Compass

Nobel Economists Gather to Discuss Direction of World Economy

Last week, a group of Nobel prize-winning economists met, for the fifth time, in the German town of Lindau near the Austrian and Swiss border. This year’s meeting featured a special guest, German chancellor Andrea Merkel. Joining the notables are young economists from 80 countries, hoping to learn, become inspired, and perhaps reflect deeply on what role their science might play in shaping the future.

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Could a Carbon Tax Cut Down on Corporate Inversions?

Marc Hafstead of the nonpartisan think tank Resources for the Future, along with Lawrence Goulder of Stanford University, have come up with an idea that could potentially address two important problems in one broad policy action. The first, which is where they’ll likely began, is the problem of corporate inversions. No, that’s not corporations standing on their heads; it’s when they buy another company in a country with a lower tax rate so that they can begin paying taxes there instead of here in the U.S., where they receive the most government services. The other problem is climate change.

Baku, Azerbaijan will host the inaugural European Games next year.

The 2015 European Games in Azerbaijan: Human Rights Violations Already

As oil-rich Azerbaijan prepares to host next year’s inaugural ‘European Games,’ the Azerbaijani government has stepped up its crackdown on activists speaking out against its abysmal human rights record. As of this writing, more than 20 human rights defenders have been detained by the government, including four of the country’s most prominent activists.

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Coal Export Terminal Plan Nixed by Oregon Agency

This is the latest in a series of wins for opponents of coal company plans to move coal through the Pacific Northwest on the way to Asian markets. But two major plans in Washington State, out of six original proposals, are still pending.

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Social Media Bubbles: Are They Holding Us Back?

Social media sites like Facebook are tailored to help people connect with friends, similar experiences and views. But there’s a downside, says the U.S. State Department, when it keeps users from reaching outside their ‘bubble’ of friends and experiences and actually helps to promote unrest.

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China, The Nature Conservancy Work to Curb Pollution

It might seem like a strange partnership between a nonprofit and a huge nation, but it might work. TNC’s Conservation Blueprint project identified 32 regions that the organization and the Chinese government believe are most vital to the country’s environmental future.

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U.S. Second in Installed Wind Power But Growth Uncertain

Growth in 2013 was modest, but the U.S. continues to be a world leader in installed wind power capacity. Prospects for 2014-2015 remain cloudy, however, given the expiration of the federal PTC and policy uncertainty, according to two reports released by the Department of Energy.

Adapt to Crowd-Sourcing or Risk Losing Relevancy

“The 20th century economy was powered by big corporations that standardized everything because they never really knew their customers,” explains Brian Chesky, the 32-year-old founder of sharing economy darling AirBnB. “The 21st century economy will be powered by people.” Once again, it’s time to adapt or die.

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Jay-Z’s Got 99 Problems, But Prop 47 Aint One

If approved, Prop 47, known as the Reduced Penalties for Some Crimes Initiative, will reduce the penalty for most nonviolent crimes from a felony to a misdemeanor and direct the money saved from incarcerating fewer individuals — estimated to be between $150 million and $250 million each year — to a Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Fund.