The Social Progress Index is an alternative to GDP

Last quarter for my Economics classes at Pinchot University I had to work – with my friend and classmate Maurice Ayella – on alternatives to Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Here is what we found out.

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James Hansen must-see speach at TED talks

As the official TED talks website notes on this absolute must-see and must-share video : ” Top climate scientist James Hansen tells the story of his involvement in the science of and debate over global climate change.

“In doing so he outlines the overwhelming evidence that change is happening and why that makes him deeply worried about the future. “ The future being the one he will leave to his grand-children.

Yes, Mr. Hansen is worried for the future he will leave his grand-children. And we should be. For us, our children and grand-children.

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D-Light, data through illumination

To GOOD : ” One German physicist, Harald Haas, has come up with a solution he calls “data through illumination” (…) by sending data through an LED lightbulb that varies in intensity faster than the human eye can follow.”

” It’s the same idea behind infrared remote controls, but far more powerful. Haas says his invention, which he calls D-Light, can produce data rates faster than (…) your average broadband connection. ”

” He envisions a future where data for laptops and smartphones is transmitted through the light in a room. And security would be a snap—if you can’t see the light, you can’t access the data. “

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Family planning in Thailand

I really like TED talks as they always provide great insight and ideas on countless issues. This week, Mr. Mechai Viravaidya explains how his country – Thailand – went from 7 children per family in 1974 to about 1.5 today.

Similarly, the programs succeeded in fighting HIV/AIDS as no less than 7.7 million lives were saved between 1991 and 2003. Those are tremendous results that would interest many poor nations around the globe.

Since curbing population growth is important to avert climate change, I believe Mr. Viravaidya – also known in his country as Mr. Condom – should spread…

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A brilliant video on electric cars and Better Place

Better PlaceAt first I wasn’t that convinced that electric vehicles were the solution to end our oil addiction and decreasing carbon dioxide emissions. But reading Sustainable Energy – Without the hot air changed that.

Before proposing you a series of articles on electric vehicles (it will begin after my series on nuclear) I would like to share with you a presentation Shai Agassi did at TED Talks earlier this year.

In less than twenty minutes the video explains very well the history and development of Better Place as well as the tremendous advantages of electric cars.

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