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Tagged : post-carbon-institute

A non-partisan idea to help the economy — make it easier to invest in local businesses

November 7th, 2011

Michael Shuman

I personally support the spirit of Occupy Wall Street, especially the spotlight it has cast on the shocking level of inequality in our country. But the movement oddly conveys a very mainstream message that Wall Street can and should be fixed. Just clean up our existing financial institutions – make them more accountable, honest, transparent – and all will be well. Really?

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Climate inaction…again. So what now?

July 30th, 2010

By Asher Miller

Asher Miller, executive director, Post Carbon Institute

Back in December in blisteringly cold Copenhagen, tens of thousands of activists, government workers, lobbyists, and world leaders came together for what many hoped would be a diplomatic breakthrough. Though the weather was cold, conditions seemed ripe: Environmental groups across the globe had worked hard to generate a strong display of public will, culminating in 350.org’s Day of Action earlier in October, which CNN called “the most widespread day of political action in the planet’s history.” Bolstered by the announcement that President Obama would attend the talks personally, hopes were high for meaningful engagement on the part of the United States after more than a decade of inaction.

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Oil spills, and the economics and environmental impact of resource depletion

June 24th, 2010

Following the failure of the latest efforts to plug the gushing leak from BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil well in the Gulf of Mexico, and amid warnings that oil could continue to flow for another two months or more, perhaps it’s a good time to step back a moment mentally and look at the bigger picture—the context of our human history of resource extraction—to see how current events reveal deeper trends that will have even greater and longer-lasting significance.

Much of what follows may seem obvious to some readers, pedantic to others. But very few people seem to have much of a grasp of the basic technological, economic, and environmental issues that arise as resource extraction proceeds, and as a society adapts to depletion of its resource base. So, at the risk of boring the daylights out of those already familiar with the history of extractive industries, here follows a spotlighting of relevant issues, with the events in the Gulf of Mexico ever-present in the wings and poised to take center stage as the subject of some later comments.

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Post Carbon Institute tells Congress to get some spine on energy/climate bill

June 17th, 2010

The Post Carbon Institute wants Congress to get tougher about a new energy policy and push forward on a bill that would embrace renewable energy, increase green jobs and improve the nation’s energy security.

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Transportation expert applauds Obama’s rail plans

February 8th, 2010

By Harriet Blake
Green Right Now

In his Jan. 27 State of the Union Address, President Obama included high-speed rail, stating, “From the first railroads to the Interstate Highway System, our nation has always been built to compete. There’s no reason Europe or China should have the fastest trains or the new factories that manufacture clean-energy products.”

He followed that up with a visit to Tampa the next day, where he stated that $8 billion in grants would be going to a Tampa-Orlando-Miami route in Florida, followed by similar rail projects in California and Illinois.

This is music to the ears of longtime train advocate Anthony Perl, a fellow with the Post Carbon Institute (PCI). The San Francisco-area institute in an apolitical think tank that envisions a world of communities and economies that thrive within ecological bounds. The president’s address spurred PCI to send Obama an open letter applauding the speech but imploring him to lead the transition to a post-carbon economy by, in part, preparing for the future with cost-effective energy, such as trains. In addition to his position with PCI, Perl is the director of the Urban Studies Program at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, British Columbia.

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Copenhagen Notes: The glass half full view

December 29th, 2009

Thursday, Dec. 17

Hillary breaks through the chatter

Amid the cacophony in Copenhagen, a bright spot.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke to a packed press conference, pledging that the U.S. would help raise $100 billion a year by 2020 in aid to developing nations to mitigate climate change effects.

U.S. Secretary of State  Hillary Clinton

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

Her words, despite the surrounding maelstrom of discontented protesters, developing nations worried about being marginalized and others who’ve declared the talks either stalled or in chaos, could help bring clarity as the historic summit lurches toward a close on Friday.

The pledge, which Clinton said would come from a mix of public and private money, including funds raised on the carbon market, speaks to both those negotiating on behalf of the other leading nations who want to see the U.S. put real money on the table , and to those in developing nations, many of whom doubt that the rich nations have the political will to put up a strong and well-funded fight against climate change.

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