable in style to the new ones (they were wooden and had upper floors with balconies, whereas the replacements are concrete bungalows). But the big change is having your own toilet. Before the disaster the village lacked a basic sewerage system, with the nearby river providing clean water and taking dirty water away. The modern homes have plumbed-in bathrooms, cutting out time-consuming walks to the river. As the rebuild continued, the notion of ‘building back better’ became a well-known phrase, referring to the policy of using modern designs and materials to improve the local infrastructure. The new coast road built by USAID is wider than the old one, and the steel-truss bridge it crosses at Lhokgna is higher and longer than its stone-column predecessor, the remains of which protrude from the river like broken teeth.

‘It was a brick,’ he laughs, but a neighbour liked it and offered to buy it for $25. Soon Kutamisa had built a business buying and selling used phones. Things went so well that he was able to use the profit to enrol in university. ‘But I had to stop,’ he says. ‘While I was at classes my staff were eating my profit.’ Resigning himself to a life of trading on the street, he moved into the forex business. Like the sale of sachets containing clean water, this industry results from an acute shortage – the absence of a stable currency. The runaway inflation and rapid exchange-rate depreciations of Mobutu’s years are still seen in modern Kinshasa. In mid-2016 one dollar bought you 900 Congolese francs; by the summer of 2018 almost half the franc’s value had evaporated, with a dollar buying 1,650 francs. This creates a problem for Kinshasa’s residents: they need Congolese francs to pay any official transactions, including taxes, but they know their country’s currency quickly loses its value over time.


pages: 242 words: 73,728

Give People Money by Annie Lowrey

"Robert Solow", affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, agricultural Revolution, Airbnb, airport security, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, basic income, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, clean water, collective bargaining, computer age, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, deindustrialization, desegregation, Donald Trump, Edward Glaeser, Elon Musk, ending welfare as we know it, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, full employment, gender pay gap, gig economy, Google Earth, Home mortgage interest deduction, income inequality, indoor plumbing, information asymmetry, Jaron Lanier, jitney, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Kickstarter, Kodak vs Instagram, labor-force participation, late capitalism, Lyft, M-Pesa, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, mass incarceration, McMansion, Menlo Park, mobile money, mortgage tax deduction, new economy, obamacare, Peter Thiel, post scarcity, post-work, Potemkin village, precariat, randomized controlled trial, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Bork, Ronald Reagan, Sam Altman, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, single-payer health, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, The Future of Employment, theory of mind, total factor productivity, Turing test, two tier labour market, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, universal basic income, uranium enrichment, War on Poverty, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, women in the workforce, working poor, World Values Survey, Y Combinator

But a glut of Toms shoes disrupts the businesses of local shoe manufacturers and shoe retailers, much as donated clothing from the United States has damaged the local retail trade in many African markets. Toms are also not appropriate in many situations and climates, but Toms shoes are what Toms gives out. And as I saw in Kenya, they tend to make their way into the hands of people who already have shoes, but might not have, say, electricity or clean water. The same critiques apply to virtually all in-kind donations of food, clothing, schoolbooks, water jugs, and sanitary items, even ones commonly thought of as productive, like the animals given out by those donate-a-cow charities. They also apply to many charities that do things like build schools, supply water pumps, and give out seeds. The intentions are good—so good. But what is the true impact?

Brazil’s Bolsa Família now grants millions of people transfers in exchange for keeping their children in school and making visits to local health clinics. In Mexico, Prospera benefits one in four families, asking for similar commitments to education and public health. Of course, cash is not a panacea—not for charities and not for governments either. It is no substitute for the development of public goods, like schools, courts, highways, electrical grids, clean water, and health facilities. It is also not a substitute for development priorities like widespread immunization or ending violence against women. Moreover, it is not yet clear whether cash transfers have long-range benefits after families stop receiving them, though the study of some programs suggests that they might. It also remains to be seen how much such antipoverty transfers might aid in the broader goal of development—not just ending deprivation, but improving a country’s human capital and bolstering its economic growth.

Studies of the Mincome experiment in Dauphin showed that there were fewer hospitalizations and mental-health diagnoses among those with a guaranteed income. In the United States’ NIT studies, primary earners spent more time with their children and their rates of homeownership increased. Poverty would become less of a burden, with people using the funds as they needed. As I saw so vividly by Lake Victoria, soccer nets do nothing for people who are hungry. School fees do nothing for people who need clean water. Water jugs do nothing for towns that could use farming equipment. Money, on the other hand, is universally useful and universally fungible. Just giving people money would mean that a single mother would not have to trade her food stamps for cash to keep the heat on. It would mean that she would not have to tussle with the complicated Section 8 system when what she was really struggling with was transportation costs.


pages: 314 words: 77,409

The Serengeti Rules: The Quest to Discover How Life Works and Why It Matters by Sean B. Carroll

agricultural Revolution, British Empire, clean water, discovery of penicillin, Fellow of the Royal Society, out of africa, pattern recognition, phenotype, Skype, Thomas Malthus

“Toledo Water Crisis: Half a Million People Without Safe Drinking Water as Toxins Contaminate Ohio City Supply.” The Independent, August 3, 2014; “Division of Water Treatment.” City of Toledo website. http://toledo.oh.gov/services/public-utilities/water-treatment/. 156You’re glumping the pond: Seuss (1971). 156Spurred by the dire condition: “History of the Clean Water Act.” United States Environmental Protection Agency. http://www2.epa.gov/laws-regulations/history-clean-water-act. 156In 1972, the United States and Canada: Large Lakes and Rivers Forecasting Research Branch. “Detroit River-Western Lake Erie Basin Indicator Project. INDICATOR: Algal Blooms in Western Lake Erie.” United States Environmental Protection Agency. http://www.epa.gov/med/grosseile_site/indicators/algae-blooms.html. 156The recovery of Lake Erie: Egan, D. (2014) “Toxic Algae Cocktail Brews in Lake Erie.”

Seuss singled it out in his environmental fable The Lorax (1971): You’re glumping the pond where the Humming-fish hummed! No more can they hum, for their gills are all gummed. So I am sending them off. Oh, their future is dreary. They’ll walk on their fins and get woefully weary In search of some water that isn’t so smeary. I hear things are just as bad up in Lake Erie. Spurred by the dire condition of Erie and other lakes, the US Congress passed the 1972 Clean Water Act that authorized the Environmental Protection Agency to regulate the discharge of pollutants into waterways and to set the acceptable limits for water quality for humans and aquatic life. In 1972, the United States and Canada also signed the Great Lakes Water Agreement, which promoted a coordinated effort to reduce the loads of chemicals that were being dumped and washed into the Great Lakes.

See rinderpest Caughley, Graeme, 166 cell growth, regulation of, 49 Centers for Disease Control, 206 Charcot, Jean-Baptiste, 51, 54 Chissano, Joaquim, 188 chitons, 119 cholesterol: discovery of link to heart disease, 75–77; feedback regulation and synthesis of, 49, 77–81; HDL and, 79, 81; LDL and, 79–81, 85–87 cholesterolemia, 77–78, 86 chromosomes: blood disorders and, 92–93; Down syndrome and, 92; E. coli, 65; human number 9, 98–100, 99f; human number 13, 100; human number 22 (Philadelphia chromosome), 93, 98–100, 99f; leukemia and, 92–95, 98–100, 99f; retinoblastoma and, 100–102; translocation of, 93 chronic myelogenous leukemia, 93–95, 94f, 98, 102–104 Ciba-Geigy pharmaceutical company, 102–103 cisco, 176 citrinin, 82 civil wars, 186–187, 187f, 208 Clean Water Act, 156 clinical trials, 7 CML (chronic myelogenous leukemia), 93–95, 94f, 98, 102–104 coalitions, power of, 209–210 coffee, shade-grown, 196–197 collectivization of agriculture, 138 Collett, Robert, 40–41 communities, food chains as currency of, 43–46 Community Education Center (Vila Gorongosa), 196 “Community Structure, Population Control, and Competition” (HSS), 116 compactin, 82–84, 85–86 competition, population size and, 143–144, 150 complexity, reducing, 10–11 constitutive enzyme production, 64 consumers, 115–116, 117f.


pages: 385 words: 101,761

Creative Intelligence: Harnessing the Power to Create, Connect, and Inspire by Bruce Nussbaum

3D printing, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Berlin Wall, Black Swan, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, clean water, collapse of Lehman Brothers, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, declining real wages, demographic dividend, disruptive innovation, 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, John Markoff, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, lone genius, longitudinal study, manufacturing employment, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Martin Wolf, new economy, Paul Graham, Peter Thiel, QR code, 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.


pages: 1,104 words: 302,176

The Rise and Fall of American Growth: The U.S. Standard of Living Since the Civil War (The Princeton Economic History of the Western World) by Robert J. Gordon

"Robert Solow", 3D printing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, airline deregulation, airport security, Apple II, barriers to entry, big-box store, blue-collar work, business cycle, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Charles Lindbergh, clean water, collective bargaining, computer age, creative destruction, 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 sewing machine, invention of the telegraph, invention of the telephone, inventory management, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, jitney, job automation, John Markoff, 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, mass immigration, mass incarceration, 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, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, Thomas Malthus, total factor productivity, transaction costs, transcontinental railway, traveling salesman, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, undersea cable, 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, yellow journalism, 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.


pages: 305 words: 79,356

Drowning in Oil: BP & the Reckless Pursuit of Profit by Loren C. Steffy

Berlin Wall, clean water, corporate governance, corporate raider, Exxon Valdez, Fall of the Berlin Wall, North Sea oil, oil rush, oil shock, peak oil, Piper Alpha, Ronald Reagan, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund

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.


pages: 403 words: 111,119

Doughnut Economics: Seven Ways to Think Like a 21st-Century Economist by Kate Raworth

"Robert Solow", 3D printing, Asian financial crisis, bank run, basic income, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, blockchain, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, Buckminster Fuller, business cycle, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, clean water, cognitive bias, collapse of Lehman Brothers, complexity theory, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, dematerialisation, disruptive innovation, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, en.wikipedia.org, energy transition, Erik Brynjolfsson, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, experimental economics, Exxon Valdez, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial deregulation, Financial Instability Hypothesis, full employment, global supply chain, global village, Henri Poincaré, hiring and firing, Howard Zinn, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of writing, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, Kenneth Rogoff, Kickstarter, land reform, land value tax, Landlord’s Game, loss aversion, low skilled workers, M-Pesa, Mahatma Gandhi, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, means of production, megacity, mobile money, Mont Pelerin Society, Myron Scholes, neoliberal agenda, Network effects, Occupy movement, off grid, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, out of africa, Paul Samuelson, peer-to-peer, planetary scale, price mechanism, quantitative easing, randomized controlled trial, Richard Thaler, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, smart cities, smart meter, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, South Sea Bubble, statistical model, Steve Ballmer, The Chicago School, The Great Moderation, the map is not the territory, the market place, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, Torches of Freedom, trickle-down economics, ultimatum game, universal basic income, Upton Sinclair, Vilfredo Pareto, wikimedia commons

But between these two sets of boundaries lies a sweet spot – shaped unmistakably like a doughnut – that is both an ecologically safe and socially just space for humanity. The twenty-first-century task is an unprecedented one: to bring all of humanity into that safe and just space. The Doughnut’s inner ring – its social foundation – sets out the basics of life on which no one should be left falling short. These twelve basics include: sufficient food; clean water and decent sanitation; access to energy and clean cooking facilities; access to education and to healthcare; decent housing; a minimum income and decent work; and access to networks of information and to networks of social support. Furthermore, it calls for achieving these with gender equality, social equity, political voice, and peace and justice. Since 1948, international human rights norms and laws have sought to establish every person’s claim to the vast majority of these basics, no matter how much or how little money or power they have.

They are all included in the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals – agreed by 193 member countries in 2015 – and the vast majority of these goals are to be achieved by 2030.23 Since the mid-twentieth century, global economic development has already helped many millions of people worldwide escape deprivation. They have become the first generations in their families to lead long, healthy and educated lives, with enough food to eat, clean water to drink, electricity in their homes, and money in their pockets – and, for many, this transformation has been accompanied by greater equality between women and men, and greater political voice. But global economic development has also fuelled a dramatic increase in humanity’s use of Earth’s resources, at first driven by the resource-intensive lifestyles of today’s high-income countries, and more recently redoubled by the rapid growth of the global middle class.

If universal access to markets is to become a twenty-first-century norm, along with universal access to public services, then so too should universal access to the global commons – particularly to Earth’s life-giving systems and to the global knowledge commons. Given what we now understand about planetary boundaries, the integrity of the living world is clearly and profoundly in the common interest of all: clean air and clean water, a stable climate, and thriving biodiversity are among the most important ‘common pool’ resources for all of humanity. ‘The great task of the twenty-first century,’ writes the ecological thinker Peter Barnes, ‘is to build a new and vital commons sector that can resist enclosure and externalization by the market, protect the planet, and share the fruits of our common inheritances more equitably than is now the case.’96 One way of achieving this, he proposes, is to create an array of Commons Trusts, each one endowed with property rights enabling it to protect and steward a particular realm of Earth’s commons – be it a local watershed or the global atmosphere – to the benefit of all citizens and future generations.


pages: 282 words: 28,394

Learn Descriptive Cataloging Second North American Edition by Mary Mortimer

California gold rush, clean water, corporate governance, deskilling, illegal immigration, Norman Mailer

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.)


398 DIY Tips, Tricks & Techniques: Practical Advice for New Home Improvement Enthusiasts by Ian Anderson

clean water, en.wikipedia.org, The Spirit Level

Proper Preparation Before Painting Because preparation is critical, just slapping on new stuff simply won’t protect the material, even if it looks good initially. Generally, do this… Scrape away any old flaky layers of old paint. Clean paintwork with a ‘house cleaner’ detergent, with a mould killer element if there are green of black spores on the paintwork. A bucket of cleaner and another of clean water and a couple of sponges work well indoors. Wipe over with one sponge and detergent and ‘rinse’ with the other sponge and clean water. Outdoors, careful use of a pressure washer to pump cleaner onto the paintwork works well (don’t go too close). Scrub with a small brush on a long handle and afterwards rinse everything away being careful with the angle you use (avoid getting water behind anything), mimic how the rain would hit the surface to be safe. Allow plenty of time for everything to dry.

To get the water out of the above brushes before using them again: in a small empty paint tin or bucket, hold the brush between slightly dampened palms, (how you do this is up to you, most folks use a little spit; I know, eww!), rotate the brush between your palms as fast as you can (like a boy scout starting a fire…). Done properly this flings out any water in the brush. Double check with the old ‘brush above the shoulder and a couple of sharp flings down’ technique (as if you’re throwing a knife into the ground). Best do this outside though… Easily clean water-based paint from your brush at the end of the day using a wire brush (just like combing your hair) and lots of warm water. A pinch of soap doesn’t hurt either Lastly and once again (because it’s that good!), buy the best brushes you can find and look after them. It’s a nightmare to get a good finish with cheap (throwaway) brushes and they’ll shed bristles too, driving you crazy. 301. Looking After Sharp Edges A large part of cutting-edge maintenance is not blunting them in the first place by looking after them on the job and storing them in a way that protects their edges.


pages: 570 words: 158,139

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, Kickstarter, 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.”


pages: 309 words: 87,414

Paris Revealed by Stephen Clarke

clean water, haute couture, Honoré de Balzac, rent control, sexual politics, trade route

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.


pages: 267 words: 91,984

Strength in What Remains by Tracy Kidder

airport security, clean water, colonial rule, out of africa

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.”


pages: 326 words: 88,905

Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt by Chris Hedges, Joe Sacco

Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, clean water, collective bargaining, corporate personhood, dumpster diving, Exxon Valdez, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Howard Zinn, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, laissez-faire capitalism, Mahatma Gandhi, mass immigration, mass incarceration, Naomi Klein, Nelson Mandela, Occupy movement, oil shale / tar sands, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, strikebreaker, union organizing, urban decay, wage slave, white flight, women in the workforce

Census Bureau, “2005–2009 American Community Survey,” http://factfinder.census.gov (accessed 10 Sept. 2013). 19. Rob Goodwin, “Report from Citizens’ Inspection of Coal River Mountain,” Coal River Mountain Watch, http://www.crmw.net/crmw/content/report-citizens-inspection-coal-river-mountain (accessed 27 Dec. 2011). 20. “Electric Power Monthly,” http://www.eia.gov/electricity/monthly (accessed 10 Sept. 2013). 21. “A One-Two Punch in the Fight for Clean Water,” Appalachian Voices, http://appvoices.org/2012/08/23/a-one-two-punch-in-the-fight-for-clean-water/ (accessed 10 Sept. 2013).\ 22. Naomi Spencer and Rosa Lexington, “The Social Crisis in Appalachia Part 3: Environmental Disaster and Private Profit,” World Socialist Web Site, July 27, 2010, http://www.wsws.org/en/artcles/2010/07/app3-j27.html (accessed 27 Aug. 2013). 23. Ibid. 24. Ronald Wright, A Short History of Progress (Toronto: House of Anansi, 2004), 102. 25.

Four years after the suit, the townspeople got the company to establish a warning system to alert residents if the massive sludge impoundment broke. Massey, the third-largest coal company in the country, has, over the past decade, leveled an area the size of Delaware—1.4 million acres—and left behind a poisoned and dead landscape. Coal companies like Massey rack up appalling safety and environmental violations. Yet for such companies, it is less expensive to pay the fines than comply with the strictures of the Clean Water Act or mine safety standards. The EPA office in West Virginia rarely enforces the fines, and when Massey was fined for violations over a six-year period by the federal EPA office, the company paid $20 million,54 less than one percent of what was required under the law. The Sylvester lawsuit brought the town $100,000. In the next six months, Massey amassed another four thousand violations. “Our politicians are so indebted to the coal industry, for favors, through campaigns, by the time they run for office, that they can’t make decisions solely on their own,” says Canterberry.

Ibid., 233–234. 50. Ibid., 235–236. 51. “Elk Run Completes Coal Stockpile Dome,” Coal Age 170, no. 9 (2002), 4. 52. Shirley Stewart Burns, Bringing Down the Mountains: The Impact of Mountaintop Removal on Southern West Virginia Communities (Morgantown, WV: West Virginia University Press, 2007), 111. 53. Shirley Stewart Burns, et al., Coal Country, 237–238. 54. “Massey Energy Company, Inc. Clean Water Act Settlement,” U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, http://www.epa.gov/compliance/resources/cases/civil/cwa/massey.html (accessed 31 Dec. 2011). 55. “25 Miners Dead in WV Coal Mine Explosion, Massey Energy Mine Cited for Hundreds of Safety Violations,” Democracy Now!, April 6, 2010, http://www.democracynow.org/2010/4/6/25_miners_dead_in_wv_coal. 56. Sabrina Tavernise and Clifford Krauss, “Mine Owner Will Pay $209 Million in Blast That Killed 29 Workers,” New York Times, December 6, 2011, A16. 57.


The Big Oyster by Mark Kurlansky

clean water, colonial rule, East Village, James Watt: steam engine, joint-stock company, Louis Pasteur, Ralph Waldo Emerson, transcontinental railway, women in the workforce

On the Fourth of July, former mayor Philip Hone wrote: T h e C ra s s o s t re a s n e s s o f Ne w Yo rk e r s • 145 It is a lovely day, but very different from all the previous anniversaries of independence. The alarm about the cholera has prevented all the usual jollification under the public authority. There are no booths in Broadway, the parade which was ordered here has been countermanded, no corporation dinner and no ringing of bells. Cholera victims were literally begging for clean water. By October, five hundred New Yorkers had died. The city responded with a ten-year project, damming the Croton River, a tributary of the Hudson, creating a reservoir, and building an aqueduct. With the project’s completion in 1842, the city announced that water needs had been secured for the next one hundred years. By the 1860s, the city was expanding the reservoir to meet additional needs. Cholera was not the only bug to arrive through the port.

This principle had been established over access to natural oyster beds, which both New York and New Jersey courts recognized as a public right for residents. A company that pollutes shellfish beds and poisons fish populations is, according to this legal argument, impeding the long-recognized right of residents to fish their wild waters. In the 1970s, some forty acts of Congress were passed for the protection of the environment. Among the most crucial for the waters of New York was the 1972 Clean Water Act, which gave a deadline of 1985 for all bodies of water in the United States to be swimmable and fishable. In the 1980s, the city proposed to do what it had been doing ever since Dutch times, creating more Manhattan real estate by filling in the coastal waters. In this case, it was a highway called Westway that was to cut into the Hudson River bed. The public outcry against construction at the expense of the Hudson River was so forceful and determined that the project was stopped.

Sharks hunt by a keen sense of smell, and the harbor still does not smell quite right to them. But the Hudson is rich in fish, and for Enduring Shellfishness • 277 all its continuing faults, especially PCBs, it is now considered one of the healthier estuaries in the North Atlantic. Today, all of the Hudson River and almost all of the waters of New York Harbor are swimmable and most are fishable, as the Clean Water Act mandated, but the fish that are caught are not all edible. Health authorities do not recommend eating most New York Harbor fish, though some people do, with a great deal of the fish consumed by poor people who are probably eating poisoned food. Shad is an exception, because it spends its time in the Hudson so obsessed with sex that it does not eat. This is true of sturgeon also, but it is still too scarce to eat.


pages: 400 words: 129,320

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, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), 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.


The Death and Life of Monterey Bay: A Story of Revival by Dr. Stephen R Palumbi Phd, Ms. Carolyn Sotka M. A.

California gold rush, clean water, glass ceiling, land tenure, Ronald Reagan, Works Progress Administration

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.


pages: 531 words: 161,785

Alcohol: A History by Rod Phillips

clean water, conceptual framework, European colonialism, financial independence, invention of the printing press, Kickstarter, large denomination, Louis Pasteur, Mahatma Gandhi, Mikhail Gorbachev, moral panic, New Urbanism, profit motive, trade route, women in the workforce, working poor

To reduce fire hazards even more, some cities stipulated that breweries should be built of stone rather than wood.1 In the Netherlands, urban governments controlled the sale of gruit (the herbs used for bittering and flavoring ale), which they sold at inflated prices. There were savings in bulk purchases, but only commercial brewers could take advantage of them. Good ale also needed plenty of fresh, clean water, but brewers also polluted water with their refuse, to the extent that some English towns (like London, Bristol, and Coventry) forbade brewers access to sources of public drinking water.2 Regulations such as these, many imposing considerable costs on brewers, made the survival of small-scale, domestic brewing in the medieval city increasingly difficult. There was also a major, expensive technological innovation: the gradual replacement by copper kettles of the pottery vessels that were used for boiling the wort.3 Copper kettles used heat more efficiently and were reputed to make better ale, and they could also be made in much larger sizes.

One seventeenth-century proposal for supplying London with “good and cleare strong water” noted that the prevailing supply was foul and muddy and “not fit for many uses.” It called for the construction of a closed aqueduct to provide the city with “excellent good water, fit for any use, either for dressing of meate, for washing, baking, brewing, or drinking.”41 Maybe it is significant that drinking was placed last in this list of purposes to which clean water would be put. The same period also threw up proposals for desalinizing (removing the salt from) seawater, a process that would have been invaluable for the navy and merchant marine. Long voyages at sea were becoming more and more common as Europeans explored the rest of the world; established settlements in the Americas, Africa, and Asia; and fished as far from Europe as the cod-rich seas off the coast of Newfoundland.

Inhabitants of the poorer districts of Leeds, in northern England, had no water within a quarter of a mile of their dwellings, and very few even had vessels in which they could fetch water.31 The drinking water of Brussels, in Belgium, was described in the 1830s and 1840s as having a “disgusting flavour,” a “foul odor,” an “extremely disagreeable smell of rotten wood,” and a “nauseating taste.” An 1844 study of Paris concluded that barely 10 percent of the water drawn from the public fountains was drinkable.32 From the mid-1800s, central and urban governments began to address the water problem by constructing systems that piped clean water to cities. They were driven by several considerations. First, there were waves of epidemics of waterborne diseases such as cholera and typhoid fever between the 1830s and 1850s. An outbreak of cholera in the Soho district of London in 1854 killed more than 500 people in ten days.33 Second, the ruling classes believed that the urban masses needed the means to keep themselves and their environments clean and hygienic, and that meant providing water suitable for washing as well as sewage systems to carry waste away.


City: A Guidebook for the Urban Age by P. D. Smith

active transport: walking or cycling, Albert Einstein, Andrew Keen, augmented reality, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, British Empire, Broken windows theory, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, business cycle, car-free, carbon footprint, clean water, colonial rule, congestion charging, cosmological principle, crack epidemic, double entry bookkeeping, edge city, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, en.wikipedia.org, Enrique Peñalosa, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Frank Gehry, garden city movement, global village, haute cuisine, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of gunpowder, Jane Jacobs, John Snow's cholera map, Kevin Kelly, Kibera, Kickstarter, Kowloon Walled City, Masdar, megacity, megastructure, multicultural london english, mutually assured destruction, New Urbanism, Norman Mailer, peak oil, RFID, smart cities, starchitect, telepresence, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the High Line, Thomas Malthus, trade route, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, Victor Gruen, walkable city, white flight, white picket fence, young professional

Opening the Crossness pumping station in 1865, the Prince of Wales – no doubt mindful of the foul odour pervading Buckingham Palace – looked forward to a future ‘when London will have become one of the healthiest cities in Europe’.2 London’s sewer system became a shining example of how public works can transform life in a city, not just for its current inhabitants, but for future generations. Each day, more than a billion gallons of water flow into Manhattan along two tunnels from upstate New York. A third tunnel has been under construction for forty years and is due to be completed in 2020. In the developed world, 98 per cent of city dwellers now have access to clean water. In the developing world, however, nearly a third of urban households do not have clean water, a figure that rises to 60 per cent in informal settlements. But urban plumbing is just one, albeit vital, aspect of the city’s infrastructure. The remarkable technological systems on which modern urban life depends are a reminder that the city is a uniquely human achievement: an artificial environment forged by our ingenuity and skill. The city is a machine, brought to life by our needs and desires.

Their reclaimed chinampas, or floating gardens, produced at least two harvests a year, their fertility boosted by regular treatments with human manure collected in the city. Each day a flotilla of perhaps fifty thousand canoes – each cut from a single tree trunk – swarmed to and from the great metropolis carrying produce from these hydroponic gardens and from further afield, the life blood of the city. But as well as food, clean water was essential, as it is for any city. Skilfully engineered aqueducts brought fresh water in from the surrounding mountains. Canoes then dispensed the water to individual residences. The city itself was divided into four by grand avenues which converged on a central walled complex of palaces and temples. Out of this soared the stepped pyramid of the Great Temple, sixty metres high, on which were two shrines: to Tlaloc, the rain god, and to Huitzilopoctli, the fearsome god of war who was the Mexica’s patron deity.

In fact, burials exceeded births in most large cities. And yet people continued to stream into the cities from the countryside. Indeed, immigration has always been essential to the economic growth of cities (although new arrivals did not have immunity to urban diseases and so were more likely to fall victim to epidemics). Along with improved medical services and treatments such as vaccination, creating adequate infrastructure to provide clean water and to dispose of waste and sewage was an essential stage in the development of healthy cities. By the 1850s, London’s population had risen to two and a half million, in a city thirty miles in circumference. Even a modern planned city would struggle to cope with a situation in which its population more than doubled in fifty years. And yet this was a city whose infrastructure had changed little in centuries.


pages: 448 words: 142,946

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, commoditize, corporate raider, credit crunch, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, debt deflation, deindustrialization, delayed gratification, disintermediation, diversification, fiat currency, financial independence, financial intermediation, fixed income, floating exchange rates, Fractional reserve banking, full employment, global supply chain, God and Mammon, happiness index / gross national happiness, hydraulic fracturing, informal economy, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, land tenure, land value tax, Lao Tzu, liquidity trap, McMansion, means of production, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, moral hazard, mortgage debt, new economy, off grid, oil shale / tar sands, Own Your Own Home, Paul Samuelson, 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.


pages: 411 words: 140,110

Endurance: A Year in Space, a Lifetime of Discovery by Scott Kelly, Margaret Lazarus Dean

clean water, dark matter, game design, inventory management, low earth orbit, Skype, the scientific method, twin studies, Y2K

The effects of living in space look a lot like those of aging, which affect us all. The lettuce we will grow later in the year is a study for future space travel—astronauts on their way to Mars will have no fresh food but what they can grow—but it is also teaching us more about growing food efficiently on Earth. The closed water system developed for the ISS, where we process our urine into clean water, is crucial for getting to Mars, but it also has promising implications for treating water on Earth, especially in places where clean water is scarce. This overlapping of scientific goals isn’t new—when Captain Cook traveled the Pacific it was for the purpose of exploration, but the scientists traveling with him picked up plants along the way and revolutionized the field of botany. Was the purpose of Cook’s expedition scientific or exploratory? Does it matter, ultimately?

I pull out the broken distillation assembly, double-bag it, label it, then store it in the PMM (Permanent Multipurpose Module, sort of a storage closet off Node 3) until it can be returned to Earth on a SpaceX. Engineers on the ground will examine it and, if they can, repair it to be sent up again. The next step is to fit the new assembly in place and torque it to a specific value. I start hooking up the fluid lines again very carefully, making sure not to combine clean water and urine lines, then connect the electrical cables. I am taking pictures of all of my work so the ground can later verify I did everything properly. As I’m working, the ground tells us Progress has officially been declared lost. With a sinking feeling, I float over to the Russian segment to confer. Misha meets me in the service module, and it’s clear he’s heard the bad news. “We’ll give you guys anything you need,” I say.

Terry tells me he sees this as a positive thing: it’s a privilege to live in space, and now he gets to stay longer and complete more of the things he wanted to do, like taking pictures of specific places on Earth and filming an IMAX movie he had a particular fondness for. Samantha’s attitude is more casual. “What are you going to do?” she asks, then points out that she will likely exceed the world record for the longest single spaceflight by a woman, 195 days. When I finally finish the huge job of changing out the urine processor, it is satisfying knowing that we will be able to process urine and make clean water. But it’s also strangely unsatisfying in that all I’ve done is put everything back the way it usually is. I reinstall the kabin, making sure all the tools are stowed properly, downlink the photos, then run on the treadmill for half an hour. While I’m running, a smoke alarm annunciates loudly. The treadmill under my feet stops automatically. The emergency signals are designed to get our attention, and they do.


pages: 337 words: 103,273

The Great Disruption: Why the Climate Crisis Will Bring on the End of Shopping and the Birth of a New World by Paul Gilding

airport security, Albert Einstein, Bob Geldof, BRICs, carbon footprint, clean water, cleantech, Climategate, commoditize, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, decarbonisation, energy security, Exxon Valdez, failed state, fear of failure, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Joseph Schumpeter, market fundamentalism, mass immigration, Naomi Klein, Nelson Mandela, 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.


The New Harvest: Agricultural Innovation in Africa by Calestous Juma

agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, barriers to entry, bioinformatics, business climate, carbon footprint, clean water, colonial rule, conceptual framework, creative destruction, double helix, energy security, energy transition, global value chain, income per capita, industrial cluster, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge economy, land tenure, M-Pesa, microcredit, mobile money, non-tariff barriers, off grid, out of africa, precision agriculture, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, sovereign wealth fund, structural adjustment programs, supply-chain management, total factor productivity, undersea cable

Developed by US-based Seldon Laboratories, these products require low energy usage to filter various pathogens and chemical contaminants and are already in use by aid workers in Rwanda and Uganda.33 One of the most promising applications of nanotechnology is low-cost, energy-efficient water purification. Nearly 300 million people in Africa lack access to clean water. Water purification technologies using reverse osmosis are not available in much of Africa, partly because of high energy costs. Through the use of a “smart plastic” membrane, the US-based Dais Analytic Corporation has developed a water purification system 56 THE NEW HARVEST that could significantly increase access to clean water and help to realize the recent proclamation by the United Nations that water and sanitation are fundamental human rights. The capital costs of the NanoClear technology are about half the cost of using a reverse osmosis water purification system.

The impact of structural adjustment policies on Malawi’s agriculture was evident from the late 1980s.2 Mounting evidence showed that growth in the smallholder sector had stagnated, with far-reaching implications for rural welfare. The focus of dominant policies was to subsidize consumers in urban areas.3 This policy approach prevailed in most African countries and was associated with the continued decline of the agricultural sector. In 2005, over half of the population in Malawi lived on less than a dollar a day, a quarter of the population lacked sufficient food daily, and a third lacked access to clean water. This started to change when Malawi’s wa Mutharika took on food insecurity, a dominant theme in the history of the country.4 His leadership helped to revitalize the agricultural sector and provides an inspiring lesson for other figures in the region who wish to enable and empower their people to meet their most basic needs. In 2005, Malawi’s agricultural sector employed 78% of the labor force, over half of whom operated below subsistence.

The new system uses about 30% less energy and does not involve toxic elements. The system is modular and can be readily scaled up on demand. A first-generation pilot plant opened in Tampa, Florida, in 2010, to be followed later in the year by the deployment of the first fully operational NanoClear water treatment facility in northern China. The example of NanoClear illustrates how nanotechnology can help provide clean water, reduces energy usage, and charts an affordable course toward achieving sustainable development goals.34 The potential for technologies as convenient as these would revolutionize the lifestyles of farmers and agricultural workers in Africa. Both humans and livestock would benefit from disease-free, contaminant-free water for consumption and agricultural use. The cost-prohibitive and time-intensive process of diagnosing disease promises to be improved by nanotechnological disease diagnostics.


pages: 212 words: 69,846

The Nation City: Why Mayors Are Now Running the World by Rahm Emanuel

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, blockchain, carbon footprint, clean water, deindustrialization, Donald Trump, Edward Glaeser, Enrique Peñalosa, Filter Bubble, income inequality, informal economy, Jane Jacobs, Kickstarter, Lyft, megacity, new economy, New Urbanism, offshore financial centre, payday loans, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the High Line, transcontinental railway, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, urban planning, War on Poverty, white flight, working poor

When Lyndon Baines Johnson proposed the Great Society and civil rights legislation, many conservatives were displeased, believing it to be an overreach of the federal government. But a compromise was achieved, and subsequent Republican presidents—Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford—ended up expanding the programs during their terms. (This prompted Nixon’s famous “I am now a Keynesian in economics” line.) There was the formation of Medicare and Medicaid, and the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts, and the War on Poverty. All of them were worked on as compromises. In 1986, Ronald Reagan’s Tax Reform Act was sponsored by Dan Rostenkowski, who was a Democratic representative. The art of compromise—really, the art of the executive branch of government working with the legislative one to conquer evil, fix problems, and respond to constituents—continued all the way into Bill Clinton’s second term.

Dropping crime rates aren’t the only enticement to live in a city. The physical spaces of cities have improved dramatically in the last three decades. Mayors and cities began to repurpose old industrial sites, turning them into playgrounds and parks. They focused on reducing car traffic by rebuilding mass transit systems and making cities more walkable and bikeable. Cities were the primary beneficiaries of the Clean Air Act (in the 1960s) and the Clean Water Act (in the 1970s), which have improved air quality and cleaned up waterways. (The Cuyahoga River is no longer flammable. Los Angeles’s air quality has dramatically improved. When I was growing up, we used to have to run into the water, dive underneath, hold our breath, and swim thirty feet to get past all the dead fish that had washed ashore. That no longer happens.) Retail establishments, restaurants, and cultural institutions have flourished, making cities more attractive to the young, to new families, and to empty-nesters.

“This is one of the ways you weave a community together and bond it and make it better,” he says. After Barrett and I talked about how to further revive Great Lakes cities, he came up with a term for the area—the “Fresh Coast”—that I loved. “ ‘Rust belt’ just has such negative connotations,” he says. “Here we are on the shores of 20 percent of the world’s freshwater supply. In reality what defines us is access to the Great Lakes and clean water. We need to rebrand our entire coast.” Barrett sold the rest of us Great Lakes mayors on an initiative that ended up being not just about marketing but about fighting for cleaner water and recreation. It was a brilliant piece of rebranding. And it’s starting to work on tourists and, maybe more important, our inhabitants. I liked it from the get-go because it fit nicely with my congressional legislation, the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative


pages: 213 words: 70,742

Notes From an Apocalypse: A Personal Journey to the End of the World and Back by Mark O'Connell

Berlin Wall, bitcoin, blockchain, California gold rush, carbon footprint, Carrington event, clean water, Colonization of Mars, conceptual framework, cryptocurrency, disruptive innovation, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, Donner party, Elon Musk, high net worth, Jeff Bezos, life extension, low earth orbit, Marc Andreessen, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, New Urbanism, off grid, Peter Thiel, post-work, Sam Altman, Silicon Valley, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, the built environment, yield curve

New Zealand, Anthony pointed out, was positioned right on the Pacific Ring of Fire, a horseshoe curve of geological fault lines stretching upward from the western flank of the Americas, back down along the eastern coasts of Russia and Japan and on into the South Pacific. It was volcano country. It seemed odd, I said, given all this seismic activity, that superrich Silicon Valley technologists were supposedly apocalypse-proofing themselves by buying up land down here. “Yeah,” said Anthony, “but some of them are buying farms and sheep stations pretty far inland. Tsunamis aren’t going to be a big issue there. And what they’re after is space, and clean water. Two things we’ve got a lot of down here.” It was precisely this phenomenon—of tech billionaires buying up property in New Zealand in anticipation of civilizational collapse—that constituted our shared apocalyptic obsession. This was the reason I had come down here, to find out about these apocalyptic retreats, and to see what New Zealanders thought of this perception of their country. In any discussion of our anxious historical moment, its apprehensions of decay and collapse, New Zealand was never very far from being invoked.

Tolkien, and his interest in New Zealand was not unconnected with the fact that Peter Jackson’s film adaptations of The Lord of the Rings had been filmed there. This was a man who had named at least five of his companies in reference to Middle Earth and fantasized as a teenager about playing chess against a robot that could discuss the books. It was a matter, too, of the country’s abundance of clean water and the convenience of overnight flights from California. But it was also inseparable from a particular strand of apocalyptic libertarianism. To read The Sovereign Individual was to see this ideology laid bare: these people, the self-appointed “cognitive elite,” were content to see the unraveling of the world as long as they could carry on creating wealth in the end times. I was struck by how strange and disquieting it must have been for a New Zealander to see their own country refracted through this strange apocalyptic lens.

He told us of one wealthy American of his acquaintance, “pretty left-of-center,” who had bought land down here to allay his apocalyptic fears in the immediate aftermath of Trump’s election. Another couple he knew of, a pair of Bitcoin billionaires, had bought a large lakeside estate on which they were constructing a gigantic bunker. This was the first I’d heard since coming here of an actual bunker being built. From the point of view of the modern apocalypticist, the whole appeal of the country—its remoteness and stability, its abundant clean water, its vast and lovely reaches of unpeopled land—seemed to be that it was itself a kind of reinforced geopolitical shelter, way down there at the bottom of the world. If wealthy foreigners were buying land here and building literal bunkers, fortifications beneath the ground of this country that had welcomed them in the first place, what did that say about their motivations, their view of life? * * * — More than a year after my trip to New Zealand, the country was once again a focus of international attention, when an Australian white supremacist walked into a Christchurch mosque during Friday prayers and murdered more than fifty people with an assault rifle, streaming the killing live on Facebook.


The Polytunnel Book: Fruit and Vegetables All Year Round by Joyce Russell

clean water, Kickstarter, working poor

Some polytunnels can be fitted with gutters to do the same job. Wherever you put the barrels, try to choose a point close to the polytunnel, so that you don’t have to walk miles to fill a watering can. Alternatively, if you elevate the container, it might be possible to create a gravity feed to pipe the water down to where it is needed. Don’t let water stand too long without using it. The idea is to have a good, fresh, clean water supply. Top Tip Put barrels of water inside the polytunnel to help raise temperatures through the winter months (see November). Electricity An electricity supply can be essential if you want to operate propagators, soil warming cables, lights, etc. However, the combination of electric sockets and a damp environment isn’t ideal. Consult a qualified electrician, or install an outdoor power kit, which has armoured cable and connectors suitable for using outdoors (available from Two Wests & Elliott, for instance – see list of suppliers).

Look on December as that time arriving! Fill a large bucket, or even a wheelbarrow, with warm water and an environmentally friendly washing liquid. Add some algae remover, or Citrox, or tea tree oil. Then find a nice sunny spot in the garden, sit down and start to scrub. A washing-up brush works well for getting into the corners and removing all debris. Spread the washed pots out on the ground and hose them off with clean water. Once they are dry pots can be stacked and stored in boxes. They will be clean, disease and pest free, and all ready for the growing year to come. Soil health Gardeners expect a lot from the patch of earth inside a polytunnel. It gets little rest and is often expected to crop on a year-round basis. This may work out extremely well for the first year, but fertility will decrease and pest and disease problems increase over subsequent years, unless you take some action.

Clear water running through the pipe will be perfectly fine for cleaning over the top – just scrub a little with the brush. 5. Use a hosepipe to rinse the polythene with clear water. 6. Repeat the process on the inside of the tunnel, but remember to wear a waterproof jacket with the hood up! The long-handled brush should reach to the top, but it will drip. 7. Give any growing plants a quick squirt of clean water. 8. Stand back to admire the effect, but also to check for any bits that you have missed. Repairing doors Galvanized metal doors will last for years, although they might need re-covering with polythene. Wooden ones might fall apart and rot. If a new wooden door is needed, it isn’t hard to make one. Don’t use heavy timber, as this might pull on the frame (47mm x 22mm is fine). Do use diagonal bracing so that the door doesn’t twist or slip out of shape.


Home Maintenance Checklist: Complete DIY Guide for Homeowners: 101 Ways to Save Money and Look After Your Home by Ian Anderson

clean water, en.wikipedia.org

Preparation is critical, just slapping on new stuff simply won’t protect the material, even if it looks good initially. Generally… Scrape away any old flaky layers of the old finish. Clean down with a ‘house cleaner’ detergent, with a mould killer element if there are green or black spores on the surface. A bucket of cleaner and another of clean water and a couple of sponges work well indoors. Wipe over with one sponge and detergent and ‘rinse’ with the other sponge and clean water. Outdoors, careful use of a pressure washer to pump cleaner onto the surface works well (don’t go too close). Scrub with a small brush on a long handle and afterwards rinse everything away being careful with the angle you use (avoid getting water behind anything), mimic how the rain would hit the surface to be safe. Allow plenty of time for everything to dry.


pages: 311 words: 17,232

Living in a Material World: The Commodity Connection by Kevin Morrison

addicted to oil, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, carbon footprint, clean water, commoditize, commodity trading advisor, computerized trading, diversified portfolio, Doha Development Round, Elon Musk, energy security, European colonialism, flex fuel, food miles, Hernando de Soto, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, hydrogen economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Kickstarter, Long Term Capital Management, new economy, North Sea oil, oil rush, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, out of africa, Paul Samuelson, 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.


pages: 468 words: 150,206

The Food Revolution: How Your Diet Can Help Save Your Life and Our World by John Robbins

Albert Einstein, carbon footprint, clean water, complexity theory, double helix, Exxon Valdez, food miles, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), laissez-faire capitalism, longitudinal study, 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.


pages: 216 words: 74,110

Adrift: Seventy-Six Days Lost at Sea by Steven Callahan

clean water, Kickstarter

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.


pages: 138 words: 40,525

This Is Not a Drill: An Extinction Rebellion Handbook by Extinction Rebellion

3D printing, autonomous vehicles, banks create money, bitcoin, blockchain, Buckminster Fuller, car-free, carbon footprint, clean water, Colonization of Mars, crowdsourcing, David Attenborough, David Graeber, decarbonisation, deindustrialization, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, feminist movement, full employment, gig economy, global pandemic, ice-free Arctic, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), job automation, mass immigration, Peter Thiel, place-making, quantitative easing, Ray Kurzweil, Sam Altman, smart grid, supply-chain management, the scientific method, union organizing, urban sprawl, wealth creators

Nor by tweaking carbon markets that have been gutted of climate ambition by fossil-fuel lobbyists. We need to overhaul our political systems to limit access to government by big business. We need citizens’ assemblies to allow ordinary people to decide the scale and pace of transition on the basis of independent scientific advice. We need new laws to prevent ecocide – the destruction of the insects, plants and ecosystems that humanity needs for food, pollination, clean water and healthy oceans. Every parliament, state legislature and local authority needs to declare a climate and ecological emergency, following the lead of ninety-one councils in the UK, including London and the UK Parliament, and to start allocating resources differently. The reality is that politicians and powerful elites who benefit from ‘business as usual’ are not going to stop their destructive practices or loosen their grip on the financial and economic levers.

— Buckminster Fuller 24/ A POLITICAL VIEW CAROLINE LUCAS MP Climate breakdown is inseparable from politics. The melting ice caps, the scorching heatwaves and the staggering declines in animal and insect populations are the direct result of failures by people in power. Irreversible changes to the natural world are taking place because our economy is built on the assumption that precious minerals, fresh air, clean water and rare species can magically regenerate themselves in an instant. That somehow the Earth will expand to meet our insatiable appetites. But the reality is we’ve stretched our planet beyond its limits – and without a bold reimagining of our economy and the power structures that sustain the status quo, it won’t be able to spring back into shape. Across the world, our political processes have systematically failed to deliver for either people or planet.


pages: 309 words: 86,909

The Spirit Level: Why Greater Equality Makes Societies Stronger by Richard Wilkinson, Kate Pickett

basic income, Berlin Wall, clean water, Diane Coyle, epigenetics, experimental economics, experimental subject, Fall of the Berlin Wall, full employment, germ theory of disease, Gini coefficient, God and Mammon, impulse control, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), knowledge economy, labor-force participation, land reform, longitudinal study, Louis Pasteur, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Milgram experiment, moral panic, 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, zero-sum game

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.


pages: 313 words: 84,312

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, disruptive innovation, double helix, Douglas Engelbart, 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, Johannes Kepler, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Joi Ito, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, lateral thinking, lone genius, M-Pesa, Mark Shuttleworth, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, microcredit, Mitch Kapor, new economy, Nicholas Carr, online collectivism, planetary scale, post scarcity, Richard Stallman, Shoshana Zuboff, 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.


pages: 281 words: 79,958

Denialism: How Irrational Thinking Hinders Scientific Progress, Harms the Planet, and Threatens Our Lives by Michael Specter

23andMe, agricultural Revolution, Anne Wojcicki, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Asilomar, 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: Challenger O-ring, Ronald Reagan, Simon Singh, Skype, stem cell, Ted Kaczynski, the scientific method, Thomas Malthus, twin studies, 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.


pages: 309 words: 81,975

Brave New Work: Are You Ready to Reinvent Your Organization? by Aaron Dignan

"side hustle", activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, autonomous vehicles, basic income, Bertrand Russell: In Praise of Idleness, bitcoin, Black Swan, blockchain, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, butterfly effect, cashless society, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, David Heinemeier Hansson, deliberate practice, DevOps, disruptive innovation, don't be evil, Elon Musk, endowment effect, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, Frederick Winslow Taylor, future of work, gender pay gap, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, gig economy, Google X / Alphabet X, hiring and firing, hive mind, income inequality, information asymmetry, Internet of things, Jeff Bezos, job satisfaction, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, loose coupling, loss aversion, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, minimum viable product, new economy, Paul Graham, race to the bottom, remote working, Richard Thaler, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, six sigma, smart contracts, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, software is eating the world, source of truth, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, the High Line, too big to fail, Toyota Production System, uber lyft, universal basic income, Y Combinator, zero-sum game

For example, if you want to ensure that everyone in the world has access to clean water, a nonprofit called charity: water is one of just a handful of organizations that have created space for that work. When its founder, Scott Harrison, looked at the water crisis ten years ago, he didn’t see an organization approaching it the way he wanted to—as a storyteller. So he started from scratch. charity: water would become the place to participate in the reinvention of philanthropy. Early innovations like being able to see where your money went in the field—knowing that a particular village or individual was drinking clean water because of you—electrified a new generation of donors. Today more than seven million people have clean water because Scott planted a flag and made some space. When you commit to changing your OS, you’re taking on the challenge of creating a liminal space.


pages: 267 words: 85,265

That Wild Country: An Epic Journey Through the Past, Present, and Future of America's Public Lands by Mark Kenyon

American Legislative Exchange Council, bank run, clean water, Donald Trump, land tenure, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ronald Reagan

And yet, I’d never truly understood the breadth or scope of our public lands. I knew public land existed, but that was the extent of it. It was an unfortunate and large oversight—a 640-million-acre oversight, in fact. To put that in perspective, the acreage of our federal public lands is equivalent to the entire country of Germany seven times over. These lands provide space for hunting, fishing, and leisure activities; wildlife habitats; clean-water protection; sustainable industry; and much more. All for the public. It’s about as profoundly American an idea as you can find: the democratization of land and resources and food and recreation and wildlife and scenery and space and solitude. After graduating college, I wised up to the inexpensive adventure national parks and other public lands afforded and soon made my way toward the setting sun.

Hunters and anglers, one of the largest and most dedicated groups of public-land users in the nation, were traditionally aligned with the Republican Party. It seemed to me that taking such an aggressive position threatened to disenchant an important and powerful base of Republican support. Was the pressure on these politicians from certain industries really worth making this new set of enemies? But even more than that, I struggled to understand how and why public lands, outdoor recreation, clean air, and clean water had to be divisive political issues at all. I hated to see public land—such a clear example of American exceptionalism—being pushed to one side of the partisan divide. Regardless of political affiliation, if any group or individual was taking a stance against public lands, I’d have to push back. And this situation seemed to be happening more and more often. Baffled and alarmed over the increasingly uncertain future of public lands, I turned to the past.

When the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) was created to “encourage productive and enjoyable harmony between man and his environment; to promote efforts which will prevent or eliminate damage to the environment and biosphere and stimulate the health and welfare of man; to enrich the understanding of the ecological systems and natural resources important to the Nation; and to establish a Council on Environmental Quality,” public-land managers were suddenly mandated to produce an “environmental impact statement” that would provide “a ‘hard look’ at the potential environmental consequences of [any] proposed project.” Part of the NEPA process required a public review of any proposed management project. In practice, this opened up public-land decisions to public critique, and even lawsuits. Other environmental legislation followed in the seventies, such as the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, and Endangered Species Act, and each required new protections for the public estate. By the end of the seventies, the sweeping changes resulted in a significantly more carefully managed public-land system, with a much more diverse set of values and stakeholders guiding that management. While the public-land legislation leading up through the fifties had been primarily focused on setting aside land from development, the sixties and seventies saw tighter regulation and clear requirements placed on those lands.


pages: 396 words: 123,619

Hope for Animals and Their World by Jane Goodall, Thane Maynard, Gail Hudson

carbon footprint, clean water, David Attenborough, Google Earth, Maui Hawaii, Nelson Mandela, new economy, out of africa

(Maja Boyd) Maja had gone to inspect the area prior to the return of the deer. She found that part of it was a tree nursery—which was fine. But there was also a pig farm, which Maja felt was not appropriate. The government agreed to move the pigs. Then they had to block access for a stream that flowed through the area, since it was horribly polluted. They dug nine little wells to provide water for the animals and embarked on the major project: filling the lake with clean water. The new arrivals deserved the best the Chinese could give them. But there was another major problem. The officials in charge of building the required quarantine sheds insisted that they be designed like the traditional stall for cows or horses—with a half door. No matter how often Maja explained that deer were different, and would immediately leap over a half door, the Chinese would not, or could not, believe her.

Liao has loved animals since he was young. He initially wanted to be a veterinarian but was accepted into the department of aquaculture. “It’s quite the same thing really,” he said. “Fish get sick, too, and instead of helping individual animals, I get to help a whole pond of them!” After graduating, he applied successfully for a job at the Shei-pa National Park. “Because the Formosan landlocked salmon is a finicky species, needing clean water at the right temperature, and very particular about its diet, trying to restore them to the natural environment is difficult,” said Liao, “but our team was determined to make it happen.” They racked their brains to think of ways to increase the number of fry, and then spent sleepless nights persuading the young fish to feed. “The trouble is, they prefer live organisms,” Liao explained, “but water fleas are difficult to acquire in the mountains and shrimp is not an appropriate choice.”

As I turned away from the blackened rocks of yesterday, I was just in time to glimpse the arrow-swift flight of a peregrine falcon—back again after more than fifty years. It was almost as though nature herself was sending me a message of hope to share with the world. They gave me a feather, found near one of the three peregrine nests, as a symbol of all that can be done to heal the scars we have inflicted on Planet Earth. Before I left Sudbury, I had the joy of releasing a brook trout into the clean water of a stream that had, until recently, been dank, poisoned, lifeless. Water Is Life The pollution of our streams, rivers, lakes, and oceans is one of the more shocking results of the use of chemicals and other damaging agents in agriculture, industry, household products, golf courses, and gardens, since much of this poison is washed into the water. Even many of the great aquifers are now polluted.


pages: 406 words: 120,933

The Great Lakes Water Wars by Peter Annin

clean water, Donald Trump, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), off grid, Ronald Reagan, urban sprawl

Stanley Chagnon, emeritus chief of the Illinois State Water Survey, captures this anger in a comprehensive report he edited and partially wrote for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in 1994: Few would argue that through the late 1800s, Chicago residents faced serious health problems due to the quality of their drinking water. Few would argue that Chicago residents deserve, as much as any other people, clean water for household use. Many, however, have argued that Chicago (through the [Sanitary District] and often with the blessing of state and federal governments) did not have the right to divert water from Lake Michigan for its own use and then return that water in a contaminated state and to pollute other waters…. Especially in the early 1920s, opponents of the diversion also argued that Chicago did not have the right to improve its own navigational interests at the expense of similar interest among the states and Canadian provinces that border the Great Lakes.

Indiana did the same thing,” he said. “So the lesson, my lesson, out of all of that was push ahead and do it and don’t try to make everyone happy because it ain’t gonna happen.” Mr. Ledin also defended the decision to quietly approve a new return-flow diversion to Menomonee Falls in 1998. The approval was part of a decades-long sustainable water-planning effort to help the greater Milwaukee area comply with the federal Clean Water Act. He said that through litigation the DNR had forced Menomonee Falls to abandon its own sewage-treatment system and connect to Milwaukee’s. As part of that deal, Menomonee Falls was allowed to connect to Milwaukee’s Lake Michigan drinking water system, even though part of the suburb was outside the Great Lakes Basin. As part of that process, Wisconsin quietly approved the small water diversion to the west side of Menomonee Falls without notifying other Great Lakes states—at least not until Bruce Baker mentioned it during his newspaper interview.

As part of the application process, Waukesha was required to define the area where the diverted water would be delivered. The City started with its current water-supply service area, but then expanded the area to include sections of four neighboring communities. The reason? State law required that sewer service areas match up geographically with water-supply service areas so that the urban plumbing that delivered clean water to a community matched up with the pipes that took dirty water away. In many instances throughout the state, the sewer service area was much larger than the water-supply service area, which was the case in Waukesha. Its delineated sewer area stretched beyond its municipal boundaries and overlapped with sections of four neighboring communities: Pewaukee, Genesee, Delafield, and the Town of Waukesha (which is a different municipal jurisdiction from the City of Waukesha—see map on page 287).


pages: 598 words: 172,137

Who Stole the American Dream? by Hedrick Smith

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbus A320, airline deregulation, anti-communist, asset allocation, banking crisis, Bonfire of the Vanities, British Empire, business cycle, business process, clean water, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, collective bargaining, commoditize, 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, industrial cluster, informal economy, invisible hand, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, Kitchen Debate, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, laissez-faire capitalism, late fees, Long Term Capital Management, low cost airline, low cost carrier, manufacturing employment, market fundamentalism, Maui Hawaii, mega-rich, MITM: man-in-the-middle, mortgage debt, negative equity, new economy, Occupy movement, Own Your Own Home, Paul Samuelson, Peter Thiel, Plutonomy: Buying Luxury, Explaining Global Imbalances, Ponzi scheme, Powell Memorandum, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, Renaissance Technologies, reshoring, rising living standards, Robert Bork, 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.


pages: 558 words: 168,179

Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right by Jane Mayer

affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, American Legislative Exchange Council, 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, corporate raider, 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, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, job automation, low skilled workers, mandatory minimum, market fundamentalism, mass incarceration, 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, Powell Memorandum, Ralph Nader, Renaissance Technologies, road to serfdom, Robert Mercer, 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.


pages: 850 words: 254,117

Basic Economics by Thomas Sowell

affirmative action, air freight, airline deregulation, American Legislative Exchange Council, bank run, barriers to entry, big-box store, British Empire, business cycle, clean water, collective bargaining, colonial rule, corporate governance, correlation does not imply causation, cross-subsidies, David Brooks, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, declining real wages, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, diversified portfolio, European colonialism, fixed income, Fractional reserve banking, full employment, global village, Gunnar Myrdal, Hernando de Soto, hiring and firing, housing crisis, income inequality, income per capita, index fund, informal economy, inventory management, invisible hand, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, joint-stock company, Just-in-time delivery, Kenneth Arrow, knowledge economy, labor-force participation, land reform, late fees, low cost airline, low cost carrier, low skilled workers, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, minimum wage unemployment, moral hazard, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, payday loans, price discrimination, price stability, profit motive, quantitative easing, Ralph Nader, rent control, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, surplus humans, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Chicago School, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas Malthus, transcontinental railway, Vanguard fund, War on Poverty

Despite the political appeal of categorical phrases like “clean water” and “clean air,” there are in fact no such things, never have been, and perhaps never will be. Moreover, there are diminishing returns in removing impurities from water or air. Reducing truly dangerous amounts of impurities from water or air may be done at costs that most people would agree were quite reasonable. But, as higher and higher standards of purity are prescribed by government, in order to eliminate ever more minute traces of ever more remote or more questionable dangers, the costs escalate out of proportion to the benefits. Even if removing 98 percent of a given impurity costs twice as much as eliminating 97 percent, and removing 99 percent costs ten times as much, the political appeal of categorical phrases like “clean water” may be just as potent when the water is already 99 percent pure as when it was dangerously polluted.

That was demonstrated back in the 1970s: The Council of Economic Advisers argued that making the nation’s streams 99 percent pure, rather than 98 percent pure, would have a cost far exceeding its benefits, but Congress was unmoved.{656} Depending on what the particular impurity is, minute traces may or may not pose a serious danger. But political controversies over impurities in the water are unlikely to be settled at a scientific level when passions can be whipped up in the name of non-existent “clean water.” No matter how pure the water becomes, someone can always demand the removal of more impurities. And, unless the public understands the logical and economic implications of what is being said, that demand can become politically irresistible, since no public official wants to be known as being opposed to clean water. It is not even certain that reducing extremely small amounts of substances that are harmful in larger amounts reduces risks at all. Even arsenic in the water—in extremely minute traces—has been found to have health benefits.{657} An old saying declares: “It is the dose that makes the poison.”

However, this new additive tended to leak from filling station storage tanks and automobile gas tanks, polluting the ground water in the first case and leading to more automobile fires in the second.{661} Similarly, government-mandated air bags in automobiles, introduced to save lives in car crashes, have themselves killed small children. These are all matters of incremental trade-offs to find an optimal amount and kind of safety, in a world where being categorically safe is as impossible as achieving 100 percent clean air or clean water. Incremental trade-offs are made all the time in individual market transactions, but it can be politically suicidal to oppose demands for more clean air, clean water or automobile safety. Therefore saying that the government can improve over the results of individual transactions in a free market is not the same as saying that it will in fact do so. Among the greatest external costs imposed in a society can be those imposed politically by legislators and officials who pay no costs whatever, while imposing billions of dollars in costs on others, in order to respond to political pressures from advocates of particular interests or ideologies.


pages: 159 words: 45,073

GDP: A Brief but Affectionate History by Diane Coyle

"Robert Solow", Asian financial crisis, Berlin Wall, big-box store, Bretton Woods, BRICs, business cycle, clean water, computer age, conceptual framework, crowdsourcing, Diane Coyle, double entry bookkeeping, en.wikipedia.org, endogenous growth, Erik Brynjolfsson, Fall of the Berlin Wall, falling living standards, financial intermediation, global supply chain, happiness index / gross national happiness, hedonic treadmill, income inequality, income per capita, informal economy, Johannes Kepler, 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.


pages: 154 words: 47,880

The System: Who Rigged It, How We Fix It by Robert B. Reich

affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Bernie Madoff, Bernie Sanders, business cycle, clean water, collective bargaining, corporate governance, corporate raider, corporate social responsibility, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, cryptocurrency, Donald Trump, ending welfare as we know it, financial deregulation, Gordon Gekko, immigration reform, income inequality, Jeff Bezos, job automation, London Whale, Long Term Capital Management, market fundamentalism, mass incarceration, mortgage debt, Occupy movement, Ponzi scheme, race to the bottom, Robert Bork, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, too big to fail, trickle-down economics, union organizing, women in the workforce, working poor, zero-sum game

the right to pollute?); (2) on what terms (hostile takeovers? corporate monopolies? the right to organize unions? a minimum wage? the length of patent protections?); (3) under what conditions (uninsured derivatives? fraudulent mortgages? mandatory arbitration of disputes?); (4) how to repay what’s owed (debtor’s prison? bankruptcy? corporate bailouts?); (5) what’s private and what’s public (clean air and clean water? health care? good schools?); and (6) how to pay for what’s deemed to be public (corporate taxes? personal income taxes? a wealth tax?). These rules do not exist in nature. They are human creations. Governments don’t intrude on free markets. Governments organize and maintain markets. The system is created by people. The question is, Which people? The central issue is not more or less government.

As I’ve noted, twenty-one of the CEOs signing your statement preside over hugely profitable corporations that didn’t pay a cent of federal income tax in 2018, in part due to the corporate tax cut you and they successfully lobbied for. Your bank, JPMorgan Chase, got a whopping tax cut, too. The programs you’ve initiated for worker training and affordable housing are commendable, but they’re insignificant compared to those tax cuts. How do you expect our communities to pay for the schools, roads, clean water, and social services they need unless you and your colleagues push for higher taxes on corporations and yourselves? If you and the other members of your Business Roundtable were serious about becoming responsible to all your stakeholders, you’d use your formidable political power to reduce your power relative to them. You’d seek legislation binding yourself and every other major corporation to have worker representatives on your boards of directors, mandating that workers receive a certain percentage of shares of stock, requiring that your corporations recognize a union when a majority of your workers want one, giving the communities where you operate a say before your corporations abandon them, and imposing higher corporate taxes in order to support your workers and your communities.


pages: 385 words: 133,839

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, MITM: man-in-the-middle, Naomi Klein, Nelson Mandela, 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.


pages: 374 words: 91,966

Escape from Hell by Larry Niven; Jerry Pournelle

Albert Einstein, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, clean water, out of africa

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 Humanure Handbook: A Guide to Composting Human Manure by Joseph Jenkins

Albert Einstein, clean water, Y2K

The impacts of polluted water are far-ranging, causing the deaths of 25 million people each year, three-fifths of them children.22 Half of all people in developing countries suffer from diseases associated with poor water supply and sanitation.23 Diarrhea, a disease associated with polluted water, kills six million children each year in developing countries, and it contributes to the deaths of up to 18 million people.24 At the beginning of the 21st century, one out of four people in developing countries still lacked clean water, and two out of three lacked adequate sanitation.25 Proper sanitation is defined by the World Health Organization as any excreta disposal facility that interrupts the transmission of fecal contaminants to humans.26 This definition should be expanded to include excreta recycling facilities. Compost toilet systems are now becoming internationally recognized as constituting “proper sanitation,” and are becoming more and more attractive throughout the world due to their relatively low cost when compared to waterborne waste systems and centralized sewers.

No composting facilities are necessary in or near one’s living space, although the toilet can and should be inside the living quarters and can be quite comfortably designed and totally odor-free. No electricity is needed and no water is required except a small amount for cleaning purposes. One gallon of water can clean two five gallon receptacles. It takes one adult two weeks to fill two five gallon toilet receptacles with humanure and urine, including cover material. This requires one gallon of cleaning water for every two weeks of humanure toilet use as opposed to the standard thirty gallons per person per day used to flush a water toilet. The compost, if properly managed, will heat up sufficiently for sanitation to occur, thereby making it useful for gardening purposes. The composting process is fast, i.e., the humanure is converted quickly — within a few days if not frozen — into an inoffensive substance that will not attract flies.

Washington D.C.: Bureau of National Affairs, Inc., p. 1110. 15 Paul, Elizabeth. (1998). Testing the Waters VIII: Has Your Vacation Beach Cleaned Up Its Act?. Washington, D.C.: Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc.; NRDC Worldview News. (1998). Pollution Persists at US Beaches. Washington, D.C.: Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc. 16 - Whitaker, Barbara, Federal Judge Rules Los Angeles Violates Clean Water Laws, N. Y. Times, Dec. 24, 2002 17 Bitton, Gabriel. (1994). Wastewater Microbiology. New York: Wiley-Liss, Inc., p. 368-369. 18 National Resources Defense Council. (1997). Bulletin: Stop Polluted Runoff - 11 Actions to Clean up Our Waters. http://www.nrdc.org/nrdcpn/fppubl.html. 19 - Wastewater Microbiology, p. 86. 20 - Ralof, Janet. (1998 March 21). “Drugged Waters — Does it Matter that Pharmaceuticals are Turning Up in Water Supplies?”


pages: 607 words: 185,487

Seeing Like a State: How Certain Schemes to Improve the Human Condition Have Failed by James C. Scott

agricultural Revolution, business cycle, clean water, colonial rule, commoditize, deskilling, facts on the ground, germ theory of disease, informal economy, invention of writing, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, Kenneth Arrow, land reform, land tenure, Louis Pasteur, new economy, New Urbanism, Potemkin village, price mechanism, profit maximization, road to serfdom, Silicon Valley, stochastic process, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the scientific method, Thorstein Veblen, urban decay, urban planning, urban renewal, working poor

It goes without saying that the settlements of the Federal Land Development Authority (FELDA) allowed the state to control the mix of export crops, to monitor production and processing, and to set producer prices in order to generate revenue. The publicly stated rationale for planned settlement schemes was almost always couched in the discourse of orderly development and social services (such as the provision of health clinics, sanitation, adequate housing, education, clean water, and infrastructure). The public rhetoric was not intentionally insincere; it was, however, misleadingly silent about the manifold ways in which orderly development of this kind served important goals of appropriation, security, and political hegemony that could not have been met through autonomous frontier settlement. FELDA schemes were "soft" civilian versions of the new villages created as part of counterinsurgency policy.

Even in this "softer" version of authoritarian high modernism, certain family resemblances stand out. The first is the logic of "improvement." As in the "unimproved" forest, the existing patterns of settlement and social life in Tanzania were illegible and resistant to the narrow purposes of the state. Only by radically simplifying the settlement pattern was it possible for the state to efficiently deliver such development services as schools, clinics, and clean water. Mere administrative convenience was hardly the only objective of state officials, and that is our second point. The thinly veiled subtext of villagization was also to reorganize human communities in order to make them better objects of political control and to facilitate the new forms of communal farming favored by state policy. In this context, there are striking parallels between what Nyerere and Tanzanian African National Union (TANU) envisioned and the program of agriculture and settlement initiated by the colonial regimes in East Africa.

The same techno-economic vision was shared, until very late in the game, by the World Bank, United States Agency for International Development (usAID), and other development agencies contributing to Tanzanian development." However enthusiastic they were in spearheading their campaign, the political leaders of Tanzania were more consumers of a high-modernist faith that had originated elsewhere much earlier than they were producers. What was perhaps distinctive about the Tanzanian scheme was its speed, its comprehensiveness, and its intention to deliver such collective services as schools, clinics, and clean water. Although considerable force was applied in seeing the scheme through, even then its consequences were not nearly as brutal or irremediable as those of Soviet collectivization." The Tanzanian state's relative weakness and unwillingness to resort to Stalinist methods" as well as the Tanzanian peasants' tactical advantages, including flight, unofficial production and trade, smuggling, and foot-dragging, combined to make the practice of villagization far less destructive than the theory."'


pages: 162 words: 51,473

The Accidental Theorist: And Other Dispatches From the Dismal Science by Paul Krugman

"Robert Solow", Bonfire of the Vanities, Bretton Woods, business cycle, clean water, collective bargaining, computerized trading, corporate raider, declining real wages, floating exchange rates, full employment, George Akerlof, George Gilder, Home mortgage interest deduction, income inequality, indoor plumbing, informal economy, invisible hand, Kenneth Arrow, knowledge economy, life extension, new economy, Nick Leeson, paradox of thrift, Paul Samuelson, plutocrats, Plutocrats, price stability, rent control, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, trade route, very high income, working poor, zero-sum game

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.


pages: 172 words: 48,747

The View From Flyover Country: Dispatches From the Forgotten America by Sarah Kendzior

"side hustle", Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, American ideology, barriers to entry, clean water, corporate personhood, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, David Graeber, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, George Santayana, glass ceiling, income inequality, low skilled workers, Lyft, Marshall McLuhan, Mohammed Bouazizi, new economy, obamacare, Occupy movement, payday loans, pink-collar, post-work, publish or perish, Richard Florida, ride hailing / ride sharing, Silicon Valley, the medium is the message, trickle-down economics, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, unpaid internship, Upton Sinclair, urban decay, War on Poverty, WikiLeaks, women in the workforce

Is that the lesson we are passing on—that poor children are inherently undeserving of a basic provision in one of the richest countries in the world? A Third World Problem? U.S. citizens denied clean water often compare their situation with that of distant, disenfranchised lands. “It’s frightening, because you think this is something that only happens somewhere like Africa,” a mother in Detroit told the LA Times. “It’s like we’re living in a Third World country,” a West Virginian told The New Yorker. The circumstances differ, but the outcome is the same. Water is a right, and denial of water is a form of social control. In Ukraine, water and electricity were cut off in certain regions following the Russian incursion. In Syria, multiple political groups manipulated the water supply at different times, leaving roughly one million people without access to clean water or sanitation. In Gaza, hundreds of thousands of Palestinians lack water, including those living in hospitals and refugee camps.


pages: 197 words: 49,296

The Future We Choose: Surviving the Climate Crisis by Christiana Figueres, Tom Rivett-Carnac

3D printing, Airbnb, autonomous vehicles, Berlin Wall, carbon footprint, clean water, David Attenborough, decarbonisation, dematerialisation, Donald Trump, en.wikipedia.org, F. W. de Klerk, Fall of the Berlin Wall, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Lyft, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Wolf, mass immigration, Nelson Mandela, new economy, ride hailing / ride sharing, self-driving car, smart grid, sovereign wealth fund, the scientific method, trade route, uber lyft, urban planning, urban sprawl, Yogi Berra

Most of the infrastructure that it needed for economic growth and poverty alleviation was built according to the new standards: low carbon emissions and high resilience. In remote areas, the billion people who had no electricity at the start of the twenty-first century now have energy generated by their own rooftop solar modules or by wind-powered minigrids in their communities. This new access opened the door to so much more. Entire populations have leaped forward with improved sanitation, education, and health care. People who had struggled to get clean water can now provide it to their families. Children can study at night. Remote health clinics can operate effectively. Homes and buildings all over the world are becoming self-sustaining far beyond their electrical needs. For example, all buildings now collect rainwater and manage their own water use. Renewable sources of electricity made possible localized desalination, which means clean drinking water can now be produced on demand anywhere in the world.

Two extremely useful articles on this subject are Jonathan Rowe and Judith Silverstein, “The GDP Myth,” JonathanRowe.org, http://jonathanrowe.org/​the-gdp-myth, originally published in Washington Monthly, March 1, 1999; and Stephen Letts, “The GDP Myth: The Planet’s Measure for Economic Growth Is Deeply Flawed and Outdated,” ABC.net.au, June 2, 2018, https://www.abc.net.au/​news/​2018-06-02/​gdp-flawed-and-out-of-date-why-still-use-it/​9821402. 65. United Nations, “About the Sustainable Development Goals,” https://www.un.org/​sustainabledevelopment/​sustainable-development-goals/. These goals are: No Poverty; Zero Hunger; Good Health and Well-being; Quality Education; Gender Equality; Clean Water and Sanitation; Affordable and Clean Energy; Decent Work and Economic Growth; Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure; Reduced Inequalities; Sustainable Cities and Communities; Responsible Consumption and Production; Climate Action; Life Below Water; Life on Land; Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions; Partnerships for the Goals. 66. Dieter Holger, “Norway’s Sovereign-Wealth Fund Boosts Renewable Energy, Divests Fossil Fuels,” Wall Street Journal, June 12, 2019, https://www.wsj.com/​articles/​norways-sovereign-wealth-fund-boosts-renewable-energy-divests-fossil-fuels-11560357485. 67. 350.org, “350 Campaign Update: Divestment,” https://350.org/​350-campaign-update-divestment/. 68.


pages: 825 words: 228,141

MONEY Master the Game: 7 Simple Steps to Financial Freedom by Tony Robbins

3D printing, active measures, activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, addicted to oil, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Albert Einstein, asset allocation, backtesting, bitcoin, buy and hold, clean water, cloud computing, corporate governance, corporate raider, correlation does not imply causation, Credit Default Swap, Dean Kamen, declining real wages, diversification, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, estate planning, fear of failure, fiat currency, financial independence, fixed income, forensic accounting, high net worth, index fund, Internet of things, invention of the wheel, Jeff Bezos, Kenneth Rogoff, lake wobegon effect, Lao Tzu, London Interbank Offered Rate, market bubble, money market fund, mortgage debt, new economy, obamacare, offshore financial centre, oil shock, optical character recognition, Own Your Own Home, passive investing, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, random walk, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, riskless arbitrage, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, self-driving car, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, sovereign wealth fund, stem cell, Steve Jobs, survivorship bias, telerobotics, the rule of 72, thinkpad, transaction costs, Upton Sinclair, Vanguard fund, World Values Survey, X Prize, Yogi Berra, young professional, zero-sum game

In fact, every 20 seconds, another child dies from a waterborne disease—and more have perished than the total number of people who’ve died in all the armed conflicts since World War II. This is why the second commitment of SwipeOut is to swipe out waterborne disease and provide clean water for as many children as possible worldwide. There are a variety of organizations with sustainable solutions out there, and some require as little as $2 a person to provide these children and their families with a reliable supply of clean water. WHAT’S THE PRICE OF FREEDOM? Throughout this book, we’ve been working to make sure that you can achieve financial freedom. What about investing a tiny fraction of what you spend each month to help secure freedom for one of the 8.4 million children in the world trapped in slavery?

But wouldn’t it be incredible to feed 100 million people each year in a sustainable way? I provide fresh water for 100,000 people a day in India—it’s one of my passions. Wouldn’t it be amazing for us together to provide 3 million people with clean water a day and grow it from there? Or how about together freeing 5,000 children who had been enslaved, and supporting their education and a path to a healthy life? That’s what the power of just 100,000 of us can do. Just as I built my foundation, this mission could grow geometrically. If over a decade or more we could find a way to grow to a million members, that would be a billion meals provided each year, 30 million people with clean water, or 50,000 children freed from slavery. These figures would be extraordinary, but in truth, even one child’s life saved would be worth all the effort. So what’s your vision?

Lack of fresh water is one of the biggest concerns for populations growing like crazy in dry regions of the planet, and shortages are everywhere, from Los Angeles, California, to Lagos, Nigeria. According to the UN, more than 3.4 million people die each year because of water-borne diseases. But new desalinization technologies are turning seawater into tap water from Australia to Saudi Arabia. Already an Israeli company called Water-Gen is manufacturing a machine that extracts clean water out of air, and it uses only two cents’ worth of electricity to produce each liter of water. And in remote villages that have no electricity, there’s a new kind of water tower that uses only its shape and natural materials to pull moisture out of the air and turn it into drinking water. The amazing inventor Dean Kamen (best known for the Segway scooter) has partnered with Coca-Cola to bring the world an energy-efficient machine the size of a dorm-room refrigerator that vaporizes dirty water and makes it clean and safe.


pages: 407 words: 100,512

The Menopause Thyroid Solution by Mary J. Shomon

clean water, Gary Taubes, life extension, megacity, Ralph Waldo Emerson, randomized controlled trial, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI)

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.


pages: 398 words: 100,679

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, low earth orbit, mass immigration, nuclear winter, off grid, 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.


Falter: Has the Human Game Begun to Play Itself Out? by Bill McKibben

23andMe, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, American Legislative Exchange Council, Anne Wojcicki, artificial general intelligence, Bernie Sanders, Bill Joy: nanobots, Burning Man, call centre, carbon footprint, Charles Lindbergh, clean water, Colonization of Mars, computer vision, David Attenborough, Donald Trump, double helix, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, ending welfare as we know it, energy transition, Flynn Effect, Google Earth, Hyperloop, impulse control, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, life extension, light touch regulation, Mark Zuckerberg, mass immigration, megacity, Menlo Park, moral hazard, Naomi Klein, Nelson Mandela, obamacare, off grid, oil shale / tar sands, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ray Kurzweil, Robert Mercer, Ronald Reagan, Sam Altman, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, smart meter, Snapchat, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Pinker, strong AI, supervolcano, technoutopianism, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, traffic fines, Travis Kalanick, urban sprawl, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Y Combinator, Y2K, yield curve

The pattern of our lives is set by the span we hope to live: we know how much time we can allot to education, and we can tell the prime of our lives, and if we’re brave enough to acknowledge it, we can prepare for our approaching death. It’s true that the average human life span has increased, mostly because far fewer babies die and because advances such as basic sanitation have dramatically reduced disease. Researchers studying chlorination have found that clean water led to a 43 percent reduction in mortality in the average American city, a reminder of what happens when we work together.1 But the people who live the longest aren’t living any longer. A hundred and fifteen years appears to be pretty near the upper edge, a boundary set by the so-called Hayflick limit on the number of times human cells can divide; so far it has been as inviolate for humans as the speed of light.

But it made little progress until Earth Day in 1970, when twenty million Americans (a tenth of the population) joined in demonstrations in every corner of the country. That unprecedented display of concern (and some subsequent electoral defeats for politicians tied to polluters) jolted Washington. With the usual balance of power upended, for a few years, major corporations lost one battle after another: Richard Nixon, no environmentalist, had little political choice but to sign the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, the Endangered Species Act, and the other environmental laws still in effect today. But success can sap movements. The organizations that had taken to the streets now retreated to big Washington offices, where they concentrated on lobbying. For a while, that strategy worked, because that first Earth Day had put enough juice in the battery to run a powerful motor for a decade or two. But that energy began to dwindle, and eventually the power of money reasserted itself.

., and cognitive ability and drought and extinctions and heat trapping and increase in natural gas vs. coal and nutrients in crops and oceans and oil industry research and permafrost and rainfall and reducing U.S. footprint and sea level and “Carbon Dioxide: They Call It Pollution” (TV ad) carbon taxes Cargill Carnegie, Andrew Carson, Rachel Carter, Clint Cas9 enzyme cattle ranching cedars of Lebanon Center for Genetics and Society Center for Libertarian Studies Center for the Study of Public Choice Centers for Disease Control cereals CertainTeed Corporation Charpentier, Emmanuelle Chattanooga, Tennessee Chaucer, Geoffrey chemotherapy Cheney, Dick Chevron Oil China chlorination chlorofluorocarbons choice Christianity Church, George Churchill, Canada Churchill, Winston CIMON (Crew Interactive Mobile CompaniON) Citizens United civil disobedience civil rights movement Clean Air Act Clean Water Act Cleveland Clinic climate change. See also atmospheric temperature, rise in; oceans; and specific energy sources; and impacts advanced nature of antigovernment ideology and difficulty of solving global rally of 2009 and Hansen on heat trapping gases and human nature and impact of Koch brothers and leverage and nonviolence and oil industry and politics and scientific consensus on slowing down Thatcher on Trump and climate change deniers climate scientists Clinton, Bill cloning coal coastal communities Collapse (Diamond) colonialism Columbus, Christopher Comfort, Nathaniel Common Cause commons, theory of communism community.


pages: 208 words: 51,277

Chicken: The Dangerous Transformation of America's Favorite Food by Steve Striffler

clean water, collective bargaining, corporate raider, illegal immigration, immigration reform, longitudinal study, market design, place-making, Ronald Reagan, Upton Sinclair, upwardly mobile

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Foster Farms, the largest poultry company in Toward a Friendlier Chicken 159 the West and a top-ten producer nationally, pled guilty in  to “negligently discharging approximately  million gallons of storm water polluted with decomposed chicken manure into the San Luis National Wildlife Refuge in violation of the Clean Water Act.” The company agreed to pay a criminal fine of $,. In January , Central Industries, along with its five subsidiaries (including BCR Foods, a top-twenty poultry producer), were indicted in Jackson, Mississippi, for violating the Clean Water Act. The company processes thousands of tons of poultry by-products, some of which, including untreated blood, bypassed the rendering plant and went directly into a wastewater lagoon, eventually seeping into local rivers. The company violated its discharge permit more than , times by depositing unacceptable levels of pollutants into the Shockaloo Creek, a tributary of the Pearl River, which supplies drinking water for the city of Jackson.


pages: 225 words: 54,010

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, mass immigration, 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.


pages: 215 words: 56,215

The Second Intelligent Species: How Humans Will Become as Irrelevant as Cockroaches by Marshall Brain

Amazon Web Services, basic income, clean water, cloud computing, computer vision, digital map, en.wikipedia.org, full employment, income inequality, job automation, knowledge worker, low earth orbit, 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.


pages: 517 words: 155,209

Kingdom of Olives and Ash: Writers Confront the Occupation by Michael Chabon

airport security, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, Boycotts of Israel, call centre, clean water, Donald Trump, facts on the ground, Fellow of the Royal Society, glass ceiling, land tenure, mental accounting, Nelson Mandela, off grid, Right to Buy, Skype, traveling salesman, WikiLeaks

Because Gaza has no airport—its airspace has been controlled by Israel since 1967—Gazans wanting to study abroad must pass through Egypt or Israel, and because tensions are high between Hamas and both Egypt and Israel, neither country is currently inclined to allow Gazans student visas. And they can’t see family members in the West Bank and Israel. In Gaza, they can scarcely find work. And every few years, it seems, Hamas engages in a disastrous fight with its infinitely more powerful Israeli neighbors, and this further limits Gazan civilians’ ability to move in and out of Gaza, and curtails their access to goods, clean water, electricity, and opportunities. Basilah and many other Gazans I met refer to Gaza as an “open-air prison,” and it’s difficult to argue with the description. On Gaza’s northern border there is a twenty-five-foot wall separating Gaza from Israel. This barrier is forty miles long, and long stretches of it are thirteen feet higher than the Berlin Wall, and far more heavily fortified. On its eastern border there is a moat, then a low wall, and on top of it an electrified fence, dotted with guard towers manned by Israeli soldiers and patrolled by Israeli tanks.

Because I wasn’t ready to look at the picture of the toddler’s face inlaid in the monument as we rolled past it, I turned my attention to one of the most prominent of the village’s “illegal” structures—a big white water tank on stilts. Along with the solar panels, the tank was supplied to the people of Susiya by the nonprofit Palestinian-Israeli organization Community Energy Technology in the Middle East (Comet-ME). Comet employs Ahmad, who holds a degree in laboratory science from al-Quds University. Its mission is to supply renewable energy and clean water services to some of the most impoverished and marginalized people in the occupied Palestinian territories. Including Susiya, Comet currently serves about thirty villages in the South Hebron Hills. These small hamlets are mostly composed of clans of shepherds and farmers who dwell in caves and tents, living much as their ancestors have for centuries, separating the wheat from the chaff, except that in recent history they’ve had the bulk of their land grabbed.

Even according to Israel, some of these outposts are illegal.” Nasser referred to the agreement reached twenty years earlier in the Oslo accords, after which there were to be no new settlements built. The number of settlers has tripled since that time. “It’s illegal for Mekorot and the Israel Electric Corporation to supply outposts like this, and yet they do it all the time.” I asked Nasser how access to clean water and electricity through Comet had affected his family. He gushed about how it had made life easier, but still emphasized the differences in Susiya (the Palestinian village) versus Susya (the Israeli settlement). “The revolution of electricity is like a river that can’t be stopped. This has given our dark life more light. Our children can study later, we have electric outlets to charge our cell phones, and it’s made a small revolution in the lives of the women.


The State and the Stork: The Population Debate and Policy Making in US History by Derek S. Hoff

"Robert Solow", affirmative action, Alfred Russel Wallace, back-to-the-land, British Empire, business cycle, clean water, creative destruction, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, demographic transition, desegregation, Edward Glaeser, feminist movement, full employment, garden city movement, George Gilder, Gunnar Myrdal, immigration reform, income inequality, income per capita, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Joseph Schumpeter, labor-force participation, manufacturing employment, mass immigration, New Economic Geography, new economy, old age dependency ratio, Paul Samuelson, peak oil, pensions crisis, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, Scientific racism, secular stagnation, Simon Kuznets, The Chicago School, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, trickle-down economics, urban planning, urban sprawl, wage slave, War on Poverty, white flight, zero-sum game

Conversely, a barber in the stagnant upstate New York city of Gloversville, where my mother grew up, lamented to me that post–World War II population loss meant “ten thousand fewer haircuts every year.” Many individuals who write about environmental problems prefer to live in growing cities teeming with people and ideas. But at the macro level, global population growth makes it difficult to address climate change, species extinction, and lack of availability to clean water. Viewed through a wide-angle lens, the curve of human population growth since the birth of our species remained practically flat for tens of thousands of years but, after 1860, spiked dramatically upwards in a nearly vertical line, prompting some on Wall Street to refer to human population growth as the “ultimate bubble.” Given that environmental damage and the “momentum” of population expansion can persist for generations, it is impossible to consider population without thinking about intergenerational dynamics.

At the May 1962 White House Conference on Conservation, Kennedy said that “natural resource development is a key to long-run economic growth and national strength.”10 He echoed 1950s optimism about the long-term supply of natural resources, predicting that scientific advances could dramatically improve the food yield from the ocean. Kennedy’s Council of Economic Advisers (CEA), meanwhile, deemed the wise management of natural resources essential to economic growth.11 As historian Paul Milazzo has shown, the pursuit of economic growth played an influential role in the environmental policy making of the 1950s–70s, especially in the promotion of clean water.12 At the same time, the Kennedy and Johnson administrations embraced the new postmaterialist, quality-of-life sensibility, becoming the only administrations in US history to make the quest for beauty a priority.13 From this point of view, the population surge was primarily a problem of abundance. It might cramp Americans’ wide-open lifestyle, especially as higher incomes spurred more people to seek outdoor recreation, but it did not threaten the economy or the supply of raw materials.

See Council of Economic Advisers, “The American Economy in 1961: Problems and Policies,” Statement of the Council of Economic Advisers before the Joint Economic Committee, March 6, 1961, Papers of President John F. Kennedy, John F. Kennedy Presidential Library, Boston, President’s Office Files, Departments and Agencies, Box 73, Folder “Council of Economic Advisers Testimony, 3/6/61”; and Paul Charles Milazzo, Unlikely Environmentalists: Congress and Clean Water, 1945–1972 (Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 2006). 125. See, for example, John Maurice Clark, “Common and Disparate Elements in National Growth and Decline,” in Universities-National Bureau Committee on Economic Research, Problems in the Study of Economic Growth, 30–32. 126. Potter, People of Plenty, 59. 127. Belshaw, Population Growth and Levels of Consumption, 71. 128. See especially Galbraith, The Affluent Society. 129.


pages: 207 words: 52,716

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 raider, corporate social responsibility, dark matter, diversified portfolio, en.wikipedia.org, hypertext link, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, jitney, money market fund, 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.


pages: 370 words: 112,602

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, Kickstarter, 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.


pages: 355 words: 106,952

Visit Sunny Chernobyl: And Other Adventures in the World's Most Polluted Places by Andrew Blackwell

carbon footprint, clean water, Google Earth, gravity well, liberation theology, nuclear paranoia, 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.


pages: 459 words: 103,153

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, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Dava Sobel, Deep Water Horizon, Deng Xiaoping, disruptive innovation, 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, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Isaac Newton, Jane Jacobs, Jarndyce and Jarndyce, Jarndyce and Jarndyce, John Harrison: Longitude, knowledge worker, loose coupling, Martin Wolf, mass immigration, 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, zero-sum game

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.


pages: 411 words: 108,119

The Irrational Economist: Making Decisions in a Dangerous World by Erwann Michel-Kerjan, Paul Slovic

"Robert Solow", Andrei Shleifer, availability heuristic, bank run, Black Swan, business cycle, 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, information asymmetry, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, Isaac Newton, iterative process, Kenneth Arrow, Loma Prieta earthquake, London Interbank Offered Rate, market bubble, market clearing, money market fund, moral hazard, mortgage debt, Pareto efficiency, Paul Samuelson, placebo effect, price discrimination, price stability, RAND corporation, Richard Thaler, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, source of truth, statistical model, stochastic process, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Bayes, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, too big to fail, transaction costs, ultimatum game, University of East Anglia, urban planning, Vilfredo Pareto

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.


pages: 371 words: 108,105

Under the Knife: A History of Surgery in 28 Remarkable Operations by Arnold van de Laar Laproscopic Surgeon

Albert Einstein, Ayatollah Khomeini, clean water, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, Louis Pasteur, placebo effect, the scientific method, wikimedia commons

Houses in cities like Amsterdam were cold, damp and draughty. The wind blew through the cracks in the doors and window frames, the walls were wet from rising damp, and the snow came in under the front door. There was little to be done about it, so people always wore thick clothing, day and night. Rembrandt’s portraits show people in fur coats wearing hats. In those days people were not able to take a daily bath in clean water. The water in the canals was sewer water. Dead rats floated in it, people defecated in it and threw their waste into it, and tanners, brewers and painters discharged their waste chemicals in it. The canals in the Jordaan district of the city were little more than extensions of the muddy ditches that passed through the surrounding pasturelands, so that cow manure flowed slowly into the River Amstel.

That will cause much more tissue to die off than the size of the wound would suggest. This dead tissue is referred to as necrosis and provides an ideal breeding ground for all kinds of bacteria. But, because of the lack of oxygen in the wound, the Clostridium perfringens bacteria will thrive the most. That is how gas gangrene starts. For anyone who knows all this, the solution is relatively simple. Clean the wound as quickly as possible. Rinse it out with clean water (for example, the crystal clear sea water in the bays of Saint Martin) and leave it open. Then use a sharp knife to cut away all the dead material until you come to healthy tissue. There are fine-sounding surgical terms for this: debridement or nettoyage in French, anfrischen in German, or necrosectomy in English (from the Latin/Greek). Then keep the wound clean until it is fully healed, per secundam.

Both complaints are more common in men than women, and perianal fistulas mostly develop at a slightly later age – between thirty and fifty – than pilonidal cysts. Louis was forty-eight. Perianal fistulas can sometimes be caused by Crohn’s disease, inflammation of the bowel, but the cause is mostly unclear. In Louis’s case, the unhygienic conditions at Versailles may have played a part. Due to a lack of clean water and refrigerators, people living at the court had just as much chance as everybody else of suffering regularly from diarrhoea, caused by food poisoning. Moreover, the Sun King did not wash. He smelled so badly that once, when being visited by an ambassador, he was friendly enough to open a window himself so that his guest was not offended by his bodily odour. Surgeon Félix de Tassy never took up the knife again after operating on the king, a fact blamed on the stress, which had allegedly become too much for him, though the generous pension, the country estate and the title he received for the operation probably had more to do with it.


pages: 380 words: 104,841

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, mass immigration, 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.


pages: 379 words: 108,129

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, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, invention of agriculture, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, Kevin Kelly, Law of Accelerating Returns, Leonard Kleinrock, life extension, Louis Pasteur, low earth orbit, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, off grid, packet switching, peak oil, pre–internet, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Feynman, Rodney Brooks, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, smart cities, social intelligence, 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?’


pages: 190 words: 61,970

Life You Can Save: Acting Now to End World Poverty by Peter Singer

accounting loophole / creative accounting, Branko Milanovic, Cass Sunstein, clean water, end world poverty, experimental economics, illegal immigration, Martin Wolf, microcredit, Monkeys Reject Unequal Pay, 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.


pages: 422 words: 113,525

Whole Earth Discipline: An Ecopragmatist Manifesto by Stewart Brand

agricultural Revolution, Asilomar, Asilomar Conference on Recombinant DNA, 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, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of agriculture, invention of the steam engine, Jane Jacobs, jimmy wales, Kevin Kelly, Kibera, land tenure, lateral thinking, low earth orbit, M-Pesa, Marshall McLuhan, megacity, microbiome, New Urbanism, orbital mechanics / astrodynamics, out of africa, Paul Graham, peak oil, Peter Calthorpe, 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, wealth creators, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review, William Langewiesche, 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.


pages: 391 words: 117,984

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, Nelson Mandela, out of africa, Ronald Reagan, sensible shoes, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, transaction costs, zero-sum game

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.


pages: 349 words: 114,038

Culture & Empire: Digital Revolution by Pieter Hintjens

4chan, airport security, AltaVista, anti-communist, anti-pattern, barriers to entry, Bill Duvall, bitcoin, blockchain, business climate, business intelligence, business process, Chelsea Manning, clean water, commoditize, 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, intangible asset, invisible hand, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Rulifson, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, M-Pesa, mass immigration, mass incarceration, mega-rich, MITM: man-in-the-middle, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, national security letter, Nelson Mandela, 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 Stallman, Ross Ulbricht, Satoshi Nakamoto, security theater, selection bias, 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, twin studies, union organizing, wealth creators, 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.


pages: 409 words: 118,448

An Extraordinary Time: The End of the Postwar Boom and the Return of the Ordinary Economy by Marc Levinson

affirmative action, airline deregulation, banking crisis, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Boycotts of Israel, Bretton Woods, business cycle, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, car-free, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, centre right, clean water, deindustrialization, endogenous growth, falling living standards, financial deregulation, floating exchange rates, full employment, George Gilder, Gini coefficient, global supply chain, income inequality, income per capita, indoor plumbing, informal economy, intermodal, invisible hand, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, late capitalism, linear programming, manufacturing employment, new economy, Nixon shock, North Sea oil, oil shock, Paul Samuelson, pension reform, price stability, purchasing power parity, refrigerator car, Right to Buy, rising living standards, Robert Gordon, rolodex, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Simon Kuznets, statistical model, strikebreaker, structural adjustment programs, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, Thomas Malthus, total factor productivity, unorthodox policies, upwardly mobile, War on Poverty, Washington Consensus, Winter of Discontent, Wolfgang Streeck, women in the workforce, working-age population, yield curve, Yom Kippur War, zero-sum game

Warnings about a world unable to feed its population were nothing new; the English cleric Thomas Malthus had predicted much the same in 1798. But Malthus had fallen out of favor, largely because, nearly two centuries on, the anticipated catastrophe had not happened. The Limits to Growth went beyond Malthus in predicting a world short of oil to heat its homes, metals for its factories, and even clean water to drink. Its real innovation, however, was its scientific gloss. With forty-eight charts and six tables, and discussions of computer runs and positive feedback loops, the study seemed to have a quantitative rigor Malthus lacked. Just as economists like Walter Heller and Karl Schiller had learned to use computers to forecast the economic future, the scientists were wielding computers as a tool to foretell the world’s destiny.

Those needing a break from political arguments about zero population growth could drop by the cinema to take in Z.P.G., an Anglo-Danish sci-fi film about a hellacious twenty-first-century world in which authorities deal with overpopulation by decreeing the death penalty for anyone bearing a child.8 The political response to the burgeoning environmental movement was swift, and not just in the United States. Within two years of that first Earth Day, Canada adopted a clean water law; the United States remade its feeble Clean Air Act; California imposed the first limits on auto emissions; and France, Switzerland, Canada, Great Britain, Japan, and the United States all set up national environmental agencies. Yet while Earth Day had been a fundamentally positive event, a hopeful joining together to make a better world, The Limits to Growth injected a decidedly negative message into the intense global debate over environmental policy.

Profits in France, too, fell sharply after 1973. With weaker profitability, businesses had fewer resources to invest in improving productivity, much less to meet the demands of workers who felt entitled to a larger share of the economic pie. As companies held on to their old equipment longer, productivity growth slowed further.3 Adding to the pressure on businesses was the emerging demand for environmental protection. Clean air and clean water had been low priorities in the postwar world. Government authorities rarely measured emissions, and if a factory or power plant encountered complaints from nearby communities, it might respond by extending a smokestack or a drain line, solving the local problem by transporting the pollution further away. The crop of new environmental laws that came into force in many countries in the late 1960 and early 1970s put an end to that game, mandating pollution controls on new facilities, and often on existing ones.


pages: 385 words: 118,314

Cities Are Good for You: The Genius of the Metropolis by Leo Hollis

Airbnb, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, Boris Johnson, Broken windows theory, Buckminster Fuller, call centre, car-free, carbon footprint, cellular automata, clean water, cloud computing, complexity theory, congestion charging, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, Deng Xiaoping, digital map, East Village, Edward Glaeser, Enrique Peñalosa, Firefox, Frank Gehry, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, Gini coefficient, Google Earth, Guggenheim Bilbao, haute couture, Hernando de Soto, housing crisis, illegal immigration, income inequality, informal economy, Internet of things, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, Long Term Capital Management, M-Pesa, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, Masdar, mass immigration, megacity, negative equity, new economy, New Urbanism, Occupy movement, openstreetmap, packet switching, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, place-making, Ray Oldenburg, Richard Florida, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, smart grid, spice trade, Steve Jobs, technoutopianism, the built environment, The Chicago School, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Great Good Place, the High Line, The Spirit Level, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Malthus, trade route, traveling salesman, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, walkable city, white flight, Y2K, Yom Kippur War

Both are examples of complexity working within the community, the power of connections as a means of ordering our everyday relationships. But the sense of precariousness never seems far away, that things will fall apart at any moment. The city is a place of liberty, where we are free to pursue our own individual fortunes, but it is also a place that crams many different people together, threatening conflict and inequality. Today there are places in the world where the slums of the very poorest who cannot afford clean water are within yards of the palaces of the super-rich with crystal-blue swimming pools. As a result we often write the city’s story in terms of the tensions between the top and the bottom, between the haves and the have-nots, the powerful and the weak. Because of this we assume that inequality is hard-wired into the city – that there has to be those who prosper and those who are desperate, that power will always be in the hands of the few who run the city from above.

Take, for example, the problems of shadows in the modern metropolis. Recall the sense of joy that comes from sitting in a city square with the sun on your face. It is sometimes easy to forget how important sunlight is in our everyday lives. In the nineteenth century social engineers such as Florence Nightingale promoted the idea of fresh air and sunlight as health-giving conditions. For the Victorians, sunlight, clean water and pure air constituted the principal components of the ideal city. This was particularly a cause of debate in New York for, as architect Michael Sorkin observes in the wonderful hymn to his home city, Twenty Minutes in Manhattan: ‘Much of the modern history of New York’s physical form is the result of debates over light and air.’10 By the 1870s there were complaints that the high tenements that had been built to house the rising population were obscuring the sky and filling the air with a putrid stink.

In the next two years more money was spent on toilets in the city than ever before, consolidating the relationship between the different groups; as Patel notes: ‘The programme helped to reconfigure the relationships between the city government and the civil society; NGOs and communities were no longer “clients” or “supplicants” but partners.’20 By 2001, 400 blocks were completed with 10,000 seats. Working alongside the community also had an impact on the design of the blocks: attention was paid to how people had to queue to use the seats, the toilet doors swung both ways, each seat was connected to the main sewer to avoid blockages, and needed only half a bucket of water to flush. In addition, special blocks were constructed for children. It was proof that the right to have clean water is a right to the city not a right to the land. The toilet block is not a claim to own property but a claim to be allowed to be part of the civil society. In 2007 the writer Suketa Mehta was asked by the Urban Age Conference to judge a competition for the best project that could change the living conditions of Mumbai. On the panel alongside the author was a former mayor of Washington DC, and the Bollywood actress and activist Shebana Azmi.


pages: 425 words: 117,334

City on the Verge by Mark Pendergrast

big-box store, clean water, Community Supported Agriculture, crowdsourcing, desegregation, edge city, Edward Glaeser, global village, housing crisis, hydraulic fracturing, income inequality, Jane Jacobs, jitney, liberation theology, mass incarceration, McMansion, New Urbanism, openstreetmap, Richard Florida, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the High Line, transatlantic slave trade, transit-oriented development, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, walkable city, white flight, young professional

She’d had to slash jobs, cut her own salary, and raise taxes. A few weeks later, an Environmental Protection Agency administrator told Mayor Franklin that Atlanta was out of compliance with the US Clean Water Act and would owe $80 million in fines if she didn’t take immediate action. Atlanta’s aging combined sewage and storm water system frequently flooded. Franklin had earned her political stripes by serving under Maynard Jackson, the first black mayor of Atlanta, and Mayor Andrew Young, who had been out of the country so frequently that she’d really run the city. Now she dubbed herself “the Sewer Mayor” and tripled water taxes while campaigning for clean water. Once she had gotten on top of the issue (which was never truly fixed), she was ready to consider the BeltLine. In her January 5, 2004, State of the City speech, Franklin called the BeltLine a “great vision,” though she went no further.

., 40 Carstarphen, Meria, 164–165 Carter, Cherine Pierce (Benny), 212–214 Carter, Edward Randolph, 69 Carter, Jimmy, 183–184 Carter Center and Presidential Library, 174, 184 Cascade Heights neighborhood, 124 CAUTION (Citizens Against Unnecessary Thoroughfares in Older Neighborhoods), 184 Centennial Park, 125, 264 Center for Hard to Recycle Materials (CHaRM), 145 Center for Civic Innovation, 264 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 137 Central Atlanta Progress, 117, 263 Chandley, Lynn and David, 186 Chang, Michael, 146–147 charter schools, 29, 131, 194–196, 198, 210 Chattahoochee Brick Company, 34, 67 Chattahoochee NOW, 260 Chattahoochee River, 7, 31, 51, 100, 142–144, 223–224, 260, 286 churches, black, 67, 69, 83, 218–220 Circle Line, 16 City Lights building, 180–181 City of Refuge, 114–115, 271 Civic Center, 162, 164, 176, 270, 277 civil rights movement, 63, 83, 130, 176, 181–182, 190–191, 208, 259, 272 Civil War, 33–35, 64, 100, 189, 259 The Clansman: An Historical Romance of the Ku Klux Klan (Dixon), 72, 76 Clark University, 74, 192 Clarkston, 254–257, 262 Clayton County, 250–254 Clean Air Act, 45, 146 Clean Water Act, 28 Clear Creek, 10, 35, 231–234, 238 Cleveland, Grover, 70 C-Loop, 25–26 Coca-Cola ads in KKK newspaper, 76 Boulevard revitalization, 180 cocaine in, 34, 72 donations from, 52, 123, 279 invention of, 34, 66 Robert Woodruff and, 79, 81 Coca-Cola Anarchist (Wardlaw), 116 Cohen, Richard and Dianne Harnell, 261 colleges, black, 67 Collier, Andrew Jackson, 228 Collier, George Washington, 238 Collier, Meredith and Elizabeth, 228 Collier Hills neighborhood, 8, 100–101, 228–231 Columbians, 79 Committe, Tim, 47–48, 52 Community Grounds, 189, 192, 196 Community Power Structure: A Study of Decision Makers (Hunter), 79 commuter rail, 52, 101–103 Complete Streets concept, 140, 227, 286 congestion, 18, 21, 37, 40, 42, 132, 140, 243, 245, 263 Continental Wingate, 178, 180 convict-lease system, 67 Conway, Butch, 249 Cook, Rodney Mims, Jr., 271 Cotton States and International Exposition, 69 Cousins, Tom, 195 Covenant House, 116 Cox Enterprises, 17, 52, 126 Creative Loafing, 117, 264–265 Creech, Dennis, 144–145 Creek Indians, 31, 142, 228 crime, 147–148, 158–159, 161, 176, 181, 193, 229–230, 250 CSA (community-supported agriculture), 151 CSX, 3, 6, 8–9, 11, 14, 50, 230–231 C-Tran, 250 Cultural Ring project, 14–15, 18, 23 Cyclorama, 35, 193–194 D.


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Every Nation for Itself: Winners and Losers in a G-Zero World by Ian Bremmer

airport security, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, blood diamonds, Bretton Woods, BRICs, capital controls, clean water, creative destruction, Deng Xiaoping, Doha Development Round, energy security, European colonialism, failed state, global rebalancing, global supply chain, income inequality, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Julian Assange, Kickstarter, Martin Wolf, mass immigration, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, Nelson Mandela, Nixon shock, nuclear winter, Parag Khanna, 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.


pages: 235 words: 65,885

Peak Everything: Waking Up to the Century of Declines by Richard Heinberg, James Howard (frw) Kunstler

addicted to oil, anti-communist, Asilomar, 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, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), land reform, means of production, oil shale / tar sands, peak oil, plutocrats, Plutocrats, 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.


The Techno-Human Condition by Braden R. Allenby, Daniel R. Sarewitz

airport security, augmented reality, carbon footprint, clean water, cognitive dissonance, coherent worldview, conceptual framework, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, decarbonisation, different worldview, facts on the ground, friendly fire, industrial cluster, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), 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, source of truth, 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.


pages: 204 words: 66,619

Think Like an Engineer: Use Systematic Thinking to Solve Everyday Challenges & Unlock the Inherent Values in Them by Mushtak Al-Atabi

3D printing, agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, Barry Marshall: ulcers, Black Swan, business climate, call centre, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cognitive bias, corporate social responsibility, dematerialisation, disruptive innovation, Elon Musk, follow your passion, global supply chain, happiness index / gross national happiness, invention of the wheel, iterative process, James Dyson, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, Lao Tzu, Lean Startup, On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres, remote working, shareholder value, six sigma, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker

Engineers need to devise innovative ways to improve the efficiency of various nitrogen related activities to ensure that nitrogen-based fertilisers are minimally and effectively used and any unused fertilisers are converted back into free nitrogen. 5. Provide access to clean water It is heart wrenching that 1 out of every 6 people living today does not have access to clean running water. Access to clean running water and adequate sanitation is an important requirement to leading a healthy life. Although 70% of the earth is covered with water, most of this water is not suitable for human consumption, either because it is polluted or is salty seawater. Engineers can play a key role in providing access to clean water for both drinking and other activities, such as agriculture, through the development of technologies that can help purify polluted water and prevent more water from becoming unsuitable for human use.


pages: 277 words: 72,603

Built: The Hidden Stories Behind Our Structures by Roma Agrawal

3D printing, British Empire, clean water, David Attenborough, Dmitri Mendeleev, Guggenheim Bilbao, Isaac Newton, John Snow's cholera map, Tacoma Narrows Bridge, the scientific method

The most expensive, sought-after apartments were on the ground floor. The higher you went, the smaller and cheaper the dwellings became – which is of course the opposite of today: the height of luxury (literally) is a penthouse that will cost you a small fortune. The insulae were rather harried places: without elevators, residents had to trudge the stairs to the upper floors. Since water couldn’t be pumped that high, they had to lug clean water up with them, and drag their waste back down (although many would simply throw it out of the window). En route you might even encounter an animal: a cow is said to have wandered up to the third storey of such a block. The insulae were noisy: even after glass windows were invented and replaced shutters, they couldn’t keep out the constant commotion of Roman streetlife. Before dawn, the bakers were out clanging their ovens.

It serviced the Great Palace, the residence of the Roman emperors, until they moved away, and it was subsequently forgotten about. In 1545, a scholar called Petrus Gyllius was talking to local residents as part of his research into Byzantine antiquities. After a little persuasion and coaxing, he discovered they had a mysterious secret – they could lower buckets through holes in their basement floors and miraculously haul up fresh, clean water. Sometimes, they even found fish swimming in their buckets. They had no idea why or how this happened – they were just glad to have a source of clear water (and sometimes even food), and until Gyllius came along, they had kept the secret to themselves. Gyllius realised that their homes must be above one of the famed Roman cisterns, investigated further, and found it. I for one am glad he did – the place has a dramatic magic of its own, and has captured the imaginations of many people, including the thousands of tourists who have visited since it was refurbished and reopened in 1987.


pages: 247 words: 64,986

Hive Mind: How Your Nation’s IQ Matters So Much More Than Your Own by Garett Jones

centre right, clean water, corporate governance, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, en.wikipedia.org, experimental economics, Flynn Effect, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, hive mind, invisible hand, Kenneth Arrow, law of one price, meta analysis, meta-analysis, prediction markets, Robert Gordon, Ronald Coase, Saturday Night Live, social intelligence, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, wikimedia commons, zero-sum game

Of course, if the factory is highly profitable it will also look for other, cheaper ways to achieve its goal of staying in business: in the real world, it might give outright bribes to the fishery’s manager or it might engage in skullduggery, but let’s set those very real options aside. For the sake of our story, what matters is that when faced with the prospect of having to pay to pollute, the factory will look into cheap ways to cut back on pollution. So if you give the fishery the right to clean water, and if the fishery is allowed to sell part of that right to the factory, then both the fishery and the factory have an incentive to weigh the real costs of pollution and fewer fish against the real benefits of extra tablet computers. Ultimately, the two sides will come to some kind of agreement, some level of pollution, some level of fish and computers. But the Coase Theorem contains an even bigger idea: if it really is easy to bargain, you might well reach exactly the same pollution level even if the government had swapped the rights.

But the Coase Theorem contains an even bigger idea: if it really is easy to bargain, you might well reach exactly the same pollution level even if the government had swapped the rights. If instead the factory had the unlimited right to pollute, then the fishery would come hat in hand to the factory owners, offering cash to the factory in exchange for cleaner river water. Your personal morality might tell you that’s not the way things should be—fisheries shouldn’t have to pay cash for clean water—and maybe that isn’t the way things should be, but an overarching theme of Coase’s work, with his theorem and in other writings, is an implicit call to dial down the moral outrage in order to get people thinking about what kinds of social systems achieve efficient, productive, fruitful outcomes. And what the Coase Theorem shows is that in some simple cases, if all sides are good at bargaining to win-win outcomes, you’ll get the same amount of pollution, the same number of fish, the same number of tablet computers regardless of who owns the rights over the river.


pages: 497 words: 123,718

A Game as Old as Empire: The Secret World of Economic Hit Men and the Web of Global Corruption by Steven Hiatt; John Perkins

addicted to oil, airline deregulation, Andrei Shleifer, Asian financial crisis, Berlin Wall, big-box store, Bob Geldof, 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, liberal capitalism, 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.


pages: 386 words: 122,595

Naked Economics: Undressing the Dismal Science (Fully Revised and Updated) by Charles Wheelan

"Robert Solow", affirmative action, Albert Einstein, Andrei Shleifer, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Bretton Woods, business cycle, buy and hold, capital controls, Cass Sunstein, central bank independence, clean water, collapse of Lehman Brothers, congestion charging, creative destruction, 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, fixed income, 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, John Markoff, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, libertarian paternalism, low skilled workers, Malacca Straits, market bubble, microcredit, money market fund, 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, Sam Peltzman, school vouchers, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, South China Sea, Steve Jobs, The Market for Lemons, the rule of 72, 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, zero-sum game

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.


pages: 413 words: 119,379

The Looting Machine: Warlords, Oligarchs, Corporations, Smugglers, and the Theft of Africa's Wealth by Tom Burgis

Airbus A320, 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, Nelson Mandela, 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, zero-sum game

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.


pages: 409 words: 125,611

The Great Divide: Unequal Societies and What We Can Do About Them by Joseph E. Stiglitz

"Robert Solow", accounting loophole / creative accounting, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, agricultural Revolution, Asian financial crisis, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, business cycle, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, carried interest, clean water, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collective bargaining, computer age, corporate governance, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, deindustrialization, Detroit bankruptcy, discovery of DNA, Doha Development Round, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial deregulation, financial innovation, full employment, George Akerlof, ghettoisation, Gini coefficient, glass ceiling, global supply chain, Home mortgage interest deduction, housing crisis, income inequality, income per capita, information asymmetry, job automation, Kenneth Rogoff, Kickstarter, labor-force participation, light touch regulation, Long Term Capital Management, manufacturing employment, market fundamentalism, mass incarceration, moral hazard, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, new economy, obamacare, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, Paul Samuelson, plutocrats, Plutocrats, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, rent-seeking, rising living standards, Ronald Reagan, school vouchers, secular stagnation, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, The Chicago School, the payments system, Tim Cook: Apple, too big to fail, trade liberalization, transaction costs, transfer pricing, trickle-down economics, Turing machine, unpaid internship, upwardly mobile, urban renewal, urban sprawl, very high income, War on Poverty, Washington Consensus, We are the 99%, white flight, winner-take-all economy, working poor, working-age population

One could, of course, get regulatory harmonization by strengthening regulations to the highest standards everywhere. But when corporations call for harmonization, what they really mean is a race to the bottom. When agreements like the TPP govern international trade—when every country has agreed to similarly minimal regulations—multinational corporations can return to the practices that were common before the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts became law (in 1970 and 1972, respectively) and before the latest financial crisis hit. Corporations everywhere may well agree that getting rid of regulations would be good for corporate profits. Trade negotiators might be persuaded that these trade agreements would be good for trade and corporate profits. But there would be some big losers—namely, the rest of us. These high stakes are why it is especially risky to let trade negotiations proceed in secret.

When individuals live in close quarters, they cannot escape major societal problems: growing inequality, environmental degradation, and inadequate public investment. The forum reminded participants that livable cities require planning—a message at odds with prevailing attitudes in much of the world. But without planning and government investment in infrastructure, public transportation and parks, and the provision of clean water and sanitation, cities won’t be livable. And it is the poor who inevitably suffer the most from the absence of these public goods. Medellín holds some lessons for America, too. Indeed, recent research shows how inadequate planning has fueled economic segregation in the United States, and how poverty traps have formed in cities without public transportation, owing to a shortage of accessible jobs.

Development aid for agriculture has fallen from a high of 17 percent of total aid to just 3 percent today, with some international donors demanding that fertilizer subsidies be eliminated, making it even more difficult for cash-strapped farmers to compete. Rich countries must reduce, if not eliminate, distortional agriculture and energy policies, and help those in the poorest countries improve their capacity to produce food. But this is just a start: we have treated our most precious resources—clean water and air—as if they were free. Only new patterns of consumption and production—a new economic model—can address that most fundamental resource problem. ______________ * Project Syndicate, June 6, 2008. TURN LEFT FOR GROWTH* BOTH THE LEFT AND THE RIGHT SAY THEY STAND FOR ECOnomic growth. So should voters trying to decide between the two simply look at it as a matter of choosing alternative management teams?


pages: 424 words: 119,679

It's Better Than It Looks: Reasons for Optimism in an Age of Fear by Gregg Easterbrook

affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, air freight, autonomous vehicles, basic income, Bernie Madoff, Bernie Sanders, Branko Milanovic, business cycle, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, clean water, coronavirus, David Brooks, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, Exxon Valdez, factory automation, failed state, full employment, Gini coefficient, Google Earth, Home mortgage interest deduction, hydraulic fracturing, Hyperloop, illegal immigration, impulse control, income inequality, Indoor air pollution, interchangeable parts, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, James Watt: steam engine, labor-force participation, liberal capitalism, longitudinal study, Lyft, mandatory minimum, manufacturing employment, Mikhail Gorbachev, minimum wage unemployment, obamacare, oil shale / tar sands, Paul Samuelson, peak oil, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, post scarcity, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, reserve currency, rising living standards, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, short selling, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, Slavoj Žižek, South China Sea, Steve Wozniak, Steven Pinker, supervolcano, The Chicago School, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, the scientific method, There's no reason for any individual to have a computer in his home - Ken Olsen, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas Malthus, transaction costs, uber lyft, universal basic income, War on Poverty, Washington Consensus, WikiLeaks, working poor, Works Progress Administration

The bald eagle is listed by its taxonomy designation, Haliaeetus leucocephalus. air that was free of smog, as air almost always is in American cities: “Our Nation’s Air Quality and Trends Through 2015” (Washington, DC: Environmental Protection Agency, 2016). in general cleanliness was rising: Suzanne Teller, “The Clean Water Act: 40 Years of Progress in Peril,” Outdoor America (Izaak Walton League of America) 4, 2012. “EPA figures show that the number of rivers, lakes, and estuaries safe for fishing and swimming doubled just 25 years after the passage of the Clean Water Act.” exploded with the power of about 1,500 Hiroshima bombs: The story is well told by Steve Olson in Eruption (New York: W. W. Norton, 2016). “Some 19 million old-growth Douglas firs”: Gregg Easterbrook, A Moment on the Earth (New York: Viking, 1995). the climate activist Bill McKibben would write: Bill McKibben, “An Explosion of Green,” The Atlantic, April 1999.

Another newspaper in the driveway reported so many otters frolicking off California that tourists were crowding seaside enclaves to watch. Acid rain was nearly stopped, the stratospheric ozone hole was closing. Water quality alarms were ongoing in Flint, Michigan, and along Long Island Sound, but in general cleanliness was rising, with Boston Harbor, Chesapeake Bay, Puget Sound, and other major water bodies, filthy a generation ago, mostly safe for swimming and fishing, meeting the 1972 Clean Water Act’s definition of success. Nearly every environmental barometer in the United States was positive and had been so for years if not decades. Watching the bald eagle soar did not make me feel complacent regarding the natural world, rather, made me feel that greenhouse gases can be brought to heel, just as other environmental problems have been. Climate change reforms will be the subject of a coming chapter.


pages: 497 words: 123,778

The People vs. Democracy: Why Our Freedom Is in Danger and How to Save It by Yascha Mounk

affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Andrew Keen, basic income, battle of ideas, Boris Johnson, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, business cycle, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carried interest, Cass Sunstein, central bank independence, centre right, clean water, cognitive bias, conceptual framework, David Brooks, deindustrialization, demographic transition, desegregation, Donald Trump, en.wikipedia.org, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, German hyperinflation, gig economy, Gini coefficient, Home mortgage interest deduction, housing crisis, income inequality, invention of the printing press, invention of the steam engine, investor state dispute settlement, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, land value tax, low skilled workers, Lyft, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, mass immigration, mortgage tax deduction, Naomi Klein, new economy, offshore financial centre, open borders, Parag Khanna, plutocrats, Plutocrats, post-materialism, price stability, ride hailing / ride sharing, rising living standards, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, secular stagnation, sharing economy, Thomas L Friedman, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, universal basic income, upwardly mobile, World Values Survey, zero-sum game

“Obscene, Indecent, and Profane Broadcasts,” Federal Communications Commission, 2016, https://www.fcc.gov/consumers/guides/obscene-indecent-and-profane-broadcasts. 28. “Open Internet,” Federal Communications Commission, 2016, https://www.fcc.gov/general/open-internet. 29. “DDT—A Brief History and Status,” Environmental Protection Agency, https://www.epa.gov/ingredients-used-pesticide-products/ddt-brief-history-and-status; “EPA History: Clean Water Act,” Environmental Protection Agency, https://www.epa.gov/history/epa-history-clean-water-act; both accessed April 2, 2017. 30. “Carbon Pollution Standards for New, Modified and Reconstructed Power Plants,” Environmental Protection Agency, https://www.epa.gov/cleanpowerplan/carbon-pollution-standards-new-modified-and-reconstructed-power-plants, accessed April 2, 2017. 31. Yuka Hayashi and Anna Prior, “US Unveils Retirement-Savings Revamp, with a Few Concessions to Industry,” Wall Street Journal, April 6, 2016, https://www.wsj.com/articles/u-s-unveils-retirement-savings-revamp-but-with-a-few-concessions-to-industry-1459936802.

Many of them are given full regulatory authority—in other words, “they can issue regulations, take administrative action to enforce their statutes and regulations, and decide cases through administrative adjudication.”22 In the United States, these independent agencies include the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), created in 1934, which regulates radio and television networks and rules on key questions of the digital age like net neutrality;23 the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC), also created in 1934, which is charged with protecting investors by regulating the operation of banks and other financial service providers, with maintaining fair markets, and with facilitating capital formation;24 the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), created in 1970, which is empowered to pass regulation for such broad objectives as maintaining clean water and protecting endangered species;25 and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), created in 2010, which regulates personal financial services like mortgages and credit cards.26 The range of contentious issues about which these independent agencies have ruled in the last years testifies to their importance. The FCC has long determined what words are verboten on cable television, making it largely responsible for the peculiar American custom of bleeping curse words in many television programs.27 Key to regulating the most important medium of the late twentieth century, the FCC is now shaping the future of the most important medium of the early twenty-first century: in 2015, it ruled to require internet providers to follow “net neutrality” rules designed to ensure equal access to a wide variety of web offerings.28 Similarly, the EPA has been a key player in fights about environmental policy for the past fifty years, from banning the use of DDT to ensuring the quality of public drinking water.29 Over the last years, it has also made itself central to the American policy response to climate change, deeming carbon a pollutant and proposing limits on admissible emissions from new power plants.30 Meanwhile, in the first five years of its existence, the CFPB has proposed a rule to curtail payday lending and required financial advisors to act in the best interest of investors, eliminating some of the risky practices that led to the 2008 mortgage crisis.31 Far from making decisions about a few blockbuster cases, independent agencies are now responsible for the vast majority of laws, rules, and regulations.


pages: 326 words: 48,727

Hot: Living Through the Next Fifty Years on Earth by Mark Hertsgaard

addicted to oil, 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, fixed income, food miles, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Kickstarter, 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, 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.


pages: 300 words: 78,475

Third World America: How Our Politicians Are Abandoning the Middle Class and Betraying the American Dream by Arianna Huffington

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, post-work, 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.”


pages: 248 words: 72,174

The $100 Startup: Reinvent the Way You Make a Living, Do What You Love, and Create a New Future by Chris Guillebeau

Airbnb, big-box store, clean water, fixed income, follow your passion, if you build it, they will come, index card, informal economy, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, late fees, Nelson Mandela, 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.


pages: 267 words: 78,857

Discardia: More Life, Less Stuff by Dinah Sanders

A. Roger Ekirch, Atul Gawande, big-box store, Boris Johnson, 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, post-work, 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.


pages: 285 words: 78,180

Life at the Speed of Light: From the Double Helix to the Dawn of Digital Life by J. Craig Venter

Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, Asilomar, Barry Marshall: ulcers, bioinformatics, borderless world, Brownian motion, clean water, discovery of DNA, double helix, epigenetics, experimental subject, global pandemic, Isaac Newton, Islamic Golden Age, John von Neumann, Louis Pasteur, Mars Rover, Mikhail Gorbachev, phenotype, 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.


pages: 232 words: 77,956

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, Right to Buy, risk tolerance, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, Rubik’s Cube, 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’.


pages: 278 words: 74,880

A World of Three Zeros: The New Economics of Zero Poverty, Zero Unemployment, and Zero Carbon Emissions by Muhammad Yunus

active measures, Bernie Sanders, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, clean water, conceptual framework, crony capitalism, distributed generation, Donald Trump, financial independence, fixed income, full employment, high net worth, income inequality, Indoor air pollution, Internet of things, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Lean Startup, Mark Zuckerberg, megacity, microcredit, new economy, Occupy movement, profit maximization, Silicon Valley, the market place, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, unbanked and underbanked, underbanked, urban sprawl, young professional

Grameen Danone Foods is just the first joint venture social business we launched. Now more and more companies are coming forward to partner with us to set up new social businesses. For example, we have created a joint venture with Veolia, a major water treatment and delivery company based in France, to deliver safe drinking water in the villages of Bangladesh. This joint venture operates a water treatment plant that brings clean water to fifty thousand villagers in an area of Bangladesh where the existing water supply is highly contaminated by arsenic. We sell the water to villagers at a price of just 3 cents per 10 liters. This makes the company sustainable, but no financial gain comes to Grameen or Veolia. We have created other joint venture social businesses in Bangladesh with corporations that include Intel Corporation, BASF, Uniqlo, SK Dream, and Euglena.

Zero Hunger: End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture. 3. Good Health and Well-being: Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages. 4. Quality Education: Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all. 5. Gender Equality: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls. 6. Clean Water and Sanitation: Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all. 7. Affordable and Clean Energy: Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy for all. 8. Decent Work and Economic Growth: Promote sustained, inclusive, and sustainable economic growth; full and productive employment; and decent work for all. 9. Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure: Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization, and foster innovation. 10.


pages: 264 words: 76,643

The Growth Delusion: Wealth, Poverty, and the Well-Being of Nations by David Pilling

Airbnb, banking crisis, Bernie Sanders, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Branko Milanovic, call centre, centre right, clean water, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, commoditize, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, dark matter, Deng Xiaoping, Diane Coyle, Donald Trump, double entry bookkeeping, Erik Brynjolfsson, falling living standards, financial deregulation, financial intermediation, financial repression, Gini coefficient, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Google Hangouts, Hans Rosling, happiness index / gross national happiness, income inequality, income per capita, informal economy, invisible hand, job satisfaction, Mahatma Gandhi, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, means of production, Monkeys Reject Unequal Pay, mortgage debt, off grid, old-boy network, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, peak oil, performance metric, pez dispenser, profit motive, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, rent-seeking, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, Rory Sutherland, science of happiness, shareholder value, sharing economy, Simon Kuznets, sovereign wealth fund, The Great Moderation, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, total factor productivity, transaction costs, transfer pricing, trickle-down economics, urban sprawl, women in the workforce, World Values Survey

But there are serious academics who contend that the really important advances in technology are all behind us. Robert Gordon, an expert on productivity at Northwestern University, argues that all the truly transformative inventions came about after 1870 and more or less ran out of steam around 1970. He cites the invention of electricity and the internal combustion engine, and the provision of clean water and sewage disposal. These led to the invention of machines such as the telephone, the radio, the refrigerator, the car, and aircraft. Many of these technologies in turn produced huge ripple effects. Ha-Joon Chang, a Cambridge economist, says the washing machine was a far more revolutionary invention (pun intended) than the Internet. Why? “The washing machine, piped gas, running water and all these mundane household technologies enabled women to enter the labor market, which then meant that they had fewer children, had them later, invested more in each of them, especially female children.

When he first started costing Maryland’s wetlands, forests, and green spaces, he says, “I’m like, this is not cool.” But, he has concluded, in the real world of policymaking “numbers matter and money matters more. People say, ‘How do you put a price on the priceless?’ But if you don’t do that, this is what you get, what we’re doing right now: sacrificing our health and our environment for economic gain.” McGuire likens the GPI to a budgetary reality check in which the budget is clean air, clean water, and leisure time as well as dollars and cents. “I’m a county employee. I can’t go out and buy a Ferrari every day. I am not making the dollars,” he says by way of illustrating budgetary limits. “If we want to have economic growth, that’s awesome. Just make sure we can afford it.” * * * — If the disadvantage of an index is that you can put in it anything you like, that is also its advantage.


pages: 233 words: 75,712

In Defense of Global Capitalism by Johan Norberg

anti-globalists, Asian financial crisis, capital controls, clean water, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, Deng Xiaoping, Edward Glaeser, Gini coefficient, half of the world's population has never made a phone call, Hernando de Soto, illegal immigration, income inequality, income per capita, informal economy, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, land reform, Lao Tzu, liberal capitalism, market fundamentalism, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, Naomi Klein, new economy, open economy, prediction markets, profit motive, race to the bottom, rising living standards, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, structural adjustment programs, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Tobin tax, trade liberalization, trade route, transaction costs, trickle-down economics, union organizing, zero-sum game

Then, in about 1820, Europe began moving further ahead as a result of the Industrial Revolution. But poverty remained appalling. Per capita income in the very richest European countries was the equivalent of $1,000–$1,500 annually—less than in present-day Bolivia or Kazakhstan. Even if all incomes had been perfectly equally distributed, that amount would still have been insufficient for more than a state of abject misery, with neither clean water nor daily bread and with little more than one garment per person. Almost the entire world population lived at a level of poverty scarcely to be seen anywhere today: only the very poorest countries—Mali, Zambia, and Nigeria, for example—come anywhere near it. During the 200 years since then, per capita incomes have multiplied several times over, worldwide. Global growth during the 320 years between 1500 and 1820 has been estimated at a mere 30th of what the world has experienced since then.6 Over the course of the last two centuries, incomes in Europe have risen more than tenfold.

Botswana’s economic growth has actually surpassed that of the East Asian countries, with annual growth levels of more than 10 percent between 1970 and 1990. Another state that committed itself to free trade early on is the island nation of Mauritius. Through reduced military expenditure, protection of property rights, reduced taxes, a free capital market and increased competition, the country has achieved growth rates on the order of 5 percent annually. Today nearly everyone there has access to clean water, and education and health care are expanding. If countries like Mauritius and Botswana can achieve this degree of growth, why shouldn’t the rest of Africa be able to? The populations of the other African countries are no less inventive and enterprising than the people of Mauritius or Botswana, but they are forced to use their creative powers to evade corruption and regulations and to cope with working in the informal sector.


pages: 233 words: 73,772

The Secret World of Oil by Ken Silverstein

business intelligence, clean water, corporate governance, corporate raider, 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.


pages: 272 words: 78,876

Heart: A History by Sandeep Jauhar

blue-collar work, clean water, correlation does not imply causation, Honoré de Balzac, John Snow's cholera map, mass immigration, medical residency, placebo effect, publish or perish, Rubik’s Cube, selection bias, stem cell, the scientific method

Epidemiology is about the ecology of disease: where and when it is found, or not. In 1854, John Snow, physician to Queen Victoria, performed the world’s first epidemiological study when he investigated a major cholera outbreak in London’s Soho. Snow was born in the town of York, at the intersection of two rivers contaminated by dung and sewage. His childhood likely sensitized him to a community’s need for clean water. Based on studies nearly ten years before the Soho epidemic, Snow had concluded that cholera was transmitted by “morbid matter,” not foul air, as his colleagues at the London Medical Society believed. He based his theory in part on the fact that workers in slaughterhouses, thought to be a font of cholera, were afflicted no more than the general population. So, when cholera broke out in London in 1854, Snow set his sights on a well.

In this study, early death and poor health were found to increase stepwise from the highest to the lowest levels of the civil service hierarchy. Messengers and porters had nearly twice the death rate of higher-ranking administrators, even after accounting for differences in smoking, plasma cholesterol, blood pressure, and alcohol consumption. None of these civil servants were poor, in the usual sense. They all enjoyed clean water, plenty of food, and proper toilet facilities. The main ways they differed were in occupational prestige, job control, and other gradients of the social hierarchy. Marmot and his co-workers concluded that emotional disturbance, because of financial instability, time pressures, lack of advancement, and a general dearth of autonomy, drives much of the difference in survival. “Both low-grade civil servant and slum dweller lack control over their lives,” Marmot writes.


pages: 269 words: 77,876

Brilliant, Crazy, Cocky: How the Top 1% of Entrepreneurs Profit From Global Chaos by Sarah Lacy

Asian financial crisis, barriers to entry, BRICs, clean water, cleantech, cloud computing, Deng Xiaoping, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, fear of failure, Firefox, income per capita, intangible asset, Jeff Bezos, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, M-Pesa, Mahatma Gandhi, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, McMansion, megacity, Network effects, paypal mafia, QWERTY keyboard, risk tolerance, Skype, social web, Steve Jobs, Tony Hsieh, urban planning, web application, women in the workforce, working-age population, zero-sum game

So even if the booklet is stolen, the account can’t be accessed. There’s a VeriSign logo on each booklet. Sinha reached out to the security experts to see if they could come up with a better solution, but instead they just endorsed his approach. There are a lot of ingenious things about this seemingly simple business. For one thing, nearly everyone in India’s cities has a cel phone even if they don’t have a home, income, power, or access to clean water. So if you want banking to be broad based, it’s the only possible medium. And with literacy rates of 73 percent for men and 48 percent for women, even an SMS system would be a chal enge, but everyone can dial numbers. Making vendors like Lal the tel ers of Eko’s virtual bank is crucial to wide adoption. These vendors are the hub of India’s poorer economies, typical y extending credit when even a sachet of shampoo is too expensive, essential y acting like trusted bankers already.

Anil wrote their story and cal ed them heroes. Walking through this slum for hours, hearing dramatic stories like these over and over again, it was striking how similar they al started to sound. A lot of Western pundits argue that technology isn’t what India needs when basics like jobs and water are in such short supply. That’s why rich people shouldn’t be the ones making the decisions about what poor people need. Just as a hot meal, clean water, or a U.S. dol ar can take on a meaning the rich can’t understand in a poor neighborhood, so too can basic technologies that connect people to one another. Ghate’s frustrations with VCs have made him only more determined, not just to prove this can be done but to prove he can do it. “I am a piece of carbon and al of these chal enges and hate words are polishing me up to become a diamond,” he says.


pages: 274 words: 72,657

The Power of Moments: Why Certain Experiences Have Extraordinary Impact by Chip Heath, Dan Heath

Cal Newport, call centre, clean water, cloud computing, crowdsourcing, desegregation, fear of failure, Mahatma Gandhi, mental accounting, meta analysis, meta-analysis, school choice, six sigma, Steve Ballmer

In 2007, the British Medical Journal asked its readers to vote on the most important medical milestone that had occurred since 1840, when the BMJ was first published. Third place went to anesthesia, second place to antibiotics. The winner was one you might not have expected: the “sanitary revolution,” encompassing sewage disposal and methods for securing clean water. Much of the world, though, is still waiting for that revolution to come. In 2016, there were about a billion people worldwide who lacked access to clean water, and also a billion (likely many of the same people) who, lacking toilets, defecated outdoors—often in areas used by multiple people. This practice of open defecation has dire health consequences, just as it did in 1840. It leads to the mass spread of diseases, among them cholera, hookworm, roundworm, and schistosomiasis, that cause people to suffer or die.


pages: 452 words: 135,790

Seeds of Hope: Wisdom and Wonder From the World of Plants by Jane Goodall

Alfred Russel Wallace, British Empire, clean water, Community Supported Agriculture, European colonialism, Google Earth, illegal immigration, language of flowers, longitudinal study, Mahatma Gandhi, microcredit, Nelson Mandela, New Urbanism, oil shale / tar sands, phenotype, transatlantic slave trade

Next I walked through a region of tall grasses and other plants, some in flower, where already the water was much cleaner, and I saw insects, some crabs, and a few birds. Finally we came to the hundred-acre, human-made wetlands, where many species of birds were feeding. There were even more insects and crabs. Dragonflies darted above us, and butterflies fluttered. From there the cleansed water, shining and alive, flows into the Dahan River. Other Ways of Cleaning Water All those plants press-ganged into helping us to clear up our filth. We owe them a great debt of thanks. Fortunately, “mop crops” are not the only way to clean water polluted by industrial, household, and agricultural runoff and by acid rain. Most other techniques involve pumping out the water, cleaning and returning it, and/or removing accumulated sediments. And while this is most often for our own good, here’s a story about the huge efforts made on behalf of endangered water plants.

Conoco did not find a commercially useful oil deposit, so we could never put our plan into action. But they did leave a team and some equipment behind when they left to build our Tchimpounga Sanctuary for the infant chimpanzees we were caring for who had been orphaned by the bushmeat trade. We Need Our Forests One tool that can be helpful to those fighting to save the forests is the fact that we really do need our forests. They provide us with clean water, protect the watershed, and prevent erosion. They also provide food and medicinal plants, and support a very wide range of different animals and plant species, thus protecting biodiversity. Moreover, forests are often referred to as the “lungs of the world,” as they take in CO2 from the air around them and release oxygen. The CO2 is stored not only in the leaves of the trees but also in forest soils, especially peat soils.


pages: 692 words: 127,032

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, commoditize, cosmological constant, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, Dean Kamen, desegregation, different worldview, double helix, energy security, Exxon Valdez, fudge factor, ghettoisation, global pandemic, Harlow Shapley and Heber Curtis, Harvard Computers: women astronomers, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Louis Pasteur, mutually assured destruction, 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, yellow journalism, zero-sum game

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.


One Bullet Away: The Making of a Marine Officer by Fick, Nathaniel C.(October 3, 2005) Hardcover by Nathaniel C. Fick

clean water, defense in depth, double helix, friendly fire, John Nash: game theory, Khyber Pass, Silicon Valley

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.”


Betrayal of Trust: The Collapse of Global Public Health by Laurie Garrett

accounting loophole / creative accounting, airport security, Albert Einstein, anti-communist, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, biofilm, clean water, collective bargaining, desegregation, discovery of DNA, discovery of penicillin, Drosophila, employer provided health coverage, Fall of the Berlin Wall, germ theory of disease, global pandemic, illegal immigration, indoor plumbing, Induced demand, John Snow's cholera map, Jones Act, Louis Pasteur, Mahatma Gandhi, mass incarceration, Maui Hawaii, means of production, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, mouse model, Nelson Mandela, new economy, nuclear winter, phenotype, profit motive, Project Plowshare, RAND corporation, randomized controlled trial, Right to Buy, Ronald Reagan, sexual politics, Silicon Valley, stem cell, the scientific method, urban decay, urban renewal, War on Poverty, working poor, Works Progress Administration, yellow journalism

And in the world’s poor nations, where most of the planet’s population resided, every improvement in health seemed to be smashed on the shores of underdevelopment. In 1996 Canadian scientist Joseph Decosas decried underdevelopment at a gathering of AIDS researchers in Vancouver.2 Holding an imaginary glass of water in the air Decosas grimly said that “if the solution for AIDS would be to bring a glass of clean water to everybody in the world, we would not be able to bring that. We have not been able to stop children from dying from simple diarrhea by providing clean drinking water.” We have not, at the millennium, been able to bring clean water, food, or life’s succor to the world’s poor. Every night in 1997 more than 200 million Indians went to bed hungry, officially malnourished—including half of the country’s children. In China a smaller percentage of the nation’s children—one out of every five—was malnourished, but 164 million Chinese went to sleep with hunger gnawing at their stomachs.

The city, from its earliest seventeenth-century days, had only two options: close itself off and suffer economically, or open its arms to the world while creating systems within the city to control disease. For two hundred years New Yorkers fought off epidemics and pestilence, learning by erring how to create an enormous metropolis that was, from at least a disease perspective, safe. Vital statistics, clean water, pasteurized milk, mass vaccination, less hazardous workplaces, public sewers—these were the hallmarks, achieved one agonizing step after another, of Gotham’s public health system. In the mid-1990s I wrote The Coming Plague: Newly Emerging Diseases in a World Out of Balance,1 which looked at the reemergence of infectious diseases. It was clear to me then that the only dam that could effectively hold back the river of microbes and threatening pathogens was that very public health infrastructure.

For example, when a cholera epidemic exploded in Romania in 1994, lasting two years and felling thousands of Romanians with severe diarrheal disease, Neira’s office was dumbfounded by the country’s public health response: “In Romania they injected all sorts of high-dose antibiotics to treat cholera. They don’t understand that cholera vibrio do not respond to antibiotics,” Neira said, her face expressing frank astonishment. “They want electrophoresis and amyloid analyzing equipment,” all expensive and entirely unnecessary. When Neira’s team carefully explained that worldwide cholera was best treated simply with oral rehydration therapy—a mixture of clean water and salts that stop the deadly dehydration induced by cholera—the Romanian public health officials snapped at WHO experts: “Don’t come here with your guidelines for African poor people—cholera guidelines are for Africans. We are Europeans!” But WHO concluded that some former Soviet-dominated countries—particularly Ukraine—had “sanitation that is worse than in Africa,” Neira said. WHO water engineers discovered that all over the region Soviet urban planners had bundled drinking water and sewage pipes, burying them one atop the other under the region’s densely populated cities.


pages: 261 words: 78,884

$2.00 A Day: Living on Almost Nothing in America by Kathryn Edin, H. Luke Shaefer

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, business cycle, 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, mass incarceration, race to the bottom, randomized controlled trial, Ronald Reagan, The Future of Employment, 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.


pages: 266 words: 87,411

The Slow Fix: Solve Problems, Work Smarter, and Live Better in a World Addicted to Speed by Carl Honore

Albert Einstein, Atul Gawande, Broken windows theory, call centre, Checklist Manifesto, clean water, clockwatching, cloud computing, crowdsourcing, Dava Sobel, delayed gratification, drone strike, Enrique Peñalosa, Erik Brynjolfsson, Ernest Rutherford, Exxon Valdez, fundamental attribution error, game design, income inequality, index card, invention of the printing press, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, John Harrison: Longitude, lateral thinking, lone genius, medical malpractice, microcredit, Netflix Prize, planetary scale, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Skype, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, ultimatum game, urban renewal, War on Poverty

My place is on Table K along with a software engineer, an unemployed labourer, a chartered auditor, a trainee architect, a music student, a marketing manager, an interior designer and Katrin Jakobsdottir, the young minister for Education, Science and Culture. After introductions, Sigrun, our moderator, asks us to list Iceland’s unique selling points (USPs). The software engineer says the country has a clean, green image that sets it apart. When Sigrun urges him to be more specific, the auditor steps in. “We have so much fresh, clean water, compared to other countries,” she says. “Can we find a way to use that?” The architect points out that Iceland is blessed with hot springs. The labourer leans forward, nodding his head vigorously. “Maybe we could drill into the earth to get geo-heat from the water,” he says. This sparks off a debate about whether water really is a USP and if the energy harvested from it could be exported from Iceland’s remote location.

“We’re hopefully going to change the way science is done, and who it’s done by.” McGonigal thinks science is just the beginning. In 2010, together with the World Bank Institute, she launched EVOKE, a game that encourages players to tackle social problems in the developing world. One week the mission might be to find a source of renewable energy for a village, the next to improve one person’s access to food or clean water. Though it uses the same tropes that keep Mabinogi players glued to their seats for days on end – cool graphics, missions, rewards, levels, feedback – EVOKE is designed to minimise time on the keyboard. On average, its players spend five to six hours pursuing missions in the real world for every hour spent in front of a screen. “We’re trying to take ordinary people who feel like they don’t have a positive role to play in big planetary-scale efforts and give them the sense that they can as individuals contribute to changing the world for the better,” says McGonigal.


pages: 288 words: 85,073

Factfulness: Ten Reasons We're Wrong About the World – and Why Things Are Better Than You Think by Hans Rosling, Ola Rosling, Anna Rosling Rönnlund

animal electricity, clean water, colonial rule, en.wikipedia.org, energy transition, first square of the chessboard, first square of the chessboard / second half of the chessboard, global pandemic, Hans Rosling, illegal immigration, income inequality, income per capita, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), jimmy wales, linked data, lone genius, microcredit, purchasing power parity, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Steven Pinker, Thomas L Friedman, Walter Mischel

A Midwife’s Wish In 1999, I traveled with a couple of Swedish students to visit a traditional midwife in a remote village in Tanzania. I wanted my medical students from Level 4 to meet a real health worker on Level 1 instead of just reading about them in books. The midwife had no formal education, and the students’ jaws dropped when she described her struggles, walking between villages to help poor women deliver babies on mud floors in complete darkness with no medical equipment and no clean water. One of the students asked, “Do you have children of your own?” “Yes,” she said proudly, “two boys and two daughters.” “Will your daughters become midwives like you?” The old woman threw her body forward and laughed out loud. “My daughters! Working like me?! Oh no! Never! Ever! They have nice jobs. They work in front of computers in Dar es Salaam, just like they wanted to.” The midwife’s daughters had escaped Level 1.

Today, a period of relative world peace has enabled a growing global prosperity. A smaller proportion of people than ever before is stuck in extreme poverty. But there are still 800 million people left. Unlike with climate change, we don’t need predictions and scenarios. We know that 800 million are suffering right now. We also know the solutions: peace, schooling, universal basic health care, electricity, clean water, toilets, contraceptives, and microcredits to get market forces started. There’s no innovation needed to end poverty. It’s all about walking the last mile with what’s worked everywhere else. And we know that the quicker we act, the smaller the problem, because as long as people remain in extreme poverty they keep having large families and their numbers keep increasing. Providing these necessities of a decent life, quickly, to the final billion is a clear, fact-based priority.


pages: 293 words: 81,183

Doing Good Better: How Effective Altruism Can Help You Make a Difference by William MacAskill

barriers to entry, basic income, 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, end world poverty, experimental subject, follow your passion, food miles, immigration reform, income inequality, index fund, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Isaac Newton, job automation, job satisfaction, Lean Startup, M-Pesa, mass immigration, 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 Future of Employment, 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.


pages: 312 words: 84,421

This Chair Rocks: A Manifiesto Against Ageism by Ashton Applewhite

affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Atul Gawande, Buckminster Fuller, clean water, cognitive dissonance, crowdsourcing, desegregation, Downton Abbey, fixed income, follow your passion, ghettoisation, Google Hangouts, hiring and firing, income inequality, informal economy, Internet of things, invention of the printing press, job satisfaction, labor-force participation, life extension, longitudinal study, Mark Zuckerberg, Naomi Klein, obamacare, old age dependency ratio, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, sensible shoes, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, Snapchat, stem cell, the built environment, urban decay, urban planning, white picket fence, women in the workforce

The proportion of older people increased, and the lifespan in the developed world has since doubled. In the twentieth century, in the US alone, the American lifespan increased by a staggering thirty years. This largely reflects the fact that more Americans are surviving to adulthood, but we’re living longer too, gaining on average ten biological years since our grandparents’ era. In effect, thanks largely to clean water and antibiotics, we’ve redistributed death from the young to the old. “It is, frankly, insane to look at an ageing population and not rejoice,” writes Guardian columnist Zoe Williams about the US Census Bureau’s 2008 report on the unprecedented aging of the world population. “Why do we even have a concept of public health, of co-operation, of sharing knowledge, if not to extend life, wherever we find it?”

This group suffered just as much chronic illness as the population at large. The difference in quality of life as well as its duration correlated with five predictable and modifiable behaviors: not smoking, controlling weight and blood pressure, avoiding diabetes, and regular exercise. Aging is not a disease The biological causes of de