Our colleague at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, Stacy Mitchell (too brilliant to be a relation of mine), recently gave an incredible presentation that focuses on some of the threats to our economy and how we can build stronger, more resilient communities. She doesn’t discuss broadband explicitly, but much of her critique of the largest… Continue reading
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A recent book by David Cay Johnston, The Fine Print, examines specifically how big companies have found ways to take advantage of the tax and regulatory systems to their benefit and to the detriment of consumers. The sad part – we don’t even realize it. Johnston discusses how big companies and their leaders exploit tax rules to… Continue reading
Big dreams for renewable energy often goad people into imagining big wind projects, with hundreds of turbines. But lots of smaller projects are just as likely to add up to big numbers. Counting wind projects from 1999-2010 (based on data from LBNL’s excellent Wind Technologies Market report) the average size of an American wind project… Continue reading
Big dreams for renewable energy often goad people into imagining big solar projects, with acres of panels. But lots of smaller projects are just as likely to add up to big numbers. Counting solar projects from California and New Jersey (which together make up half the U.S. solar market), the average size of an American… Continue reading
MPR News recently ran two stories on the trials and tribulations of new and prospective broadband networks. Conrad Wilson’s story about the continuing Monticello drama and Jennifer Vogel’s account of factors affecting the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA) projects give us a good idea of the many hurdles in the way of building new… Continue reading
On February 8, 1921 twenty thousand people, braving temperatures so low that musical instruments froze, marched in a funeral procession in the town of Dimitrov, a suburb of Moscow. They came to pay their respects to a man, Petr Kropotkin, and his philosophy, anarchism. Some 90 years later few know of Kropotkin. And the word… Continue reading
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
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."
Dear President-elect Obama,
Congratulations on your historic election. Now the truly heavy lifting begins. You have declared your intention to make "a new energy economy" your "No. 1 priority." We urge you to follow a path that leads not only to changes in the fuels underpinning our energy system but also to changes in the structure and dynamic of that system.