It’s that time of year when people light fires in the morning, or see their tomatoes glazed in frost. It won’t be much longer before the real cold comes. Last year, some 45,000 families around New Hampshire received some help paying their heating bills. But this winter, all signs point to a cut in federal fuel assistance.
The math is pretty simple, says Mark Wolfe with the National Energy Assistance Directors’ Association.
“At this point both the House and Senate both call for a cut of about $1 billion dollars.”
This month’s installment of our 11 for '11 series of big picture conversations on the issues of our times. Today, it’s energy, specifially oil. Oil is trading at 112-dollars a barrel, up from 86-dollars a year ago. Michael Klare says the era of easy oil is behind us. He’s made news for his concept of “extreme energy” – the pursuit of fossil fuels in increasingly difficult environments using expensive and sometimes dangerous methods.
Today we have this month's 11 for '11 segment, focusing on how the increasingly dangerous pursuit of oil affects the market price. Plus, alcoholism in Russia, and a journalist shares stories from inside the Balkan Underground, a crafty, cynical, and fearless network that has heisted hundreds of millions of dollars worth of jewels in 26 countries.
A new book by George Mason University Economics Chair Tyler Cowen has inspired spirited debate among beltway and economics circles. Published only as an e-book, The Great Stagnation: How America Ate All the Low-Hanging Fruit of Modern History, Got Sick, and Will (Eventually) Feel Betterargues that America's economic growth plateaued in the 1970s. Median wages have stagnated since, he says, because we have eaten all the low hanging fruit that enabled innovation to flourish and average income to grow across the board.
In January, the global food price index rose for the seventh month in a row, reaching the higest level since record keeping began in 1990. Raj Patel is an activist and academic whose book, Stuffed and Starved, predicted the food crisis that caused riots on four continents back in 2008. More recently, his book, The Value of Nothing, argues that we as citizens should rethink our assumptions about rational markets and the very meaning of democracy.
During these tough economic times people often turn to churches, synagogues and other faith-based organizations for help. Maybe the church runs a shelter, maybe congregants cook food for a family, maybe the temple has a clothing drive.
But while communities of faith will do what they can to help their members and others in the community, few are as well-organized as the Mormon church.
NHPR Correspondent Sheryl Rich-Kern has the story.
Sound of door opening, Kirsta saying hello, hi, how are you, come on in, fade under