Jon Rynn

Jon Rynn is the author of Manufacturing Green Prosperity: The Power to Rebuild the Middle Class, from Praeger Press. He has a Ph.D. in Political Science and lives with his wonderful wife and amazing two boys, car-less, in New York City.


Six irrational ideas about oil and gas prices debunked

Let’s give these cuckoo ideas a reality check.Photo: Jeremy BrooksCross-posted from New Deal 2.0. It’s not pretty when several irrational ideas collide. On May 12, the Senate conducted a hearing to discuss the removal of a $2 billion per year tax break for the top five oil companies. The New York Times called the testimony at the hearing “a big whine for big oil.” Eliminating a tax break like this should be a no-brainer, but that idea is blocked by six irrational notions from the right that come together in an explosion of false logic: Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) claims that …


Bob Herbert’s savvy advocacy for better infrastructure will be missed

Bob Herbert.Photo: Damon Winter/The New York TimesCross-posted from New Deal 2.0. Dear Mr. Herbert, I was sad to hear that you will no longer be writing for the op-ed page of the New York Times. Your critical perspective on the class war being waged against the middle and working class and the poor, on the waste and recklessness of our wars, and on the wrenching struggles of ordinary Americans made you an invaluable voice. But I want to suggest that even more important than those insights was your consistent attempts to point to a better future, and the path to getting …

cool hand nuke

Lesson from Japan: We don’t need nuclear power to solve the climate crisis

Anyone watching the aftermath of the earthquake in Japan can see: The human and ecological costs of nuclear power far outweigh those of any renewable energy.Cross-posted from New Deal 2.0. On March 14, an editorial in The New York Times stated, “This page has endorsed nuclear power as one tool to head off global warming. We suspect that, when all the evidence is in from Japan, it will remain a valuable tool.” I want to argue that, to the contrary, the lesson to be learned from the catastrophe in Japan is that nuclear power is not even part of a sustainable solution to …

To protect and preserve

How we can save environmentalism — and ourselves

Can somebody throw a line?Photo: AKZOphotoThis is part two of a two-part series, cross-posted from New Deal 2.0. You can read part one here. In my first post, I started to discuss a speech by the founders of the Breakthrough Institute, Ted Nordhaus and Michael Shellenberger (N and S). In this post, I will discuss their presentation of 12 theses of environmental thought, which they hope will supply “underlying assumptions for a new, post-environmental climate movement.” 1. They start off by claiming that “more, better, or louder climate science will not drive the transformation of the global energy economy.” If this is …

Flogging a dead horse

Is environmentalism still dead?

Sign of the times?Photo: Benny LinThis is part one of a two-part series, cross-posted from New Deal 2.0. You can read part two here. In 2004, Ted Nordhaus and Michael Shellenberger wrote an essay titled “The Death of Environmentalism” that shook the environmental community — although probably not quite enough. Nordhaus and Shellenberger (N and S) have gone on to form The Breakthrough Institute, arguing that we need technological breakthroughs in order to solve our biggest environmental problem, global warming, as well as advocating for what they see as innovative solutions to various other problems. They recently gave a follow-up speech at …

Nobel idea

Investment is win-win for global economy and climate, Stiglitz argues

Following John Maynard Keynes, Joseph Stiglitz proposes solutions that would heal the economy and the environment in one fell swoop.

baby got feedback

Renewable energy: the power of positive feedback loops

When you design a national green energy system, the benefits of each part are increased and reverberate through the economy, creating a virtuous cycle

Proud to be an american't

The new American can’t-do spirit

Can we change our ways? Ditch the cars and move towards a greener approach to transportation.Photo courtesy of leelefever via flickr Cross-posted from New Deal 2.0. Americans have always been known to have a “can-do” spirit. During the 1930s, the Roosevelt administration tried out many different programs to confront the Great Depression and to spread rural electrification and support agriculture. Nowadays, however, much of the political spectrum seems to have turned to a “can’t do” spirit. The sequence is often the following: Left-of-center ideas are proposed to solve some long-term, gigantic problem. The Right says that the government can’t implement …

Every job can be green, part three

This is the third and last installment of my chapter, “Green jobs in a sustainable economy,”, published recently in the book “Mandate for Change”.  You can read part one and part two, in which I discuss the first six out of eight ways in which to create an environmentally sustainable economy. Seventh, the global agricultural system is coming unglued. The days of transporting food over thousands of miles, of dousing soils with pesticides and artificial fertilizers, and of growing thousands of acres of the same crop, will soon draw to a close. Millions of new urban gardening jobs could be …

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