Amazon Saving the Amazon

Thanks Domenic (source here:

Whenever I see someone getting their groceries delivered or shopping on Amazon instead of going to a store, I think, 'Wow, that person is lazy.' However, it might be better to start thinking, 'Wow, that person is helping the environment.'
It turns out that having groceries delivered to your house can cut carbon emissions by 20 to 75 percent, according to a 2013 study from the University of Washington.
"The way most people shop for groceries is pretty wasteful," Anne Goodchild, an associate professor of engineering at the University of Washington and a co-author of the study, told ATTN: "You take your 3,000 lbs. of metal and drive it to the store with nothing in it except you, and then you drive it home with some amount of groceries. It's not really hard to do better than that if you're trying to be efficient."


Recycling - Meet Economics

Via Vox (the whole thing is worth reading):

According to Bucknell University economist Thomas Kinnaman, the energy, labor, and machinery necessary to recycle materials is roughly double the amount needed to simply landfill those materials.
Because most people dispose of used aluminum, paper, plastic, and glass in the same way — throw them into a bin and forget about them — it’s easy to think that all recycled materials are created equal. But this couldn’t be further from the truth. Each material has a unique value, determined by the rarity of the virgin resource and the price the recycled material fetches on the commodity market. The recycling process for each also requires a different amount of water and energy and comes with a unique (and sometimes hefty) carbon footprint.
To that end, some companies have already created their own take-back programs, motivated by innovation and market forces rather than regulation. Luther points to the carpet industry as an example, with companies such as Shaw Floors and Interface routinely taking their carpet back to recycle it into new carpet. 

What could Congress do with the Powerball?

My latest article with The Hill, which highlights just how little the Powerball would matter to Congress, is online and can be found here.

A brief snippet:

Congress is projected to have spent $631 billion on the military in 2015.  The Powerball winnings would fund this for about 21 hours.
To pay off just the federal deficit for 2015, Congress would have to win the Powerball 290 times.  With winning numbers being drawn only twice per week, this means that Congress would have to win every single time it was drawn for the next 5.5 years.

With their total budget for 2015 being $3.9 trillion, Congress spent the equivalent of the Powerball winnings every 3 hours and 20 minutes.  And what did we get with this grotesque amount of spending?  A mere 13 percent approval rating according to a recent Gallup poll.  How did we let our spending get to this level?

Stock Prices Got You Down?

 I was interviewed for Fox 9 & 10 news earlier this week on the falling stock market.  The basic idea: yes, the stock market is down right now and has been trending downward for a few months.  But this could be to a variety of factors, none of which seem to be "systematic" or "permanent" in nature.  

What this means is that it's unlikely to affect anything in the long-term, so there's nothing to really worry about now.  If this trend continues for a few more months, I may have to eat those words!

The rest of the interview, and the article, can be found here.