Nancy E. Bertaux, Professor of Economics & Sustainability

"Efficiency is worthwhile only if our ends are in fact good." — Herman Daly


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Some good news…and some bad

A couple of news stories of interest, one on how we have turned around a major environmental problem (ozone hole) and another on one of the many troubling aspects of a problem we have not turned around (climate change):

Good news:

http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2014/09/11/347642658/ozone-levels-bounce-back-showing-first-increase-in-35-years

Bad news:

http://www.npr.org/2014/09/09/345833757/more-than-half-of-u-s-bird-species-threatened-by-climate-change


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On the subject of “just distribution”…

Remember Charles Dickens’ portrayal of 19th century debtors’ prisons, which are now supposed to be illegal?  NPR has recently done some fine investigative journalism on the subject of court costs and fees for minor violations in the US as: 1) leading to imprisonment of those who can’t pay up, and 2) serving as a significant source of revenue for governments.  Links below, including a follow up story on how Ferguson, MO imposes fees:

http://www.npr.org/2014/05/19/312158516/increasing-court-fees-punish-the-poor

http://www.npr.org/2014/08/25/343143937/in-ferguson-court-fines-and-fees-fuel-anger