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Articles by Japhet Koteen

Japhet is a community builder, urban planner, real estate developer, interdisciplinarian and general advocate for internalizing externalities, fixing market failures, and leaving the world better than he found it. He likes to intervene in complex systems, create great places, and shed light on obscure subjects that matter to us all.

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What I am about to say may be considered blasphemy: I think the tar sands protests are misguided and will not (should not) achieve their stated goal. Before you grab your sustainably harvested bamboo pitchforks, I should say that I want the protests and arrests to continue, because there could be a much greater win, if we play it right.

The Keystone XL Pipeline is not the problem. Approval of the pipeline will not be “Game over for climate” anymore than the resurgence in Afghani poppy production is “Game over for heroin addicts.”  Like America’s misguided War on Drugs, the attack on the Keystone XL pipeline approval is confusing cause and effect, symptoms and disease.

After decades of fighting, it’s pretty clear that the War on Drugs has failed. The reason is that drugs are not the enemy; addiction is the enemy. Fighting the wrong enemy has wasted countless billions of dollars, imprisoned millions of our citizens, and given rise to vast empires of narco-traffickers, destabilized nations and allowed terrorist networks to thrive. However, it’s done little to reduce drug use, addiction, or any of the associated the proble... Read more

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