Saturday, November 21, 2020

biodegradable plastic alternative!


"Winding together long and thin bamboo fibers with short and thick bagasse fibers to form a tight network, the team molded containers from the two materials that were mechanically stable and biodegradable.

The new green tableware is not only strong enough to hold liquids as plastic does and cleaner than biodegradables made from recycled materials that might not be fully de-inked, but also starts decomposing after being in the soil for 30-45 days and completely loses its shape after two months."


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 The plastics industry doesn't care that the world is drowning in plastic, where microplastics have been found in the highest elevations and lowest ocean depths, never to degrade.  Something has to be done.

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Let's dump the fantasy of perpetual economic growth


Even aside from the existential threat of ecological and economic collapse as we deplete resources, destroy biodiversity and heat up the planet, the assumption that economic growth generally makes us all better off is increasingly questioned. 

Developing countries tend to have high growth rates, as more people have disposable income and more markets open for consumer goods. But in industrialized countries, growth generally slows, and efforts to speed it up don't necessarily result in a better standard of living for most people. 

The work of economists like Thomas Piketty, author of "Capital in the Twenty-First Century" (which was not only lauded for compiling the most comprehensive data on wealth disparity to date, but was also a surprise bestseller), has shown that over recent decades, ordinary wages in industrialized countries like the US have stopped rising in line with productivity and growth. 

The benefits of economic growth have increasingly been going to the super-rich, with the divide between rich and poor yawning ever wider. 

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Yep.  Even just thinking about it logically, growth cannot continue exponentially when you have finite resources.


Sunday, November 8, 2020

Canada goes for a basic income test, and it works


"ot only did those who received the money spend fewer days homeless than those in the control group, they had also moved into stable housing after an average of three months, compared to those in the control group, who took an average of five months.

Those who received the money also managed it well over the course of a year."


The fear has always been that poor people will just blow the money you give them. Turns out this is not true.  Time for a reset.