Saturday , January 29 2022
Home / Tag Archives: Energy, Environment, Resources

Tag Archives: Energy, Environment, Resources

Should Companies Be Deeply Obsessed with Helping Customers?

He also blamed PG&E for its “deep-rooted obsession for keeping power flowing,” which he said could be blamed for allowing its equipment to ignite wildfires despite forecasts for hazardous weather and, starting in 2019, a power shutoff strategy. This is from Julie Johnson, “Judge fires parting shots at PG&E as the utility’s probation comes to end,” San Francisco Chronicle, January 19, 2022. “He” in the above is U.S. District Judge William Alsup, pictured...

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Regenerative Agriculture and the Denial of Comparative Advantage: Part 3

Agricultural Productivity and Standards of Living There was a time not too long ago when most people understood that comparative advantage, trade, the division of labor and specialization delivered greater agricultural productivity and standards of living. Perhaps because they or members of their extended family weren’t all that removed from quasi-subsistence farming, they saw the virtues of specializing in the production of “cash crops” for which there were lucrative...

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A rose by any other name

Is graffiti an art? Is alcoholism a disease? Is economics a science? Is bombing cities during wartime terrorism?Who cares? Art, disease, science, terrorism are just words. How I feel about graffiti, alcoholism, economics, and bombing doesn’t depend in any way on how society labels those activities. Words are just words.I base my judgment on other factors. Do I like graffiti? How do I believe alcoholism should be addressed? Do I believe economics is useful? Do I...

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Decentralized Tokyo

The Economist has an interesting article on the world’s largest city: Tokyo is now the world’s largest city, with 37m residents in the metropolitan area and 14m in the city proper. It is also one of the world’s most liveable, with punctual public transport, safe neighbourhoods, clean streets and more restaurants and Michelin stars than any other. In the liveability index of the Economist Intelligence Unit, our sister group, Tokyo comes joint fourth, but its...

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Ancient Wisdom on Climate and Society, Part 2

Physiologist Jared Diamond’s 1997 Guns, Germs, and Steel. The Fates of Human Societies is a rare publishing phenomenon. An ambitious yet accessible study on the development of human civilization, it won a Pulitzer Prize, sold over a million copies, was translated into 36 languages, turned up on college reading lists everywhere, and was eventually made into a 3-part National Geographic TV series. What impressed many reviewers was, in the words of the National...

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Richard L. Stroup RIP

As a number of economists and others have noted, Richard L. Stroup died on November 18. He was a good and gentle man and a very good economist. He used straightforward microeconomic tools to investigate, and generate insights on, interesting issues. I’ll highlight some items from the 10th edition of his textbook, Economics: Private and Public Choice, co-authored with James D. Gwartney, Russell S. Sobel, and David A. Macpherson. I’ll point to sections for which there...

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Are carbon taxes unpopular?

Many economists on both the left and the right support carbon taxes. Most politicians on both the left and the right oppose carbon taxes. A widely cited explanation is that carbon taxes are politically unpopular.  In a new column in The Hill, I argue that this perception may be based on a misunderstanding: To understand the politics of carbon taxes, we need to begin by recalling that economists view terms such as “taxes” and “subsidies” differently than the...

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Climate Shock Bet: Reply to Reeves

Here’s my point-by-point reply to Daniel Reeves.  He’s in blockquotes; I’m not. Daniel gets the last word if he wants it! Bryan seems to start by acknowledging that 6 degrees of warming (we’re approaching 1 degree so far, for those just tuning in) would be devastating and that a 10% chance of that by the end of the century warrants mitigation efforts. He even acknowledges that — warming being proportional to cumulative historical emissions — we can’t afford to wait....

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Response to Scott Sumner on the Carbon Tax

In a comment on Bryan Caplan’s latest post, “Climate Shock Bet: Daniel Reeves Responds,” November 10, 2021, co-blogger Scott Sumner writes: Revenue neutral carbon taxes are a low hanging fruit that we have foolishly declared impractical. Are they really low-hanging fruit? It’s not that clear. I wrote about this in “A Case Against the Carbon Tax For All Ideologies,” July 28, 2018.  The gist of my argument is this: If it turns out that the most efficient way to deal...

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Climate Shock Bet: Daniel Reeves Responds

Daniel Reeves has written this reaction piece to my write-up of our bet.  I’m in blockquotes; he’s not. By the way, I will be in Guatemala from November 11-16.  I’ll be doing a bunch of events at Universidad Francisco Marroquín on Friday, and speaking for the Mont Pelerin Society on Monday.  I’ll be at Tikal over the weekend.  If you see me in any of these places, please say hi! Now here’s Daniel. Bryan seems to start by acknowledging that 6 degrees of warming (we’re...

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