Category Archives: Economy

Are Robots Going to Hurt or Help? Let’s Talk Driverless Cars with Jennifer Granholm

8232Imagine a not-too-distant future where gasoline-powered engines disappear and we all travel in electric, driverless cars that don’t pollute the air. And, a future where the actual number of cars on the road decreases because we’ll all participate in a transportation sharing service rather than owning our own vehicles. That’s the vision presented by former Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm in this energetic talk to the Goldman School of Public Policy as she describes its financial and environmental advantages but also outlines the new policy challenges. Among them, how to retrain professional drivers? What to do with empty parking lots? And how to replace the tax revenue generated by gas sales? Granholm’s eye-opening peek into the next decade will give you lots to think about next time you’re stuck in traffic.

Watch now: Are Robots Going to Hurt or Help? Let’s Talk Driverless Cars with Jennifer Granholm

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Food Justice: Economics, Ethics, Access

8232What a group! You know you’re watching something special when Dolores Huerta, the legendary co-founder of the United Farm Workers and Rose Hayden-Smith, the PhD author who writes the UC Food Observer blog are flanked by passionate leaders in healthcare, social justice, and organic farming – all talking about the policies and politics that lead to food deserts and swamps in some communities and abundance in others. Gathered in the historic Star Theatre in Oceanside, California, this lively panel led by Michelle Lerach of the Berry Good Food Foundation will inspire many to plant their own gardens, share their green bounty and engage on issues that address the most fundamental human need – healthy food for a thriving planet.

Watch Food Justice: Economics, Ethics, Access

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What’s Next for NAFTA?

8232Will he or won’t he? After months of threatening to scrap the North American Free Trade Agreement, whispers from the White House now suggest that President Trump may be backing off this prominent campaign pledge. But we’re still hearing about GOP support for a Border Adjustment Tax and other proposals that would fundamentally alter the
trade, security and diplomatic relationships among the three partners, Mexico, Canada and the United States.

To get a sense of what’s at stake, the Center for US-Mexican Studies at UC San Diego convened an A-list group of experts, including the New York Times’ Elisabeth Malkin, the Wall Street Journal’s Dudley Althaus, former Homeland Security Asst. Secretary Alan Bersin, former US Ambassador to Mexico Jeffrey Davidow and other academic, government and business leaders for robust and informative discussions on the issues that shape, and challenge, this landmark trade agreement.

Watch What’s Ahead for NAFTA

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Bernie Channeling Bob!

8232So, you like Bernie? Does his campaign pledge to address income inequality appeal to you? Then you should check out what former Labor Secretary Robert Reich has to say about how the basic rules of capitalism are stacked in favor of those at the top and what can be done to shape market forces so that more people share in economic prosperity.

Watch Saving Capitalism: For the Many, Not the Few with Robert Reich.

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Economic Growth or the Environment? A False Choice

8232The Industrial Revolution ushered in fundamental change. The global economy and prosperity grew exponentially, primarily through the use of vast amounts of fossil fuels.

Science, particularly climate science, has shown that our current course of a fossil-based economy is unsustainable but our society is often presented with a dilemma. Should we continue our exponential economic growth based on fossil fuels and ignore the environment, or should we reduce our greenhouse gas emissions at the cost of our economic growth?

Arun Majumdar, who once held the title of Vice President for Energy at Google and is now a Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Stanford University, argues that this is a false choice because it is based on extrapolating the past and does not account for the capacity of research in science and engineering to create a new industrial revolution for a sustainable energy future.

Majumdar was the founding Director of the Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E), where he served till June 2012. He looks at some of the research going on around the country that will allow us to support both the undeniable coming population growth and the economic growth we all want. Where will our energy come from in the future and how much will it cost? Solar, wind, biofuels, or something entirely new like tobacco oil? Storage may be the key but we still need to get the cost down and the scale up. And, when we are making the necessary energy what will need to happen to our aging power grid? As Mujumdar says, “If it does not violate the laws of science, we give it a shot.”

The future is upon us. See how we might power it.

Watch Energy and the Industrial Revolution: Past, Present and Future, with Arun Majumdar.

Browse more programs from the Institute for Energy Efficiency.

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