Tag Archives: sustainability

Back of the envelope math for internalizing costs.

Colleague sent me this article about renewable energy costs.

Check out this article from today’s New York Times, page B1!

Reminded me of this problem that has been bugging me for awhile…

It always bugs me how the entrenched interests hold up the cost piece when nuclear and oil have huge externalized costs.
For nuclear, the s government developed the technology (manhattan project) and GAVE it to the industry so they would produce plutonium as a by product of energy.  SOmethling 20+billion in today’s dollars.
Meanwhile, some portion of our US military budget is for protecting global oil supply.  It would be complicated, but imagine if some portion of it were factored into price at the pump.  US military budget was like $500 billion last year.  in 2013 we used 135 billion gallons of gasoline.  If 10% of us military is for oil supplies, then that is $50 billion, about $0.25 per gallon….
Ok, I am procrastinating…

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Filed under economic sociology, economics, sociology

Town-Gown Project for Planned Development

This piece from the NYT caught my eye.  Lewisburg is similar in some ways, although bigger.  Kelly township is already up and running as sprawl-driven growth.  The whole county, Union, is involved in a planning process, called cultivating community.  There are some draft plans on the website.  How effectively can it redirect te built in infrastructure and private development?

The great quote here is the professor: “a synthesis of academics and civics.”

Maybe Bucknell has faculty or classes who could engage in similar research? Does the county need or want such help?

Vermont Town Turns to College in Bid to Guide Change – NYTimes.com
Starksboro asked students from nearby Middlebury College to spend the semester interviewing its residents to document what they value most about the place. It intends to use their thoughts to influence decisions about its future.

In particular, officials here are counting on the project to help steer a revision of the town plan next year, a process that often leads to zoning-change proposals that incite bitter debate.

“The key is to project beyond immediate controversies over applications for subdivisions and to say, ‘Let’s envision the future that we would love to have,’ ” said Prof. John Elder of Middlebury, “at which point there is considerable agreement.”

The students are in a class called Portrait of a Vermont Town, which Professor Elder, who teaches it, described as a rare synthesis of academics and civics.

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Filed under Bucknell, Government, pedagogy

Amory Lovins at PSU

Amory Lovins will speak at PSU on April 29.

He comes up in one of my favorite books- The Age of Heretics by Art Kleiner.  I use it in my Organizing Change Class.   he was a young energy policy prodigy back in the 1970s when we first dealt with energy issues as a society.

Now his expertise need is coming around again.

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Filed under innovation, Scholars, technology