How about a list of constructive things the gov’t could do? I’ll start with just 2
hmmm, I’m not really one of those tree hugger types despite being a scout leader and one who does a lot of camping and outdoor activities… an interesting suggestion but perhaps I could rephrase it. If the US passes some sort of carbon credit, this project oculd get the funding it needs if it can prove that this effort is increasing the health and efficiency of our forests which would result in profitable carbon credits 🙂
hmm, all I will say to this is that there are some issues with planning and spending. Timing differences between the revenue/production side of things can be very different than the planning/capital spending timeline so I’d just be wary of those issues
the response so far has been pretty limited… why are there always more posts complaining of something rather than posts that refer to constructive suggestions? Is it such a bad idea to put together a well thought through list and send it to gov’t reps? Man, I’m about ready to give up on this site… I’ll give it a few more days to hopefully see some more activity but I haven’t heard from anyone if the CM brigade would even support this effort and if not why. I’d like to offer posters a chance to win something like a 1 yr subscription just for their time…
This reminds me of what I was thinking after that inspiring Obama acceptance speech. I was sincerely hoping people were listening to the real message he was trying to convey. He spoke of the US being the land of opportunity but that it’s completely useless unless people take up the challenge to embrace that opportunity and do something with it. What a shame lost opportunity is… I’m sure citizens of other less fortunate countries would die (literally) for this type of ‘opportunity’. *sigh* I hope his words didn’t just rally someone’s thoughts for a few hours, only to be wiped out by other, more pressing matters like wondering if the Steelers will cover the spread…
This is my first post.
1) A small, constructive idea
If I could ask the government to do one constructive thing which would have immediate benefits, I would ask that all unsolicited mail (junk mail) be forbidden. The majority of junk mail (especially catalogs) is tossed straight in the trash. Think of the energy required to produce the ink, the paper, and the delivery of that junk mail. There are other solutions now – advertisers can utilize the internet. This would also apply to phone books – no longer necessary.[/quote]
Hmmm obviously you haven’t seen this……
The power-hungry internet: energy use keeps rising
As internet use grows, the power used to run computer servers is concerning US and European
policymakers1. A recent survey estimates that electricity consumption by data centres, which house
servers, doubled between 2000 and 2005. They accounted for 2 per cent of global electricity usage in
2005. Western European consumption accounted for a quarter of this figure and was growing slightly
faster than the global average.
The study calculated growth in power consumption by data centres in the period 2000-2005. Direct
consumption was calculated by multiplying the number of servers by their typical power consumption.
Indirect power consumption, i.e. air circulation, cooling, communications and power transmission losses,
was estimated to be about the same as direct usage.
For the years 2000 and 2005, trade data were used to calculate the numbers of servers in use, and
power consumption per unit of the six most popular servers was obtained for each major type:
High end servers. There were 66 in use worldwide at around 5000W per unit in 2000. At 59, there were
fewer servers in 2005, but they consumed a little more electricity at 8000W per unit.
Mid-range servers. There were 1800 at 425W per unit in 2000, and 1250 at 600W per unit in 2005.
Volume servers. The number of these doubled from 12250 (185W) in 2000 to 26000 (at 225W) in 2005.
Almost 80 per cent of the increased power usage was caused by the sharp increase in the number of
local, low-end servers, as individual modern units use slightly more power than older models.
Over the 5 years, total global electricity use rose by 19 per cent, and the proportion used by data centres
doubled. In 2005, the total demand from energy centres was equivalent to the output of around 17 power
stations. The US and Western Europe account for two-thirds of this consumption, but growing Asian
economies such as China and India saw annual consumption increasing by 23 per cent, compared with
the global average of 16.7 per cent. Western Europe accounts for 27 per cent of global energy
consumption by data centres, and annual consumption increased by around 18 per cent.
More use of ‘blade’ servers is expected to decrease the power consumption per unit, as these all-
inclusive units provide services such as cooling and networking, which have previously been provided
separately. More efficient server configurations should also reduce the physical number of servers
Even so, as demand for IT services increases, a 76 per cent increase in global power consumption at
data centres is predicted by 2010. Significant reductions are possible but may require changes to market
and industry practices, possibly legislated, to emphasise cost savings made by using an energy efficient
unit over the immediate purchase and installation cost of new equipment.
The author stresses that the study only looks at the direct electricity used by data centres, and does not
attempt to assess changes to economical structures enabled by internet use, which can be substantial in
Source: Koomey, J.G. (2008). Worldwide electricity used in data centers. Environmental Research
In my humble opinion I have two suggestions:
1. An overhaul of the monetary system putting it back onto the gold standard. Many economist refer to the start of our current troubles as commencing when Richard Nixon took the US Dollar off the gold standard which no longer restricted the government from printing more dollars than were backed by gold. Do you think this would be practical today?
2. Use some of the stimulus monies to rebuild & modernize cities, develop and upgrade mass transit systems, including the railroads, that can operate on renewable alternate energy. So far, I’ve only heard President Obama mention rebuilding roads and bridges which doesn’t create long-term productivity, and it continues our dependence of fossil fuels. Such a massive project would create millions of jobs and would help to solve several problems. We would be upgrading the infrastructure, creating long-term employment, eventually realize a reduction of our usage of oil when the new mass transit system was up and running, and again become a manufacturing nation instead of a consumer nation. This would also help to boost our trade imbalance.
The problem with the monetary system is not that it’s no longer gold backed, but debt based.
All that stuff in (2) is just more growth, unsustainable, and not even possible. Please re-do the Crash Course. Especially the bits about exponential growth.
IMHO, governments cannot do anything, constructive or otherwise, about these problems we now face, all the solutions go against everything they believe in, like shrinking the economy and deglobalisation of everything.
We the people must take over, and relocalise everything…. we are on our own. After reading today’s digest, it’s obvious to me the economy is now out of control. The party’s over.
A lot of us know the problems, that’s why it’s easy to complain. Greed, corruption and lies from our leaders. If Geithner can’t even do his taxes, how can he run our economy? That’s what this Joe Six-pack wants to know! I’ve got one idea, but it involves a lot of stuff.
We all bite the bullet with higher taxes, skeleton crew the Federal Government, flat tax with no IRS, combine Medicare/Medicade/SocialSecurity into a universal health care plan, stop subsidizing anyone for anything, let the insolvent banks die and END THE FED to go back to at least a partial gold standard.
Besides, if you ask for ideas, you shouldn’t just shoot them down out of hand. Good luck.
I saw this as a basis for a story done on CNBC where they were questioning how ‘green’ Google was. It’s very interesting to say the least but as one who owns natural gas storage and who watches the infrastructure needs of the US power infrastructure, I can say that much would be accomplished with the inevitable growth of natural gas power generation. Cutting back consumption is a key concept but it is good to know that natural gas power generation is a viable source of cleaner power and they can be created relatively easily. No one is building coal fired facilities anymore and nuke takes too long. With gas prices down under $5, power should be relatively available at a cheap cost. Alternative energy will never be a large part of the system because it isn’t reliable. One lesser known fact is a few years ago when there were brown outs in London, the power authorities actually cut wind generation even though it was a source of power because of the unreliability of the source and it made planning/daily budgeting more difficult. In addition, as we have seen in oil, the demand destruction from the economic crisis has cut demand in our estimates by close to 10% which is a huge number. We are looking at exiting this winter with relatively high inventory levels which should keep prices low for some time especially when production is up in North America to the point where we no longer need to import LNG. There are some who actually see the US exporting gas next year and some importing LNG facilities are building infrastructure to allow them to export LNG. The one exception to this trend is in that the recent growth of supply has been from unconventional gas (tight gas) which has a much higher decline rate and drill rig counts are down to record lows … all pretty interesting stuff.
OK, how about this then:
WHEN the big three go belly up in a couple of months, retool their car factories to manufacture wind turbines and solar panels. Obama might even have this in mind already….
Stop building roads, and build railways instead.
and my faves..
Cancel all debts
Shorten the working week to two days
Remove income tax, and tax carbon ONLY.
Make Permaculture a compulsory school subject
Restructure child endowment or social security for parents or whatever it is you call this in America so that you get $2x for the first child, plus another $x for the second. If you have a third, no additional payment. If you have a fourth, you’re down to $2x.
After the birth of your second child, you’re encouraged to have a free vasectomy, paid for by the government.
That’ll do for a start….
If you’ve read my prior posts, I would never shoot down ideas. My call for a list of solutions is just the opposite but I do want to see people post opinions and rebuttals so that good suggestions stand the test of scrutiny. Think of a few good ideas, post them, discuss them, document them into a plausible, constructive action plan and let’s send them to our local gov’t reps. This is a good project for the CM brigade, one which I hope will bring about further awareness and keep open communication between the people and government.
Your suggestion to let insolvent banks die and goto a partial gold standard is interesting, I agree with letting insolvent banks die but it must be done in an orderly fashion. Capitalism isn’t or shouldn’t be a purist concept and the government’s role is to step in to mitigate volatiltiy when it can for the greater good. If let totally up to the free markets to decide how quickly and how drastically resources needs to be reallocated, such imbalance and destruction may lead to a quicker recovery but may do so at a much greater cost to the average citizen. I believe there’s no one way to solve the problems we face and in the end, the solution may be the same… one path may take a bit longer and the pain spread over a larger network, the other path may be shorter but the pain taken among fewer but in a more drastic scenario for those affected. Just some things to think about the next time you see a recently purchased Porsche lining up at a red light beside a winter beater driven by a single Mom taking her kids to hockey practice. I’m no socialist, I was a hedge fund manager and I see the indifference in capitalism. I am calling for change and am just asking for a few smart people on this board to come up with a few good solutions that the gov’t may not have the vision to see. We can’t assume the gov’t doesn’t need help nor should we close the door on an opportunity for open communication. When you say ‘good luck’, I hope you don’t mean it sarcastically because I am one of the fortunate few who have built up a good net worth… I truly say ‘good luck’ to those who are facing foreclosures and wanted to use this board to try and come up with actionable change.
wow, some pretty cool suggestions…
I was actually laughing because there was a time where I was thinking that if the gov’t lets the automakers go down, so many people fail to see that this represents not just an industry making cars but that it represents a large part of the production base in North America which can be retooled to do other things. If you let them go into liquidation or mothball them due to ‘short term’ economic destruction, it could permanently affect the ability for the economy to recover in the future.
Cancelling debt is definitely high up on my list but there are interesting ways to do it. One thing I was thinking of is that there should be some sort of national registry of mortgages where we can undo all the ‘financial packaging’ that has gone on so we can allow homeowners to deal with their individual mortgages on their terms. If most banks have written down subprime mortgages to 40 cents on the dollar, what if we went to the individual mortgager and offered to wipe out 60% of their mortgage in return for recourse debt? The banks would be not affected as they have already written down the asset but the debt cancellation would go towards the homeowner. In Canada and other countries, there’s no such thing as a non-recourse mortgage…
Self sustenance and sustainable living practices is definitely somnething that should be taught in home ec! Great suggestion!
I had the big "V" after my second boy but selfishly that was becase I just couldn’t take the risk of having a 3rd boy add to the havoc 🙂 … I would loved to have a girl, they’re so much easier! 🙂