Preparing lawyers and practicing law for people in the sharing economy

By David Bollier, book review on Fixing the Law’s Bias Against Sharing, 2014 In the quest to imagine and build a new “sharing economy,” one factor that is often overlooked is law.  What shall be the role of formal law in a world of social enterprises, shared workspaces, cohousing, car-sharing groups, tool-lending libraries, local currencies and crowdfunding?  Who has legal …

Six P’s: Michael Shuman’s pointers to a prosperous, local economy

Sustainability requires that every community meet the needs of all its members (including plants and animals), present and future, without compromising the needs of other communities meeting the needs of their members, present and future. — Michael Shuman Is neighborhood economics at a tipping point? Consciousness certainly seems to be getting there. This is a skeletal summary of some key points, plus a few …

When the trees disappear from the outskirts of the forest, it creates significant local warming and changes air circulation patterns throughout the Amazon area during the dry season leading to more loss

The ongoing deforestation around the fringes of the Amazon may have serious consequences for the untouched deeper parts of the rainforest. A new research study shows that it is not only the climate that is adversely affected by deforestation. In fact, the very stability of the ecosystem in the entire Amazon region is altered when deforestation takes place in the …

Rising seas could result in 2 billion refugees by 2100

Cornell University, 26 June 2017, Science Daily Street under flood waters, Bangkok, Thailand. In the year 2100, 2 billion people — about one-fifth of the world’s population — could become climate change refugees due to rising ocean levels. Those who once lived on coastlines will face displacement and resettlement bottlenecks as they seek habitable places inland, according to Cornell University …

Colorado’s AV testing law

Excerpt from the Denver Post, May 2017 “We were very clear in writing the law that we’re not changing any of those other laws. Obviously, seatbelts is one of them. Turning indicators, moving aside for emergency vehicles — all of those laws still have to be followed,” Hill said. “If you get into a car and don’t fasten your seatbelt, …

Ten Facts You Should Know About the Federal Estate Tax, in pictures

By CHYE-CHING HUANG AND CHLOE CHO[1],  Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, 5 May 2017 The federal estate tax is a tax on property (cash, real estate, stock, or other assets) transferred from deceased persons to their heirs.  Only the wealthiest estates pay the tax because it is levied only on the portion of an estate’s value that exceeds a specified …

Practitioners of tax evasion and inequality: New research suggests that households in the top 0.01 percent, those with wealth over $40 million, evade 25 to 30 percent of person income and wealth taxes—about 10 times more than the general population

By Chuck Collins, The Nation, 21 June 2017 Agents of Inequality: How Wealth Managers to the Super-Rich Undermine Society and What We Can Do About It :An expert on their secretive world explains how these shadowy practitioners of financial trickery help facilitate widespread tax evasion—and undermine democratic government. Recent years have seen a tremendous amount of scholarship and commentary on the …

World-first climate and health framework from 30 health and medical groups calls for recognition of citizens’ ‘right to health’

By Michael Slezak, The Guardian, 21 June 2017 Australian health groups urge coal phase-out and strong emissions reduction: World-first climate and health framework from 30 health and medical groups calls for recognition of citizens’ ‘right to health’ To save hundreds of lives and billions of dollars, Australia should rapidly phase out coal power stations and establish strong emissions reduction targets, according …

Wait! What jobs will be safe from robots?

An excerpt from The Guardian, June 2017 Ford, the futurist, classifies resilient jobs in three areas. The first is jobs that involve “genuine creativity, such as being an artist, being a scientist, developing a new business strategy”. Ford notes: “For now, humans are still best at creativity but there’s a caveat there. I can’t guarantee you that in 20 years …

Sparking grid savings at home: Big potential savings

By John Farrell, 26 June 2017, Read the full report here. Introduction In the past decade, two major trends have threatened the ability of electric utilities to meet the needs of the electricity system. The first is that national electricity sales have flattened, a reversal of nearly 100 years of constant growth, while peak energy use has continued to climb. In …