By Steve Levy
E-mail Steve Levy
About this blog: I grew up in Los Angeles and moved to the area in 1963 when I started graduate school at Stanford. Nancy and I were married in 1977 and we lived for nearly 30 years in the Duveneck school area. Our children went to Paly. We moved ... (More)
About this blog: I grew up in Los Angeles and moved to the area in 1963 when I started graduate school at Stanford. Nancy and I were married in 1977 and we lived for nearly 30 years in the Duveneck school area. Our children went to Paly. We moved downtown in 2006 and enjoy being able to walk to activities. I do not drive and being downtown where I work and close to the CalTrain station and downtown amenities makes my life more independent. I have worked all my life as an economist focusing on the California economy. My work centers around two main activities. The first is helping regional planning agencies such as ABAG understand their long-term growth outlook. I do this for several regional planning agencies in northern, southern and central coast California. My other main activity is studying workforce trends and policy implications both as a professional and as a volunteer member of the NOVA (Silicon Valley) and state workforce boards. The title of the blog is Invest and Innovate and that is what I believe is the imperative for our local area, region, state and nation. That includes investing in people, in infrastructure and in making our communities great places to live and work. I served on the recent Palo Alto Infrastructure Commission. I also believe that our local and state economy benefits from being a welcoming community, which mostly we are a leader in, for people of all religions, sexual preferences and places of birth. (Hide)
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Letter to Council: Finding Common Ground on Addressing Climate Change
Uploaded: Feb 6, 2015
I appreciate and share the concern of councilmembers Berman, Burt, Holman and Kniss and of the faith leaders with respect to the importance of vigorously addressing climate change.
I have been trying to find a way to address their concerns with my conviction that Divestment is not an effective response.
I propose the following for everyone's consideration.
The focus of the resolution be shifted from Divesting in fossil fuel companies to INvesting in companies pursuing alternatives, all within prudent financial analysis and that the city public employees be surveyed for their preferences since it is their retirement funds we are discussing.
I know that emotions are high around these issues as evidenced by some strong language about the motives of fossil fuel companies and their investors including city employees and all of us who have mutual/index funds with these companies included.
I share three concerns not yet given a lot of attention and ask the faith leaders to consider them in good faith.
My largest concern is that limiting domestic oil production or oil production controlled by stock companies will shift the power over world oil production to governments in countries like Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, Venezuela, Russia and Libya.
These countries have poor records on human rights, freedom and empowerment of women and I would have thought faith based organizations would be displeased with ceding economic power to such regimes.
There are also economic (think our improving trade position) and national security reasons (think of our increasing independence from needing oil from these countries) for preferring domestic production (which can be regulated) WHILE WE WORK TO REDUCE FOSSIL FUEL DEPENDENCE.
I find the Divestment debate divisive while I believe the INvestment in alternatives approach would bring people together.
What is it worth to you?
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