August 25, 2013
The geography of success
Weak U.S. economic growth continues to be discouraging. But it's worth taking a look at a few places where things going well for America.
August 15, 2013
Some Economic Implications of Global Climate Change
Each time I post something on the environment, a number of readers admonish me to get back to economics. Well, it's been obvious to many observers that the two are interlinked. Consider one graph from NOAA, and two others from Economic Benefits of Increasing Electric Grid Resilience to Weather Outages, a joint CEA and DOE report, released on Tuesday.
July 18, 2013
It's Been a Hot July
As noted by NBC News, but it's absolutely, positively, definitely got nothing to do with global climate change (!!!).
May 20, 2013
Here is striking photo of a pile of by-product of processing Canadian tar sands oil, from NY Times:
April 04, 2013
This Is Not an Oil Spill
March 24, 2013
Declining U.S. carbon dioxide emissions
Emissions of carbon dioxide from fossil fuel consumption in the United States have fallen remarkably since 2008, with recent levels the lowest since 1995. Here I comment on some of the factors behind this.
February 19, 2013
Some Environmental Issues Surrounding Keystone XL
November 11, 2012
National Research Council: “Climate and Social Stress: Implications for Security Analysis”
”There is compelling reason to presume that specific failures of adaptation [to climate change] will occur with consequences more severe than any yet experienced, severe enough to compel more extensive international engagement than has yet been anticipated or organized.”
October 31, 2012
Economic Effects of Hurricane Sandy
As the eastern U.S. tries to dig out from under the devastation, I thought it might be useful to comment on the economic consequences that a storm like this could have.
October 11, 2012
Governor Brown solves California's gas price problem
Though the record gasoline prices paid by Californians last week received national attention, it was from the beginning strictly a California problem.
July 14, 2012
May Temperatures, Economic Implications
With update (7/19) comparing global land/ocean temperature anomaly 2012 vs. 2010 and 2005
The United States reported its warmest spring since records began in 1895,...
April 14, 2012
Links for 2012-04-14
Quick links to a few items I found interesting.
April 09, 2012
NOAA: Warmest March on Record
And the first three months of 2012 were also the warmest first quarter in the contiguous United States, according to NOAA.
March 03, 2012
Global Land Sea Anomaly, Global Climate Change, etc.
Since my last post on government spending increase (it's actually decreasing) was hijacked by those focused on denying the impact of human activity on global climate, I thought it useful to recap the global land sea anomaly . It's also useful to recall that on one side is Texas Governor Perry , and the other side the National Academy of Sciences . I think that dichotomy speaks volumes.
February 19, 2012
Work-arounds for the politics of Keystone
The Keystone Gulf Coast Expansion Project is now entering its fourth year of regulatory review, and is currently on indefinite political hold. In the mean time, the market is figuring out other alternatives.
January 22, 2012
Here's my suggestion for how to become rich: buy low and sell high.
December 28, 2011
Getting the U.S. economy growing
We can sit and wring our hands, or we can get to work.
December 18, 2011
Costs and benefits of the Keystone XL pipeline
October 03, 2011
Gov. Perry on Anthropogenic Climate Change
From Reuters, three days ago:
"I still stand by that the science is not settled on man-made global warming," Perry said while campaigning in the key early primary state of New Hampshire.
By the way of contrast, from the Preface to National Academy of Sciences, Advancing the Science of Climate Change (2010):
...there is a strong, credible body of evidence, based on multiple lines of research, documenting that climate is changing and that these changes are in large part caused by human activities. ...
September 15, 2011
What could America be good at?
A vision of what American economic growth over the next decade could look like might also help us address our immediate economic problems.
September 09, 2011
We Can All Be Like Texas!
From Fort Worth Star Telegram:
As the Texas Forest Service battles what may be the state's most destructive wildfire outbreak ever, state lawmakers are facing criticism that they have has taken a penny-wise-pound-foolish approach to funding the agency.
June 22, 2011
Making jobs priority one
It is looking unlikely that there will be more stimulus from either fiscal policy or monetary policy. Former President Bill Clinton has called for suggestions for other policy options that might be helpful. Here are a few ideas along those lines.
May 15, 2011
Shale gas environmental concerns
Technological breakthroughs in methods for drilling for natural gas have opened up the possibility of vast new supplies. However, environmental concerns may turn out to be significant.
August 26, 2010
A quantitative assessment of the scientific consensus on anthropogenic climate change
From the abstract to the paper:
... we use an extensive dataset of 1,372 climate researchers and their publication and citation data to show that (i) 97-98% of the climate researchers most actively publishing in the field support the tenets of ACC outlined by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and (ii) the relative climate expertise and scientific prominence of the researchers unconvinced of ACC are substantially below that of the convinced researchers.
August 07, 2010
Vast Ice 'Island' Breaks Free of Greenland Glacier
From NYT, a quote of researcher Jason Box:
Petermann [glacier] is a sleeping giant that is slowly awakening. Removing flow resistance leads to flow acceleration... The coincidence of this area loss and a 30 square kilometer loss in 2008 with abnormal warmth this year, the setting of increasing sea surface temperatures and sea ice decline are all part of a climate warming pattern.
August 04, 2010
Lessons from the Gulf Spill: Do's and Don'ts
We're pleased to feature another post from Steven Kopits of Douglas-Westwood, this time on lessons to be learned from the BP oil disaster.
July 29, 2010
NOAA: Past Decade Warmest on Record
Figure 1: Source: NOAA.
July 08, 2010
May Global Surface Mean Temp Anomalies
I await June figures with bated breath. From NOAA:
June 23, 2010
Links for 2010-06-23
Tim Duy thinks the fanfare about a new Chinese currency policy is overdone:
The PR overload suggests the Administration is desperately in need of a "win," no matter how trivial.... While China appears willing to adjust the parity rate, changes are likely to be more window dressing than anything else. The industrial base shifted from the US to China over the past twenty years, a transition aided by the Clinton Administration's commitment to a strong dollar, and it is not going to come rushing back for a few percentage points of currency value. The structural shift has happened, and it won't reverse easily.
When Bill McBride says he expects house prices to decline, I pay attention:
When months-of-supply is below 6 months, house prices are typically rising-- and above 6 months-of-supply, house prices are usually falling.... We are much closer to the price bottom now than in 2008, and I don't expect that severe of a price decline. But I do expect house prices to fall in the 2nd half of 2010 and into 2011-- probably another 5% to 10% for the major house price indexes (Case-Shiller and CoreLogic).
A federal judge overturned the moratorium on new deepwater offshore drilling:
"An invalid agency decision to suspend drilling of wells in depths of over 500 feet simply cannot justify the immeasurable effect on the plaintiffs, the local economy, the Gulf region, and the critical present-day aspect of the availability of domestic energy in this country," [U.S. District Judge Martin] Feldman wrote....
The temporary injunction by [Judge] Feldman appears unlikely to bring a swift resumption of deepwater drilling: Oil companies say they're reluctant to start new ventures as an uncertain appeals process unfolds.
June 18, 2010
More on BP
The Christian Science Monitor details 5 decisions by BP on the Deep Horizon drilling that saved costs but added to risks: (1) foregoing section casing and tiebacks, (2) using only 1/3 the recommended number of stabilizers, (3) failure to test the cement seal, (4) implementing only partial mud circulation, and (5) failure to secure the wellhead. And they don't even mention the acoustic shut-off switch.
June 09, 2010
Toxic assets and toxic oil
In some ways the Gulf of Mexico oil spill seems like a replay of the subprime lending disaster. Clever technological innovations blew up in a mess that nobody knew how to control, wreaking devastation on those innocently standing by. The actors and the scenes have changed, but you can't shake the feeling you've been through this nightmare before.
May 28, 2010
The FRTG Estimate Clarified
The TFRG range of oil spill flow reported yesterday was the lower bound. From PBS Newshour, regarding the 12,000-19,000 barrel per day estimate:
...at least two experts on the panel say that those numbers actually represent what they consider the lower boundary range of the possible amount of oil.
May 27, 2010
WWRPA at the Hearings of SUAC?
Or, "What would Rand Paul Ask at the Hearings of the Senate Un-American Activities Committee?". From AP:
"What I don't like from the president's administration is this sort of, 'I'll put my boot heel on the throat of BP,'" Paul said in an interview with ABC's "Good Morning America." "I think that sounds really un-American in his criticism of business."
May 17, 2010
NOAA: Warmest April Global Temperature on Record
That's the title from today's top entry on the NOAA website. And if that's not interesting enough, the subtitle reads: "Also Warmest January-April"
Pictures at a Catastrophe
(With apologies to Mussorgsky.) Here's the first:
Figure 1: MODIS/Terra image/Sky Truth, May 10, 2010.
May 09, 2010
More on the Deepwater Horizon
From Peter Coy and Stanley Reed in Bloomberg:
Should the heaviest portion of the spill come ashore, it may cause damage rivaling the 1989 wreck of the Exxon Valdez in Alaska's Prince William Sound, despoiling the breeding grounds of species in the fragile coastal-buffer zone that provides hurricane protection.
May 05, 2010
How much damage does the market think the oil spill has done?
Econbrowser is pleased to host this guest contribution from UCSD Ph.D. candidate Ben Fissel, who shares a quick estimate of the economic damage from the Gulf oil spill.
May 02, 2010
Where would we be without offshore oil?
As oil continues to pour into the Gulf of Mexico, I thought it might be helpful to review how we got where we are today.
April 29, 2010
What Are the Externalities of "Drill, Baby, Drill"?
From NYT, "Size of Spill in Gulf of Mexico Is Larger Than Thought", the extent of the spill in the Gulf of Mexico:
Figure from CAMPBELL ROBERTSON and LESLIE KAUFMAN, "Size of Spill in Gulf of Mexico Is Larger Than Thought," NYT (29 April 2010).
November 16, 2009
The Global Surface Temperature Anomaly
August 02, 2009
Cash for clunkers
A victim of its own success?
July 28, 2009
One of our local papers did a better job of reporting this issue than I have seen from any of the big guys, in part because the reporter started with the question that I think everyone should be asking: what does it mean to create a green job? Here's what I said:
If you have two people making the same amount of energy that one person used to make, would you want to describe that as creating one new job? I would say no, you're significantly reducing productivity. Ultimately, creating jobs has to do with promoting productivity.... We might well make a decision that we want to be promoting economic growth in a way that's more friendly toward the environment. That's a fine decision to make, but I don't think we ought to be doing it under the pretense we're creating jobs for people.
July 04, 2009
Waxman-Markey and the Great Depression II?
"With the passage of Cap and Trade there is a good chance that unemployment will be worse than 1933 by the end of 2010."
So writes an Econbrowser reader. Well, anything can happen, but that is not the outcome I predict. Nor the CBO, EPA, and other informed analysts.
October 16, 2008
Balancing California's Energy Needs with its Environmental Goals
June 20, 2008
How to save money on gas
Environmental Economics and The Energy Collective are among the many voices recently advising consumers they could save gasoline by driving more slowly. I was curious to take a look at the evidence behind such claims.
May 31, 2008
What the Administration Considered Too Dangerous to Release for Four Years
And released only under threat of a court order: "Scientific Assessment of the Effects of Global Change on the United States" (summary).
May 15, 2008
Making fuel out of air and sunshine
Plants do it. Why not you?
May 13, 2008
Baby you can fly my car
May 03, 2008
A Memo I'd Love to See: Whales and Economics
From the Washington Post:
White House officials for more than a year have blocked a rule aimed at protecting endangered North Atlantic right whales by challenging the findings of government scientists, according to documents obtained by the Union of Concerned Scientists.
October 24, 2007
Still fighting the rear guard action against reality
From the New York Times (reg.req.):
White House Cuts to Climate Testimony Raise Questions
An example of one of the changes made to Julie L. Gerberding's testimony. Source: NYT.
March 03, 2007
Featuring prominently in the new energy plan from President Bush is a call for changes in the corporate average fuel efficiency (CAFE) standards that the Administration claims could reduce U.S. gasoline consumption by 5% over the next 10 years. Here are some of the reasons I'm not thrilled by that suggestion.
October 18, 2006
Proposition 87 expenditures
Last week I discussed the way in which California's Proposition 87, the Clean Alternative Energy Act, would raise revenues. Today I take a look at some of the implications of its proposed use of those funds.
October 10, 2006
Proposition 87 tax plan
Sixteen of the 191 pages that Californians are asked to read in order to vote intelligently in the upcoming election are devoted to discussion of Proposition 87, the Clean Alternative Energy Act. This calls for $4 billion or more in new taxes and spending. In this post, I discuss only the tax side of this proposal, and hopefully will have an opportunity to take up the spending details in a sequel.
September 24, 2006
What do Russia and California have in common?
July 30, 2006
Report of the National Research Council on "Surface Temperature Reconstructions for the Last 2,000 Years"
What do the scientists (in peer reviewed journals) say about global warming?
April 27, 2006
President Bush and gasoline prices
Unlike some other pundits, I see a number of good ideas in the President's new proposals and actions announced on Tuesday.
January 22, 2006
Careful with that "e-waste"
As a service to California readers, I call attention to new state regulations on disposal of household waste.