Daily Digest

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Daily Digest 3/18 - Good News Friday: Renewable Energy Surge Stalls Greenhouse Gas Emissions, What Makes Us Human

Friday, March 18, 2016, 9:48 AM

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!

Economy

How a Distant Ancestor's DNA Helps Reveal What Makes Us Human (jdargis)

Denisovans diverged from Neanderthals 400,000 years ago. Because the two species are more closely related to one another than they are to modern humans, it can be difficult to differentiate between the two when sequencing contemporary genomes, explained Josh Akey, a professor of genomic studies at the University of Washington. But in a study published today in the journal Science, Akey and his colleagues developed a new technique to more accurately determine which type of archaic DNA a person is carrying.

U.S. Companies, Try This: Raise Your Minimum Pay (jdargis)

With stagnant wages one of the hottest topics these days, and calls to raise minimum wages resounding across the country, stories like this one are obviously eye-catching. If raising wages improves worker performance enough to help the bottom line, then there’s no tradeoff between how much companies can afford to pay workers -- at least within reason -- and how many workers they can afford to employ. Obviously if you raise wages high enough -- imagine mandating $1,000 an hour! -- a lot of people will be put out of work. But it could be that most American companies are in a safe zone where hiking wages modestly makes economic sense.

Gold Is Not All That Glitters (Tiffany D.)

Uruguay offers great opportunities and is a competitive global player for farming with its non-degraded soil, even year-round rainfall and two-crops-per-year growing season. What’s more, Uruguay offers a transparent market.

Surge in renewable energy stalls world greenhouse gas emissions (jdargis)

Electricity generated by renewable sources played a critical role, having accounted for around 90% of new electricity generation in 2015. Wind power produced more than half of all new electricity generation, said the IEA.

Big solar is heading for boom times in the US (jdargis)

In 2007, there were zero utility-scale solar power plants in the US. Today there are hundreds, ranging from the 579 MW Solar Star project (the world's largest solar farm) in California down to dozens upon dozens of 10, 20, and 50 MW projects in communities across the country. (SEIA counts 2,100 solar PV projects over 1 MW.)

Big solar power plants still provide a measly 0.6 percent of overall US electricity. But they are headed up a steep growth curve.

New Energy World Symposium (Arthur Robey)

Such an energy source—clean, abundant, cheap and on-demand—would make oil, coal, gas and nuclear power obsolete and would permit cheap, clean energy to be distributed and as available globally as information is today. Clean water for everyone is just one example of its immediate potential.

Japanese Researchers Discover Plastic-Eating Bacterium (jdargis)

“The researchers collected 250 environmental samples, such as soil and sludge, from the yard of a PET bottle-recycling factory and analyzed many different species of bacteria that were growing within the samples,” the American Association for the Advancement of Science, publisher of Science, reported. It noted that Ideonella sakaiensis 201-F6 could almost completely degrade a thin film of PET after six weeks, at a temperature of 86 degrees Fahrenheit.

The Hidden Language Of Bird Feathers (jdargis)

Feathers go all the way back to the dinosaurs. Some scientists even argue that the T. rex may have had a fluffy coat, since some of its cousins did. These first feathers were not for flying, but perhaps they were useful for mating displays, staying warm and helping the creatures jump farther.

Gold & Silver

Click to read the PM Daily Market Commentary: 3/17/16

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."

11 Comments

saxplayer00o1's picture
saxplayer00o1
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Posts: 4062
Study Finds Public Pension Promises Exceed Ability to Pay

Study Finds Public Pension Promises Exceed Ability to Pay

New York Times-16 hours ago
Getting each country's unstated pension obligations down on paper, along with the sovereign debt, showed that some countries have almost certainly promised ...

Japan's Yield Curve Inverts on Record Low 10-Year Yield: Chart

Bloomberg-6 hours ago
29 that it would start charging 0.1 percent interest on some deposits held at the bank ... “It goes to show how the BOJ's negative interest-rate policy is so strong.”.

Soaring US Debt Costs US Trillions In Lost Growth — Does Anyone ...

Investor's Business Daily-20 hours ago
Capital Hill. Soaring U.S. Debt Costs U.S. Trillions In Lost Growth — Does Anyone Care? While President Obama golfed, the national debt soared.
 

Federal Debt: Total Public Debt as Percent of Gross Domestic Product

2015:Q4: 104.26362 Percent of GDP

Treasury to Sell $75 Billion of Debt

Nasdaq-14 hours ago
The Treasury Department will auction $75 billion in securities next week, comprising $28 billion in new debt and $47 billion in previously auctioned debt. Details ...
 
 
Worries grow over Indian corporate debt pile
Nikkei Asian Review-2 hours ago
But the banks, which had lent $1.4 billion to Mallya's defunct airline, were too late; ... Jaypee Group piled on $11.29 billion in debt venturing into new businesses ...

Why Big-City School Systems Are Going Broke

U.S. News & World Report-5 hours ago
In Chicago, the city school district – the third-largest in the country – is a whopping $1.1 billion in debt. Already laying off staff and imposing unpaid furlough days ...

Facing $10B shortfall, Illinois lawmakers OK $3.8B more debt

Quad-Cities Online-15 hours ago
SPRINGFIELD (AP) — Illinois Senate Democrats passed a $3.8 billion funding bill for colleges and social services Thursday amid Republican objections that the ...

Illinois' backlog of overdue bills is higher than previously reported.

MyStateline.com-16 hours ago
State Comptroller Leslie Munger said the state could owe $10 billion by the end of June. Munger says Illinois owes $7.6 billion to court-ordered private service ...

Chicago settling $390M tab to add to its woes

Salt Lake Tribune-8 hours ago

The city council on Wednesday authorized issuing as much as $200 million of .... million to its retirement fund by June 30, and the junk-rated district's deficit is ..

TechGuy's picture
TechGuy
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Posts: 366
Re: U.S. Companies, Try This: Raise Your Minimum Pay

"U.S. Companies, Try This: Raise Your Minimum Pay'

Ha!

Companies can only raise wages if the margins on there goods and services are sufficient. Price Margins have collapsed due to competition in Asia. Workers are seeing their minimum wage drop to zero as business switch to automation to replace workers with Machines. 

If workers don't like their pay, then they should start thier own company.  If workers are not willing to invest in starting their own businesses, than they really don't have anything to complain about.

 

blackeagle's picture
blackeagle
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Posts: 216
@TechGuy

If workers don't like their pay, then they should start thier own company.  If workers are not willing to invest in starting their own businesses, than they really don't have anything to complain about.

That's a hard statement. No compassion. No respect. No consideration to differences between individuals. We usually hear/read this kind of message from ultra-capitalists that are usually greedy, uncompassionate, heartless, selfish and most of the time already rich.

Are you one of those? Or may be your fingers went too fast on the keyboard. And as a PPer you truly believe that there is a real and deep injustice the way a lot of businesses treat their workers in the name of productivity and profitability?

 

Tall's picture
Tall
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Posts: 564
California rains augmenting reservoirs

Officials at the Bureau of Reclamation recently opened the spill gates at California's Folsom Lake to release water amid fears of floods.

The action, which would have been unthinkable just a year ago, comes after a series of storms this month that have bolstered water levels at the lake and other large reservoirs like Lake Oroville and Shasta Lake.

The reservoirs are at above-average levels, something that hasn't happened since 2013.

http://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-me-california-drought-2016031...

Mark Cochrane's picture
Mark Cochrane
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Posts: 1216
Big picture on California Reservoirs

Unfortunately the image can't be linked directly but the link below show a graphic up to the day or the reservoir levels across californi and how they compare to both capacity and the historical averages for this data each year. Definitely improved but more deficits than surpluses remain.

http://cdec.water.ca.gov/cdecapp/resapp/getResGraphsMain.action

California Data Exchange Center - Reservoirs

TechGuy's picture
TechGuy
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Posts: 366
Blackeagle wrote: "That's a

Blackeagle wrote:

"That's a hard statement. No compassion. No respect. No consideration to differences between individuals. We usually hear/read this kind of message from ultra-capitalists that are usually greedy, uncompassionate, heartless, selfish and most of the time already rich."

Sorry if it comes across that what, but as a small business owner I grown a bit tired of the shannagins about worker wages. The bottom line, is if workers don't like their wages, they can start their own business. No one is forcing any worker to work for a any business. As a business owner, I feel the squeeze between gov't regulation, taxation and the nearly bottomless pile of Paper work the gov't (fed,State, Local) like to bury me with. 

The more demands workers and gov't regulations imposed on businesses the more likely business will automate, move overseas, or just close their doors. 

 

thatchmo's picture
thatchmo
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 14 2008
Posts: 432
Yeah, but.....

How long will it take the Central Valley to regain that 30 foot elevation loss in the last 90 years?  Aloha, Steve

ps- but I breathed a sigh of relief for the folks over there.  I got family in them parts.....

thatchmo's picture
thatchmo
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
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Posts: 432
I hears ya...

TechGuy, as you probably know, the #1 bane of every small business-owner I know is employee issues.  I've got a pretty good crew.  I'd love it if one (or all) of them came to me and said "Steve, I need to make more money".  I be happy to sit down with them and figure out how they will add value to our business and customers to earn the extra dollars.  Most don't care all that much, they just figure they need it and I should provide.  How does one feel good about increasing wages when the employee can't seem to make it in on time ten days in a row?  Sheesh....Aloha, Steve.

ps- OTOH, I glad I don't have a business that has to deal with a product/service/clientele that will only support minimum wage employees.....That sounds depressing on all fronts.

Michael_Rudmin's picture
Michael_Rudmin
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Jun 25 2014
Posts: 772
And then there's reality, thatchmo

So say the people I work with, too, including the ps.

And admittedly, our eleven-dollar-an-hour employees DO have trouble making it in, especeially as they break down financially. I've seen it happen.

But consider my own case: salary, project manager for a segmental bridge precasting. Made a PROFIT on the last one at thirty cents a pound sales price, where our competitors lost money at more than twice that.

And yes, I have had raises, but not ones that have kept up with the price and tax increases, and loss of benefits that accompany the working poor. So now I have a kid approaching college age, one of four (the first), and nothing to show for it: no house (we live in a owned trailer in a rented park three miles away), no land for him to work, no economy for him to get a decent job...

Last year I gave up ALL my vacations without compensation, because the company cut costs so much that I did not judge I could take one without significant loss. Among other things, I was also at various ti#es our one field engineer, our only surveyor, and so on.

Add into that that my management would undermine me with the employees so that I COULDN'T just give orders and consequences (umm... 2nd biggest problem just jumped to a competitor; maybe biggest problem manages the office and purchasing)... So we were losing product as rejected repeatedly, and I needed to focus even more effort on finding ways to save it.

So when I hear people take your tack, and see the reality of corporate ownership that says the same, yet does this....

.... YES, maybe this is just caused by the feds taking to much.

But nonetheless it rings hollow. Where are the employees yachts? Where are the customers yachts?

Not that I want a yacht. I want my duties fulfilled. But those duties aren't just to the employer. And the shepherds who eat the sheep are too many for me.

Time2help's picture
Time2help
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Posts: 2766
Mutiny of the Soul, Revisited

Mutiny of the Soul, Revisited by Charles Eisenstein

Quote:

"Over the years, I’ve probably received more mail about Mutiny of the Soul than any other essay I’ve written. The idea of the article has been hugely validating for many readers: that depression, ADHD, anxiety, etc. aren’t chemical malfunctions of the brain, nor spiritual malfunctions of the mind; rather, they are forms of legitimate rebellion against life structures that are unworthy of one’s full participation or attention. They are more symptoms of a social illness than of a personal deficiency. As Krishnamurti said, “It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.”

saxplayer00o1's picture
saxplayer00o1
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jul 30 2009
Posts: 4062
California's pension debt puts it $175.1 billion in the red

California's pension debt puts it $175.1 billion in the red

Charlotte Observer-19 hours ago
The budget pegs unfunded retiree health care debt at $71.8 billion. ... California's state government ended the fiscal year $175.1 billion in the red, thanks largely ...

California's State Pension Obligations Are Larger Than Previously Estimated

Wall Street Journal - ‎14 hours ago‎
California has nearly $64 billion in pension debt that eventually must be paid to current and former teachers and state workers—a figure more than $20 billion higher than previous estimates, state Controller Betty Yee said Friday. Ms. Yee disclosed ...

U.S. Treasury Gets Record $97.8B From Fed

CFO - ‎19 hours ago‎
U.S. Treasury securities holdings fell by $15.6 billion, and federal agency and GSE MBS holdings rose by $11.4 billion. GSE debt securities holdings decreased by $6.2 billion, and Maiden Lane LLC asset holdings totaled $1.8 billion. The Fed created ...

S&P Downgrades Catalonia To Even Worse Junk Bond Status On ...

The Spain Report-20 hours ago
This central government help mitigates Catalonia's "very low internal ability to generate cash" and means the region can service its several billion euro debt ...

Russian regions risk defaults unless Kremlin stages rescue

Daily Times-14 hours ago
Now it faces the consequences, with some regions deep in debt and heading ... Its debt rose 30 percent last year to 33.7 billion rubles, or 46,000 rubles for every ...

S&P downgrades Peabody to 'D'

STLtoday.com - ‎16 hours ago‎
Peabody Energy's corporate credit was downgraded to 'D' Friday, the lowest rating doled out by debt rating firm Standard and Poor's. The downgrade dropped St. Louis-based Peabody several notches from 'CCC+' on the New York financial firm's rating scale ...

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