Category Archives: Economics

back again

Back again

After such a long absence from posting it is customary to return with a reason. A tale of events somehow proportional to the length of the gap. But a large part of it was indolence.

Certainly there were the real world logistics of summer holidays work and family to distract. But nothing exceptional.
There are two reasons for not posting anything new recently. Continue reading

Mining the Past

Coal has a history. In synergistic symbiosis with steel-making and steam engines it fuelled the industrial revolution. Replaced slavery and became the dominant economic industry on the planet for a few decades.
In the present coal appears to be dying. The bankruptcy of Peabody energy, the last big private coal producer in the US and the conviction of Blankenship, a mine owner for a mining disaster are events that could never have been imagined during the days of King Coal.
Does coal have a future? Or under the influence of campaigns like the coal disinvestment movement will it be relegated to a small scale resource, exploited for its local convenience and no longer exist as a major player in the global energy markets? Continue reading

Back on trend

Back on trend.

Well after a hiatus in posting, a pause even in blog posts, here are some views on the flotsam and jetsam encountered while wandering through the twilight zone, the outer limits of the Internet in a futile attempt to avoid the febrile nonsense of the EU referendum debate in the UK and the interminable circus of the Trump.

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That was then this is now

This is another post on the theme of future and past times and how we view them. It was prompted in part by reflecting on the Lamar Smith witchhunt of Karl et al at NASA and the scientists who have been analysing and improving the historical temperature record. Continue reading

Remembering the future; imagining the past.

While this may seem paradoxical there are many ways in which this is how we view events that stretch in both directions on the timeline from our present

The recent anniversary of the Back to the Future film is an example of how we judge the present on how we predicted the future in the past.
The way in which we imagine the past however is often shaped by our ideological beliefs. The recent controversy over the Confederate battle flag might be an example of this process by which history gets used as a symbol of resistance to change when it was seen as the mark of resistance to the civil rights advances of the 60s Continue reading

Syria, migrants and mitigation

In a discussion at another [place] the hot issue of the migrant crisis and the role of climate in starting the Syrian unrest emerged. I got to wondering what the present state of the climate is in Syria, and how that impacts on the chances that the millions of people displaced will, or can, ever return. Continue reading

Utopian solutions, dystopian precipitates.

As the reality of the hottest year continues and the room for denial of
ongoing and potential future damaging impacts from AGW shrinks, programs of
policy appear that go beyond the mere economic tinkering of Carbon Tax or
Cap and Trade.utopia_1

The Papal letter on caring for our world, the Ecomodernist manifesto both
exemplify the emergence of approaches to the problem of AGW that go beyond
attacking symptom or causes and propose more far-reaching changes in the way
future society must be ordered to solve the damage that present use of
fossil fuels have created, and avoid further impacts from continued
emissions. Continue reading

Cities, regulation and coal

Sometimes, those who reject the serious potential threats from CO2 emissions driving global warming accuse those who highlight the possible impacts of climate change of wanting to return to a simple agrarian life. That the motivation is a wish to regulate out of existence modern technological society and entrepreneurial capitalism. The opposite is true. Regulation is a necessary feature of civilisation, required to make the urban environment and the manufacture of products possible.

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Making Snow While the Sun Shines

First, a short(ish) digression..
It has been several years since I was active in the climate blog discussions; – cue nostalgic memories of the delirious days of Delignpole at the Telegraph and post-climategate and see Footnote 1 at the end for a link -These days I mainly lurk!
It was an accident of coincidence that the time after Christmas I had available to get involved in a climate blog discussion thread and the time available to finally set up a long term project, this blog, intersected.
So the sudden influx of visitors and blogroll link at HotWopper provided an unexpected kick-start. Not the first time a blog has benefited from piggy-backing the climate debate ! However the intention is for this blog to cover rather more than climate. I intend to try and combine the Climate issue, which has roots into the fundamental economics of society in a way which the Evolution issue does not, with an interest in the visual media and the use of CGI to communicate, in a post in the pipeline with the working title –

“AGW = A Major Concern ?” – An Animated discussion !

Which will combine the climate issue with another video using some of the visual communication methods now available for general use. It is said that a picture is worth a thousand words, perhaps an animated picture is worth even more… but a thousand pictures is only around 40 seconds of animation, and can take hours to days to render and edit so be patient!
Here is a little taste –ALARMIST_40In the meantime here is a little side-reflection, a filler post on something triggered by Richard S J Tol’s recent contribution to the debate on adaption and mitigation to cater to all those new visitors with a taste for the climate pigpen… –

Continue reading