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  • America and Germany Getting Their Clean Energy Just Desserts

    Germany is the unquestioned world leader in renewable energy.  By mid-2011, the European nation generated over 20 percent of its electricity from wind and solar power alone, and had created over 400,000 jobs in the industry. The sweet German success is no accident, however, and the following pie chart illustrates the results of a carefully […]

  • Why we should democratize the electricity system — part one

    A serialized version of ILSR‘s new report, “Democratizing the Electricity System,” part one of five. The 20th century of electricity generation was characterized by ever larger and more distant central power plants.  But a 21st century technological dynamic offers the possibility of a dramatically different electricity future: millions of widely dispersed renewable energy plants and […]

  • When the Nile runs dry

    A new scramble for Africa is under way. As global food prices rise and exporters reduce shipments of commodities, countries that rely on imported grain are panicking. Affluent countries like Saudi Arabia, South Korea, China and India have descended on fertile plains across the African continent, acquiring huge tracts of land to produce wheat, rice […]

  • Premier Stelmach, Please Read

    December 21, 2010 Dear Premier Stelmach, Merry Christmas, Premier Stelmach, and health and happiness to you and your family. We have never met, but this is the first of many letters you will receive from me, each one accompanied by a great and important book. I must say, before I introduce the first one, that […]

  • God Bless America

    Like Native Americans in the nineteenth century, Imperial Oil must now see the Canada-U.S. border as something of a Medicine Line: On the American side, persecution; on the Canadian side, freedom. The irony, of course, is as grand as Imperial’s plan to transport hundreds of giant pieces of industrial equipment — most larger than the […]

  • A Representative Senate?

    When I consider the hurdles to reforming state or federal constitutions, I’m reminded of the tale about the lost traveler who called out for directions to a farmer in a field. “If I were going there,” the farmer eventually hollered back, “I wouldn’t start from here.” Richard Rosenfeld, in Harper’s writes of how deeply embedded […]

  • Designed to Obstruct, US Senate Erodes Public Trust

    Last time, I illustrated how the un-democracy of the US Senate hogties the Pacific Northwest. It radically underrepresents the most-populous, diverse, and innovative parts of the country, making it exceedingly difficult for the nation to adapt to the demands of a radically new global era by, for example, adopting sweeping new approaches to energy and […]

  • Un-democracy and the US Senate

    This series is about flawed institutions of governance. Notice the word “governance”—not “government.” It’s not about inadequate or wrong-headed laws and policies. Nor is it about heroic, passable, or ineffectual leadership. Such things are the normal stuff of public debate, and we write scores of posts each year about them here at the Daily Score. […]