Popular usage of the term "renewable energy" is problematic, because it includes two distinct classes or sub-categories of energy sources: On the one hand, forms of bioenergy that serve as fuels for vehicles, feedstock for power plants (i.e., biomass, biofuels, etc.), and all the way down to firewood for cookstoves; and on the other hand, a set … Continue reading Reframing “renewable energy” & “bioenergy”
India is celebrating 2018 as its National Year of Millets. This follows a proposal by the government of India to the United Nations (UN) in late 2017 to make 2018 the International Year of Millets (which I'll abbreviate IYOM). The purpose of IYOM would have been to highlight the importance of diverse millets for for … Continue reading An International Year of Millets?
This year has been one of some personal transitions, hence less posting on this blog than originally planned. As 2017 comes to a close, I wanted to touch on a couple of topics among several related to the blog content. First, 2017 is the U.N. Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development. Usually I try to … Continue reading Concluding 2017, looking forward to 2018
There are limits to an individual's competency, and in large and complex organizations or countries, the role of executive tests those limits. The single leader paradigm is a fixture in our thinking, but are there cases where it is no longer functional? On the flip side, there is a danger in how the charisma of … Continue reading [LI] Limits of leadership; dangers of charisma; impossible job
Listening to a recorded course on Chinese history* a few months ago, I was struck by how descriptions of "gridlock" in the late Ming dynasty government of China sounded much like the US government in recent years. Typically, Americans draw comparisons - apt or not - with ancient Rome, but perhaps late Ming China (which … Continue reading Late Ming China & the contemporary United States
On the eve of the annual "Bike to Work Day" - which this year is observed nationally in the US on 19 May 2017 (with some exceptions like Chicago and Colorado) - here's a quick look at a couple of aspects of bicycling that don't seem to get much attention: people who bike to work regularly, largely … Continue reading A hidden class of “bike-to-workers”?
This year's Earth Day (22 April 2017) has as its theme "Environmental & Climate Literacy." In that spirit, I'd like to suggest that environmental and climate literacy require attention to the impact of industrial scale burning of forests, and the question of whether it makes sense as an investment in reducing carbon emissions. Yesterday there were articles in … Continue reading Earth Day 2017: Let’s stop industrial-scale burning of wood for energy