Archive for category National

Fighting Climate Change in Donald Trump’s America

Listening to Trump’s victory speech early Wednesday morning (and much of what he has said since then) has led many to wonder if the entire election campaign was a con, and we’re now going to see a new, more humane, Donald Trump as President. “Would the real Donald Trump stand up?” is a question several pundits have begun to ask. And in his first statement after the election, President Obama noted Trump’s “new tone,” and hoped it would continue.

Here’s a key excerpt from Trump’s speech:

I pledge to every citizen of our land that I will be President for all of Americans, and this is so important to me. For those who have chosen not to support me in the past, of which there were a few people, I’m reaching out to you for your guidance and your help so that we can work together and unify our great country.

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Hitler or Hillary? A Stark Choice

Why we all need to stand up and be counted

jcloud-spainThe mere fact that Donald Trump has been designated the Republican nominee for President should give us all cause for concern. No one with such a clearly authoritarian personality has ever been a plausible candidate for the most powerful office in the world. The campaign that we see unfolding before us is not a reality show, but a sobering reality. It is not unreasonable that we should ask ourselves what would happen if we were to stand by and not speak out against it.
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Jigar Shah’s Creating Climate Wealth (2013)

jigar-shahJigar Shah has a disarmingly powerful message for today’s young capitalists: fixing the climate crisis is the biggest financial opportunity of our lifetimes. Indeed, Shah is on track to become a role model for a new generation of entrepreneurs who are committed to leveraging mainstream investment for social transformation.

In Creating Climate Wealth, Shah makes the case that clean energy represents a ten trillion dollar investment opportunity—if we are just willing to look at what already makes economic sense in addressing the impacts of climate change. The premise of his book, as he states it in a recent video interview, is that 50% of the climate challenge can be tackled profitably with existing technologies, if we have the right business models.

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Keep Your Hands Off My Obamacare

JCloudStorerSmSome Republicans in Congress are determined to “de-fund” Obamacare by holding the government’s entire budget hostage. I beg to differ from those in the Tea Party who are supporting this move.

Our personal story is that we have enjoyed company-supplied health care insurance up to the point where my wife got laid off in 2012, and since then have paid for COBRA at $1500 a month to maintain these benefits. This ends in November, and we fully intend to apply for insurance under the Affordable Care Act.

This name says a lot — it’s private insurance that is expected to be affordable and held to important consumer-protection standards. We haven’t signed up yet, and we’ll be the first to complain if the system does not work properly when it’s launched in October. But there are currently a lot of good software engineers and designers working for the federal government, and we’re expecting to see any kinks ironed out as soon as they’re discovered.

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What’s In a Name? – Help Needed

I need your help. For discussion purposes please assume the following:
  1. We need to phase out the use of fossil fuels.
  2. We need to incentivize people to burn less fossil fuel and one way to do this is to increase the prices of fossil fuels.
  3. An easy way to do this is to impose a tax on fossil fuels.
  4. The specific proposal here is to impose a tax on the CO2 that will be produced when the fuel is burned, and to collect this tax at the source of the fuel:  mine, well, or port of entry for imported oil and gas.  The tax will start low and increase by a predetermined amount each year.  All the revenue from this tax, except for a small administrative cost, will be returned directly and promptly to the public.  The revenue will be divided equally among all legal residents and checks will be sent out in December and June.  [Alaska does this for oil pipeline revenue and sends out a check each June.]

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An Open Letter to the President

The Road Not Taken:
A Letter to President Obama
from a Concerned Democrat,
and a Concerned Citizen

Jonathan Cloud (Publisher)

Jonathan Cloud (Publisher)

Dear Mr. President:

I write out of deep concern as to the state of our nation today.

I believe that in the year since your inauguration, an important opportunity has been missed to unify and mobilize the American people in the service of their highest ideals.

I acknowledge the many pressures and challenges that have been thrust upon you by circumstances, and I applaud you for the intelligent and courageous actions you have taken. Your actions have, as almost all economists now recognize, averted an outright collapse of the financial system. And this is but one of many remarkable accomplishments, not the least of which has been changing the tone around America’s role in the world. Read the rest of this entry »

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Off Fossil Fuels by 2040: Proposed Democratic Resolution for Feb 1 Meeting

allen1Bernards Township Democratic Committee Resolution No. 2010-01

A RESOLUTION urging Congress and the President of the United States to enact legislation to phase out the use of all fossil fuels by 2040, and urging the President of the United States to declare 2010 a year for national dialog on this program.

WHEREAS, the Bernards Township Democratic Committee is a duly organized local political committee under the laws of the State of New Jersey;

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The Democrats Still Don’t Get It

 

LNaultHi folks:

I copied below a column from tomorrows NYT by Bob Herbert.  This is the story I was yelling about in Sonal’s campaign and you guys were wondering if I was nuts and were full of denial respecting the troubles brewing here and on everybody’s mind.  My specific charge was limousine liberals.

Reading the stuff you two are batting back and forth I wonder if you two are on the same planet as I live on.  The health care legislation is dead.  Cap and trade or any variations of carbon restrictions are dead.   President Nero fiddled while the economy was burning,  hostage as he is to environmental interests as hostile to progress as the republican cabal is to co-operation.  The cart was placed before the donkey.  You can accomplish nothing until the private economy gets back on its feet.  With a robust economy, with unemployment dropping all these other things could be considered rationally. Until then nothing will get done. Read the rest of this entry »

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Will Cap and Trade Work?

JCloudStorerSmA couple of years ago I suggested to Frank Felder, Director of Rutgers’ Center for Energy, Environmental, and Economic Policy (CEEEP), that we co-sponsor a debate on the relative merits of cap-and-trade vs. a carbon tax. The idea went nowhere, because the conventional wisdom, then as now, is that anything with the word “tax” in it is a political nonstarter.

I thought this was shortsighted then, and think it is still short-sighted now. If we fail to discuss what may be better alternatives because they are not politically popular, they will never get the chance to become widely considered, and we will have allowed a self-fulfilling prophecy to dictate our fate. Political acceptability is an important factor in choosing a course of action. But it is not the only one. If a carbon tax (or, as some prefer to call it, a “fee”) is a better approach, then we need to figure out how to make it palatable. And if cap-and-trade will, as others claim, do more harm than good, then we need to consider how to de-legitimize it. Read the rest of this entry »

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