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Motto: I will never forget. [ Source HouseofNames ]

HUMANITY DOOMSDAY CLOCK - Moves forward to 2125 due to election of US President trump.

Estimate of the time that Humanity will go extinct or civilization will collapse. The HUMANITY DOOMSDAY CLOCK moves forward to 2125 due to US President trump's abandonment of climate change goals. Apologies to Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists for using the name.

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Friday, June 22, 2012

Governments can help companies work with nature

Barry, My Liege :

Below is the entire text of a copyrighted column by Jon Rogers that appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle about how governments can help with environmental problems.

His approach appears grounded in reality and is worth further investigation.

Jon B. Rogers

The United Nations' Rio +20 Summit arrives at a critical time in the perceived conflict between economic expansion and preservation of natural resources.

The challenge: How to balance myriad interests to produce a win-win for all - people, land, plants and animals?

Our family's coffee company - which works directly with coffee farms from Central America to Africa to Indonesia - knows firsthand that sustainable development can lift people out of poverty and preserve nature.

We've also witnessed shortsighted socioeconomic models.

In the 1980s, on some farms barefoot children - some wheezing from chronic respiratory problems - huddled or played in filthy, three-walled shacks with dirt floors. Some picked coffee. Breakfast was sometimes sugar water.

One elementary classroom was an old fertilizer shed where fumes from toxic chemicals stuck to clothing.

Untreated waste and pollutants flowed from farms into rivers where fish labored for oxygen. Poaching occurred in forests also used as a firewood source.

We've learned that making a difference requires investment - providing modern housing, medical and educational facilities and paying the farmer enough to stay in business for example - but the payoff is enormous.

Technology plays a role. But nature itself offers solutions.

In Central America, a "biodigester" system prevents coffee bean waste from contaminating rivers, reduces greenhouse gases and helps power organic farms.

A "green army" - billions of worms - digest and transform coffee pulp into organic mulch that's given to farmers to help promote organic production in Africa and Central America.

The coffee farms support a tremendous range of bird and animal species as well as jobs performed around native vegetation and forest - proof the economy and environment can coexist.

The past may also hold some promise for the future of sustainable agriculture.

We discovered an ancient Amazonian agricultural technique - terra preta - that mixes charcoal, microorganisms and other waste to create a "super soil" that also retains carbon.

The increased yield - up to 300 percent - could reduce the destruction of forests for farming and greenhouse gases.

Here's what governments can do to help promote such efforts:

-- Provide tax breaks or other incentives for companies to become "carbon negative," undertake "green" measures or create sustainable jobs.

-- Strengthen the economic and environmental standards required for a company to claim its product is "sustainable" or "fair."

-- Offer unused or surplus land at a good price to companies engaged in sustainable development.

-- Encourage the private sector to offer financial incentives to individuals who devise programs that further a "green economy."

-- Encourage organic production and preservation of natural resources.

Sustainable development can involve simple, inexpensive measures or require significant capital.

In the end, the cost of not investing is much greater than the cost to invest in sustainable development for future generations.

Jon B. Rogers is co-founder/president of the Rogers Family Co., Lincoln, CA (rogersfamilyco.com).

http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2012/06/22/EDQ81P51B0.DTL

© 2012 Hearst Communications Inc.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Recovery : Keynesian Fiscal Policy

Barry, My Liege :

After World War II, most industrialized countries adopted a Keynesian philosophy of fiscal policy. The United States of America has followed this philosophy consistently since before the War.

In its essence, a Keynesian fiscal policy is counter cyclical. That is, the national government should take expansionary measures to raise consumption spending when the economy is in recession and should take contractionary measures to reduce consumption spending when the economy has inflationary pressures.

While these expansionary or contractionary measures may include borrowing to expand spending in a deficit position or paying down debt in an expansion, fiscal measures are not limited to debt management.

Keynesian measures may include tax policy as well as spending and borrowing policy.

Clearly, the difficulty with this approach in a democracy is that political considerations may trump economic policies.

Nowhere is this more evident than in the Republican Party's position on additional borrowing and stimulus in 2012.

So far, they have refused to allow adoption of additional Keynesian fiscal policies in the United States beyond the stimulus of 2008 and 2009.

Nevertheless, that stimulus has resulted in an amelioration of the recession and has made the United States one of the stronger economies in the world.

But we need additional stimulus to reduce our unemployment and to create additional consumption spending.

We see, my Liege, the effects of a non-Keynesian fiscal policy in some European countries today; the results include increasing recession and unemployment.

The economics is clear and convincing.

We pray you success, My Liege, with the politics.

Your faithful servant,

Monday, June 18, 2012

Recovery : Single Payer Health Care

Barry, My Liege :

Our current health care system does not make sense. It will be a little better if the Supremes validate the current Affordable Care Act [ACA] system.

But even if the ACA program is upheld, the system will cost too much, deliver too little care and leave too much money in private insurance companies.

By moving to a single payer system, we can deliver better care to all citizens at a lower cost.

In a study of the Minnesota Health Care system, the Lewin Group forecasts that a single payer system will reduce total health care spending in the State by 8.8% as compared to a fully implemented ACA[http://growthandjustice.org/sites/2d9abd3a-10a9-47bf-ba1a-e315d55be04/uploads/LEWIN.Final_Report_FINAL_DRAFT.pdf].

The current and proposed ACA systems create market failures which leave significant numbers of people without health care.

Those market failures reduce our Economic National Security since sick people are unable to contribute economically and since the sick and uninsured are directed to the emergency system.

Your faithful servant,