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That is all, for now. 🙂

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Hey all (anyone?),

As you can tell I haven’t updated in a while. I’m working on some other web projects (in addition to starting a grad program) so I won’t have much time to update this blog. I’ll still renew my domain name and leave the page up, but you probably won’t see much from me for the next few months. Keep your bookmarks (like I said, anyone?) and check back later!

Cheers,
G

Keep an eye on Nanosolar over the next few years. They have just now started producing their solar film at a fraction (1/9th) of the cost of silicon “solar panels.” I can’t find any information about the conversion rate (most estimates are that the sun delivers ~277 watts per square feet down to the earth on a sunny day) of these panels, but considering how cheap they are to produce they sound promising even with at 10%.

Popular Science also reports that Google has invested in the company.

From the Celsias blog:

Their mission: to deliver cost-efficient solar electricity. The Nanosolar company was founded in 2002 and is working to build the world’s largest solar cell factory in California and the world’s largest panel-assembly factory in Germany. They have successfully created a solar coating that is the most cost-efficient solar energy source ever. Their PowerSheet cells contrast the current solar technology systems by reducing the cost of production from $3 a watt to a mere 30 cents per watt. This makes, for the first time in history, solar power cheaper than burning coal.

Read more…

Way to promote alternative transportation, NY!

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On the evening of May 30, 2007, Ninth Precinct cops, led by Ninth Precinct Lieutenant Robert Corcoran, executed “Operation: Bike Raid” on East Sixth Street, between First and Second Avenues.

As cops with special metal cutting saws chewed through locks and chains on bikes locked to parking meters and streets signs, Sixth Street resident Robert Carnevale confronted them, having received a call from his girlfriend outside his apartment building. Carnevale quickly rang buzzers in buildings on his block to warn his neighbors that their bikes were being taken and then returned to the scene of the crime, taking photos of cops loading the dozen or so bikes they had just stolen into two unmarked dark blue vans with paneling over the side windows. (These vans can be seen regularly parked outside the Ninth Precinct on East Fifth Street.)

Read more (with pics)…

Here is an interesting op-ed published in the Christian Science Monitor calling for “The Next Trillion” to be spent on matters of significant social importance, such as clean energy and community development.

It’s an interesting thought experiment to consider what $1,000,000,000,000 could do for the health of planet and the wellbeing of its human communities. Just imagine if we had leaders with the guts and foresight (of course, they would have to be untethered by big money interests–a rarity) to develop a plan like this. What would our world look like?

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Economists project that the cost of the war in Iraq, when all is said and done, will come in at $1 trillion or more.

I say: Let’s do it again!

Let’s allocate another trillion dollars – but this time for the good of all humanity and all species. Let’s do it with the same moral urgency and vision that has made America great at so many critical junctures in history.

There’s an emergency and an opportunity out there that calls for The Next Trillion.

It’s about more than geopolitics and petrodollars. It’s about more than the science of climate change.

It’s about the need for global economic institutions to evolve in response to the social and environmental challenges of our time: growth in population, accelerating technological change, accelerating capital flows, growth in consumption, increasing pollution, widening wealth gaps.
-cut-

Here’s how The Next Trillion should be invested:

• $250 billion for clean energy and energy efficiency;

• $250 billion for carbon sequestration and bioremediation;

• $250 billion for sustainable food and forests; and

• $250 billion for community development.

Read more…

Here’s a positive story for a change…

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ERIE, Pa. – Mike Batchelor invited the heads of 46 charities into his downtown office for one-on-one meetings to personally deliver the news. Nearby, on a small table, sat a box of tissues.

And then he proceeded: A donor had given a staggering $100 million to the Erie Community Foundation, and all of the charities would receive a share.

That was when the tears began to flow — and the mystery began — in this struggling old industrial city of 102,000 on Lake Erie, where the donor is known only as “Anonymous Friend.”

Read more…

It’s been kind of a slow blogging week for me. I have been in Vegas attending the Blog World and New Media Expo and, ironically, haven’t posted much to my blog in the meantime. I’ve also been revamping my Save Otero website because we had some news come in and it was very difficult to make changes to the old site.

Here’s an interesting story from Bloomberg about how different national banks are taking steps to soften the impact of the falling dollar. What’s in store for the economy as we enter the typically “agressive” holiday season?

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Nov. 12 (Bloomberg) — Central banks from Bogota to Mumbai are imposing foreign-exchange curbs to take control of their soaring currencies from traders dumping the dollar.

In Colombia, international investors buying stocks and bonds must leave a 40 percent deposit at Banco de la Republica for six months. The Reserve Bank of India created a bureaucratic thicket to curb speculation by foreign money managers. The Bank of Korea is investigating trading of currency forward contracts to limit gains in the won, now at a 10-year high.

Instead of using currency reserves or interest rates to influence foreign exchange markets, central banks and finance ministries are setting up obstacles to keep the falling dollar from threatening company profits and economic growth. The U.S. currency slumped 10 percent this year against its biggest trading partners, the steepest decline since 2003, while Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson has reiterated that the U.S. supports a “strong” dollar.

“Central banks are struggling to find new ways to intervene against their currencies and some of the proposals simply can’t work,” said Mirza Baig, an analyst in Singapore at Deutsche Bank AG, the world’s biggest currency trader. Some plans are “truly bizarre,” he wrote in a report.

The U.S. hasn’t attempted to stop the decline as the worst housing slump in 16 years forced the Federal Reserve to lower interest rates. The dollar has weakened 19 percent against the Canadian currency this year to a record 90.58 cents, and fell 18 percent versus Brazil’s real.

Read more…

Frida Berrigan has a great essay in Foreign Policy in Focus about U.S. military spending. As she points out, military spending is at its highest level since WWII and hardly any politicians or mainstream pundits are questioning this growth.

Here’s an excerpt:

Once upon a time, people researched and wrote reports about lower defense spending and converting the military-industrial complex into a peacetime economy. These reports came from university research institutions, private think tanks, and the federal government. They are memorials to the hope kindled in the brief post-Cold War and pre-War on Terrorism moment when anything seemed possible. Even cutting the military budget was not unthinkable because we had pulled the planet back from the brink and survived five decades on the edge of nuclear midnight. Scholarship turned itself to the work of dismantling the war machine in such a way that no one — no machinist turning bolts on bombs or aircraft engineer with his polished plans — was crushed in the process.

Read more…

In a letter to Senate Judiciary Committee heads Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Arlen Specter (R-PA), 24 former intelligence officials today urged the senators to “not send Mukasey’s nomination to the full Senate before he makes clear his view on waterboarding.” From the letter:

If Mukasey continues to drag his feet, you need only to facilitate a classified briefing for him on waterboarding and the C.I.A. interrogation program. He will then be able to render an informed legal opinion. We strongly suggest that you sit in on any such briefing and that you invite the chairman and the ranking member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence to take part as well. Receiving the same briefing at the same time (and, ideally, having it taped) should enhance the likelihood of candor and make it possible for all to be–and to stay–on the same page on this delicate issue.

If the White House refuses to allow such a briefing, your committee must, in our opinion, put a hold on Mukasey’s nomination. We are aware that the president warned last week that it will be either Mukasey as our attorney general or no one. So be it.

Read more…

WASHINGTON — Despite President Bush’s claims that Iran is pursuing nuclear weapons that could trigger ”World War III,” experts in and out of government say there’s no conclusive evidence that Tehran has an active nuclear-weapons program.

Even his own administration appears divided about the immediacy of the threat. While Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney speak of an Iranian weapons program as a fact, Bush’s point man on Iran, Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns, has attempted to ratchet down the rhetoric.

”Iran is seeking a nuclear capability . . . that some people fear might lead to a nuclear-weapons capability,” Burns said in an interview Oct. 25 on PBS.

”I don’t think that anyone right today thinks they’re working on a bomb,” said another U.S. official, who requested anonymity because of the issue’s sensitivity.

Outside experts say the operative words are ”right today.” They say Iran may have been actively seeking to create a nuclear-weapons capacity in the past and still could break out of its current uranium-enrichment program and start a weapons program. They, too, lack definitive proof but cite a great deal of circumstantial evidence.

Read more…

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