Archive for the ‘Environment’ Category

Four years ago, I wrote about how the national parks can avoid the next government shutdown. It was a bit shortsighted in retrospect. Rather than utilizing bonds, national parks (any any organization for that matter) should leverage cryptocurrencies. There are over 1,000 cryptocurrencies in existence today (most should be avoided).  But a park like Yosemite Nation Park fits the mold of being a perfect fit for a cryptocurrency.

A Yosemitecoin has a specific use for a specific purpose. Want to visit and park at Yosemite? Pay in Yosemitecoin. Want to stay at a lodge in Yosemite? Pay in Yosemitecoin. It’s important to the ecological health of Yosemite to limit the number of visitors per season/year, so having a cryptocurrency that is limited in availability during a season would allow the price/cost of Yosemitecoin to limit the exposure of the park.

Mining of Yosemitecoin could prove to be a profitable venture for miners depending upon how the rules are setup for Yosemitecoin mining and exchanging. Exchanging could help boost the overall budget available for Yosemite National Park and allow for the park to afford more resources to ensure the park is well maintained and employees at the park are well compensated. A Yosemitecoin could even serve as a long-term retirement investment vehicle for park employees.

Getting into details for all of this would require much more than a simple blog post. However, every national park, non-profits, and global organizations (such as the red cross) could greatly benefit from having their own cryptocurrency that furthers their cause.

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Anyone following the rise of electric car transportation has often heard gripes from anti-EV folks about a “dirty grid”, “subsidies”, or even how EVs allegedly produce more pollution during their manufacturing than what is produced for the entire life of an internal combustion engine. Wired magazine even go into the mix with their (bunk) article talking about how EVs aren’t as green as you think they are. I’m not going to link to any of these “articles” because they are, quite frankly, gibberish. They often make claims such as lithium being a rare earth material (it’s not) or that Tesla uses permanent magnets in their motors (they’re AC induction, so they don’t; and Tesla gets all of it’s cobalt in North America).

Instead, I’m going to link to articles that provide insight into an often overlooked topic of internal combustion engines (ICE): externality economic benefits afforded to ICE manufacturers. As is turns out, driving in rush hour traffic is potentially twice as hazardous to your health than currently believed. This externality benefit is afforded to car manufacturers who are making ICE. They incur relatively zero cost for developing a product that produces emissions that the manufacturer has zero responsibility for. This is a tremendous economic benefit afforded to ICE manufacturers. While they are responsible for containing the pollution produced during the manufacturing of their product, they have zero responsibility for the pollution created during the usage of their production AND there is no way to use their product without producing pollution (unless you put the car in a museum).

One might argue that the driver should be responsible for that pollution or that the driver is responsible for the pollution because of paying taxes on gas. Let’s not pretend that the taxes on gasoline are even used for their intended purpose of rebuilding roads let alone healthcare costs incurred from the pollution caused by refining and burning gasoline. Also, the manufacturers of ICE don’t provide (or even have) the ability to collect pollution, so we’re stuck with tailpipe emissions spread to someone else’s property and effecting their lives. These effects are very costly, and the burden (as detailed in the RAND report I’ve linked to) is on health insurance companies, or government, and individuals deprived of their health liberty due to no action of their own! Certainly, one’s own rush hour car pollution is enough to kill them dozens of times over, but I digress… Perhaps the health insurance companies could lobby to get their money back?

The solution is fairly simple. Place a health insurance tax on the manufacturer of ICE vehicles that cannot be passed along to the consumer unless that consumer is a government agency. This tax would be paid to companies and individuals paying for health insurance to help offset their increased medical costs due to the products developed and sold by ICE manufacturers. The tax would be based upon the pollution (we’re not just talking about CO2 but ALL air pollution) produced by a vehicle from driving it 10K miles per year with the average life being 10 years for the vehicle and adjusted annually for the increased pollution that an ICE produces as it ages (which is the opposite of what happens with EV since grids are becoming cleaner each year).

The results from this would be reduced out of pocket medical costs for individuals since they are no longer subsidizing ICE manufacturers, a likely bankrupt automobile industry as electric cars would suddenly become significantly less expensive than ICE, and we can finally get rid of those tax incentives for electric vehicles that anti-EV folks love to complain about! Joking aside, there are considerable health costs that ICE manufacturers are causing by continuing to manufacture products that have no method to avoid. Taxing the manufacturers for their externality benefit they receive at our expense is a potential way to provide those manufacturers with incentives to make better products that are less detrimental to our health and puts the financial burden on the industry directly responsible for substantial increase in healthcare costs over the last half century.

We all know that smoking is linked to a myriad of diseases. We see all the campaigns about the dangers of smoking. I have encouraged people to stop smoking. I’ve evern purchased the gum and patches for an girlfriend I was dating years ago who was having difficulty quitting.

I never thought I would meet someone who almost died from quitting smoking. Technically, I didn’t meet him, but I did meet his daughter. A couple of Fridays ago (Friday the 13th to be precise) I was heading back to LAX on my second redeye of the day. I got to talking with the lady sitting next to me about things, and we got onto the topic of her dad. Her story was one of the ironic stories I’ve ever heard.

Her dad had been smoking for decades. For years, everyone had been telling him to quit smoking. He smoked a couple of cigarettes on his way to work and on his way back home. He also smoked during the day, but most of his smoking was in his truck because it was a long commute and stressed him out. One day, he decided that it would be best for him to quit so that he cold live a longer, more fulfilling life. He worked hard to resist the urge to smoke while driving.

After a few months, he ended up in the hospital with severe headaches and an increasing loss of mental capacity. He was diagnosed with brain damage. It turned out that his truck had a cabin leak that was pumping carbon minoxide into the cabin. While he was smoking, he always had the windows down to let the cigarette smoke out. After he quit smoking, he kept the windows rolled up.

There is one upside to this story. It generated awareness in his neighborhood about the dangers of carbon minoxide poisoning in their cars and homes.

Today gives me yet another day to gloat about the idiotic college professor I had years ago at Strayer University (yes, avoid this college. It is a waste of time and money). The CEO of Dow Chemical borrowed a page straight out of my economic philosophy and is proving that energy based inflation is a reality, not some idea that deserves a B on my term paper. Dow is going to raise their prices immediately by up to 20%

Dow is just the start too. Energy based inflation starts here. Energy prices increase, putting pressure on businesses to either cut profits or slow down. Traditional economist, aka most college professors, will tell you that energy prices will come back down and everyone will be happy. However, in the real world this doesn’t and didn’t happen over the last 10 years. The result is that every company in America (except big energy, and miraculously Walmart) is being squeezed to the brink of no ability to make a profit or even be productive at any level.

There is a solution. It isn’t cheap, but it wouldn’t cost any more than the failed tax rebate of 2008. This solution would provide a long-term solution to the energy crisis in America and heavily stimulate the US economy while building the infrastructure needed.

Where have all those “tax rebates” gone? Hats off to anyone who spends it on anything other than energy.

Not long ago, I wrote a blog about the most idiotic economic political scam of the 2008 election year. Today, I read to stories about our economy that rank up there with the “gas tax vacation”.

The first story was about how the Fed has adjusted it’s estimates for 2008:

  • Economic growth of 0.3 – 1.2%, instead of 1.3 – 2%
  • Unemployment rate 5.5 – 5.7%, instead of 5.2 – 5.5%

Good thing they are still running those antiquated economic formulas to give us these otherwise worthless numbers. An added bonus is that the Fed also adjusted their inflation estimate upwards.

There really should be no surprise here folks. Bernanke just needs to start reading my blog to get better guidance on economic policy. I’ve written about energy-based inflation before. Of course, I even wrote about it years before that in a paper for an upper division economics course I was taking in college. The professor said it was an unrealistic theory.

Why I keep talking about this college professor is because that is what economists are learning in college (not all colleges, of course). Our economists are morons because they were trained to be morons!

Meanwhile, back in the world of ridiculous economic news for May 21, 2008… The other bit of economic news that really got me chuckling today was the news about the oil executives going before Congress again. How many times are we going to have to watch the same FAKE political interrogation? This is a political SCAM. The oil companies are pulling an Enron. Only, the goal is not to get California to sign a ridiculous long-term energy contract… The goal is to get the United States to open land restrictions in Alaska, the Rocky Mountains, and/or the Pacific Ocean so the oil companies can go drilling for oil. Enron is small potatoes compared to this scam.

I think it’s ironic that anyone who is an environmentalist will purchase a DVD called “Who Killed the Electric Car?” This movie slams GM for playing a major part in killing the large inadequate technology of electric vehicles. Of course, this film is a Sony Pictures Classics Film, but they make no mention about the vested interest that Sony has in DVDs. I’m sure “Electric Car” will be on Blu-ray soon.

The best part is DVDs are made primarily from crude oil based substances. Why wasn’t this distributed via free download over the Internet instead? This isn’t about protecting the environment. This is people trying to make a fast buck on environmental naivety.

Learn who really killed the electric bus!

On Earth Day, I was able to get a brief moment with George Bush to Interview him about his new environmental plan. I’ll be airing it on my Radio Show tomorrow on BlogTalkRadio.com. Of course, the show is one hour long and the interview was only about 2 1/2 minutes, so I need to make sure that I have something else on the show. But I really do have an Interview with George Bush about his environmental plan that you don’t want to miss.

Dean and I will be talking with womentrepreneurs who started their successful businesses in each of these fields this Saturday morning!

Dean and Jared are very excited about the three guests on this week’s Dean and Jared Words Cause Radio Show here on BlogTalkRadio.com. We have three incredible women who have taken their passion and flipped it on it’s side to generate great business opportunities, not just for them but for hundreds of people!

We all remember Yankee Doodle Dandy, but what’s the story behind Yankee Doodle Dandy? And why is he on a Harley?!?

Writer and Producer of a 17-minute promotional documentary on Yankee Doodle Dandy, Suzy Goodman-Pollack, joins Dean and Jared on this Saturday’s Show! More than just a character promoting genius, Suzy is an incredibly successful womentrepreneur. She runs several businesses, including Creative Balloons Mfg. Inc., a family owned and operated business-to-business company that manufactures balloons and accessories that are sold worldwide! She has literally created opportunity out of thin air!

Then, we’ll be chatting with co-founder of of Internet darling PassPack: Tara Kelly. Learn how Tara took an art school education and turned it into a vision to survivie the brutal startup landscape. Handling all the social aspects of the business, from sales to marketing to PR, she’s one of the womentrepreneurs of Web 2.0!

PassPack is an online password manager giving users secure access to their personal web account from any Internet connection, while also encouraging better password habits. It makes it easier for you to safely forget your passwords! It’s a web application that stores your passwords so that no one can read them but you – not even PassPack. How do they do it? You’ll have to listen live to hear.

Tara will also be our second international guest in as many weeks! Last week’s womentrepreneur show featured the founder of Soul at Work in Amsterdam, Marianne Korten. Tara has been in Rome for the last 10 years. We’ll be sure to ask her if they missed the Pope last week.

But WAIT!!! There’s more!

We’ll also be chatting with the founder of Dancehelp.com, Christine Schambera. Dancehelp.com, a free online dance publication that offers original, unique articles on everything dance. Articles range from nutrition, performance and technique, to stage lighting, chorography and dance history. Dancehelp also offers employment and audition listings, chat forums, dance photos and videos, product reviews, press releases, dance dictionaries, biographies, as well as dance event information and original dance reviews on dance events in Southern California.

Albert Einstein once stated, “Dancers are the athletes of God”. Dean and Jared are excited about having Christine on the show. We’re hoping that Dean ends up with some dance lessons out of this show!

Be sure to catch us LIVE this Saturday, April 26, 2008 @ 10AM Pacific. Of course, if you ever missed a show, you can always subscribe via iTunes or your favorite feed reader. Check out WordsCause.com for more details!

Today, the Bush Administration announced their new plan to help protect the environment. Since all three Presidential candidates are addressing growing environmental concerns, George W. Bush made the following announcement:

The Democratical candidates all have their environmentalistic policies that they believe are best for America and our planet. Unfortunately, these plans are highly flawed and don’t address the American workforce. This is why my administration is taking critical actions to exemplify my leadership on the the environment.

Effective immediately, we are going to slow down the economy considerably. See, with fewer people with jobs or employment situations, there will be a reductionation of driving, requiring fewer fossil fuel consumptions. This will also reduce the demand other goods and services that are bad for the environment, like flying airplanes.

Speaking of which. I’m going to go on vacation. But I won’t be traveling for this vacation. I’ll still be sitting in the White House, reading papers and staring at the wall.

When asked how this policy change was any different than his existing policy, Bush deferred to his Press Secretary who had no comment.

Originally published March 20, 2008 on wordcause.com. Thank you to The wayback machine for allowing me to recover the content of this article!

The Washington Post released an article today stating that the price of coal has risen by more than 50% over the last five months. Earlier in the week, I gave a brief explanation of the economic theory I developed 5 years ago called Energy-based inflation.

The article published by the Washington Post creates an even greater awareness of the important of energy prices in the inflation rate of an economy. According to the US Department of Energy, we generate 49% of our energy from coal, which means that US businesses are not likely going to absorb the increase in energy costs. The costs are going to be passed along to the consumer. Guess which bill you are going to pay with your federal tax rebate? You might as well start writing the check to you local electric company.

One short-term solution would be for the Federal Reserve to choke the economy with a steep shortening of the money supply to force a deep recession. I’m sure this won’t happen, but it would actually produce the best result down the road. By choking the economy, it would force people and businesses to heavily reduce the consumption of energy. It would also result in considerable loss of jobs that would ripple into the economies of countries like China (the largest consumer of energy in the world). With American consumption down, Chinese energy demand would rapidly slow down. The problem with this solution is that it cost hundreds of thousands, if no millions, of jobs around the world. It would also create significant instability in the financial markets as investors would pull substantial investments out of China.

Another solution would be for the Federal Reserve to continue to lower rates to help spur consumer spending and business investment. The issue with this is the energy-based inflation will just be exacerbated by the expanding money supply. Inflation will then have two driving forces: (1) high demand for energy and low supply; (2) an expanding American money supply. Ultimately, this will lead to further devaluation of the dollar and relatively few Americans better in a couple years than we are right now. There is a long-term solution to energy-based inflation, however.

Many point to alternative energy sources as a way to combat rising energy prices. While this will help get us half way there, it won’t solve the problem quickly. To find the solution to the American energy crisis, we need to borrow a page from one of our Founding Father and the creator of what is considered today the Republican Party. Yes, you read that right, Republicans to the rescue. Alexander Hamilton was a strong believer in a Federal government that supported, protected, and aided budding industries.

The budding industry is not so much alternative energy but alternative energy consumption. Given the option, few Americans are going to care where our energy comes from. However, what if the energy was completely free? I’m betting that free energy would capture the attention of just about everyone. What our federal government should do if provide funding to the tune of $500 billion dollars to place solar energy panels or wind turbines that feed back into the local power grid on any property that requests it in the southern 1/3 of the United States. The installation and materials are completely free. The only trade off is that excess energy put onto the grid will not result in a rebate from your local energy supplier.

Here’s how it would breakdown… One of the major barriers for most homeowners when it comes to installing a solar system is the cost of the installation. The materials are expensive. However, the cost of the materials would drop considerably due to the economies of scale of such a large expansion of solar energy and wind energy equipment. Plus, the government would have strict rules on pricing of service since they are footing the bill for the entire project. The immediate impact is a considerable increase in employment for solar and wind power installers and manufacturers who make solar and wind power equipment. Then there is the ripple effect.

The ripple effect of creating so many jobs is tremendous, but that is not where the real economic benefit comes from. To be sure, there will be considerable increases in the purchase of local goods and services, but they are nominal compared to the major benefit of this plan.

Suddenly, millions of Americans in the southern 1/3 of the country will not longer have to pay for electricity. The electricity coming from their new solar and/or wind equipment will be more than enough to power their electrical needs. In fact, much of the installations will be able to generate more energy than a single house consumes, putting free energy back onto the local power grid. Now the ripple effect really starts to come into effect. Free from having to pay for energy, more than 2 million Americans are now saving on average $100/month. That’s $200 million dollars injected into the American economy every single month. Winter months will slow down a little bit, but that’s why we focused on the southern 1/3 of the country to begin with.

$200 million dollars/month sounds pretty good, but about the rest of the country that doesn’t receive these subsidized energy installations? Remember, the excess energy is put back onto the grid and the utility companies don’t have to pay for it. This means that the electric companies are now generating considerably more energy at the same costs they have today. This means that the price of electricity will drop and the demand for coal will drop. Drop the demand = drop the prices. And because this is a long-term solution that will last for decades, prices must drop. But we aren’t finished with benefits.

We’ve just eliminated $200 million dollars in electric bills per month and reduced the total cost of energy for the rest of the American population by another $200 million dollars per month, but we’re just on the tip of the iceberg. Now, imagine if every office building, industrial park, and shopping flat receives discounts on their energy producing equipment? Their bottom line increases, which means they can do one of two things: (1) increase wages or decrease the cost of their products/services.

If anyone is asking how we are going to pay for this, you need look no further than the latest tax rebates given to the tune of $200 billion dollars. For the most part, that money will be consumed, leading to absolutely no long-term benefit to the economy. Spend an extra $300 billion (a fraction of what we are spending on many other programs) to provide a permanent solution to our energy demand.

Then the only big question is what about the maintenance? We’ve just installed millions of dollars worth of solar and wind energy equipment. Entrepreneurs will come out of the woodworks for this one. Think about it for a moment. There are now millions of homes and businesses with this equipment on their property. If you have the entrepreneurial spirit, startup a business that performs the maintenance and upgrades to the systems. There are millions of them. The only other question might be why the government should subsidize this.

Government subsidizing of this plan is the only way it would make sense. When I charge a customer for my services, I don’t make up taxes to charge him/her. I simply charge the customer for the services. The government is the only entity that controls taxes. Ask any business owner and they will tell you that taxes are a consideration for doing business. If they don’t, ask them if they operate an S corporation or a C corp.

This plan is not much unlike what happened with the Internet. Businesses were given considerable tax breaks to get this budding industry rolling. Borrowing from one of our most brilliant Founding Fathers has proven to be extremely beneficial to our economy for more than 200 years. This brilliant idea of leveraging government to build, grow, and expand budding industries is as timeless as any American ideal.

Being from California, I’m familiar with rolling blackouts. But nothing could have prepared me for an email I received from a purchasing manager I know today. It was an email thread with a factory in China explaining the reason for the delay in certain shipments: 2 days a week without power!

I was disappointed when California would have our 30 minute blackouts. I can’t imagine 2 days… each week! Sounds like they need to start putting solar panels on the factory. 😀