Systems Thinking

2006 was something of a banner year for both beekeepers and growers. A high fraction of beekeepers experienced better than 50% losses. Many growers could not rent bees at any price. Lots of almond groves in California went without pollination that year, and, as with many species of nuts, if the pollen isn’t carried over […]

James Hamblin, MD, at The Atlantic, here,  writes, The list of effective antibiotics has been dwindling as the bacteria became resistant, and now it’s down to one. Five years ago, the CDC said fluoroquinolones were no longer effective, but oral cephalosporins were still a common/easy treatment. Now injected ceftriaxone is the only recommended effective drug […]

At the 6th Annual Babson Energy Conference, “Energy, Environment, & Entrepreneurship: Challenging Assumptions, Changing Perceptions”, here, held March 30, 2012, Cimbria Badenhausen, (LinkedIn), an alum of the Marlboro College MBA in Managing for Sustainability, asked Tahmid Mizan, Senior Planning Advisor of Exxon Mobil, “Are you an ENERGY company or a PETROLEUM company?” Mr. Mizan, of […]

  Tweet On Nov 2, 2011, Senator Tom Udall of New Mexico introduced a Constitutional Amendment that would overturn the Citizens United decision of the Supreme Court (Technorati / WSJ). The managers of Bank of America, who accepted $45 billion in TARP money, and decided to pay back its customers with a $5 per month […]

What would I #AskObama (on Twitter or in person)? 1: #AskObama Economists think in terms of resources. How do we change the conversation to think in terms of processes, systems, interactions? 2: #AskObama Neoclassical Economics: Resources & Wastes. Ecological Economics: Systems: Stocks, Flows, Processes. Burn Coal: Fuel ergo Waste. Solar: No fuel ergo no waste. […]

Tweet After Chernobyl, Hans Bethe, pictured at left, said “the Chernobyl disaster tells us about the deficiencies of the Soviet political and administrative system rather than about problems with nuclear power” (PBS).  Dr. Bethe is right.  Managing nuclear power and our energy infrastructure is not limited to physics and engineering. It also involves economics, human […]

Tweet    During the Great Depression the Classical Economists said “Unemployment is voluntary. Business owners will not voluntarily keep the means of production idle.”  While he had been a student of classical economics, John Maynard Keynes observed that the data didn’t fit the theory. And, he reasoned, if the observable data don’t fit the theory, […]

Are there differences between Fukushima Dai-ichi and Chernobyl? And is Fukushima worse than Chernobyl? A teenager might say “Du-uh!” My friends from Brooklyn might ask “Is the Pope Catholic?” Even “Snooki” and “The Situation” might ask “Are you stoopid or what?” But the people at CNN, ProPublica and the NY Times are asking nuclear power […]

Tweet “Join me in setting a new goal:  By 2035, 80 percent of America’s electricity will come from clean energy sources.”  – President Barack Obama, State of the Union, January 25, 2011. When a mouse makes noise, only other mice and local cats take notice. When a lion roars, however, everyone notices; other lions, elephants, […]

Chicago, Illinois based Exelon Corporation recently announced that it will close the Oyster Creek nuclear power plant in 2019. (NY Times, AP). Oyster Creek, in Lacey, New Jersey, is the nation’s oldest operating nuclear power plant. It’s roughly 75 miles south of New York City and 60 miles east of Philadelphia. Exelon was recently […]

The Furman Paradox: “You want to be ahead of the curve, but not too far ahead. When the word on the street is sell, and you understand something others don’t, it may be time to buy. And remember, it’s a systems phenomenon, look for the feedback.” The Cornick Postulate: “There are things that seem too […]

“Microsoft sells different flavors of soda. Apple sells water, coffee, tea, beer, wine, vodka, cheese, meats, breads, … and it also sells soda.” Stock Price and Corporate Valuations On Oct. 28, 2010, Apple closed at 305.24, about 4% below its the historic high of 319, reached on October 18, 2010. Apple’s earnings per share, EPS, […]

In 100 years our descendants will not be burning coal, oil, natural gas or using nuclear fission.  They might be using terrestrial nuclear fusion.  They will be using solar, wind, geothermal, marine current hydro, tidal energy systems – clean, renewable, sustainable energy systems. No fuel: No Waste. No mines, mills, wells, spills. No arsenic, lead, […]

Tiger Woods may be a great golfer. But I wouldn’t buy a mortgage from him. Here’s why. (click to stream audio) Economics II: Macroeconomics and Political Economy The way for the government to stimulate the economy and to avoid or climb out of a Depression, as John Maynard Keynes wrote, and as President Franklin Delano […]

Abstract. By burning fossil fuels we have put 3.6 trillion tons of Carbon Dioxide, CO2 in the atmosphere1 in the last 200 years – most in the last 60. This has changed the concentration of atmospheric CO2 from 270 parts per Million, ppm, to 390 ppm, an increase of approximately 31%. This increase of atmospheric […]