Dozens of governors, including Charlie Baker, are getting letters from the business community today in a show of support for President Obama’s limits on carbon pollution from power plants: In an unprecedented show of business support for tackling climate change, 365 companies and investors sent letters today to more than two-dozen governors across the United States voicing their support for the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan for existing power plants and encouraging the state’s “timely finalization” of state implementation plans to meet the new standards. The letter, organized by sustainability advocacy group Ceres, comes just days before the expected finalization of the rule aimed at reducing U.S. power plant carbon pollution by 30 percent by 2030. “Our support is firmly grounded in economic reality,” wrote the businesses, including industry giants such as General Mills, Mars Inc., Nestle, Staples, Unilever and VF Corporation. “Clean energy solutions are cost effective and innovative ways to drive investment and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Increasingly, businesses rely on renewable energy and energy efficiency solutions to cut costs and improve corporation performance.” Great to see Framingham-headquartered Staples on the list! But … where are Boston-based Gillette and New Balance? Waltham-headquartered Raytheon? What about Boston- and Hartford-based Eversource Energy (the former Northeast […]
Well how about this: This is a very good, simple, canny and aggressive framing of the issue. I remain shocked that more climate people and even the President seem reluctant to take the polemical offensive, rather than simply the science from bad-faith attack. That’s a waste of time. The best defense is a good offense. As for the substance … your’re not going to save the world with solar panels, although you’re also not going to save it without solar panels. if you’re not putting a price on carbon — and there are a lot of ways to skin that cat — we’re facing an unmanageable catastrophe. She’s been supportive of Obama’s efforts on energy, and I’m not as exercised about her remarks on Keystone XL as some might be. She probably knows a lot more about the administration’s plans than she lets on — or can let on. James Hansen is particularly dismissive of her strategy, and he’s been right about a lot of things for a long time. “It’s just plain silly,” said James Hansen, a climate change researcher who headed Nasa’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies for over 30 years. “No, you cannot solve the problem without […]
There is no arguing with the pretenders to a divine knowledge and to a divine mission. They are possessed with the sin of pride, they have yielded to the perennial temptation. –Walter Lippman Mainstream journalism is in crisis. The old revenue model of selling advertising in printed papers doesn’t work well in the digital age. Television and internet news sources have sped up the news cycle to the point that the morning paper is 24 hours too late. The demand for scoops is greater. With this increased competition is a loss of a near monopoly on information. Once upon a time, a lot of information just didn’t exist. If it wasn’t in the newspapers, it wasn’t known by the broader public. Journalist Walter Lippmann made this argument in the first chapter of Public Opinion (1922). Until the advent of cable news and the 24-hour news cycle, newspapers decided what qualified as news. Since the advent of the internet as a news medium, newspapers are often playing catch up. And catching up isn’t easy. Just ask the New York Times. Trying really, really hard to find a scandal in Hillary Clinton’s emails from when she was Secretary of State, the Times ended up screwing […]
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Speaking from an apartment of one of the Kickoff House Parties Sen Bernie Sanders addressed more than 100,000 attendees at 3500 different venues in all fifty states. I hosted an event on Nantucket as an out-islander, but the house held as many as it could with 21 people, all women except 2 males(including me). He struck a chord with both those in their 20s or thirties as well as those over 65. We had house guests, 2 of whom usually vote for Republicans. They were impressed with energy of their fell attendees, and all except 1 signed up to volunteer to work for the campaign. The event was easy to set up, and was a masterpiece of organization. Using tools from berniesanders.com communication was no sweat, and if technical questions arose, an email address firstname.lastname@example.org returned answers within minutes to a few hours. They even gave prompt feedback when they would get an answer to you. We had participants from Nantucket, elsewhere in Ma, Ca, NY, Pa, and Me. I was absolutely floored, and did not expect so many people would show up. It was a great night. Some pics are here .
Governor’s MBTA panel provided virtually no support for its recommendation to restrict the Pacheco Law
(Cross-posted from The COFAR Blog) The Governor’s Special Panel to Review the MBTA earlier this year made some reasonable proposals to better manage the MBTA. But the Panel report’s recommendation to remove the MBTA from the Pacheco Law’s jurisdiction appears to us to have been a misstep; and the report spent less than a sentence in explaining the rationale for its recommendation. Based in part on the Panel’s recommendation, the Legislature suspended the Pacheco Law’s provisions for three years with regard to the MBTA, thereby removing an important means of ensuring long-term cost-effectiveness in privatizing services at the T. The Pacheco Law’s stated intent is “to ensure that citizens of the commonwealth receive high quality services at low cost.” The Special Panel’s report asserted, however, that “the MBTA is inhibited by the Pacheco Law from procuring private, cost-effective services…” That latter statement, which appears to constitute the sum total of the Panel’s discussion of the Pacheco Law, appears to be at odds with the stated purpose of the statute. There is no additional comment in the report about the impact of the law — not even an explanation of what the law does. Moreover, as discussed below, the Special Panel did not appear to have consulted with state agencies that oversee procurement of supplies and services in Massachusetts, in preparing […]
Who is in control of the United States of America? Who makes the decisions to go to war, to provide (or deny) health care, create tax loopholes, and create budgets? It’s not the 1%. If it was the 1%, that would be a figure that we all might be able to understand and accept. It’s not even the .1%. , it’s the .01% and that number is so small, it’s difficult to relate to. Try this at your next BBQ/Summer Gathering to illustrate how small the minority is that is controlling the government, the media, the election process, and who has taken all the gains in wealth in the past 40 years. We’ll assume that all in attendance graduated from a typical US high school. The average graduating class size is about 1,000 seniors. With a show of hands, ask how many people recall a billionaire or multimillionaire that attended their last class reunion. If it was 1%, everyone in attendance would be able to list ten billionaires or multimillionaires. If there were 25 people at the BBQ, that’s 250 individuals that your gathering could name. If it was .1%, there would be 25 names. But it’s not even as […]
All you Olympics fans can stop the self-pity now. The BBJ asked the PR experts. Below are a sample of their responses: And what they had to say about it all should help ease the fear of those here who might feel that the city’s overall brand was irreparably damaged after the USOC abruptly pulled the city’s bid to host the 2024 Olympics. “Personally, I think it has a zero-to-slightly positive impact,” Jim Joyal, partner at SHIFT Communications said about Boston’s unsuccessful Olympic bid. “I think the message that Boston has a fiscally responsible mayor whose decisions are driven by responsibility versus ‘romance’ can only garner respect.” “The impact will be minimal, I believe,” said Jim Farrell, president of PR First. “Although the Olympics might have brought excitement and revenue to the region, we should not fault our officials for insisting on due diligence before signing on the dotted line.” “We are Boston Strong. Agree or not with the outcome, that is the Boston the world knows,” Solomon McCown & Co. CEO Helene Solomon said. An ancillary point made, with which I agree, is that Mayor Walsh came out of this smelling like a rose. The IOC and USOC, by pulling the bid made excellent scapegoats.
In the wake of the USOC pulling out of the Boston 2024 Olympic bid, we are already seeing a narrative form that Boston likes things small, is too provincial to think globally, and is scared of wide scale city changing projects. I would argue against this, the Olympics was the wrong project at the wrong place at the wrong time. But there are other places we can look to for inspiration when it comes to fixing our infrastructure. New York is showing us what real leadership on infrastructure looks like. It has taken what has been an eyesore that has become a national punchline and committed itself to completely transforming that out of date airport into a 21st century transportation hub. Fully linked to mass transit including new rail lines, bus terminals, and a direct ferry service to Manhattan. Travelers would also have better options to get to La Guardia; Mr. Cuomo said the plan called for a rail link between the airport and a subway station in the Willets Point section of Queens, as well as re-establishing ferry service to the airport. It would also significantly decrease delays, like the O’Hare expansion has in Chicago, by reconfiguring the flight […]
There’s an enormous amount of commentary regarding the decision to withdraw Boston’s bid to host the 2024 Olympics. I’ll leave it to you, diligent reader, to dig out your favorite bits and post them here as the day wears on. I’m going to focus on the column by the Globe’s Shirley Leung, perhaps the media’s most stalwart advocate of bringing the Olympics here. She gets a couple of things exactly right, but then draws the wrong conclusion. In a long-ago era, a cabal of businessmen worked with mayors behind the scenes to impose their vision on the city. It was known as the Vault, and it seemed that former Boston 2024 chairman John Fish and the United States Olympic Committee unwittingly followed their playbook. This is correct, except that I’d question the use of the word “unwittingly.” Rather, I think that this is precisely how Boston 2024 was planning to operate. It apparently never occurred to the Pooh-Bahs who appointed themselves the masters of Boston’s future that things don’t work that way anymore, and that the people of Boston might actually have something to say about it. It also never occurred to them that the drastically changed media landscape since […]