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Directory of Links on Topics Covered in Bright Future

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This is the begining of a directory of selected links which expand on and update information provided in Bright Future. Each heading is a link to the relevent section of the book. It will be added to gradually.


Centre for the Study of African Economies

Adapting to Climate Change

  • Mini-satellites on bushfire patrol. A GERMAN plan to use miniature satellites to help end the annual destruction wreaked by bushfires in Australia has won the backing of insurers, state governments and firefighting authorities.
Collective Ownership

Socialism Web Site This is a rather tired and weary site that I wrote more than five years ago. It covers similar ground to the final section of Chapter 4. However, it is still worth a look.

Unemployment and Revolution, part 7: REVOLUTION Draft 4 August 1982.  Tries to give some concrete content to the idea that "the only solution is revolution".

Fundamental Principles of Communist Production and Distribution. This is a work published by so-called Council Communists in 1930. It mainly argues the case for decentralized economic calculation based on average labor hours. I'll write a commentary at some stage.

Classics of special interest at
Communist Manifesto
Marx and Engels
Critique of the Gotha Program
Marx and Engels
Socialism - Utopian and Scientific Engels
Principles of Communism Engels
State and Revolution Lenin

Cockshott and Cottrell. They argue that modern computers plus their particular algorithm make effective central planning plausible.

Parecon Homepage. Some of Chomsky's pals.


Indonesia's Environment minister has made the point that if rich countries don't want developing countries like Indonesia to cut down their forests they should pay them not to. His logic was that the West cut down its own forests during its undustrialization so they can't simply lecture others. If they want to save forests they will have to pay for it. See here.

Geothermal - Enhanced or "hot rock"

Mining heat from the earth? New technology shows promise. Christian Science Monitor February 07, 2007 edition

The Future of Geothermal Energy. MIT press release plus link to the 14.1mb report.

GM Crops and Livestock

GM Chickens for Therapeutic Drugs

GM Crops: The First 10 Years - Global Socio-economic and Environmental Impacts.

According to the above study, GM crops have reduced the use of fertilizer, farm machinery and, by enabling  low till farming, retain carbon in the soil.

According to the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications (ISAAA), more than half of the world's arable land (776 million hectares/1.9 billion acres) lies in 22 countries now approved for planting biotech crops. By 2015, ISAAA forecasts biotech crops will be under cultivation in 40 countries with at least 20 million farmers planting 200 million acres annually.
Poorer nations turn to publicly developed GM crops

Genetically modified crops are often framed as the products of multinational corporations, but in poorer nations it is public research that is vibrant and attempting their development. Joel I Cohen analyzes the current state of research, key trends, regulation, genetic resources and institutional roles in developing genetically modified (GM) crops. The first of its kind, this work is meant to help scientists, policy makers and regulators understand their respective country's public GM crop research agenda, identify policies and regulatory needs for specific GM events and provide a transparent picture of national research and regulation for stakeholders. Nature Biotechnology Volume 23 Number 1 January 2005.
Full Text (PDF 269K)

If you want to keep up with what's happening with GM crops pay a regular visit to AgBioWorld

Organic or "Alternative" Agriculture

Foster, C., Green, K., Bleda, M., Dewick, P., Evans, B., Flynn A., Mylan. J. (2006). Environmental Impacts of Food Production and Consumption: A report to the Department for Environment. Food and Rural Affairs. Manchester Business School. Defra, London.

Solar Energy

The first new major thermal solar facility in over a decade.

It is in the Nevada desert in the Eldorado Valley.
"… 180,000 parabolic trough collectors controlled by 760 trackers moving flawlessly in concert, following the sun's path and collecting the heat to make clean electricity."
"The plant uses parabolic trough collectors to generate electricity. The mirrored troughs face the sky and direct sunlight to a large metal and glass receiver in the middle of the trough that holds circulating oil. The oil travels to heat exchangers, which heat water and create steam to run a turbine. Parabolic troughs are one of three commercialized CSP technologies."

It has 64 MW capacity. That's equivalent to 32 wind turbines.  It is still quite small compared with a coal, gas or nuclear plant which tend to be 500-1000MW.

Wind Power

Here is a report on a new 120-megawatt (MW)  wind farm to be located 23 kilometers off the Netherlands coastline in the North Sea. The offshore project will cost $510 million

"The 60 Vestas V80-2MW wind turbines will be placed at a depth of 19 to 24 meters. Once completed in March 2008, the wind farm will produce approximately 400 GWh per year."
I notice that a 800 MW coal powered plant in North Carolina is going to cost $1.53 billion.

I think that operating costs of the coal powered plant are 50 per cent of the total. Let's assume that the wind farm has no operating costs. In this case the cost for the two plants are roughly the same. However, wind farms use less of their potential than coal powered plants because the wind varies. The wind farm is expected to produced 400 GWh which is 3330 MWh for each MW of capacity. However, I understand the coal plants produce over 5000 MHw per MW of capacity. That is at least 50 per cent greater.

OK. That's just a back of the envelope calculation on the basis of two examples. There are no doubt better and more detailed comparisons around.

Created by DavidMc
Last modified 2007-03-27 04:37 AM

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