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Feature Stories
Responses to Economic-Growth Questionnaire PDF Print E-mail
News/Features - Feature Stories
Written by Jeff Ignatius   
Wednesday, 05 November 2008 02:37

Included here are the responses we received to our economic-growth questionnaire, which was sent to 20 representatives of local governments and economic-development organizations.

 
Is Growth Good? Yes. It Makes Us Happier, Healthier, and Nicer PDF Print E-mail
News/Features - Feature Stories
Written by Jeff Ignatius   
Wednesday, 05 November 2008 02:36

Reader issue #709 It might seem like asking why the sun rises in the east, but: Is economic growth good?

The knee-jerk response is: Of course it is. And that's almost certainly correct broadly speaking.

But it's worth exploring why it's true, and when it's not. The assumption that economic growth is both good and essential drives much of our policy at the local, state, and national level. The news last week that the national economy shrank in the third quarter - confirming for many people that we're in a recession - underscores the importance we place on economic growth.

 
What’s on Tap?: A Consumer’s Guide to Quad Cities Water PDF Print E-mail
News/Features - Feature Stories
Written by Jeff Ignatius   
Wednesday, 08 October 2008 02:47

There are plenty of people who drink tap water without thinking about what might be in it. There are others who buy water filters without considering whether it's a good match for the water that's being filtered. And there are still other people who refuse to drink tap water, preferring bottled water.

A wiser strategy is to spend some time with your community's annual water-quality report, which is required to notify the public of performance compared to federal and state standards.

 
The Impact of Having No Impact: Colin Beavan, at the Quad City Earth Charter Summit PDF Print E-mail
News/Features - Feature Stories
Written by Jeff Ignatius   
Wednesday, 01 October 2008 02:37

Reader issue #704 Colin Beavan's thought was hardly unusual. Most of us have wondered whether all our accumulated belongings and technology make our lives better.

"We're consuming way too much stuff as a civilization," Beavan said. "And we have an idea that's because we need all these things. When people tend to talk about living environmentally, they tend to think of depriving ourselves. The question became in our year: Would we be less happy or more happy? Would we actually find that there were some greater satisfactions than consuming resources to be had? And if that was the case - which it was in our case - might it be possible for our culture to design itself in such a way so that it uses fewer resources but also gives us happier lives?"

 
“More Options Than We Need to Get Steep Cuts in Our Emissions” PDF Print E-mail
News/Features - Feature Stories
Written by Jeff Ignatius   
Wednesday, 01 October 2008 02:32

Consider these quotes from two climate scientists:

"In our models, it's difficult to understand how a 1-degree Fahrenheit warmer sea can spawn the ... rather significant increase that we've seen in Category 4 and 5 hurricanes. Therefore, we can't put it all together. ... But the notion that a warmer Earth could cause more hurricanes, certainly that would be predicted by the climate scientists."

"Yet how can a barely discernible, 1-degree increase in the recorded global mean temperature since the late 19th Century possibly gain public acceptance as the source of recent weather catastrophes? And how can it translate into unlikely claims about future catastrophes?"

 
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