Our average electricity in the US is 12 cents per kilowatt-hour, whereas new low prices for utility-scale renewables are 2.91 cents per kWh

By Joe Romm, April 6, 2017.  Stunning drops in solar and wind costs turn global power market upside down:  The world built more renewables for far less money last year, report UN and Bloomberg New Energy Finance. Last year, solar in Chile set a record low global price for unsubsidized electricity by any technology. CREDIT: ACERA. Stunning drops in the cost of wind …

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 …

The hybrid plane that could halve the cost (and travel time) of flights: Boeing and JetBlue back hybrid-electric craft

Zunum Aero building 10-50 seat planes that ‘sip fuel only when they have to’ Firm claims this could allow them to tap into underutilized regional airports They say this could decrease travel times by 40 percent on busy routes  By Cheyenne MacDonald, Originally published in The Daily Mail, 6 April 2017 Boeing and JetBlue have turned their sights to hybrid-electric …

On a 100-year timescale, dams produce more methane than rice plantations & biomass burning, + push people off land and livelihood

ScienceDaily, 17 May 2017 Water reservoirs created by damming rivers could have significant impacts on the world’s carbon cycle and climate system that aren’t being accounted for, a new study concludes. The study, conducted by researchers at the University of Waterloo and the Université libre de Bruxelles, appears in Nature Communications. It found that human-made dam reservoirs trap nearly one-fifth …

If you trust your employees to do the right thing, everything gets easier

4,227 days at Google. Braden Kowitz writes about his first and last day and Google, and their organizational philosophy in between.  Today is my last day at Google, but I still clearly remember my first day on the job. That morning I was parked in a training room for an onboarding lecture. My eyes were glazing over as some nice person explained …

In rural areas, employment has never recovered and disability is higher, as are business start-ups

This piece was published in March 2017 in In These Times, and prior to that, in The Conversation, an online resource that describes itself as “an independent source of news and views from the academic and research community,” asked sociologists, economists, geographers and historians to describe the factors that contribute to the differences between life in rural and urban America. Contributor attributions are noted in italics at …

Growing inequality in US and China, but worse for middle and lower classes in the US, and how we assess the growth of poverty worldwide

John A. Powell and the Haas Institute are suggesting Targeted Universalism as a different way—a powerful way—to make the transformational changes we need. Changes we need to improve life chances, promote inclusion, and enhance and sustain equitable policies and programs. To better understand a targeted universalism framework, please enjoy this brief animated video, which explains the difference between targeted universalism and more …

US military should get out of the Middle Easat

Three years ago, in London for a keynote, I had a chance to talk with people from three different Middle Eastern countries and multiple classes.  They all agreed that the best thing the US could do in the Middle East was to get out, and proceeded with long stories why and history of US and western involvement in the region. …

Not just in Athens: Signs of democracy and collective government in early MesoAmerican cities

Excerpt from an article by Lizzie Wade, in Science Magazine, March 2017 Archaeologists now say these “collective societies” left telltale traces in their material culture, such as repetitive architecture, an emphasis on public space over palaces, reliance on local production over exotic trade goods, and a narrowing of wealth gaps between elites and commoners. Intrigued by such outliers, Blanton and …