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I am an honours graduate (BSc. Hons. Strath-Glasgow) coupled with an MBA-ICG (Paris) , experienced, Metallurgist - Materials Scientist and Engineer and Manager turned Consultant and Blogger, Bilingual English-French Read my web-logs and post a comment is certainly the best way to get to know me..

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New Scientist - Environment

Saturday, 14 June 2014

Why The Three Biggest Economic Lessons Were Forgotten by ROBERT B. REICH, Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley

Reich introduces his 11th of February blog by asking the retorical question " Why has America forgotten (as have many others I may add-eg France's UMP leading up to the election of N. Sarkozy) the three most important economic lessons we learned in the thirty years following World War II?  

In Reich's words this goes as follows:

First, America’s (& Co) real job creators are consumers, whose rising wages generate jobs and growth. If average people don’t have decent wages there can be no real recovery and no sustained growth.

In those years, business boomed because American workers were getting raises, and had enough purchasing power to buy what expanding businesses had to offer. Strong labor unions ensured American workers got a fair share of the economy’s gains. It was a virtuous cycle.

Second, the rich do better with a smaller share of a rapidly-growing economy than they do with a large share of an economy that’s barely growing at all.

Between 1946 and 1974, the economy grew faster than it’s grown since, on average, because the nation was creating the largest middle class in history. The overall size of the economy doubled, as did the earnings of almost everyone. CEOs rarely took home more than forty times the average worker’s wage, yet were riding high.

Third, higher taxes on the wealthy to finance public investments — better roads, bridges, public transportation, basic research, world-class K-12 education, and affordable higher education – improve the future productivity of America. All of us gain from these investments, including the wealthy.

In those years, the top marginal tax rate on America’s highest earners never fell below 70 percent. Under Republican President Dwight Eisenhower the tax rate was 91 percent. Combined with tax revenues from a growing middle class, these were enough to build the Interstate Highway system, dramatically expand public higher education, and make American public education the envy of the world.

We learned, in other words, that broadly-shared prosperity isn’t just compatible with a healthy economy that benefits everyone — it’s essential to it.

But then we forgot these lessons. "For the last three decades the American economy has continued to grow but most peoples’ earnings have gone nowhere. Since the start of the recovery in 2009, 95 percent of the gains have gone to the top 1 percent."

For starters, too many of us bought the snake oil of “supply-side” economics, which said big corporations and the wealthy are the job creators – and if we cut their taxes the benefits will trickle down to everyone else. Of course, nothing trickled down!!!!

Reich explains
"For starters, too many of us bought the snake oil of “supply-side” economics, which said big corporations and the wealthy are the job creators – and if we cut their taxes the benefits will trickle down to everyone else. Of course, nothing trickled down.

Let me repeat this remark "for starters" above; for this was the line an local UMP(right wing party in France) tried to sell me. I thought to myself he believes I'm an idiot and thinks everyone else is too. Well Nicolas Sarkozy's UMP won the french presidential election that year.  No offence intended but better safe (warned) than sorry. 

Reich concludes:
"As the gap between America’s wealthy and the middle has widened, those at the top have felt even richer by comparison. Although a rising tide would lift all boats, many of America’s richest prefer a lower tide and bigger yachts."

ROBERT B. REICH, is Chancellor’s Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley and Senior Fellow at the Blum Center for Developing Economies, was Secretary of Labor in the Clinton administration. Time Magazine named him one of the ten most effective cabinet secretaries of the twentieth century."


My attention was brought to this work  from an article "Lettre de Wall Street" - Letter from Wall Street  by Stephane Lauer in the french journal Le Monde 19 Feb 2014, Eco&Entreprise p7. 

More from S. Lauer:

La rémunération du PDG de JPMorgan a presque doublé en 2013 
President & DG salary almost doubled inspite of justace problems
Malgré les déboires judiciaires de la banque américaine, Jamie Dimon a touché 20 millions de dollars.

Une année 2013 médiocre pour JP Morgan

Bad year for JP Morgan but a great year for the Boss!!!!

Le salaire du PDG de JPMorgan a augmenté de 74 % en 2013 16 Increased salary  of 74% accepted by the board
Le conseil d'administration a accordé à Jamie Dimon lasomme totale de 20 millions de dollars, dont 18,5 millions en actions, malgré les déboires judiciaires de la plus grande banque américaine.

I shall be pleased to respond to questions concerning my treatment, following my humble effort  to eliminate a particularly nocive element from aero-engine special steels-the well named & specified as superalloys. In fact the findings were extended throughout a large range of similar materials!!!! Damnit! cf my published work in Materials Science & Technology Maney Press for IOM3.

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Public Understanding vs. Scientific Consensus via Yale

"Public understanding of climate change, however, is starkly different than the expert consensus: only 44% of Americans think global warming is both happening and human caused. " says Yale, School of Forestry & Environmental Studies.

- See more at: See More at Yale Univ. 

Heh! Come on you guys, come on Yale: When the chips are down, and they are down, who do you believe, Scientists whom you do not know and how do not pay your daily bills or Your Boss whom you know and who pays your every day lively hood!!!!

You swallow and hope maybe something will turn up and try to forget for the time being or if you are a real toughy you stick you chest out and bellow any old denial theory posing to be a hard boiled sceptical scientific enquiring mind. So it's

"BUSINESS AS USUAL"  & The boss is happy, hoping he will be in the next issue of Forbes Magazine's Worlds Richest individuals!

SEE for EXAMPLE (cf.): 

ExxonMobil Ignores IPCC Warning, Vows to Burn All Oil Reserves

You can add the strong negative message given by USA in the Huge Shale Fracking industry , huge GHG emission technique in itself and whose poor management of environmental concerns have been underlined by French Publc Television Programme "Envoye Speciale" if I remember correctly.

The public cannot lead on such an issue.  I believe only strongly led International Co-operation(s) at the highest levels can adaquatly respond to such an enormous challenge.  Suggestions I have made may be found in my previous post entitled insired by a summary by New Scientist link as follows:

 A Security Council Issue_Climate science: Why the world won't listen - opinion - 26 September 2013 - New Scientist

A Security Council Issue_Climate science: Why the world won't listen - opinion - 26 September 2013 - New Scientist

"WHEN scholars of the future write the history of climate change, they may look to early 2008 as a pivotal moment. Al Gore's film An Inconvenient Truth was bringing the science to the masses. The economist Nicholas Stern had made the financial case for tackling the problem sooner rather than later. And the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) had just issued its most unequivocal report yet on the link between human activity and climatic change.
The scientific and economic cases were made. Surely with all those facts on the table, soaring public interest and ambitious political action were inevitable?
The exact opposite happened. Fast-forward to today, the eve of the IPCC's latest report on the state of climate science, and it is clear that public concern and political enthusiasm have not kept up with the science. Apathy, lack of interest and even outright denial are more widespread than they were in 2008."
The text quote above gives an excellent summary of the difficulties encountered in tackling climate-change and the more & more hightly likely consequences.
I strongly advise readers to read the full article freely available  in the highly reputable "general public" magazine The New Scientist. (Link html below)
Climate science: Why the world won't listen - opinion - 26 September 2013 - New Scientist

I would add one further reason for communication not leading to action. It is not sufficient to simply mention that the Financial & Economic case hase been made. It too must be communicated. It is of no use making appeals to those with the lease influence- for bottom-up action aimed at an ever empoverised population spending to live, and buy, if possible a cheap polluting car if they are fortuneate.  Against this the number of the very very wealthy increases. Do these people care about CC-climate change? Are they still making "dirty money" from their polluting businesses. Having made "dirty money " what action are they taking to correct the current situation & their dire projected consequences -consequences obviouly hitting the most vulnerable!

A Top down appeal for a "Marshal Plan for European Re-construction" following  International Collabortative Action get to the top of the Agenda. The recent European Elections did nothing in this respect, Poorly communicated if communicated at all. There was one list which suggested (promised) to fight to put the equivalent of what was paid to put the Banks afloat. I voted for that list for the EU elections. Not to be too harsh with the banking profession the may need to stat afloat as the sea level are projected to rise. (And what of the insurance Co's...Natural hasard vs IPCC best prevision and physically unacted upon by the Financial Players?)

Will there is still time - on my previous posts -

Why Global Warming Will Cross a Dangerous Threshold in 2036 M.E.Mann in Scientific American_Truely Serious Stuff!

If proper work is done the the crossing of the predicted threshold in 2036 will be avoided and the improvements enacted fully tested. So now is the time for  top politicians (eg G8) and business men (eg Davos) to get their act together. This is truely Security Council issue - we are not talking about Millenium Issues.We are talking about what is to be done now and over the next 10 years, one little decade, a we decade lads & lassies.

Dam-it "Wedge-a-War"  We have just assisted at the the almost unbareable photos take on D-Day.
Millions of deaths, Thousands on the beaches, inaccurate bombing at at that time. Well 70 years on we are again faced with inacurate "bombing" so to speak.

He lies my case gentlemen. "Wedge-a-War"

Sunday, 8 June 2014

Why Global Warming Will Cross a Dangerous Threshold in 2036 M.E.Mann in Scientific American_Truely Serious Stuff!

The full article is freely available at the following link:

Why Global Warming Will Cross a Dangerous Threshold in 2036 by M.E.Mann in Scientific American.

And "irresponsible" general public press reports are quoted and fortuneately explained by Mann in his presentation of the scientific case at the following link:

Earth Will Cross the Climate Danger Threshold by 2036

"The rate of global temperature rise may have hit a plateau, but a climate crisis still looms in the near future

Emitting carbon dioxide at current rates will soon push Earth’s temperature up by 2 degrees Celsius. Here’s how to make the calculation yourself

Perception of climate change  in PNAS-Proceedings of the National Association for Science (USA) by James Hansen, et al. March 29, 2012.

Saturday, 7 June 2014

Climate change will reduce crop yields sooner than thought_Univ of Leeds via ScienceDaily

Climate change will reduce crop yields sooner than thought -- ScienceDaily

March 16, 2014
University of Leeds
Global warming of only 2 degrees Celsius will be detrimental to crops in temperate and tropical regions, researchers have determined, with reduced yields from the 2030s onwards. In the study, the researchers created a new data set by combining and comparing results from 1,700 published assessments of the response that climate change will have on the yields of rice, maize and wheat. Due to increased interest in climate change research, the new study was able to create the largest dataset to date on crop responses.

Well,well,well could we be on our road to......
Dam it, "Wedge-a-War"

ExxonMobil Ignores IPCC Warning, Vows to Burn All Oil Reserves

ExxonMobil Ignores IPCC Warning, Vows to Burn All Oil Reserves

My comment may be found in my next 2 posts. Archive this in "Wedge-a-War"

Friday, 11 April 2014

Almost half of new electricity is now clean and green reported by New Scientist's Fred Pearce.

Did I not tell you, if you do not have your own sources, & resources use my New Scientist RSS-Feed.

Almost half of new electricity is now clean and green is long awaited good news but there is still along trek ahead in an ever tightening schedule!

"That's a lot of clean power. Almost half of new electricity generation is now renewable, and the costs of wind and solar power are falling sharply. It "should give governments confidence to forge a robust climate agreement" next year, says Achim Steiner, director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
This comes a week before the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's assessment of how to prevent dangerous climate change. The IPCC will stress the importance of quickly converting to renewables.
The latest annual Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment, published today by UNEP, reveals that 44 per cent of all generating capacity installed last year around the world was renewable. That is despite a 14 per cent decline in renewables investment, and in new electricity generally.
But the politics of green energy are changing fast. China is now the world's leader, having overtaken Europe. Last year, China invested $56 billion in green power.

Going clean

The green bubble seems to have burst in cash-strapped Europe, which was the vanguard of renewable energy for more than a decade. The continent cut investment by 44 per cent.
The only big exception was the UK, which increased investment by 12 per cent despite rumblings of discontent in the governing Conservative party. For the first time, the UK outspent Germany, with projects like the giantWestermost Rough wind farm leading the way.
Japanese investment also soared, increasing by 80 per cent. This was thanks to a rush to install solar panels, after nuclear power stations were closed following the 2011 Fukushima disaster.
Renewables kept 1.2 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide from being emitted in 2013, says report author Ulf Moslener of the Frankfurt School of Finance & Management in Germany. Aside from hydroelectric dams, photovoltaic solar panels and onshore wind turbines are the biggest contributors.
The cost of generating solar power has fallen by 25 per cent since 2009, and the cost of wind power has fallen 53 per cent over the same period. As a result, the report says a growing number of such projects are being built without any subsidy. What's more, share prices in clean-energy companies, which have been in free fall since the start of the global recession, rose 54 per cent last year."