A strong and smart grid can be developed with distributed renewable energy, without need for new high-voltage transmission. This 6-minute video explains how. Continue reading
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About David Morris
David Morris is co-founder of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance and directs its initiative on The Public Good. He is the author of New City States and four other non-fiction books. His essays on public policy are regularly published by On the Commons, Alternet, Common Dreams and the Huffington Post. More
Consider: Which of these sectors is the one really doing a number on society? At the birth of the American republic, the word “private” had a sinister connotation. Derived from the Latin privare, meaning to reduce or tear apart, it described behavior often contrary to the public interest. In the late 18th century, a pirate was called a privateer. Today “private” has become a positive, even boosterish word, while “public” carries a shady undertone. “Private sector” has become synonymous with efficiency and innovation, while “public sector” connotes bloat and unresponsiveness, even corruption. Continue reading
Most environmental leaders and Democratic Party officials argue that we should support the Waxman-Markey carbon cap and trade bill (American Clean Energy Security Act) no matter how imperfect because it represents an important small step forward. In this commentary by David Morris, he concludes that the bill would be acceptable if it was stripped of its cap and trade provisions. Retaining the cap and trade provisions and he sees it as a giant step backwards that may well hobble further progress in federal efforts to combat climate change for years to come.
In the 1990s, the Institute for Local Self-Reliance and other energy activists in Minnesota undertook an effort to get Minnesota to adopt a billion dollar "tax shift" that would have raised the cost of energy while reducing taxes on income and/or property. ILSR was integrally involved in the design of the legislative proposal and examined the impacts on various sectors of Minnesota’s economy. Below you will find the archive of the materials that were prepared to support the initiative. Over several years, the proposal was debated extensively but never enacted into law. Continue reading
On Sunday, April 26, David Morris addressed a crowd hosted by the DFL Education Foundation, on the challenges of developing renewable energy in a time of economic turmoil. His remarks follow:
I appreciate the opportunity to speak to this distinguished audience this evening. My charge is to address the question, “Can We Be Green in a Recession?” Or as the teaser for this meeting puts it, can we be green without green?
The PUC has an approval process that stacks the deck against the public.
A few days ago the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) approved a massive high voltage transmission project (known as CapX) that will cost Minnesotans an amount equal to the projected biennium state budget deficit and four times the total bill to taxpayers for the Gopher and Twins stadiums.
David Morris spoke on Earth Day to the First Unitarian Society of Minneapolis on ethics. He began with some definitions:
Ethics is a set of moral values and standards that guide our conduct. Those moral values and standards are not the same in all societies. Our own country offers an excellent example. Indeed, we consider our history and culture so unique that our leaders often use the term American Exceptionalism to describe our economic and social niche.
Obama’s Renewable Energy Initiative May Not Bring Power to the People By David Morris, originally published in Alternet, February 6, 2009 The new mantra in energy circles is “national smart grid.” In the New York Times, Al Gore insists the new president should give the highest priority to “the planning and construction of a unified… Continue reading
Obama’s plan for a "national smart grid" needs closer examination. An expanded national grid would be anything but smart. In the New York Times, Al Gore insists the new president should give the highest priority to "the planning and construction of a unified national smart grid. "President Barack Obama, responding to a question by MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, declares that one of "the most important infrastructure projects that we need is a whole new electricity grid … a smart grid."
Forinstance, in major cities facades of buildings as well as whole buildings are plastered with a single ad. The Gap and other stores project advertisements from lamps onto sidewalks at night. Public beaches are imprinted with adveretisements for iced tea and television shows.