How the Six-Hour Workday Actually Saves Money

By Rebecca Greenfield, Bloomberg, 17 April 2017 In February, after almost two years worth of six-hour workdays, nurses at the Svartedalens elderly care facility in Gothenburg, Sweden went back to eight hour shifts—despite recently published research showing the benefits of the shortened workdays. The City of Gothenburg didn’t extend the experiment in part because funding ran out. It cost about 12 million krona …

When smart-city programs aren’t designed to correct social inequality, they end up furthering it. We need our platforms to be real democracies.

The technology that brought us Airbnb and Uber can do so much more.  From Grist.com, By Amelia Urry, 7 April 2017 There’s a problem with the sharing economy, says Julian Agyeman, an urban studies and environmental policy scholar at Tufts University. “While useful in some ways,” he says, “the concept of a ‘sharing economy’ limits this very human value — sharing — …

What drove the driving downturn?

In an (academic) brawl over sprawl, planners are debating whether compact development contributed to a recent decrease in vehicles miles traveled. See Journal of the American Planning Association and CityLab By Richard Florida, 6 April 2017 Wikimedia Commons Since 2004, driving as measured by the number of vehicle miles traveled declined, reaching a two-decade low in 2012. Slumping figures for …

Deep decarbonization in the US: Brad Plumer’s discussion

An excerpt from Brad Plumer on Vox.com, 3 April 2017  Current electricity trends aren’t nearly sufficient for deep decarbonization. If the US wants to do its part to halt global warming, it’s not enough for electricity emissions to dip moderately. They have to go to zero — within a couple of decades. That’s a mind-bogglingly difficult task, and we’re currently …

Bloomberg: Income inequality battle brewing at state level

By Sharon H. Lee, on Bloomberg Bureau of National Affairs, Mar 1, 2017  In response to growing concerns over income inequality, some states are proposing legislation designed to penalize companies using pay ratio data disclosed pursuant to the Securities and Exchange Commission’s pay ratio disclosure rule. Pay Ratio The SEC’s pay ratio disclosure rule requires public companies to report the ratio …

Scientists call for halving fossil fuel use/emissions every 10 years

Scientists Propose “Carbon Law” Based On Computing’s “Moore’s Law” , for example, doubling renewable energy capacity every 5 to 7 years. By Joshua Hill, in Clean Technica, 28 March 2017  An international team of researchers writing in the journal Science have proposed a solution for encouraging the global economy to transition to a low-carbon economy, a “carbon law” which works much the same …

Coal workers could be fully retrained in solar professions for just 5% of the profits that coal companies make in a single year

Joshua M. Pearce, Harvard Business Review A study published in the Harvard Business Review found that growing solar-related employment could benefit coal workers, by easily absorbing the coal-industry layoffs over the next 15 years and offering full-time careers. Using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the researchers looked at all current coal industry positions (from engineers to mining and power plant …

Memory, Fire and Hope: Five Lessons from Standing Rock

By Alnoor Ladha, Originally published on Common Dreams, 8 March 2017   “The ongoing struggle will not go down in the flames at Oceti Sakowin,” writes Ladha. (Photo: Stephen Yang/Getty Images) “The struggle of man against power is the struggle of memory against forgetting.” —Milan Kundera, The Book of Laughter and Forgetting Last week, on February 22, 2017, water protectors …

Clean energy is now as big as pharmaceutical manufacturing in the US: with $200 billion in revenue, it’s sneaking up on consumer electronics

By David Roberts, Originally published at Vox.com 8 March 2017   Detecting some heat (with a thermal sensor that shows where energy is leaking from a home).(Shutterstock) Across the world, myriad efforts are underway to make energy systems cleaner, smarter, and more efficient. But it’s hard to get a sense of the total size of those efforts, as they are spread …