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posted on 05 June 2016

Early Headlines: Tapping Ocean Currents, CEOs Rip Off Shareholders, Guaranteed Basic Income, Nerds Make More Money, Ganges Endangered, China's Demographics, 1.6 Mn Brazilians In Toxic Waste And More

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Early Bird Headlines 05 June 2016

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.



  • What Works for Wind Power Could Also Work Under the Sea (Bloomberg) Aquantis, a Santa Barbara, Calif., company, will start deploying turbines in 2018 in ocean waters near Wales and the Isle of Wight. Its most ambitious project is a 200-megawatt field of marine turbines in the strong Gulf Stream off the coast of Florida, due to come online in 2019 or 2020. The world's oceans remain relatively untapped as an energy source, compared with wind and solar. By 2030, Aquantis' Jim Dehlsen (who has successfully built two wind turbine companies) says, marine energy could serve 8% or 9% of U.S. power needs:

"The oceans are the major remaining potential for renewable energy. Getting on that now is really urgent."


I think that a UBI is our only hope to deal with a coming labor market unlike any in human history and that it represents our best hope to revitalize American civil society.

  • Revenge of the nerds (The Economist) The economies of the rich world increasingly depend upon skilled workers, and college degrees are in high demand. In 1972 a university-educated man aged 25-34 could expect to earn 22% more than a peer without a degree, according to the Urban Institute, a think-tank. Today that premium has risen to 70%. But if university pays, its benefits are not spread evenly across all graduates. A new report from PayScale, a research firm, calculates the returns to higher education in American universities. Its authors compare the career earnings of college graduates with the present-day cost of a degree at their alma maters, after taking account of financial aid.


  • Falluja: The American and Iraqi 'graveyard' (CNN) Falluja has experienced years of constant conflict. It has suffered more than any other city in Iraq. And it is suffering again as Iraqi forces are trying to end ISIS occupation that has lasted almost 2 1/2 years. There are estimates that as many as 50,000 civilians still remain in the city as bombing, bombardment and heavy fighting ensues.


  • 'Gangotri glacier retreated by 3 km in two centuries' (The Hindu) Scientists say dwindling snowfall affects volume of water fed to the Bhagirathi, the main source of the Ganga (Ganges), which water is crucial for life in India. The rate of shrinkage has almost doubled in the last 50 years (graph below) and the volume of ice in the glacier has decreased by nearly 20% since 2001. The main cause of the disappearing glaciation is decline in snowfall, which is augmented by temperature rise.


  • Philippine president-elect urges public to kill drug dealers (Associated Press) The Philippine president-elect has encouraged the public to help him in his war against crime and urged citizens with guns to shoot and kill drug dealers who would resist arrest and fight back. Rodrigo Duterte told a huge crowd celebrating his presidential victory late Saturday in the southern city of Davao that Filipinos who would help him in the bloody war against criminality would be rewarded.


  • In pushback to U.S., China says 'has no fear of trouble' in South China Sea (Reuters) China rebuffed U.S. pressure to curb its activity in the South China Sea on Sunday, restating its sovereignty over most of the disputed territory and saying it "has no fear of trouble". On the last day of Asia's biggest security summit in Singapore, Admiral Sun Jianguo said China will not be bullied, including over a pending international court ruling over its claims in the vital trade route. The U.S.has stated it will defend Philippines as they seek to end a 4-year occupation by China of an island within philippines' 200-mile territorial limit. The island is about 1,000 miles from the closest China historically occupied land (Hainan Island).

  • What Does China's Demographic "Problem" Mean? (Dean Baker, Center for Economic and Policy Research) DB has contributed to GEI. Dean Baker says "not much". See More Nonsense on China's Demography. The motivation for this latest article follows below.

  • How China Fell Off the Miracle Path (The New York Times) There are lot's of good graphics (and discussion) in this article but the graph below is what got Dean Baker going. (Preceding article.)


  • Cuba will never rejoin OAS over Venezuela row, says Castro (BBC News) Cuban President Raul Castro says the country will not return to the Organization of American States (OAS) in a show of solidarity with Venezuela. OAS Secretary General Luis Almargo has called for sanctions against Venezuela. At a summit of Caribbean countries in Havana, Mr Castro called the OAS "an instrument of imperialist domination".


  • 1.6 million Brazilians struggle to recover from Fundão toxic waste spill (Mongabay) Seven months after the Fundão iron mine tailings dam failed, roughly 1.6 million people who live along the length of the Rio Doce river in Southeast Brazil continue struggling not only with the health risks associated with heavy metals in their water, but with a deep crisis of confidence in the public institutions that are supposed to keep them safe, and with the large industrial corporations that share their communities. Some of the horrific damage done to the Rio Doce by the Samarco tailings dam collapse is shown below. Photo by Romerito Pontes from São Carlos licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

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