Daily Digest

Daily Digest 11/5 - Greece Ponders Returning To Drachma, Fighting Continues In Libya, Why We Need To Plan For Peak Oil Now

Saturday, November 5, 2011, 9:45 AM
  • Friday Follies - Greece Job
  • Deficit Panel Is Warned That It Must Not Fail and Is Urged to Compromise
  • Whispers of Return to Drachma Grow Louder in Greek Crisis
  • In Libya, Fighting May Outlast the Revolution
  • Urban mining grows as gold demand and number of cast-off electronics rise
  • Peak Oil - Why We Need To Plan Now
  • The Blue-Green Economy and the Role of the Ocean in Sustainable Development
  • Catching A Wave, And Measuring It

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Friday Follies - Greece Job (Ilene)

You don't make a nation great by talking about how great we are - you make a nation great by building a great nation and we are doing almost the exact opposite - squandering what once seemed to be an insurmountable lead in education, transportation, utilities, health care, housing and even environmental progress - and turning America into what is now one of the lowest-ranked developed nations in each of those categories.

Deficit Panel Is Warned That It Must Not Fail and Is Urged to Compromise (jdargis)

One co-chairman of the president’s fiscal commission, Erskine B. Bowles, said he had great respect for each member of the committee, but added, “I am worried you’re going to fail — fail the country.”

Whispers of Return to Drachma Grow Louder in Greek Crisis (jdargis)

A return to the drachma is unlikely to offer a quick cure for Greece’s ills. Default on the nation’s $500 billion in public debt would become a certainty, depositors would take their money out of local banks and, with a sharp devaluation of as much as 50 percent, inflation would loom. A return to the international credit markets would take years.

In Libya, Fighting May Outlast the Revolution (jdargis)

The provisional government’s departing prime minister, Mahmoud Jibril, suggested in a news conference Sunday night that instead of expecting the local militias to disband, the Transitional National Council should try to incorporate them by expanding to include their representatives.

“Nobody wants to give up arms now, and many tribes and cities are accumulating arms ‘just in case,’ ” said Mahmoud Shammam, a spokesman for the council’s executive board

Urban mining grows as gold demand and number of cast-off electronics rise (sue)

Over two years, jobs have grown here and at 30 other certified "e-steward" plants nationwide. Healthy commodity prices — gold goes for $1,700 a ounce — make this mining more profitable. Traditional hard-rock mining of the minerals needed to make computers, smartphones and other gizmos is becoming more complicated, with host governments and communities concerned about environmental costs.


Peak Oil - Why We Need To Plan Now (James S.)

I sought articles and analysis on projected house prices, and came across two divergent predictions: level/growth (most stories); and bursting bubble. I noticed a clear difference in the flavor of the articles. The bursting bubble stories used lots of numbers, stats, and analysis. I’m a sucker for that. Specifically, the fact that 60% of new home loans in Southern California were interest-only or otherwise sub-prime worried me a lot, as did the statistic that only 9% of families in San Diego could afford the median-priced home. Unsustainable, I thought.


The Blue-Green Economy and the Role of the Ocean in Sustainable Development (James S.)

“The role of the ocean in sustainable development is one of our core messages for Rio,” said Irina Bokova, UNESCO director-general, speaking at a side event at the UNESCO general conference on Tuesday. “The ocean must have its place in the agreement that States will reach next year … [but] importance of the ocean is not reflected in the political weight it has on the agenda for sustainable development.”

Catching A Wave, And Measuring It (jdargis)

Liquid Robotics’ product, a Wave Glider, is about the size of a surfboard. Using a wave-based propulsion system and two solar panels to fuel its computers, the robots travel slowly over the ocean, recording data. The sensor data is crunched onboard by low-power cellphone chips, and then shipped by satellite or cellphone to big onshore computers that do complex analysis.

“Getting a computer out into the middle of the ocean is a pretty big challenge, but that is the attractive thing,” said Mr. Gosling, chief software architect at Liquid Robotics. “Three-quarters of the planet is ocean, and it’s still dark to us.”

Article suggestions for the Daily Digest can be sent to [email protected]. All suggestions are filtered by the Daily Digest team and preference is given to those that are in alignment with the message of the Crash Course and the "3 Es."


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Michigan Governor Wants to Avoid State Takeover of Detroit


"Michigan Governor Rick Snyder said he wants to avoid appointing an emergency manager for Detroit, which faces an estimated $150 million deficit.

Snyder said he has had preliminary discussions with Detroit Mayor Dave Bing about state intervention to help the city, though Bing hasn’t requested a financial review. The governor is allowed to appoint an emergency manager under a law approved this year. "

"Tens of thousands of opposition activists demonstrated in central Rome on Saturday for the ouster of Premier Silvio Berlusconi.

Democratic Party leader Pierluigi Bersani told the crowd that his party is prepared to work with other opposition groups to lead a new government.

"If there is discontinuity and change, we are ready with the other opposition to create a new government," Bersani told the crowd in Piazza San Giovani.

Berlusconi's grip on power has been weakened by the ongoing sovereign debt crisis and infighting in his coalition that has prevented clear measures."


"Most French people don’t want an increase in France’s financial contribution to a plan to help Greece, with almost nine in 10 saying the country won’t repay its debts, according to a poll.

Sixty-three percent of respondents to an Ifop survey for the newspaper Ouest France said they did not support an increase of France’s contribution to the Greek debt plan to 15 billion euros ($20.7 billion). Thirty-seven percent said they approved of France’s level of support. A September survey by Ifop indicated 68 percent of those asked disagreed with the amount and 32 percent backed it.

The survey showed that 89 percent of the respondents believed Greece will not repay its debt and that difficulties within countries using the euro will “increase dangerously” if the crisis isn’t solved."


"George Papandreou has agreed to step aside if necessary to help his Socialist party hammer out a four-month coalition he says is vital to securing a new debt deal worth an additional €130bn ((£112bn). He said a coalition would also demonstrate the country's commitment to remaining in the eurozone.

But the political deadlock Papandreou had hoped to break looked set to continue after his offer was snubbed hours later by Antonis Samaras, the head of the New Democracy party.

"We have not asked for any place in his government. All we want is for Mr Papandreou to resign, because he has become dangerous for the country," Samaras "





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