Daily Archives: April 16, 2014

A Fierce Green Fire ~ Watch the Film

March 4th, 2014
A Fierce Green Fire

American Masters presents A Fierce Green Fire, the first big-picture exploration of the environmental movement, premiering nationally Tuesday, April 22, 2014, 9-10 p.m. on PBS (check local listings) in honor of Earth Day. The one-hour documentary chronicles one of the largest movements of the 20th century, and one of the keys to the 21st.

Global Climate Change
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Jevons Paradox – (from William Stanley Jevons)

Jevons paradox

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Coal-burning factories in 19th-century Manchester, England. Improved technology allowed coal to fuel the Industrial Revolution, greatly increasing the consumption of coal.

In economics, the Jevons paradox (/ˈɛvənz/; sometimes Jevons effect) is the proposition that as technology progresses, the increase in efficiency with which a resource is used tends to increase (rather than decrease) the rate of consumption of that resource.[1] In 1865, the English economist William Stanley Jevons observed that technological improvements that increased the efficiency of coal use led to increased consumption of coal in a wide range of industries. He argued that, contrary to common intuition, technological improvements could not be relied upon to reduce fuel consumption.[2]

…(read more).

William Stanley Jevons

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

William Stanley Jevons, LL.D., M.A., F.R.S. (/ˈɛvənz/;[2] 1 September 1835 – 13 August 1882) was an English economist and logician.

Irving Fisher described Jevons’ book A General Mathematical Theory of Political Economy (1862) as the start of the mathematical method in economics.[3] It made the case that economics as a science concerned with quantities is necessarily mathematical.[4] In so doing, it expounded upon the “final” (marginal) utility theory of value. Jevons’ work, along with similar discoveries made by Carl Menger in Vienna (1871) and by Léon Walras in Switzerland (1874), marked the opening of a new period in the history of economic thought. Jevons’ contribution to the marginal revolution in economics in the late 19th century established his reputation as a leading political economist and logician of the time.

Jevons broke off his studies of the natural sciences in London in 1854 to work as an assayer in Sydney, where he acquired an interest in political economy. Returning to the UK in 1859, he published General Mathematical Theory of Political Economy in 1862, outlining the marginal utility theory of value, and A Serious Fall in the Value of Gold in 1863. For Jevons, the utility or value to a consumer of an additional unit of a product is inversely related to the number of units of that product he already owns, at least beyond some critical quantity.

It was for The Coal Question (1865), in which he called attention to the gradual exhaustion of the UK’s coal supplies, that he received public recognition, in which he put forth what is now known as Jevon’s paradox, i.e. that increases in energy production efficiency leads to more not less consumption. The most important of his works on logic and scientific methods is his Principles of Science (1874),[5] as well as The Theory of Political Economy (1871) and The State in Relation to Labour (1882). Among his inventions was the logic piano, a mechanical computer.

…(read more).

Global Climate Change
Environmental Justice
Environment Ethics

Introduction to “Climate Extremes”

Suspicious0bservers

Streamed live on Apr 16, 2014

My Speech:

Global Climate Change
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How Do We Stop Paying for Foods That Kill?

freespeechtv

Published on Apr 16, 2014

Jeffrey K. O’Hara, Union of Concerned Scientists’ Food & Environment Program.

Global Climate Change
Environmental Justice
Environment Ethics

How to Think Like the Dutch in a Post-Sandy World

By RUSSELL SHORTO
APRIL 9, 2014

Henk Ovink, a Dutch water-management expert, is trying to persuade Americans to approach water the way the Dutch do. Credit Olivia Locher for The New York Times

In December 2012, Shaun Donovan, the secretary of Housing and Urban Development, was on vacation in Berlin when he decided to detour to the Netherlands. He wanted to get a firsthand sense of the famed Dutch approach to water management. Hurricane Sandy struck six weeks before, and in the aftermath, President Obama asked him to lead a task force, whose objective was not just to rebuild but also to radically rethink the region’s infrastructure in light of climate change.

In the Netherlands, a man named Henk Ovink offered to be Donovan’s guide. Ovink was the director of the office of Spatial Planning and Water Management, meaning, essentially, that it was his job to keep the famously waterlogged country dry. As he learned about various Dutch innovations, Donovan was struck by the fact that Ovink looked at water as much in cultural as in engineering terms, which was a function of the centuries-old need of the Dutch to act together for protection.

For his part, Ovink said it dawned on him during Donovan’s visit that the post-Sandy turmoil in the U.S. was an opportunity. Dutch water-management experts have done such a good job of protecting their country that they rarely get to practice with water crises — whereas America was facing something monumental that as a culture it didn’t yet grasp. When Donovan arrived back in the U.S., he opened an email from Ovink that said, in effect, “I hope this isn’t too forward, but could I come work with you?”

I first met Ovink in Amsterdam last April, as he prepared to set off for Washington to begin his new job as Donovan’s senior adviser. Ovink is a compact man with a shaved head and a bird-of-prey gaze who moves as if he were struggling to keep his wiry energy in check. He was raised in the low-lying, rural, eastern part of the Netherlands, where a glimpse out any window makes apparent the country’s relationship to water. His father, grandfather and great-grandfather were all architects. He began to study art and math, then bowed to the inevitable and turned his attention to architecture. He entered government as director of housing and planning for the province of South Holland. Colleagues describe him as driven, smart, fast-talking, single-minded. When I asked him what he does in his spare time, he said: “I like work. Sometimes I say to myself, ‘Henk, where are the hobbies?’ ”

….(read more).

Global Climate Change
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BP Oil Anniversary | Vanishing Pearls Trailer


BlackTree TV

Published on Apr 16, 2014

Chronicling the 2010 Deep Horizon oil spill, Nailah Jefferson’s VANISHING PEARLS shares the untold story of personal and professional devastation in Point á la Hache, a close-knit fishing village on the Gulf Coast. Delving into the worst environmental disaster in American history, the filmmaker captures its impact long after the news cameras have left. As 49 million barrels of oil settle in the once vibrant waters, a generations-old community of African American fishermen pledges to fight for justice, accountability and their way of life.

Global Climate Change
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University Sit-In Targets World’s Largest Coal Company


TheRealNews

Published on Apr 16, 2014

Student organizer Caroline Burney and journalist Jeff Biggers join us discuss the more than week long sit-in against Washington University’s ties with Peabody Energy, the largest private coal mining company in the world

Global Climate Change
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Environment Ethics