Category Archives: Economics

Gas the price of Freedom

The US government in its efforts to promote liquefied natural gas exports has taken to referring to the product as ‘Freedom Gas’
““Increasing export capacity from the Freeport LNG project is critical to spreading freedom gas throughout the world by giving America’s allies a diverse and affordable source of clean energy.””
A name change slightly more idiotic than the change from French fries when France was insufficiently gung-ho about the Iraq war.


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Where’s the Beef ?

It has been a few months since posting anything, in large part because as a long time observer of Climateball I have seen nothing new that prompted a response. The cumulative evidence for AGW and its impacts continues to accumulate, along with CO2, but the same responses also continue. Deniers deny, alarmist alarm and the BTI continues to rely on ignoring the distinction between AM/FM

I have also been occupied in audio-graphic experiments, some of which can be seen on my YouTube channel, linked on this blog page.

But recently The Lancet  published a report on how the human diet might be changed to both benefit individual health, and benefit the environment by reducing the impact from food production on CO2 and other pollutants. A connection I have made as an analogy before is now explicitly connected in this.

“The world needs to come up with solutions to fight three interrelated pandemics — obesity, starvation and climate change — and it needs to do it fast before the planet is “burning,” according to a report released in the Lancet.”

It was widely reported, usually without any editorialising, but some have jumped on it, either as the cure-all that MUST be imposed, or as a ridiculous and impossible Utopian prescription.

 

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Recarbonization

The US Trump policy is to return to the age of plentiful cheap fossil fuel that made America great in the 1950s-1960s.
Conserving oil is no longer an economic imperative for the US, the Trump administration has declared in a major new policy statement that threatens to undermine decades of government campaigns for efficient cars and other conservation programs.”
There is a pattern of actions, opening up more restricted and offshore drilling sites. Reducing regulatory oversight and increasing the effective subsidies. De-funding the attempts to promote efficiency and reversing the attempts to reduce emissions. All of this is consistent with past attitudes to fossil fuel use, but it may need a historical context to see why.


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politix of Envy

Politixs of Envy

The Capuchin monkey experiment  showing an individual content with cucumber until an associate receives grape, shows that a sense of justice is deeply embedded in social animals. Or at least that resentment at getting less than another crosses the species barrier. But that plays out in human affairs in ways that go beyond mere envy.

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Countercurrent Multiplier

President Trump has finally managed to make good on one of his many campaign promises.
He has pulled out of the Paris agreement.
Muslims are still un-banned, Obamacare un-repealed and Mexicans un-walled.
But Trump can claim real progress in having repudiated the Paris agreement to join with all other Nations (except Syria and Nicaragua), in reducing future CO2 emissions by a self-selected voluntary amount.
While such a withdrawal involves very little change in actions, Trump can point to other steps taken to roll back clean air and water regulations and cut funding for renewable energy research in keeping his larger promise to reduce job-inhibiting regulation and government subsidy of environmental issues.

This one valid success in meeting his manifesto pledges has not been greeted with wide praise. In fact it seems to have increased the expressed commitment of all those within the Paris agreement. With wider signs that the importance of future CO2 emission reduction is gaining support.


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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