Furman for New Jersey http://furmanfornewjersey.com Ideas Matter. I am running for NJ Assembly from the 12th District to work to rebuild the economy. Paid for by Furman For New Jersey. Wed, 23 Oct 2013 19:10:42 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.4.11 Unemployed, Under Employed and the Minimum Wage http://furmanfornewjersey.com/2013/10/22/unemployed-under-employed-and-the-minimum-wage/ Tue, 22 Oct 2013 17:20:26 +0000 http://furmanfornewjersey.com/?p=488 (Video: Watch this video on the post page)

Wall Street has a concept called “velocity of money.” If it is too slow, people wait around for the next buck; they’re unemployed. What makes money go around at a brisk pace is consumer confidence. Confidence begets activity. Activity invokes buying and selling; Buying and selling makes money go around. It starts at the base!

New Jersey Angst http://furmanfornewjersey.com/2013/10/22/new-jersey-angst/ Tue, 22 Oct 2013 15:01:42 +0000 http://furmanfornewjersey.com/?p=482 (Video: Watch this video on the post page)

We’ve heard about trickle down. Here’s trickle up. If worry about where the next buck comes from pervades the broad base of the population, they will buy nothing but the absolute necessities, eschew investment opportunities and, economically hunker down. When that kind of fear trickles up, the economy seizes. The base matters. What moves the base into levels of greater confidence about the future matters most. Preoccupation with preserving the wealth of the upper 1% ignores this important truth, to the hazard of us all.

Sandy And Solar: A Perspective http://furmanfornewjersey.com/2013/10/22/sandy-and-solar-a-perspective/ Tue, 22 Oct 2013 12:40:49 +0000 http://furmanfornewjersey.com/?p=475 (Video: Watch this video on the post page)

The planetary environment will fling its greatest challenges at us, but also furnish us with our greatest opportunities: the challenges spur us on toward the opportunities. Why not “mine the environment?” Ultimately, hurricanes are solar powered, as are all weather systems. So how many Sandy’s do we need to experience before we understand that we are talking about one hell of a lot of power! That thought alone should spur us toward harnessing all that energy, tetra-watts just shining down all around us. If solar power can run something like Sandy, the same can power our homes and industries. All we need is ingenuity and the foresight to apply it.

Larry Furman – Renewable Energy Advocate – For General Assembly http://furmanfornewjersey.com/2013/09/20/larry-furman-renewable-energy-advocate/ Fri, 20 Sep 2013 18:13:22 +0000 http://furmanfornewjersey.com/?p=436 LFforNJ.Logo

Investment for the 21st Century – To Rebuild the Economy – To Withstand the Storms http://furmanfornewjersey.com/2013/09/12/investment-for-the-21st-century/ Thu, 12 Sep 2013 04:00:52 +0000 http://furmanfornewjersey.com/?p=420 Seaside Heights after Sandy, Photo by Master Sgt. Mark C.Olsen, US Air Force

Seaside Heights after Sandy, Photo by Master Sgt. Mark C. Olsen, US Air Force

The best way to rebuild our our cities, towns, and farms, to assure resilience in the face of storms like Sandy, to strengthen our national security infrastructure, and to build a strong economic foundation for future generations is to embrace efficiency, innovation, and renewable energy.

And with Energy the least expensive unit of energy, is the unit of energy you don’t need to buy, the “Nega-Watt.”  The next least expensive unit of energy is the one that doesn’t need fuel, and doesn’t create waste, the “Nega-Fuel-Watt.”

Berkshire Hathaway’s Mid-American Energy is investing in 500 mega-watt solar farms in the southwest. These are the size of small nuclear power plants. This isn’t because Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger are asking people at Greenpeace “In what should we invest?” This is because at $3.2 Billion to $4.0 Billion per gigawatt new solar is a fraction of the cost of the $8.0 to $12.0 Billion per gigawatt needed to invest in new nuclear.  And what’s good for Berkshire Hathaway is good for New Jersey.  As of Dec. 31, 2012, we had 900 MW of solar. We should be building another 3,000 MW of solar and 5,000 MW of offshore wind. This will create jobs, give us a stronger, more resilient electric grid, and provide energy with much less pollution.

I want to do three things in Trenton:

  1. Push the state to be more energy efficient, because that will save the taxpayers money,
  2. Facilitate mechanisms by which local businesses and citizens can save money on energy,
  3. Plan for 8,000 MW of wind and solar by 2040.

I need your help to get there.



On Climate & Capitalism http://furmanfornewjersey.com/2013/09/05/on-climate-capitalism/ Thu, 05 Sep 2013 12:52:23 +0000 http://furmanfornewjersey.com/?p=409 Jersey Shore Damage from Hurricane Sandy. U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Mark C. Olsen

Seaside Heights, NJ Boardwalk  following Hurricane Sandy. Photo by Master Sgt. Mark C. Olsen, US Air Force

As we wait for the next IPCC report, we know Atmospheric carbon dioxide is now around 400 parts per million, up about 40% from about 265 ppm at the dawn of the Industrial Revolution.  Scientists say 350 PPM is the threshold of climate change. We are 15% above the threshold.

If you get pulled over for driving under the influence, and you blow 15% over the threshold, you’re in serious trouble. You may believe you are not too drunk to drive safely, but the scientific evidence contradicts your belief. So it is with climate change.  With atmospheric carbon dioxide at 400 PPM, we are in serious trouble. Some people deny the science, just as people under the influence may deny the evidence.

We now know that all that carbon dioxide in the air and oceans is acidifying the oceans, has increased ocean volume 8 inches in the 20th Century and is warming the atmosphere and the oceans. Warming something, when you talk to a physicist, means it has more energy. If the ocean and the atmosphere have more energy we can expect bigger more powerful storms.  We saw Sandy in 2012, Irene in 2011 and Katrina in 2005.  Were they caused or exacerbated by all this carbon dioxide? I don’t know. I’m not a climate scientist. I’ve a BS in Biology from 1981 and an MBA in Sustainability from 2011.  But 95% of the climate scientists research says, “Probably.”

Where do we go from here? The answer, my friend, as Dylan wrote 50 years ago, “is blowing in the wind.”


In December, 2012, when the power came back on after Sandy, I read that Mid-American Energy was buying big utility scale solar energy systems.  Mid-American is owned by Berkshire Hathaway – the company managed by Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger. Buffett and Munger are not famous environmentalists.  I don’t know if, like me, they support Greenpeace or even it’s conservative uncle, the Sierra Club. But they are buying 500 Megawatt solar plants – solar farms the size of the Oyster Creek nuclear power plant.  They cost $1.6 Billion to $2 Billion for a 500 MW plant. New nuclear would cost about $7 or $8 Billion for a 500 MW plant, and that doesn’t count the costs borne by the taxpayers, of securing the plant or managing the waste.

So in December, 2012, I took $16 million of imaginary money and put it in $1 million chunks, into 16 real energy companies into two portfolios: A Sustainable Energy portfolio and a Fossil Fuel portfolio.  First Solar, Sunpower, Cree, and 5 other sustainable energy companies and Exxon, BP, Haliburton, Transocean, and 4 other fossil fuel or fossil fuel service companies.

The results, as of the close of trading on the stock market August 21, 2013, are that the fossil portfolio is up 3.78%. The Dow Industrials and the S&P 500, reference indices, are up about 14.66% and 16.36%, respectively: The Fossil Portfolio dramatically underperformed the indices. The sustainable energy portfolio, on the other hand was up 96.55%. Almost double. This, my friends, is Climate Capitalism*. I’ve published my results here, on  Popular Logistics, an online reference on energy, economics, and system thinking.

  • The Sustainable Energy portfolio, is up 96.55%
  • The Reference Fossil Fuel portfolio is up 3.78%
  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 14.66%
  • The S&P 500 is up 16.36%.

We should put solar energy systems on every public school. Because over the long term solar is now cheaper than new coal or new nuclear, and we, as taxpayers, pay the operating costs and electric bills of public schools.  If we put solar energy systems on every public school, and wire those systems so they disconnect from the grid during power failures, then during the next “100 Year Storm” – and it’s been 9 months since the last one so there’s one due any day now – then we will have emergency shelters with power, clean power, power that doesn’t rely on gasoline or diesel; power that doesn’t push more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, or radioisotopes into the biosphere; power that is largely impervious to hurricanes, tsunamis, accidents and acts of terror.

* Climate Capitalism, by L. Hunter Lovins and Boyd Cohen, book on Amazon, discussion, Natural Capital Solutions.

I Oppose The Proposed “Port Ambrose” LNG Port http://furmanfornewjersey.com/2013/07/12/i-oppose-the-proposed-port-ambrose-lng-port/ Fri, 12 Jul 2013 04:05:50 +0000 http://furmanfornewjersey.com/?p=322 US Congressman & Senate Candidate Frank Pallone, Jr. , D. NJ, on the beach, speaking on energy policy

US Congressman & Senate Candidate Frank Pallone, Jr. , D. NJ, on the beach, speaking on energy policy.

Sea Bright, New Jersey, July 11, 2013. I joined Cindy Zipf of Clean Ocean Action, (fact sheetU.S, Rep Frank Pallone, campaign, and many citizens, including two children, one about 6, the other about 9. We spoke with eloquence, passion, and wisdom of the need to protect the shore, the biosphere, the bio-human-sphere.

“We need to build a clean and sustainable energy infrastructure,” I concluded, “one based on solar, wind, wave, geothermal and sustainable biofuels; an infrastructure for the future.  These distributed systems can be designed to withstand natural disasters, human error and terrorist attack. Our future is at stake, and our children’s future.”

I spoke for about 3 minutes, cutting my prepared remarks about in half.

This is not a partisan issue. Rep Pallone and I are Democrats. Governor Christie is a Republican. The Governor wisely vetoed an identical project in 2011 has promised to veto new deepwater LNG transfer ports.  Senator Buono and environmental / citizens groups should hold the governor to his promises.This is a disaster waiting to happen.

We need to look to the rooftops for solar, the oceans for wind and wave power, to geothermal differentials for heat and electricity, to build an infrastructure for the 21st Century.


Independence Day, 2013 http://furmanfornewjersey.com/2013/07/04/independence-day-2013/ Thu, 04 Jul 2013 16:34:02 +0000 http://furmanfornewjersey.com/?p=283 Today, July 4, 2013, I am thinking about The Four Freedoms, Plus Two, the Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights, and the Future.

The Original Four Freedoms, Plus Two:

  • Freedom of Speech and Assembly
  • Freedom to Pray – and to Not
  • Freedom from Fear
  • Freedom from Want
  • Freedom to Love.

The Declaration of Independence, here, The Bill of Rights, here, & the Future – an Economy in which we Thrive –

  • Opportunities to work at a career we enjoy, and retire while we are young enough to enjoy life.
  • An energy infrastructure that provides power without pollution and can withstand hurricanes – an Infrastructure for the 21st Century.
  • Schools, colleges and universities where we can get a good education – so we can find a good job or start a business when we graduate, so we can pay off our loans and build a family, regardless of who we love.

Policy is too important for lobbyists and politicians – and Bob Clifton, one of the incumbents in NJ LD 12 Assembly, is BOTH: A LOBBYIST and A POLITICIAN!  

Mr. Clifton is currently Director of Government and Community Affairs, Comcast Cable Corporation, has been since 2001.  He is also the former Director of Industry Relations, New Jersey Pavement and Asphalt Association. Ron Dancer, the other incumbent for NJ LD 12, Assembly, is a guy who, like Clifton, has one good idea: both are opposed to Hydraulic Fracturing, aka “Fracking.”

Ray Dothard, running for Senate, and Nick Nellegar and I running for General Assembly in Legislative District 12, agree on and support:

  • Increase Minimum Wage.
  • Establishing a NJ Health Benefits Exchange
  • Marriage Equality.
  • Shift to Clean, Renewable Energy.
  • ReBuild Infrastructure.

Based on their voting records, Clifton, Dancer, and Thompson ) agree on and oppose these ideas and policies. The differences are dramatic.Their voting records are on Vote Smart.org and are summarized below for Clifton & Dancer,

Legislation Name Clifton & Dancer
Furman & Nellegar
S968 Legislative Oversight of Privitization Contracts NAY Supports
A 1329 Limit Firearm Magazine Capacity NAY Supports
SCR 1 Increase Minimum Wage NAY Supports
AR 91 Investigate Finances of the Port Authority NAY Supports
A 2870 Establish OnLine Voter Registration NAY Supports
AR 86 Oppose Citizens United NAY Supports
S 1816 Authorize Delaware Port Authority to Inspect Hazardous Materials NAY Supports
A 2641 Storm water Management NAY Supports
S 2135 Establish NJ Health Benefit Exchange NAY Supports
S 1566 Authorize Conversion of Foreclosed Homes into Affordable Housing NAY Supports
A 3201 Increase Income Tax Rate on Incomes over $1.0 Million NAY Supports
A 1465 Reduce Penalties for Marijuana NAY Supports
S 1 Authorize Marriage Equality NAY Supports
ACR 37 Overturn DoEP Waiver Rules NAY Supports
S 1 Prohibit Treatment or Storage of Hydraulic Fracturing Waste in N J, YEA Supports
ACR 37 Require Participation in Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, RGGI NAY Supports
Greetings from Asbury Park http://furmanfornewjersey.com/2013/04/29/greetings-from-asbury-park/ Mon, 29 Apr 2013 19:08:42 +0000 http://furmanfornewjersey.com/?p=233 Asbury Park Convention Center, Postcard weather

Asbury Park Convention Center, Postcard weather

Asbury Park, NJ, April 29, 2013, 6:30 AM.Youtube.

Imagine if we had solar energy systems on our schools and our homes, and if those systems were designed to feed power into buildings when the grid shut down … we would have emergency shelters with power.  And if they were married to wind turbines located 4 or 5 miles offshore – we’d have a much more resilient grid. 

That’s what we have to do.

That’s why I’m running for Assembly.

Thank you very much.

This morning, 6 months after Hurricane Sandy. It was cold – about 50 F / 8 C and raining, not like that pictured above. I was at the Convention Hall, on the boardwalk, across the street from the Wonder Bar, near the new McLoon’s. MSNBC’s Morning Joe was there to have a conversation with NJ’s Gov. Chris Christie. I was there, it turned out, to have a conversation with one of the Governor’s aides, and with a protester who doesn’t like the Governor’s policies.


Earth Day, 2013. We Need to Clean Up the Economy http://furmanfornewjersey.com/2013/04/23/earth-day-2013-we-need-to-clean-up-the-economy/ Tue, 23 Apr 2013 01:43:12 +0000 http://furmanfornewjersey.com/?p=222 The Candidate at Monmouth Battleground State Park

At Monmouth Battleground State Park. Image by Dee Cantalice, Millstone. 

April 22, 2013, Monmouth Battleground State Park, 6:00 AM. On YouTube.

Earth Day, 2013.

On Earth Day, 1970, I was working to clean up a beach.

Today, Earth Day, 2013, I am working to clean up the economy.

[Both require teamwork.]

I’m standing here at Monmouth Battleground State Park – where Washington won a decisive battle against the British – ready to launch a battle against our competitors in other countries.

Unemployment, at 9.8%, in Dec. 2012, is too high, Medical care costs too much and Taxes are too high on the middle class.

We need to revive the economy so our children can get good jobs when they get out of college, so we can put them thru college, and so we can retire.

We withstood two hurricanes and three nor-easters in 2 years – and power failures. We need to rebuild our infrastructure so we are better able to withstand natural disasters. And shift from high-carbon sources of energy to low carbon sources so we put the breaks on climate change.

We can kill these two birds with one stone – the stone of a sustainable economy that rebuilds infrastructure.

At Bell Labs – where I used to work – Engineers invented the transistor in 1947, the photovoltaic cell in 1954, the Unix Operating System and C Language in 1971; but more than those three technologies – which changed the world – the Labs had [at least] one patent a day for 20 or 30 years. The turned basic research into products, turned ideas into wealth.

But the Labs don’t exist anymore.

We have terrific colleges and universities – Princeton, Rutgers, Brookdale – we should develop relationships between those schools and private industry so that basic research is used to create new products, where we turn ideas into wealth.

And rebuild our economy for the 21st Century. Thank you. Please join my campaign.