Thursday, January 26, 2017

CREA (Cayman Renewable Energy Association) / UCCI Solar Course

CREA (Cayman Renewable Energy Association) in conjunction with UCCI will be holding a renewable energy installation course as listed below.

Week 1 January 30 -February 3 Intermediate Solar Design and Installation course level 1 - 8 to 12 noon and 1pm to 4pm for 5 days
Week 2 No classes
Week 3 February 13-17 Intermediate Solar Design and Installation course level 2 - 8 to 12noon and 1pm to 4pm for 5 days

There will be no weekend or night classes.

Trump’s Crony Cabinet May Look Strong, but They Are Scared

Trump’s Crony Cabinet May Look Strong, but They Are Scared

There’s junk-banker Steve Mnuchin, Trump’s pick for Treasury secretary, whose lawless “foreclosure machine” kicked tens of thousands of people out of their homes.

And from junk mortgages to junk food, there’s Trump’s pick for labor secretary, Andrew Puzder. As CEO of his fast-food empire, it wasn’t enough to pay workers an abusive, non-livable wage. Several lawsuits also accuse his company of stealing workers’ wages by failing to pay for their labor and overtime.

And moving from junk food to junk science, there is Trump’s pick for secretary of state, Rex Tillerson. As an executive and then CEO of Exxon, his company bankrolled and amplified garbage science and lobbied fiercely against meaningful international climate action behind the scenes. In no small part because of these efforts, the world lost decades when we should have been kicking our fossil-fuel habit, and instead vastly accelerated the climate crisis. Because of these choices, countless people on this planet are already losing their homes to storms and rising seas, already losing their lives in heat waves and droughts, and millions will ultimately see their homelands disappear beneath the waves. As usual, the people impacted worst and first are the poorest, overwhelmingly black and brown.

So what do we do about it? First, we always remember their weaknesses, even as they exercise raw power. The reason the mask has fallen off, and we now are witnessing undisguised corporate rule is not because these corporations felt all-powerful; it’s because they were panicked.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Failing States, Collapsing Systems: BioPhysical Triggers of Political Violence - Exercpt

Since the 2008 financial crash, the world has witnessed an unprecedented outbreak of social protest in every major continent.

Beginning with the birth of the Occupy movement in the US and Western Europe, and the Arab Spring, the eruption of civil unrest has continued to wreak havoc unpredictably from Greece to Ukraine, from China to Thailand, from Brazil to Turkey, and beyond. In some regions, civil unrest has coalesced into the collapse of incumbent governments or even the eruption of a prolonged state of internecine warfare, as is happening in Iraq-Syria and Ukraine-Crimea.

To what extent is this apparent heightening of geopolitical instability new? Increasing public dissatisfaction with government is correlated with continued government difficulties in meeting public expectations. Yet while policymakers and media observers have raced to keep up with events, they have largely missed the deeper causes of this new age of unrest—the end of the age of cheap fossil fuels, and its multiplying consequences for economic growth, industrial food production, and the Earth’s climate stability."

From "Failing States, Collapsing Systems: BioPhysical Triggers of Political Violence (SpringerBriefs in Energy) by Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed

Sunday, January 1, 2017

The Great Change: A Journey to Standing Rock

The Great Change: A Journey to Standing Rock: "This story was sent to us on the day before Christmas by Eric Lewis. It seemed like the best way to end one year and start another, o...

Sunday, November 13, 2016

True Freedom Comes With Basic Income

I attended a national economic conference in New York in 2015, and in one of the presentations, the speaker presented the following claim: human trafficking is not so much a criminal issue as it is an economic vulnerability issue, and therefore the best tool we have to strike at the very root of the problem, is a universal basic income.
This idea of a basic income guarantee — an amount of money given to all without any conditions aside from mostly citizenship (and perhaps age) — is an idea that has been around for centuries and yet only recently is really starting to noticeably catch fire in the minds of the public at large. It is being referred to in such terms as “an idea whose time has come”, “an end to poverty”, and “venture capital for the people.” Fast Company has dubbed it a “bipartisan world changing idea.” The New York Times has even asked, “Why Not Utopia?” in light of growing warnings of structural unemployment due to accelerating technological advancements like self-driving cars and artificial intelligence. Outlet after outlet is beginning to seriously discuss this policy once considered outside the Overton Window of political possibility.
So what’s all the fuss? Is basic income really that powerful of an idea?
The short answer is yes, it really is that powerful of an idea. It’s such a powerful idea for the same reason it has even been suggested in a conference full of economists as the best tool for reducing human trafficking. That reason is actually quite simple, but very far reaching. As long as we face starvation and homelessness, we are at the whims of others.
This is the face of economic vulnerability and it lies at the very heart of a great deal of systemic issues. Think for a moment about what difference it would make in your own life, to be guaranteed $1,000 would always appear in your bank account, at the beginning of every month, for the rest of your life, no matter what you did. How would that money change your life? How would it affect the decisions you face every day? How would it affect your relationships with others from your boss to your spouse? How would it affect your choices?
Consider that word: “choice.” What is choice, really? When it comes to any real choice in life, what it all boils down to is the ability to simply say “No.” Without that ability, nothing is truly voluntary. All work isn’t voluntary. All relationships aren’t voluntary. All market exchanges aren’t voluntary. The choices we make that we think are choices aren’t truly voluntary whenever the option to say “No” is off the table. Therein lies the full potential of the idea of a universal basic income and it lays bare the lack of power many of us are under the illusion of having. Having a basic income creates the ability to look someone in the eye who holds more power than you, and firmly say, “No. Not today. Not until things change. These are my terms. Take them or leave them.” More

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Population Matters

On a finite planet, nothing physical can grow indefinitely. The more of us there are, the fewer resources there are for each of us and for members of other species with which we share the planet.   The challenge of sustainability   The question of human population size is fundamentally one of sustainability. Only resources that can be sustained indefinitely can support humanity in the long term. Given this limitation, we must consider carefully our consumption, what living standards are acceptable, what technologies make best use of the resources available and how to maintain the ecosystems on which we depend. We are already eating into our capital: according to the World Wildlife Fund / Global Footprint Network Living Planet Report, we are collectively consuming the renewable resources of approximately 1.5 Earths, although people in the developed world consume much more than people in developing countries.   Clustered houses   There are no magic numbers — only trade-offs. Any given area of land can sustain many more very low-consuming poor people at bare subsistence level than high-consuming rich people living like millionaires. Population will certainly stop growing at some point. This will either be sooner by fewer births — the humane way of informed individual decision-making on family size — or later by more deaths — the natural, inhumane way of famine, disease and predation or war. There is no third alternative of indefinite growth. More