Early Headlines: Energy Revolution, Worms Fight Global Warming, Japan Growth Picks Up, Another City Goes to $15 Min. Wage and More

May 20th, 2015
in News, econ_news

Early Bird Headlines 20 May 2015

Econintersect: Here are some of the headlines we found to help you start your day. For more headlines see our afternoon feature for GEI members, What We Read Today, which has many more headlines and a number of article discussions to keep you abreast of what we have found interesting.


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  • The Great Transition: Shifting from Fossil Fuels to Solar and Wind Energy (Energy Policy Institute) The energy transition is here. As fossil fuel resources shrink, as air pollution worsens, and as concerns about climate instability cast a shadow over the future of coal, oil, and natural gas, a new world energy economy is emerging. The old economy, fueled largely by coal and oil, is being replaced with one powered by solar and wind energy. This revolution will not happen because of regulation, government edicts or anything but pure market forces, according to legendary statistician and environmental analyst Lester R. Brown, co-author Emily Adams, and contributors Janet Larson and J. Matthew Roney. Order book from Amazon here and GEI receives a nominal commission.
  • Some Countries Have Become Less Unequal (Bloomberg) Income inequality has declined in a handful of countries in the Asia-Pacific region.
  • The diet of worms: Soil-dwellers emerge as climate change heroes in study (Al Jazeera) Worms and other small soil-dwelling animals eat microbes that trigger climate-warming carbon emissions according to a Yale-led study. So worms will save the planet?


  • Los Angeles follows Seattle in $15 hourly minimum wage (BBC News) The LA City Council voted 14-1 to pass the law in a victory for the national campaign to raise wages for low-paid workers. Seattle and San Francisco have already agreed to increase the minimum wage to $15 by 2017 and 2018 respectively.
  • Airbag Recall Widens to 34 Million Cars as Takata Admits Defects (The New York Times) Tuesday, in an about-face, Takata admitted that its airbags were defective and agreed to double the number of vehicles recalled in the United States, to nearly 34 million - or about one in seven of the more than 250 million vehicles on American roads - making it the largest automotive recall in American history. The company had denied for a decade that their product was defective.


  • Stiglitz: Greece Euro Zone Exit Very Serious for Europe (Bloomberg) Prof. Stiglitz says the EU program for Greece is a disaster and if the EU cannot learn from this (and he says they haven't) there is no other end game for Greece but to leave the EU. And that he says is then end of the EU because it will be a demonstration that the European Union is a temporary arrangement.


  • Ramadi battle: Iraq calls for volunteers for IS fight (BBC News) A cabinet statement said a voluntary recruitment drive was necessary to fill shortages in squads in the west of Anbar province. Thousands have fled Ramadi since its capture by IS on Sunday. Meanwhile, the US National Security Council said it was considering "how best to support local ground forces".



  • How an American With a Knack for Math Saved India From Famine (Bloomberg) Lester Brown, 81, has spent his career making shrewd projections about the food, water, and energy people need to survive, and pushing governments to respond. None of this math brings tears to his eyes except the time in 1965 he made some calculations and risked his career advising the president of the United States to save India from starving.


  • Hundreds of migrants land in Indonesia (Al Jazeera) Citizens act when their government won't. Indonesian fishermen have brought hundreds of Rohingya and Bangladeshi migrants to shore in Indonesia's northwestern Aceh province.


  • Rohingya Crisis: Malaysia Hosts Talks on Migrants (Bloomberg) Malaysia is hosting talks of South Asia countries involved in the Rohingya refugee problem arising by the ethnic group from northern Myranmar fleeing persecution. The outlook is not promising while the migrants are dying of malnutrition and dehydration on boats that are not allowed to land.



  • Japan's economy grows faster than expected (BBC News) Japan's economy grew faster than expected between January and March, boosting hopes that the recovery from last year's recession is taking hold. The economy expanded 0.6% in the period compared to the previous quarter, marking its second consecutive quarter of growth (2.4% annualized). The annualized growth rate had been expected to be +1.5%. This is the second consecutive quarter of expansion after last year's 01 April tax hike drove the economy off the tracks for the second and third quarters.



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