Power Struggle

A look at how the market and governments regulate power and how the green energy industry is disrupting it via The Economist article Wind and solar power are disrupting electricity systems

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Key takeaways:

  • Solar and wind only provide 7% of global energy consumption
  • Solar and wind are growing faster than any other energy type and prices are falling to competitive levels with fossil fuels
  • Requires significant investment over the next 10 years ($20 trillion)
  • WE NEED TO RETHINK HOW CLEAN ENERGY IS PRICED
    • Government subsidies have distorted the market
    • Green power is intermittent
    • Renewable costs are negligible or zero… aka meaning that the more used, the more depressed the prices and revenues
    • Markets do not determine energy company success and failure; politicians do
    • Small, modular power plants can help with intermittent supply as well as moving network power around more efficiently

Recommendation: 

Markets should reward those willing to use less electricity to balance the grid, just as they reward those who generate more of it.

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Fish Farming… WHAT?!

A good alternative to the environmental challenges that come with raising livestock is land-raised fish. It is not only an answer to the world-wide fish shortage, but also solves many of the urgent issues that farmers and indeed the world face, a few of which are listed below:

  • Eco-friendly ✔
  • New jobs ✔
  • Cost efficient ✔
  • Economic viability ✔
  • Local ✔
  • Sustainable ✔
  • Fresh & healthy food ✔

This relatively new method, Recirculating Aquaculture System: RAS aka land-based closed-containment system, has gained popularity in recent years and has been featured on Fast Company’s “The World Changing Ideas of 2017.”

This win-win-win system boasts many positives:

“Imagine a world where our primary protein source wasn’t environmentally damaging factory farms, but these eco-friendly, land-based fish tanks. Instead of being served antibiotic- and hormone-laden portions of pork, beef, or chicken, people would have access to fresh fillets from a process that obviates the need to dose away sickness, or artificially spur growth rates.

Fish isn’t just an alternative protein; it’s a better one, with less saturated fat than beef, and high levels of omega-3 fatty acids, which help control blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and inflammation. There’s also way less of it in the ocean these days. More than 90% of all fisheries are fully exploited or overfished. That’s caused the availability of many species to simply collapse.”

State of the City: Mayor Ed Murray

CityofSeattleMayor Murray Delivered the State of the City address to Satellites today with optimism and caution. The Seattle Times article, shares Murray’s comments that while the tech and economic growth of Seattle, “‘reflects the 21st-century dreams of the 1962 World’s Fair: a vibrant city driven by technology and science creating jobs and innovation in everything from transportation to health care,’” it at the same time is weary of a growing population of homelessness which according to the One Night Count found an increase of 19% from last year which is very startling for what the future of Seattle could look like. Murray warns of the, “[fear] from the Great Depression as issues of homelessness and inequity continue despite decades of effort on the part of this city to resolve them.”

 

The Great Melting

20160109_IRM934_1 (1)“America is unusual, both for its obsession with race and for its superb statistics. Poor countries lack the means to collect precise data, and many rich ones choose not to. Some, like France, are so high-minded that they hold race to be irrelevant; in others racial censuses smell uncomfortably like fascism. A few countries distinguish foreigners from natives, though, and there the trend is mostly the same as in America.” –The Economist

Farmers Try Political Force to Twist Open California’s Taps

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“Few in agriculture have shaped the debate over water more than the
several hundred owners of an arid finger of farmland west of Fresno.” The battle for water in drought-stricken California is a complex issue, and this NY Times article sheds some light on voices that may normally be overlooked.

Book Report: Boomerang

58905a1d444db99566542d2e8a24Everything from doomsday naysayers to eccentric millionaires that stockpile gold, Michael Lewis will take you on a compelling trip around the world into the finances of governments in dangerous and powerful positions, and how they got there. A subject that normally does not attract a wide-ranging audience, Boomerang delivers a colorful illustration of the rise and fall of economic and financial realities that shook nations and is still affecting the outcome of our world market today. I highly recommend Boomerang to anyone who enjoys a quick, entertaining read.

Better Ways to Pay for College

20150822_LDC481The Economist outlines two of the 2016 presidential contenders’ plans on fixing the “paying for college” problem.

“America’s presidential primary campaigns are proposing serious ideas for how to deal with real economic problems. High among them is how to fix the country’s broken system of university finance.”

US Economy: The struggle has been long and arduous

“Having fought off the effects of the financial crisis, governments and central banks are understandably eager to get back to normal. The way to achieve their goal is to allow the recovery to gather strength first.”

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http://www.economist.com/news/leaders/21654053-it-only-matter-time-next-recession-strikes-rich-world-not-ready-watch