My Book Chapter on EE published by Elsevier/ New "Meta-Economics" Report on Budget Deficit Townhalls
- Friends and Colleagues,1. Book Chapter:Elsevier has just published Sustainable Communities Design Handbook, Green Engineering, Architecture and Technology to which I contributed a chapter "Achieving More with Less: The State of Energy Conservation and Energy Efficiency". My chapter serves as an introduction to the topic of energy efficiency, looks at a variety of energy efficient technologies (including passive house), mostly focused on buildings but also skimming through transportation as well. Editor Woody (Woodrow) Clark has brought together social scientists, engineers and policy analysts to write case studies on sustainable practices in the US and to give an overview of policy, particularly in the area of energy and design.You can review the contents and purchase the book or individual chapters from the publisher's website:or electronic copies via ScienceDirect:2. Report and Commentary on Anti-Budget Deficit Campaign/Townhall at Meta-economicsI've just posted two posts for my "Meta-economics" blog on my experience at one of the citizen's "townhalls" organized by AmericaSpeaks. These public events which apparently attracted 3500 people across the country involved polling via RF response keypads where we were supposed to decide on how to cut budget deficits. I went as someone who is alarmed by how the push to cut budget deficits might both derail the economy in general, gut our minimal welfare state, and derail clean energy efforts in the US.The first post is an account of the townhall and how it worked:The second post is a reflection on how the Townhall can be viewed as an example of a concept I invented "folk economics" or "popular economics", i.e. non-professional economists' views on how economies workThe last couple paragraphs:
The Misuse of Civic and Individual Virtue
In the end, my take on the "Our Budget, Our Economy" Townhall and by extension the work of the budget deficit commissions as evidenced so far is that civic and individual virtue is being called upon to solve the wrong problem at the wrong time. Some people, rightly, would like to live a more virtuous life and not to rely on debt as much in their own businesses and lives. However, at this time, to repay debts, we must have an economy that generates income and jobs.
Additionally, Americans and those in other developed nations might plausibly and beneficially sacrifice some of their more fleeting pleasures for forward-looking causes like a more sustainable economy and energy-use system. The Townhall and anti-deficit campaigners are looking to opportunistically collect these sentiments and impulses and yoke them to a cause that does the economy and the long-run deficit little or no good and risks doing the economy some serious long-term damage. I hope to establish here at Meta-economics that virtue that is ignorant of science or our best organized knowledge is no virtue at all.
Your thoughts and comments are greatly appreciated!
Terraverde - Energizing Green Markets
Belmont, CA 94002