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Craig Severance's Posts

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As Economic Growth Fails How Do We Live? Part I: The Four Horsemen of the Economic Apocalypse

As recently as a year ago it was considered heresy to suggest economic growth would not soon resume. Now, however, as The Big Engine That Couldn't has faltered for several years, it is becoming increasingly clear the economy is running off the tracks.  Both investors and the public are beginning to realize the long-revered goal of endless economic growth is failing. Anger and fear are widespread, as the livelihoods and hopes of ordinary Americans are being destroyed.  Anger runs among the "99%" over economic injustices that favor the "1%".  Fear, however, may run among 100% over this question: How do we live when economic growth fails?  How Do We Live?  These three articles …

Read more: Uncategorized

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As Nuclear Falters: A Practical and Affordable Clean Electricity Plan

The President of the United States has chosen to make the goal of 80% clean electricity generation by 2035 the first priority in his move to make America more competitive.  In his recent State of the Union Address, Barack Obama compared this project to the 1960's moon shot program, noting we are at another "Sputnik moment" where we must innovate or be left behind. (Unexpected editorial note: In the midst of the current events surrounding the Japanese nuclear reactors, it will be helpful to know how we can devise a practical and affordable clean energy plan without new nuclear power. This article presents just such a plan …

Read more: Climate & Energy

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A way forward — climate hope in a prison of despair

Despair of the Defenders of JerusalemPhoto: Wikimedia CommonsThe U.S. Senate has rejected taking action on a significant climate or energy bill this year. Heads are hanging in despair, moans of anguish are rising, and arguments are breaking out about who is to blame. Earth not waiting: While Washington has failed to act, the Earth is showing accelerating strains from our continued dumping of warming pollutants to the atmosphere. The latest alarming news: the phytoplankton that produce 50 percent of all the Earth's oxygen and form the base of the ocean's entire food chain are now dying off. World temperature records continue to be set monthly in this hottest of all …

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How we can end our addiction to oil

It's time we moved on to something else, or this is going to kill us. Not only are world oil supplies running out, but what oil is still left is proving very dirty to obtain. We need to kick our oil addiction now if we expect to preserve any hopes of economic prosperity, or unspoiled habitats. "This is what the end of the oil age looks like." We have the Deepwater Horizon oil spill now precisely because the easy to obtain oil is already tapped. You don't drill in mile deep waters if you have somewhere else you could go. …

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Peak oil production coming much sooner than expected

A storm is quickly approaching, and the world is not ready for it. The permanent end of the era of cheap oil is coming as soon as next year, according to a raft of official reports that have made their way into energy media over the last few months. Governments are now beginning to acknowledge the looming crisis. Yet, perhaps because they waited too long to prevent it, leaders are not yet alerting the public. The entire world economy is built on cheap oil. A permanent oil production shortage will thus lead to The End of The World (As We Know It). What will come on the other side of this …

Read more: Climate & Energy

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Job losses push need for energy bill

America's urgent need for new job creation may be the driver that pushes the Senate to pass a jobs and energy bill this year. After the loss of 8.4 million jobs in the current Great Recession, Congress is searching desperately for any means to create new jobs. Unemployment vs. deficit "conundrum" As former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said Saturday on National Public Radio, "we as a nation save too little and we borrow too much, both individually and the government." In Paulson's new book On the Brink, he argues that Americans' relative lack of savings helped to propel the financial …

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Enabling wind, sun to be our main power supplies

As the world meets this December to set plans to halt global warming, it is expected America and other industrial nations will commit to a daunting task: reduce CO2 emissions 80% by 2050. In just 40 years, a complete revolution in how we use and supply our power must happen, or the world will face catastrophic effects of runaway climate changes. As a new power plant typically lasts 40-50 years, many scientists are now arguing we must simply stop building new power systems that use significant amounts of fossil fuels. They argue we must move to a high reliance on …

Read more: Climate & Energy