A video made by UMass-Amherst students compares wealth-based to rights-based principles for allocating environmental quality:
From Peter Barnes on PBS Newshour, discussing his new book With Liberty and Dividends for All:
Dividends from common wealth, by contrast, unite society by putting all its members in the same boat. The income everyone receives is a right, not a handout. This changes the story, the psychology and the politics.
Read more here.
Movement Generation skewers pipeline “job creators”:
Econ4’s James Boyce explains what rent’s got to do with climate change:
Read his piece here.
Some good news from the energy efficiency frontlines:
[I]nvestment in energy efficiency is large and growing: $300 billion in 2011 by companies and governments in 11 countries. That is the same as total investment in electricity generation from oil, gas and coal, though less than investment in renewable electricity plus renewable-energy subsidies. But it saves more in emissions of carbon dioxide than all the spending on renewables, and pays for itself.
Read more here.
Sean McElwee and Lew Daly write about the disconnect between valuing oil and gas reserves and valuing the future of our planet:
A whopping two-thirds of reserves listed on markets are potentially worthless.
Steve Waygood, head of Sustainability Research at Aviva Investors, a global asset management company, sums up the conundrum: “Valuations of the oil and gas sector still assume that they will be able to take all proven and probable reserves out of the ground and burn them. Based on credible data we cannot be allowed to do that…” So in much the same way that pre-Great Recession housing prices were based on the assumption that their values would continue to rise and homeowners would pay off their mortgages, the valuation of oil and gas companies is based on the assumption that they will be able to extract resources that must remain in the ground.
Read their piece here.
From Robert Reich’s blog:
A basic economic principle is government ought to tax what we want to discourage, and not tax what we want to encourage.
For example, if we want less carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, we should tax carbon polluters. On the other hand, if we want more students from lower-income families to be able to afford college, we shouldn’t put a tax on student loans.
Read his post here.
Econ4’s James Boyce writes that we need better measures of economic well-being, better public policies, and better language:
We need to move beyond the stale “pro-growth” versus “anti-growth” rhetoric of the past. It’s time to raise a new banner: Grow the good and shrink the bad.
Read more here.
Econ4’s James Boyce on how to translate good principles into good practice:
Five years ago, this picture appeared in report titled Nation Under Siege: Sea Level Rise at Our Doorstep. It depicts what would happen – and this week, did happen – as a result of a 3-meter rise in sea levels in New York City:
Was superstorm Sandy a preview of what sea level rise will bring—permanently—to New York and other coastal cities by century’s end?
Read about it here.