Green Reading This Week: On Fuel Efficiency, Fracking, Climate Change and Politics

I hope everyone enjoyed Labor Day and is looking forward to fall!

In Green Reading This Week, a recap of last week’s announcement on fuel-efficiency standards, fracking in New York State, Climate Change and a dose of politics (I couldn’t resist after the planet jokes at the RNC…).

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Green Reading This Week

English: Solar panel installation at an inform...

Round-up this week includes everything from solar to climate change to energy efficiency:

Catching a Few more Rays – The Economist’s Babbage Blog
While solar panels are getting more efficient and cheaper every year, they are still missing one of the largest potential sources of energy: light outside the visible spectrum.

A Chat on Conservation on a Human-Managed Planet – The New York Times’ Green Blog
An exit interview of sorts with Steven Sanderson, departing President of the Wildlife Conservation Society.

Obama official: US climate views shifting amid wild weather – The Hill’s Energy and Environment Blog
The head of NOAA discusses how “wild weather” makes climate change more concrete for many Americans.

Building Energy Management Skyrockets – Environmental Leader
Results of a recent survey by Johnson Controls

Euro Zone Crisis in One Graph

At the risk of having all of us walk out of class, Professor Jonathan Haskell showed this graph today and told us that this was a whole term’s worth of his Europe in the Global Economy class in one slide. Luckily for him, no one budged, but unlucky for us it is a little more complicated than that. However, this graph is a fascinating narrative about what happened in Europe from the formation of the European Monetary Union through today and helps one grasp just how we get into the debt situation we are in and why it’s only gotten worse.

What we discussed in class can be summarized like this:

Before the Euro: interest rates varied a lot

After joining the Euro: everyone’s interest rate fell because everyone thoug that different government bonds were equally safe. Low interest rates meant high aggregate demand–lots of investment, increased consumption, some increased government spending too

The crisis: asset price bubble bursts, consumption falls as does confidence. Interest rates return to being driven by individuacountries, with interest rates rising across the board, but especially in Southern European countries. This lowers investment.

Before the Euro, Southern European countries could depreciate their exchange rates. Now, the only safety value left is government spending.

For more reading on this topic, check out Profesor Haskel’s blog here.

Mitt Romney Reading List

Congressman Poe and Governor Mitt Romney

Image via Wikipedia

Mitt Romney
Candidate Page, New York Times

Mitt Romney to announce three NH endorsements
Election 2012, The Washington Post

The Republican Debate: 10 Things to Watch
Political Hotsheet, CBS News

Running for Grown-Up
New York Magazine

Romney surges ahead in New Hampshire
Political Hotsheet, CBS News

Romney, on Friendly Turf, Keeps His Message on the Economy as Attacks Fly
New York Times

Romney’s 84-page Jobs Plan

Can Mitt Close the Deal?
The Daily Beast

Seeking Taxes, Romney Went After Business
The Long Run, New York Times