This is Good News Friday, where we find some good economic, energy, and environmental news and share it with PP readers. Please send any positive news to [email protected] with subject header "Good News Friday." We will save and post weekly. Enjoy!
In the early 21st century, just as in the late 19th, economics in general makes the assumption that individuals operate autonomously, isolated from the direct influences of others. A person has a fixed set of tastes and preferences; when choosing from a set of alternatives, he or she compares the attributes of those alternatives and selects the one which most closely corresponds to his or her preferences. At first sight, this may seem quite reasonable, or even ‘rational’, as economists describe this theory of behaviour. If I am interested in buying a product which many people want, I may have to pay a high price. So the choices other people make affect me indirectly through the workings of the market. My preferences, however, remain unaltered, according to this conventional view of economics.
In a statement, panel co-chair Alicia Barcena Ibarra put it this way: “Rethinking the way we use materials is essential if we are to safeguard humanity’s future. A prosperous and equitable world that overcomes these problems will require transformative changes in how we live our lives and how we consume materials.” One of those proposals is to price raw materials in accordance with the largely unseen social and economic costs, which would inevitably shift the way we think about this planet’s resources.
It’s not just that more money doesn’t provide a straightforward increase in happiness. Social science research also underscores the importance of focusing carefully on the many ways in which jobs differ along dimensions other than pay. As economists have long known, jobs that offer more attractive working conditions — greater autonomy, for example, or better opportunities for learning, or enhanced workplace safety — also tend to pay less.
Where Will Flight Technology Go Next? (Josh O.)
The planes of the future will probably also look a lot like Boeing’s Dreamliner – composite materials, greater fuel efficiency, and of course modern amenities for passengers. Still energy investors should not be worried about the obsolescence of jet fuel anytime soon. The reality is that for all of the advances of battery technology, energy storage density is still extremely impractical for powering aircraft at this stage. Hydrogen fuel presents an alternative option – hydrogen was the fuel specified in Airbus’ Mach 4.5 aircraft patent filing – but hydrogen fuel is highly volatile and combustible.
According to Musk, the purchase is central to Tesla. He intends to create a single solar energy/battery storage system that can make people energy independent with a single purchase. “We can’t do this well if Tesla and SolarCity are different companies,” he argues, going on to say that both companies have reached the point where they’re ready to scale production of their products, so the time is right.
The researchers also found that the conductance of the nanopore increases with increasing pH. They think this could be due to an increase in accumulation of negative surface charges in the nanopores. Similarly, increasing the pH increases the generated voltage and current, underlining the importance of the nanopore surface charge to ion movements.
Across the U.S., there’s no good documentation of how much produce gets tossed because of cosmetic imperfections, and losses vary from crop to crop, says JoAnne Berkenkamp, a senior advocate for food and agriculture at the Natural Resources Defense Council. But “we’ve typically found that growers reported [cosmetic-related] losses ranging up to 20 percent of production in a given year, but it could be higher in years of bad weather.”
For apples, blemish-related losses can reach as high as 30 percent, according to data from Columbia Marketing International that Wal-Mart cites.
The findings are interesting: Though the treated cows did not produce more milk, they had higher calcium levels in both blood and urine. Improving those calcium levels is important: cows stricken with hypocalcemia have compromised immune systems, and are more likely to have health complications like ketosis and mastitis.
Gold & Silver
Provided daily by the Peak Prosperity Gold & Silver Group
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."