I thought it was Felix Salmon who made a very good argument for a carbon dioxide tax rather than a cap-and-trade system, referring to British Columbia’s decision to introduce a progressively increasing levy on fossil fuels and make a matching cut in general taxation. But it wasn’t; anyway here goes. If you read this blog…Read More The Gobbles Have It
This Brad DeLong post summarises criticisms of the Stern report on the economics of climate change and criticisms of the criticisms. Mostly, it’s concerned with the role of uncertainty; as the tail of the distribution includes some really horrible possibilities, it’s not sensible to assume that we’ll be OK because the middle of the distribution…Read More A Fundamental Problem
Sun Microsystems is building a data centre in an abandoned Japanese coal mine using 30 of their data-centre-in-a-shipping-container boxes. Of course, the ostensible reason is that it’s always 15 degrees down there, so they expect to save 50 per cent of the electricity requirement, and further it’s as secure as you like. But seriously, this…Read More Muhahhahaaaa!
In my last “there will be no war with Iran” post, I asked if there were any other indicators I ought to be watching. Having given it some thought, I have indeed been looking at some others; for a start, I would expect that before such a strike the US Government’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve would…Read More Any Other Indicators
This is interesting; apparently one of the problems with Iraq’s electricity supply is that the original control centre was looted back in 2003, with the result that local switching stations were instead given instructions on the phone. Over time, however, these sites have come under the control of whoever has the most guns; and they…Read More Taking over the system
Disturbing Search Request of the decade: 188.8.131.52, searching Google for “who would handle a commercial shipment of arms and ammunitions from Sharjah to Baghdad”. That’ll be someone downstream of AS5384, or Etisalat (Emirates Telecom), the UAE’s fun-loving national telco monopoly, best known for blocking more websites than China. Ha. But there is some actual substance…Read More War Profiteers Read My Weblog
This row over at Tim Lambert’s, also here, reminded me of something I’ve noticed around the blogosphere. There was this, too, and also this. They’re all arguments from meta-analysis of some sort, and they’re all wrong. They’re all wrong in the same way, too; the first, David Kane’s beef with the Lancet survey of mortality…Read More Scienciness, again
I don’t like the “contraction and convergence” approach to stopping climate change. Why? Well, I have a number of reasons. C&C states that we should set a global CO2 target lower than present (contraction), and that poor countries should be allowed to expand up to it while rich ones cut down to it (convergence). The…Read More Criticisms of Contraction and Convergence
This Grauniad essay on Robert Byron raises an interesting question. Y’know the chap – wrote The Road to Oxiana, very typical Eton’n’Oxford gay aesthete, pretty much a standard template for 1890s-1950s British travel writing, obsessed by foreign architecture but didn’t care for the people over much. Consider this: Byron wrote that the catalyst for his…Read More Alternate Oxiana
This DeLong vs Krugman post, and the comment from James Galbraith, raise an interesting issue regarding redistribution of income, free trade, and globalisation. Namely, as trade creates both winners and losers, but with a positive sum, it is both just and politically necessary that the winners compensate the losers. You could consider it a side-payment…Read More Who needs remote control?