Sustainable Economics Blog Fall 2011: Presidio Graduate School

Economics of Sustainabilty Blog Fall 2011: Presidio Graduate School

Founded in 2003, Presidio Graduate School in San Francisco, CA, is dedicated to developing business and civic leaders with the competencies and courage to create a sustainable future. Presidio Graduate School was among the first and remains one of the only schools in the country offering MBA, MPA, and Executive Certificate programs in Sustainable Management and Sustainable Leadership. An affiliate of Alliant International University, Presidio Graduate School is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).

TriplePundit has partnered with Presidio's Macroeconomics course to bring 3p readers an in-depth look at "The Economics of Sustainability". The articles on this page are authored by MBA & MPA students enrolled in the Fall 2011 semester. Please don't hesitate to leave comments, or contact Presidio Graduate School directly if you have questions.

Professional Sports Provide Needed Economic Stimulus in St. Louis


3p is proud to partner with the Presidio Graduate School’s Macroeconomics course on a blogging series about “the economics of sustainability.” This post is part of that series. To follow along, please click here. By Erik Distler In St. Louis, MO, city employees were bracing for the fourth straight year of mandatory furloughs designed to […]

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Windows of the Future: Carbon Nanotubes and On-Site Energy Generation

In the building industry, designers and builders must balance a client’s desire for expansive outdoor views with the need to minimize solar heat gain and loss.  Often, these desires are not well balanced and solar heat is allowed to penetrate through windowpanes and into a space.  

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US-Chinese Trade War on Solar Panels Killed Solyndra

As the bankrupt solar panel manufacturer Solyndra scrambled to find bidders for the company’s assets, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s investigates the true cause of Solyndra’s untimely demise.

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Let’s Make Restaurant Kitchens the New Nexus of Sustainability

One part hospitality, two parts light industry, restaurants offer a near-perfect assortment of top shelf sustainability issues. Why not train our chefs, managers and executives to meet these challenges with creativity and innovation rather than having them embark on sustainability initiatives based on the results of prescriptive audit checklists and industry ‘best-practices’?

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How Our Brains Impede Pricing the Ecosystem


One way to price natural services (when a market for those services don’t already exist) is to use a technique called Contingent Valuation, but it has its limitations

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Is it Time to Foreclose on Your Bank?

Occupy Atlanta march. Photo used under Creative Commons license from scad_lo

A look back at the role of corporate banks during the financial crisis of 2008 and a look at other options such as Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs).

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Credit Unions Ask, ‘Now What?’ Answer: Invest in Cooperatives


Credit union membership continues to surge after the successful ‘Move Your Money’ campaign. The opportunity now exists to better articulate the connection between credit unions as cooperative businesses owned by the members and the need for them to invest more heavily in the growing cooperative business sector.

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Two Birds with One Stone – Addressing Food Security and Disempowering the 1% with Slow Money

growing money

Occupy Wall Street is challenging the fast money paradigm. The faster they can move money, the richer they get – but at a severe cost to everyone else. What about those who are producing goods and services that we need to survive and live a life of modest quality? Food production is one of the most important industries on the planet.

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How to Build a Better Bailout: Consider Main Street

monopoly man

It seems to me that the big “government bailout” of banks and selected industries was significantly one sided. There could have been a more equitable solution that considered all sectors of society and not just the “fat cat risk-takers” and politically entrenched businesses. Here’s how:

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Let’s Start by Getting Rid of Oil Subsidies

How can the US government possibly consider taxing carbon when they’re still subsidizing oil? Isn’t this an obvious contradiction?

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Condensed Cattle Herding Actually Improves Arid Land


How intensive cattle farming might be the answer to our climate crisis. Those of us that fancy ourselves environmentally conscious eaters spend a fair amount of time thinking, talking, and perhaps worrying about where our food comes from and how it was produced.

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Datacenters: Friend or Foe?

atomic data center

Energy efficient datacenters enable an innovation economy with less environmental and financial cost. All this growth is enabled by the cloud. From the cloud I can update my status on Facebook, post photos on Flickr, share my location on FourSquare, announce my every thought on Twitter, download nearly anything on my iPad – even pursue an MBA in sustainable management.

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The Robin Hood Tax Debate


By Maggie Winslow The EU and UK are currently contemplating instating a financial transaction tax, sometimes called a “Robin Hood” or Tobin Tax.  The Tobin Tax was first proposed by Nobel Prize-winning economist James Tobin in 1974 (I like his work so much, I named my son Tobin).  The original proposed tax was on international […]

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The World Cup: How FIFA Benefits While Host Countries Lose Big

As a player, Lionel Messi embodies the spirit of the beautiful game.

Countries and cities spend vast amounts of money to participate in the bidding process to host world sporting events. Along with the pride and glory and the opportunity to showcase one’s cities, nation, and culture, there is the perception that such events will create an economic boon in the country. Whereas this may be the case for developed nations, the prize for hosting soccer’s World Cup can turn into fool’s gold for developing countries and emerging markets.

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Celebrity Charities: The New Way of Giving


This new action oriented charitable work by celebrities is what intrigued me about the latest non-profit project by Jon Bon Jovi’s Soul Foundation.

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Chinese Investment Props Up US Real Estate Market


Recently, the news reported a prosperous real estate market in the South Bay in the area around Millbrae, Palo Alto and Cupertino. Investments in homes over $300,000 coming from Asia, especially from China, increased significantly during 2011. There are also travel agents taking this opportunity to organize large expensive trips, charging lots of money for Chinese people to come to the U.S. to see houses.

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Benefits of a Shorter Workweek


By Maggie Winslow How are we going to return to full employment in the U.S.?  We can’t just keep producing more and different consumer goods, hoping jobs will come from their production and consumption.  We don’t have the natural capital for that plan.  But, what if everyone could afford to work fewer hours so that […]

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Curbside Recycling: Preventing a Market Failure


Curbside recycling services have not been uniformly successful throughout the country. While citizens support them, their traditional cost structure creates a moral hazard and therefore a market failure. Some cities have figured it out how to address this issue while others still struggle to provide a much needed service.

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Sustainable Inroads for National Transportation Policy


In political circles, making space for pedestrians, cyclists and nature falls under the purview of “transportation enhancement” activities. Last year, enhancement investments totaled close to $900 million, funds that drove the creation of urban trails, open space parks and the one of the largest build-out of bicycle lanes the country has ever seen. Unfortunately, it seems the future of all enhancement funding now hangs in the balance.

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Supply Side Economics Doesn’t Hold Up to Louis Vuitton

LVMH’s success and the continued economic downturn means one of two things: either spending by those wealthy enough to afford an LVMH product cannot alone lift us out of recession or the success of the world economy hinges on the rich buying more handbags.

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The Global Economy: Just a Trough in the Business Cycle?


3p is proud to partner with the Presidio Graduate School’s Macroeconomics course on a blogging series about “the economics of sustainability.” This post is part of that series. To follow along, please click here. By Maggie Winslow What should we be thinking about the state of the global economy?  Are we just in the bottom […]

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Get Paid More… Without Costing Your Company a Cent


GET PAID MORE without costing your company a cent
Negotiation tips to make work more enjoyable while reducing expenses

In a climate of high unemployment and decreased revenues, companies are trimming salaries and cutting bonuses. This opens the door for employees to negotiate a comprehensive compensation package that maximizes social value rather than simply economic benefits.

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The Three Federal Incentives Behind the Solar Industry’s Success

Solar panel

This post is about the success of the solar industry, despite the continued publicity surrounding the failed actions of Solyndra. There are a number of policy incentives that are helping to continue this solar industry success.

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A Collective Moutza from the Greeks

Demonstrators in front of the Greek Parliament give a collective moutza on June 29, 2011. (Photo credit: ggia, Wikimedia Commons)

The taxi drivers in Athens aren’t happy. Neither are the café owners or the workers at the state-owned power monopoly. Its plain Greece’s 700,000 government civil servants are also upset, not to mention the multitudes of retirees younger than 55. The bruising cuts and taxes being foisted on them, politely called “austerity measures,” are being used to combat what is now famously called the Greek Debt Crisis. The citizens of Greece say they are just too much to bear. And so they instinctively respond to it all with a “moutza.”

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In Defense of Environmental Regulations


Three arguments, based on history, economics, and independent studies, against the assertion that the EPA and environmental regulations are killing jobs and destroying the economy.

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Forgiving Student Loans: A Stimulus Measure to Revitalize the Middle Class

Student Loans are bad

Millennials are being strangled by record high student loan payments, more than any previous generation due to the skyrocketing costs of higher education, high unemployment, and stagnant wages. A whole generation is seeing their plans and ambitions shackled by the extra weight of their student loan payments. Unable to buy a home, start a family, and do the socially important but underpaid jobs they were trained to do, like teaching and working in the social services sector.

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The Advantage of Organic Biofuel Production

Renewable Fuel?

Early so-called 1st generation biofuels are made by fermenting food products (e.g. grains, seeds, sugars) into short-chain alcohols (e.g. ethanol, butanol) or transesterifying plant oils into biodiesel.  Production of these fuels competes with food crops for land, reduces biodiversity, and, in the case of natural plant oils, feedstock is increasingly scarce.

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GDP: Grossly Deficient Paradigm?


Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is a national accounting measure based on the market value of all final goods and services produced within a geographical entity within a given time period. It is often expressed as a comparison to the previous quarter or year. Significant changes in GDP sometimes have important effects on the stock market. Policy makers often use it as the gauge of our economic health and as an indicator of our national economic wellbeing.

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Loving Tuna to Death: The Price of Wild Food

Image by Alexandra Dulaunoy/Creative Commons via flickr Thunnus thynnus (giant bluefin tuna)

What would you pay for the last piece of Toro in the world? Is that an economic question or a moral one? Either way, someone may actually buy that last piece of Toro within the next decade.

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Changing the Way We Value the Future in Climate Change Economics

International Panel on Climate Change

If you ask most people whether they value the lives of future generations, they will say “yes.”  If you ask many economists, they’ll likely say, “that depends on people’s willingness to pay.”

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