Shrink the Gap. Support the Gas Tax

The Energy Challenge,” by Stephen F. DeAngelis, Enterprise Resilience Management Blog, 12 June 2006, http://enterpriseresilienceblog.typepad.com/enterprise_resilience_man/2006/06/the_energy_chal.html.

First, the reality:

Of course, China could buy state-of-the-art equipment that helps reduce the pollution created by coal-fired plants, but it fears that doing so could put the brakes on its economy, something it believes it can’t do at this stage of its development. As a result, it buys antiquated equipment from local manufacturers, burns indigenous coal, and refuses to ask consumers to pay for measures that could protect their health. The article estimates that 400,000 people a year die in China from pollution-related illnesses. As its population ages and the long-term effects of pollution begin to kick in, the piper that China refuses to pay today will cost even more tomorrow in health care costs and subsequent productivity reductions.

In Beijing and Tianjin, I saw the face of pollution. But even I didn’t see the 400,000 dead in Zhongguo per year. I am lucky I was merely robbed of the sky for a month, not my life like that annual half-million. I was merely sent to the Emergency Room.

Next, the hope. (Hint: it’s a geogreen gas tax).

With oil prices continuing to break records, the time is rapidly approaching when it will become economically feasible to pursue alternative fuels. Despite the pain we feel at the pumps, the benefits of increasing our use of alternative fuels will be worth it in the long run. A few companies have already begun to see how “being green” makes them more resilient — both to the vagaries of the energy market and by attracting “green” consumers and investors. Another New York Times article [The Greener Guys; A Few Companies Take Special Steps to Curb Emissions,” by Jad Mouawad] discusses their strategies for reducing their carbon footprint.

We can speed up the economic feasibility of alternate fuels by implementing a geogreen gas tax. The economic effect for the common person could be minimal, and the benefits are enormous

  • An America that relies on her ingenuity and innovation, not oil kleptocrats
  • Easing the rise of New Core states such as India and China, and not forcing them to rely on the decaying regimes of the AfroIslamic Gap
  • Creating a more beautiful, healthier world.

We can do it. By distributing the proceeds of the geogreen gas tax directly to the American people, it may even be popular to do so.

Increase the gas tax to $5/gallon. Shrink the gap!

Coming Anarchy 8, Geography

Note: This is a selection from Coming Anarchy, part of tdaxp‘s SummerBlog ’06

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Geography

“There is a lively sense of activity that draws talented individuals to the center of the culture, arrays them in cooperation but also in competition, and supports the most evidently talented (Gardner, 1997).”
In class, we talked about how creative people seem to flock to the institutions or areas where their skills are appreciated and can be improved upon. This is probably why there is such a great concentration of chess players in New York, and why certain universities seem to draw only the best faculty in a particular area together. It is this need for constant contact with mentors and others who can help improve your skills in the domain you are interested in (e.g. highly skilled opponents for chess players) that seems to drive this phenomenon. However, as we will show below, technology is rapidly changing people’s availability to be in constant contact with others in their domain, without necessarily being geographically located together.

Relevant Quotes From Interviews (Select):

Without being asked a direct question about how geography affected them, the following answers were given within the context of answering other, unrelated questions:
Chirol: “Though I’m from a medium-sized city, I’ve still found it hard to find good company… I rarely have anyone to turn to. Thus the Internet has become my primary means of doing so.”
Curzon: “The Internet makes this far easier in today’s world. I can login from Tokyo and blog about anything from security affairs in South Korea to Nigeria’s oil wealth and receive feedback from people all over the world who have similar interests.”
Younghusband: “I go to a military college. All my school mates are involved in politics and the military.”

Organizing The Information From The Quotes (Organize):

The ability to be around other creative people is very important, but technology is changing the definition and feeling of what “around” means. Only one of the subjects considers himself physically near to other experts in similar domains (Younghusband). However, all feel that they are extremely connected to others when they are working on the Internet.

Association With Our Course Readings (Associate):

“The great centers of learning and commerce have always acted as magnets for ambitious individuals who wanted to leave their mark on the culture (Csikszentmihalyi, 1996).”
“[Michael Pressley stated that:] When I went to Minnesota I spent a couple of years with John Flavell and then I spent time at Wisconsin with Joel Levin. My first job at Cal State Fullerton, I became good friends with Art Graser. Then I went to Western Ontario with Allan Pavio… (Kiewra, et al. Conversations with three highly productive educational psychologists).”

Nagging Questions (Regulate):

Two of the subjects said that earlier geographic deprivations led them to their field (i.e. the fact that they were deprived of a common language or access to other highly intelligent people led them to the Internet and blogging). Does this mean that being in a “creative” place early would make people more complacent, and thus less creative? Is this (meaning coming from isolated places) the flip side of a finding from Developing Talent in Young People, which found that talented youth moved towards creative places?


Coming Anarchy, a tdaxp series:
Coming Anarchy 1: Introduction
Coming Anarchy 2: Methods and Analysis
Coming Anarchy 3: Identity
Coming Anarchy 4: Failure
Coming Anarchy 5: Obsession
Coming Anarchy 6: Sacrifices
Coming Anarchy 7: Humility
Coming Anarchy 8: Geography
Coming Anarchy 9: Recognition
Coming Anarchy 10: The Gap
Coming Anarchy 11: Conclusion