Someone who has been in hot demand is a gentleman by the name of Vishaan Chakrabarti. Vishaan is the Dean of the University of California, Berkeley’s College of Environmental Design, and was in charge of the planning for Manhattan during the post-9/11 period. Stressful times, and Vishaan has endless stories, but he cautions companies making a rush to radically alter their business practices and operations in the face of COVID-19. He encountered the same post-9/11, with the city and local businesses trying to figure out the preventative measures to survive the next terrorist attack. But if you take a cursory view of natural disasters, attacks, pandemics, etc over the past 100 years, these are random events that are tough to prep for. It is likely the next “attack” will be distinct from a pandemic, so emphasis and attention should be placed on the resilience of core systems. 

In this context, ideas [...]

Ford manufactures cars. That much is true. Now, they manufacture cars in very different ways in 2020 than they did in 1960. There are still assembly lines, but fewer people are needed to put the parts together. What’s new, however, are the sheer quantity of tech and design related folks who add tremendous value to Ford and other auto manufacturers, and could in theory, perform their job from anywhere. 

Ford recently embarked on a survey of its employees who could perform their tasks in a virtual or hybrid environment. The question – post-COVID (or when things begin to clear up a bit), would you want to return to the office? Of roughly 200,000 people, a shockingly high 70% responded that they do not want to return. If you’re a CEO or a division manager who put a ton of emphasis on cultivating that “team first, raa-raa environment,” this is a shot [...]

Life is full of surprises. Both good and bad. It’s also full of inequities, unexplainable events, and a whole host of things that impact us all in different ways. One of the principal objectives of government is to provide its citizenry with the best services and infrastructure possible to further their development. Governments (federal and state/local) attempt to do this knowing that life’s surprises and inequities are real, and if they can play a role in helping to ameliorate them, that’s beneficial for society as a whole. 

Some countries do this well, while others flat out fail. And to make matters even more complicated, there is no “one size fits all” recipe to follow. When it comes to helping less fortunate segments of our population, we’ve experimented with lots of models and interventions. In all actuality, we need to keep experimenting because we have a ways to go. But, a new, [...]

Some EV Facts

First, half of EV related CO2 emissions come from the energy that was needed to manufacture the EV. This occurs predominantly in the mining of the materials, but also in the processing phase to produce the battery. By comparison, with a gasoline-powered car, only 17% of the lifetime CO2 emissions occur during the manufacturing process. Think about it this way – a fresh EV arrives to a showroom having emitted approximately 30,000 pounds of CO2. A gas-powered car by comparison arrives having emitted just 14,000 pounds.

Once an EV hits the room, if it ends up depending on coal-fired plants to fuel the power needed to eventually re-charge, that’s another 15 ounces of CO2 for every mile driven. If, however, an EV is driven for at least 90,000 miles, and fueled by cleaner natural gas fueled power stations only, then will it result in less CO2 emissions over the life of [...]

Some EV Facts

When UNCTAD talks, the world listens. Sounds a bit cheeky, mainly because most folks don’t know who or what a UNCTAD is. Short for the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, UNCTAD was established back in the 1960s, charged with addressing investment, development, and trade issues. The United Nations body formulates policies and seeks government support on the enaction front. Some get enacted, some don’t, but their reports and analyses are always on point. 

UNCTAD recently released a fascinating report entitled, “Commodities at a Glance – Special Issue on Strategic Battery Raw Materials.” If the world is moving to an all-electric future, batteries are front and center. Fossil fuel use is the principal source of harmful emissions, and a global effort at “decarbonizing” the planet has been underway for some time. But “decarbonizing” doesn’t come without its side-effects. Life is all about trade-offs, and while a world without fossil fuels [...]

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