Bolivia invierte menos en energía renovable que otros países sudamericanos

Bolivia ha invertido menos en las energías renovables que los otros países sudamericanos en la última década, a pesar de que el articulo 379 de la constitución boliviana especifica que “el Estado desarrollará y promoverá la investigación y el uso de nuevas formas de producción de energías alternativas, compatibles con la conservación del ambiente.”

La gran mayoría de la electricidad de Bolivia viene de la quema de gas natural en termoeléctricas y este porcentaje ha crecido rápidamente durante la administración del MAS. La capacidad de las termoeléctricas bolivianas ha crecido de 958.39 megavatios al final del año 2006 a aproximadamente 1999 megavatios al final del 2016 (todavía no tenemos datos oficiales del Ministerio de Energía para el año pasado).  La administración del MAS sólo ha agregado 13 MW de energía solar, 27 MW de energía eólica,  60 MW de bioenergía y 12 MW de energía hidroeléctrica en la última década. En total, 112 MW de energía renovable fueron agradados en comparación a 1040 MW de energía sucia de combustibles fósiles.

CapacidadElectricaBolivia

Mientras lo demás del mundo está cambiando a energía renovable, Bolivia ha invertido muy poco en la energía renovable durante la administración del MAS. El porcentaje de la capacidad eléctrica renovable ha reducido en Bolivia durante la última década de 35.3% a 24.1%. En realidad el porcentaje es aun menos, porque termoeléctricas de gas tienen un factor de capacidad alrededor de 75%, pero energía eólica es 35% y energía solar es 20% porque el viento y el sol es variable. En otras palabras, un megavatio de capacidad en una termoeléctrica de gas producirá mucho mas electricidad que un megavatio de turbinas eólicas y paneles solares. Aproximadamente 80% de la electricidad generada en Bolivia hoy en día viene de hidrocarburos.

BoliviaCapacidadElectricaTabla

Si comparamos Bolivia con otros países sudamericanos, Bolivia se queda muy atrasada en términos de sus inversiones en energía renovable en la última década. La energía renovable ha crecido 4.0% por año en América del Sur desde el 2007 y 8.2% en el mundo entero. En comparación, la energía renovable sólo ha crecido 1.7% por año en Bolivia durante la misma temporada, según los datos de la IRENA.

EnergiaRenovableEnBoliviaYMundo

Lo demás del mundo está invirtiendo en paneles solares fotovoltaicos y turbinas eólicas que ahora producen energía más barata que los combustibles fósiles en muchas partes del mundo. Desde el 2007, la capacidad solar mundial ha crecido 47.1% por año y la capacidad eólica ha crecido 19.5% por año. Bolivia tiene zonas perfectas para capturar la energía del sol y viento. El Altiplano boliviano recibe entre 4.2 y 7.2 kWh de radiación solar por metro cuadrado por día, que es más radiación que casi cualquier otro lugar en el planeta. Un panel solar en La Paz, El Alto, Oruro o Uyuni generará dos veces más electricidad que el mismo panel en Alemania, que es un país donde 20% de su electricidad viene del sol.

PotencialRadiacionSolarBolivia PotenciaEnergiasRenovablesMapaBolivia

Además, el Altas Eólico de Bolivia elaborado por 3Tier en 2009 demuestra que existen zonas ventosas cerca de las ciudades de La Paz, El Alto, Cochabamba, Oruro, Potosí y especialmente Santa Cruz donde turbinas eólicas pueden ser instaladas.

MapaEolicaDeBolivia

En lugar de invertir en energías renovables, Bolivia ha malgastado la gran mayoría de su inversión eléctrica en la última década en termoeléctricas ineficientes y contaminadores de gas. En lo demás del mundo, la gran mayoría de los nuevos generadores de gas son de tipo ciclo combinado, que son aproximadamente 30% más eficiente porque capturan el calor producido por la quema de gas para también generar electricidad con turbinas de vapor. En una termoeléctrica convencional, la generación de una kilovatio-hora de electricidad emitirá alrededor de 640 gramos de dióxido de carbono equivalente a la atmósfera, según el IPCC (AR5 WGIII, 2014). En cambio, una termoeléctrica moderna de ciclo combinado emitirá aproximadamente 480 gramos porque consume menos gas para producir la misma cantidad de electricidad, pero actualmente Bolivia sólo tiene dos termoeléctricas de este tipo.

La administración del Ministerio de Hidrocarburos y Energía ha pensando sólo en la necesidad de aumentar la capacidad eléctrica de Bolivia en la forma más barata en el corto plazo. En el largo plazo, muchas de las termoeléctricas instaladas en la última década tendrá que ser reemplazadas por ciclo combinado o abandonadas por la falta de  reservas adecuadas de gas en Bolivia. Usando los datos de YPFB, podemos calcular que Bolivia sólo tiene 11 años más de gas y 8 años más de petroleo en sus reservas probadas si sigue con la tasa actual de extracción. Probablemente, la tasa de extracción será reducida en el futuro para extender un poco el tiempo de extracción, pero Bolivia probablemente se enfrentará una crisis energética adentro de una década y media.

reservasHidrocarburosBolivia

Aunque la gran mayoría de la inversión boliviana sigue malgastando en hidrocarburos, hay señales de un cambio en los últimos años. En julio de 2014, el decreto supremo no. 2048 promovió el uso de energías alternativas (como las energías solar, eólica, geotérmica, biomasa y microhidroeléctrica). Desde el 2014, la capacidad boliviana de las energías renovables han crecido 5.7% por año, que todavía es más lento que las termoeléctricas de gas, pero mucho mejor que el 1.0% por año en los primeros 8 años de la administración del MAS. El anuncio en febrero de 2017 que el Ministerio de Hidrocarburos y Energía será dividido en dos ministerios separados es un paso importante porque ahora el nuevo ministerio no es tan ligado al extractivismo fósil y la economía del pasado. Ojala que nuevas actitudes hacia energía solar y eólica puedan florecer en el nuevo Ministerio de Energía, porque Bolivia sólo tiene 15 años para realizar la transición de 80% de su electricidad basada en hidrocarburos a 100% energías renovables. La gran mayoría de esta transición debe ser basada en la energía solar y eólica porque el precio de estas energías estan cayendo 11% y 7% por año, respectivamente.

Sin embargo, el pensamiento en la administración del MAS todavía está muy atado a los hidrocarburos y la economía de extractivismo. En lugar de admitir que las reservas nacionales de hidrocarburos son limitadas, la administración sigue planeando como explorar y extraer más hidrocarburos. En lugar de planear la transición nacional a energías limpias y sostenibles y abandonar la economía hidrocarburífica, la administración sigue planeando como encontrar más reservas de gas y petroleo para continuar la adicción que pueda colapsar la economía y causar una crisis energética profunda como el colapso del estaño en los años 80.

Una señal de esta adicción hidrocarburífica es el anuncio del vicepresidente Álvaro García Linera en agosto de 2016 durante el “IX Congreso Internacional Gas y Energía”,  que Bolivia convertirá en “el centro energético de Sudamérica”. Linera dijo, “Vamos a invertir 31 mil millones de dólares en el tema hidrocarburos … Los resultados esperados es descubrir 8 a 37 trillones de pies cúbicos, hoy tenemos una reserva probada de 11 trillones”.

En otros palabras, la administración actual está apostando el futuro de Bolivia por el descubrimiento de nuevas reservas. Desde el 2006, el número de concesiones a las empresas petroleras para explorar y extraer hidrocarburos ha sido ampliado de 11 contractos que cubrieron 3 millones de hectáreas a 99 contratos que ahora cubren hasta 31,685,190 hectáreas o 28.8% del territorio nacional. Muchas de estas concesiones cubren territorios indigenas y parque nacionales. Aparte de la destrucción cultural y ambiental que estas concesiones hidrocarburíferas pueden ocasionar, hay cuestiones serias acerca de la cantidad de hidrocarburos en el suelo boliviano y si los nuevos descubrimientos pueden mantener los ingresos del Estado hidrocarburífero que el MAS ha construido. 28 millones de petroleo fueron descubiertos en Boquerón Norte, pero esta cantidad solo es suficiente para 16 meses más con la tasa actual de extracción. Repsol reportó en febrero de 2016 que sus nuevos descubrimientos alcanza a 4 billones de pies cúbicos de gas que representa 5.3 años más con la tasa actual de extracción. Tal vez será posible seguir encontrando más reservas para extender la dependencia hidrocarburífera por una o dos décadas más, pero eventualmente las reservas acabarán y el costo de la exploración y extractivismo seguirá subiendo y retorno marginal seguirá reduciendo. Ya es cuestionable si los gastos actuales para mantener la dependiencia hidrocarburífera pueden cubrir los ingresos y serán aun más cuestionable en el futuro.

Parte de nuevo plan energético es diversificar las fuentes bolivianas de energía. En el mismo congreso, Linera anunció la inversión de $370 millones en proyectos eólicos para generar 170 MW, $280 millones en energía solar para generar 176 MW y aproximadamente $700 millones en energía geotérmica para generar 105 MW, además de 70 MW de biomasa. En total, el plan actual es invertir $1400 millones en 9 años, que es 1/22 del presupuesto de los hidrocarburos según García Linera.

La realidad es que Bolivia tiene aproximadamente 15 años para convertir su grilla eléctrica de 80% hidrocarburos a 100% energía renovable. Tal vez más reservas pueden ser descubiertas para extender el tiempo disponible para realizar esta transición energético, pero las inversiones actuales en la exploración y infraestructura hidrocarburífera están robando los fundos necesarios para realizar la transición.  En lugar de un plan para instalar 515 MW de energía alternativa en 9 años, Bolivia necesita un plan para instalar 2000 MW de estas energías para reemplazar los 2000 MW de termoeléctricas de gas y diesel que serán abandonados por falta de combustible. Hay que invertir en la eficiencia energética, almacenamiento por bombeo y baterías, lineas de HVDC, grillas inteligentes y electrodomésticos y autos que pueden variar su consumo según la oferta energética.

También, hay que invertir en cocinas eléctricas, calefacción eléctrica y transporte eléctrico y más transporte público porque el gobierno no tendrá los ingresos para seguir subvencionando gas al precio de $1.30 por mil pies cúbicos en las termoeléctricas y $0.98 en las redes de gas para usos residenciales, comerciales, industriales y transporte vehicular. Igualmente, el precio subvencionado de gasolina y diesel (3.74 y 3.72 bolivianos por litro) no es sostenible en el largo plazo. YPFB perdió 3.5 mil millones de dólares en el año 2014 por cobrar precios subvencionados de los combustibles fósiles adentro del Bolivia en lugar de los precios internacionales.

SubsidiosCombustiblesBolivia

Bolivia entrará en quiebra en el futuro cuando no tendrá miles de millones de dólares de exportaciones de gas cada año para financiar estos subsidios. Bolivia exportó $6569 millones de hidrocarburos en el año 2014, que representó 51.1% de sus exportaciones, pero este monto cayó a $2115 millones en el año 2016, o solo 29.9% de sus exportaciones. Tal vez, el precio de gas y petroleo subirá en el futuro, pero la cantidad de extracción llegó a su pico en el año 2014. Todos los datos hasta ahora indican que la extracción esta reduciendo gradualmente, mientras los subsidios de combustibles fosiles está aumentado rápidamente el consumo domestico de gas y derivados de petroleo. El precio barato de combustible es una de las razones porque el número de autos registrados en Bolivia casi triplicó, de 601,790 a 1,711,005 vehículos entre 2006 y 2016. Además el subsidio de diesel ha ocasionado un expansión enorme de la deforestación por la ganaderia y la agroindustria y ha bajado el costo de la extracción mineral. Sin estos subsidios es cuestionable si la mayoria de las exportaciones de minerales, soya y girasol serían factibles económicamente en el mercado internacional.

Un plan para 100% energía renovable en 15 años no es sólo importante por razones ambientales y climáticas; es la única salida para salvar Bolivia de un colapso económico terrible cuando la explotación de gas y petroleo no sea rentable por sus altos costos o sea imposible por falta de reservas.

PS: Las hojas de cálculo utilizadas en este articulo: BoliviaEnergiaRenovableBolivaINDCCalculos

The global production of electronic devices over the last decade

Electronic devices increasingly dominate the way humanity interacts and creates, so understanding what is happening in the electronics industry as a whole is a key component to understanding humanity’s future. Whether most humans will be interacting through desktop PCs, wearable smart devices or processors embedded in buildings and cars in the future will have a big impact on human society and how it functions.

Software, networks, communication protocols, media and everything else which runs on electronics are increasingly redefining and becoming embedded in human culture. This phenomenon is not new. To take just one example, look at how the evolution of electronics has transformed human politics. The advent of the transistor radio allowed political leaders such as Roosevelt and Hitler to transmit their words directly into people’s homes so they became a personal presence in people’s lives. The advent of the color television made people intimately aware of the visual features of politicians, so a youthful, telegenic man like John F. Kennedy could win a televised debate. Statistical analysis and number crunching by computers and software models had transformed how political campaigns are waged and who is targeted by those campaigns. The rise of social media and billions of mobile devices made it possible for left-wing candidates such as Jeremy Corbin and Bernie Sanders to bypass the traditional media and appeal directly to their base, but it has also given voice to ultra-nationalism and bigotry on the right.

More overlooked is the fact that electronics is an enormous consumer of energy and resources. Despite the small size of its components, the fabrication and use of electronics has an alarming  impact on the environment, far beyond its its physical size. It is easy for humans to grasp the environmental significance of construction, transportation, agriculture or extractive industries, because buildings, automobiles, fields and mining pits are tangible, large in size and easy to visualize. It is not easy to visualize the movement of electrons through circuits or the generation of those electrons in distant power plants. As electronics becomes increasingly nanoscaled and its processing moves to remote server farms away from the public eye, it becomes easier to overlook the  impact of electronics on the environment.

In an effort to better grasp the scope of these impacts, both societal and environmental, it is necessary to first ask how much the global electronics industry is producing and what are the trends in its production. These basic questions are remarkably hard to answer, because most electronics firms do not release production numbers out of fear that they will negatively impact their stock prices or reveal too much information to their competitors. It is telling that the only significant maker of phones, tablets and PCs to consistently release its production numbers is Apple, which enjoys a protected niche where it controls its own hardware and software, so it is shielded from competition. The producers of game consoles used to release their production numbers, since the producers of games needed to know the potential market size of their games. Now, Sony and Microsoft only sporadicly release the total lifetime number of gaming consoles as part of an occasional press release, so production is impossible to track year to year or quarter to quarter.

Most of the production numbers in the electronics industry are compiled by market intelligence firms such as International Data Corporation, Gartner, IHS, etc., which are loathe to release too much to the public. Instead, they release just enough information to garner headlines in tech news sites and to convince people to fork over thousands of dollars for market reports, whose details they are legally forbidden to share. What is publicly released provides little historical context, since the press releases generally only focuses on one quarter or year and its growth rate compared to the previous time period. Stringing together a whole series of these press releases, it may be possible to construct an idea of change over time, but the market intelligence firms often change their definitions of what is being counted and delete old press releases from their web sites.

Trying to piece together the puzzle with publicly accessible information can be a very frustrating task. The rivalry of Gartner and IDC to be the premiere intelligence firm for PCs, smartphones and tablets leads them to consistently publish the number of units shipped every quarter, but other sectors of the electronics industry only merit an occasional press every couple years. Often these press releases contain a growth rate or an expected product number, without providing a single datum of historical production. Nonetheless, there is often enough to piece together a sequence over time with some interpolation and educated guesses.

The overwhelming trend of the electronics industry since its inception has been growth based on a smaller and often cheaper form-factor displacing most of the market for the previous form-factor. Hulking mainframes were displaced by mini-computers and terminals in the late 60s and early 70s. Those in turn were displaced by personal computers and networks in the late 70s and early 80s. In

On those personal computers, the bulky RS-232, DB-25 and VGA ports were replaced by smaller FireWire, USB, DisplayPort, HDMI and Thunderbolt ports, which in turn are now being replaced by even smaller micro-USB, micro-HDMI, Lightning and finally USB Type C ports, which threatens to replace them all.  replaced by smaller and DisplayPortand ISA slots were replaced by the Bulky bulky parallel ports were replaced by smaller Firewire andTreplaced mainframes in the late 60s and personal coe mputers replaces Given these problems, here is

 

 

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in build will have a big  has How many devices are being  Since The global production of advanced electronic devices dropped in 2016 for the first time since the economic downturn of 2008-9. The number of smartphones, smart wearables (such as the Apple Watch), camcorders and handheld game consoles grew in 2016, but the production of 2,817.3 million electronic devices in 12 different categories was 2.8% less than in 2015.

ElectronicDeviceProduction2006-16

Over the last decade smartphones have eaten away at the market for most of the types of electronics listed in the table above. Once smartphones began to produced on a massive scale starting in 2007, they largely replaced the market for PDAs, cameras, camcorders, portable media players, GPS devices and handheld game consoles. Global production peaked in 2008 for portable media players, handheld game consoles and portable GPS devices and in 2010 for cameras and camcorders. These devices have largely been relegated to niche items for specialty markets.

The cheap point-and-shoot cameras which were so popular a decade ago have mostly disappeared from the market. Most cameras being sold today are more expensive models with better zooms, sensors and image processors than found in a standard smartphone. According to CIPA, only 6.7% of digital cameras produced in 2006 contained an interchangeable lens, whereas that percentage had grown to 47.8% a decade later in 2016.

Likewise, the market for standard camcorders has also largely disappeared, as most consumers now have a smartphone for low-quality filming. There is still a good market for professional quality camcorders, but almost all the growth in recent years has been for action cameras, known as “action-cams,” that are water proof and can be worn unobtrusively on the body. Frost and Sullivan estimate that 62% of the camcorders produced in 2016 were action-cams.

The same relegation to niches is occurring for GPS devices. According to IHS iSuppli, global production of GPS devices peaking in 2008 at 42.08 million devices. For many consumers, the maps on their cell phones provided by Google Maps, Waze, Apple Maps or OpenStreetMap are good enough to avoid buying a dedicated GPS device from a manufacturer such as Garmin or TomTom. GPS devices have been forced to increase the quantity and quality of their offline maps in order to differentiate from the free online maps that come with most smartphones and tablets. The need for greater offline storage capacity and higher resolution screens in these devices has increased their manufacturing costs, so they often cost as much as a mid-range smartphone with less functionality.  There is still a niche market for people who need a navigation device to drive in places with cellular dead zones or have limited cellular data plans, but it will become increasingly difficult to justify a dedicated GPS device in the future as cellular data plans continue to get cheaper and the data collection in online services such as Google Maps provides better real-time information about traffic and road closings.

Although Garmin remains the leader in the shrinking car navigation market, most of Garmin’s focus today is on the growing market for wearable GPS devices that can also track biometric information such as heartbeats, running steps, golf swing speed, swimming strokes, etc. While Garmin can charge a premium for these fitness wearables, the market is limited and cheaper devices from companies like Fitbit are encroaching on their premium market. Smartphones are also incorporating biometric sensors and becoming thinner and more water-proof, so it may be just a matter of time before   Like camera and camcorder manufacturers, GPS device makers  have been forced to focus on the high end of the car navigation market or or the  Many experts here is a growing market for action GPS become increasingly difficult for GPS device makers to compete with the network effec

Further analysis will follow, but for now here is the data:

GraphGlobalElectronicDevices2006-16GlobalProductionOfSilicon2000-16TVGameConsoleSales1994-2016PortableGameConsoleSales1994-2016GameConsolesMarketShare1997-2016GameConsoleSales1994-2016GameConsolesByModel1994-2016GlobalGamesMarketNewzoo2012-17

The short-sighted missteps of the server companies

Apologists for Capitalism are wont to wax eloquent about the creative destruction they see in the tech industry. They see the vertiginous rise and fall of tech companies in the Silicon Valley as a beautiful system that weeds out the laggards who aren’t nimble enough to keep adapting, while rewarding the creative innovators with huge pay offs.

Frankly, I see the skyrocketing stocks and crashing failures of the tech industry as a condemnation of how modern Capitalism functions. The erratic fortunes of the tech companies generates a tremendous amount of stress in the lives of the people who work in these companies. The directors of tech companies often make decisions which are based on short-term profit margins, raising the stock prices or cashing out those stocks, rather than producing a quality product or service and working toward long-term goals that will help the company grow in the future and provide stable employment for the employees.

We can see this destructive dynamic playing out currently in the server business. Fifteen years ago, IBM was the undisputed leader in the server business. It had a long tradition of offering quality servers, which were pricey, but its engineers were known for the high quality of their support and services around servers. IBM was also renowned for for offering the best line of PCs for enterprise, which came with excellent support and long-term warranties. IBM’s Thinkpad and Thinkcentre lines were highly sought after PCs, due to their engineering excellence and sturdy construction. The Thinkpad laptops generated a special kind of brand loyalty among engineers and geeks, who took exceptional pride in owning the coveted boxy, black devices. Unfortunately, PCs were turning into mass market devices with slim profit margins under 3%, so IBM’s PC business was nearning the company very much.

Still, as the inventor of the PC and a long tradition of quality engineering and reliability, IBM’s PCs added a certain cachet to the reputation of the company. IBMers knew that HP and Dell might move more PCs, but they could take pride in the fact that they offered quality PCs and people trusted them to provide the best support in the industry. More importantly, IBM’s PC business gave the company an entry way into businesses to sell them more lucrative contracts in other areas. The support contracts for the PCs were a vehicle for Big Blue to talk to companies about their other IT services where IBM did earn large profit margins. Having a PC business allowed IBM to offer comprehensive IT services for companies and helped keep its competitors HP and Dell away from its clients.

Rather than think about PCs as an essential piece that helped enable their servers and software businesses, the directors of IBM fixated on the fact that PCs were being commoditized with low-profit margins. They decided that IBM should only focus on areas with high profit margins, so in 2004/5 they sold their PC business to Lenovo, a Chinese original design manufacturer who had been building their Thinkpads since 2002.

IBM essentially shot itself in the foot, although it would take a while for that fact to become evident, so the managers at IBM would pat themselves on the back for increasing their profit margins and getting rid of many costly employees in North America and Europe who they passed to Lenovo. In addition, they gained entry to the growing Chinese market, because Lenovo promised to direct their Chinese customers toward IBM’s server business. It looked like a great decision on paper, but in the long term, divesting from the PC business helped to undermine IBM’s profitable server business. Not only did IBM help establish Lenovo as a major provider of PCs to enterprise, but it also gave Lenovo a vehicle to start offering their own servers to many clients of IBM and become a major competitor which undercut IBM in the x86 server market. By no longer providing PCs, IBM lost contact with many potential new clients for its server business and it gave its existing clients to start talking to HP, Dell and its new competitor Lenovo for their IT services, since IBM could no longer offer a comprehensive IT solution for businesses.

After selling its PC devision to Lenovo, IBM gradually lost market share in its server business, especially among x86 servers, where all the growth in the industry was occurring. IBM’s biggest profit margins lay in mainframes and in AIX on the POWER architecture, but the market share of both mainframes and UNIX servers was already in long-term decline and that decline further accelerated after the economic crisis of 2008/9, as many companies sought to reduce their IT budgets by switching to cheaper x86 servers running Linux or Windows, reducing the number of servers through virtualization and by outsourcing their servers to third-party clouds.

While IBM maintained its formidable advantages on big iron, only a select number of companies and governments now needed mainframes. Much of the computation formerly conducted on mainframes moved to distributed networks of low-end x86 servers. High performance computing is increasingly moving to the cloud, where IBM certainly competes, but cloud computing is a cut-throat business dominated by Amazon, Google or Microsoft. The advent of the Moreover, many of the new mainframes were now located in China, where the government was eager to promote national companies shifdistributed computing on  found fewer and fewer reasons to use old-style mainframes

 

shrank, while the low-end servers based on the x86 architecture grew to take over most of the market. Since IBM was no longer a first tier eventually became new provider of In the long term, however, IBM opened up their rid of a business with low-profit margin

 

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some kind it engenders. , but the need for short term profits to Capitalism the goal of short term profPeople often wax eloquent about the  of Capitali


 

Add a custom spam filter to phpBB3

I have been the maintainer of the ProcessMaker forum since June 2009, which has generally been an enjoyable experience, but lately we have been inundated with spam. I usually don’t mind deleting the occasional spam from the forum. In fact, I find it very interesting the tricks that the spammers use to fool me into thinking they are legitimate posters. Usually they are very subtle, so it doesn’t particularly bother me if a couple posts of spam slip through undetected.

The usual trick is to post something that looks like a legitimate post the first time. The more skilled spammers use a script to analyze the previous posts on the forum and construct a new post which merges the previous content. It often comes out as gibberish, but some of these scripts can actually generate something that appears to make sense. After the first post has passed the censors, then they sneak in a link in the second or third post.
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Obama’s mediocre record on the environment

Obama was both good and bad on the environment, and we should be honest about his record, rather than mindlessly praising him, since he appears so much better than the Republican administration that followed him.

On the one hand, Obama did some good things:

  1. Got additional funding for renewables and clean tech in the 2009 stimulus bill,
  2. Talked a lot about a Green Jobs program at beginning of his term, but only got it partially funded by the stimulus, because Republicans blocked it afterwards, so he gave up on it after 2 years.
  3. Worked hard to extend the incentives for renewables and had to negotiate with intransigent Republicans to do it,
  4. Dramatically increased the fleet fuel efficiency standards,
  5. Drafted the Clean Power Plan and tried to get it implemented despite Republican obstructionism,
  6. Implemented a hiatus on leasing coal on federal lands,
  7. Drafted new rules to prevent contamination of streams by coal mining,
  8. Negotiated bilateral deals with China and Canada/Mexico to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
  9. Signed the Paris Agreement and did not work behind the scenes to block it.
  10. Appointed smart Secretaries of Energy and other administrators, who helped promote alternative energy, clean transport and clean tech and approve the infrastructure for clean tech.
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Questioning the rosy predictions about the transition to autonomous electric vehicles

The Stanford economist Tony Seba and tech investor James Arbib just released a report entitled “Rethinking Transportation,” which makes an number of predictions about the impact that autonomous electric vehicles will have on the demand for vehicles and petroleum. Many of these predictions are based on faulty assumptions about human behavior and a misunderstanding of the auto supply chain.
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My struggle for an adequate ideology

I often struggle to name a political or economic philosophy which defines my beliefs. In Bolivia, where I reside, I don’t like to call myself a “socialist,” because that would align me with the Movimiento al Socialismo (MAS) party and I strongly disagree with a number of their policies. I agree in some concepts of anarchism on a local level, especially the anarcho-syndicalism of Latin America a century ago, but I see anarchism as a hopeless ideology for governing. Anarchists essentially assume that humans are good by nature and will do the right thing if freed from the coercive power of the state. I don’t see this as a viable philosophy for confronting the concentration of wealth and power that governs today’s society. Noam Chomsky, who is probably the world’s most renowned anarchist, observes that dismantling the state in the face of concentrated corporate power is suicide and we currently need an organization like the state to protect against organized corporate interests.
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