China and the Clean Energy Economy

01/29/2021 Xi Jinping gave an interesting speech at the Davos World Economic Forum. Foreign Policy magazine published a good synopsis that’s worth the time to read, as it highlights the inconsistencies between Xi’s portrayal of China versus his government’s actions. Political posturing aside, Xi’s speech is worth understanding because he signals his country’s policy objectives. … Read more

Free Speech in the Age of Big Tech

01/23/2021 We’re approaching an interesting point in debate over freedom of speech in the age of big-tech-driven social media. Social media is both liberating and destructive. Platforms enable more human interaction than ever. The ability to collaborate and exchange ideas with a broad range of people around the world is critical for our survival and … Read more

Covid-19: Jumping the Line for Vaccination?

01/01/2021 Happy New Year. 2020 was a challenging year. 2021 will have its new set of challenges. Foreign Policy reported on a story bubbling at the US State Department that certain Trump administration political appointees were jumping to the head of the line to receive covid-19 vaccinations. Of course there were official denials, but where … Read more

Media: Content Streaming Services

12/25/2020 Here’s something that happens when profit is the highest motive. The big content streaming companies aren’t what they used to be. Netflix in particular deserves opprobrium, which goes to the larger policy issue beyond what’s reported in this story from the NY Times about all the major streaming platforms taking a pass on an … Read more

Diplomacy: Fracas at the UN Human Rights Council

11/29/2020 Why would Bahrain and Syria block the appointment of Fiji’s UN ambassador, Nazhat Shameem Khan, to lead the United Nations’ Human Rights Council? Ms. Khan is a well-regarded diplomat and jurist and was reported to be on track for a consensus selection. The presidency of the UN Human Rights Council rotates annually, and for … Read more

Events: Iran – Assassination – Mohsen Fakhrizadeh

11/28/2020 Happy Thanksgiving holiday weekend. Between the pandemic, US politics, and conflicts around the world, getting some respite can be a tough proposition. Among other events, more violence in the Middle East. Are we shocked? According to news reports, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, Iran’s top nuclear scientist, was killed by terrorists. Apparently his car was ambushed by … Read more

Climate: Models Underestimate Effect

11/10/2019 Things are getting interesting … as in the purported ancient Chinese curse: “may you live in interesting times.” A recent essay in the NY Times, titled “How Scientists Got Climate Change So Wrong“, noted that because of the perceived need for consensus when proposing new theorems or predictions, scientists “tend to underestimate the severity … Read more

Deregulation Follies: Pork Plants Taking Over Inspections

04/06/2019 Over 100 years ago Sinclair Lewis wrote “The Jungle“. While the book’s main focus was an account of the grinding poverty faced by immigrants, it painted a compelling picture of conditions in America’s meatpacking industry. It wasn’t pretty. Lewis’s book struck a nerve that prompted US President Theodore Roosevelt to appoint a commission to … Read more

Environment: EPA – Clean Water Rule

08/18/2018 Nothing’s gotten big business and conservative groups all riled up like the EPA’s Clean Water Rule (aka Waters of the US, or WOTUS). The rule was adopted during the Obama administration under provisions of the Clean Water Act. It clarified and expanded the definition of wetlands and small waterways, and curbed development around waters … Read more

Energy: China – Solar – Investment

10/10/2015 The World Economic Forum blog has an interesting post that graphs the level of investment in renewable energy, comparing countries around the world. China tops the list by a long shot. I find it interesting that direct experience with choked, polluted cities was a factor in deciding how to allocate resources and investment. So … Read more