Investing in True Prosperity

What we want is real, long-lasting assets, created by public money stimulus, and private capital investment, investing in the future, a sustainable future – Renewable Energy, and Energy Efficiency measures : on all buildings, fuel efficiency for all vehicles permitted to drive, machine and appliance efficiency.

Not all investment is good investment. There’s no point in printing any more money if it’s going to be used to turn valuable raw materials into waste in a one-way process, keeping greenhouse gas emissions high, which increases the risk of very dangerous Climate Change.

We need to be spending our way out of Global Warming – and that means coming up with a plan to, amongst other things, close all the coal-fired electricity generation plants, reduce the fuel used in transportation and transit, and stop heat escaping from buildings in the cold season.

Any plan that does not include these objectives is a waste of time and energy, literally.

The Price of Carbon

The Price of Carbon

by Jo Abbess
20 April 2010

1.   Introduction

Policy strategy for controlling risky excess atmospheric greenhouse gas (Gowdy, 2008, Sect. 4; McKibben, 2007, Ch. 1, pp. 19-20; Solomon et al., 2009; Tickell, 2008, Ch. 6, pp. 205-208) mostly derives from the notion that carbon dioxide emissions should be charged for, in order to prevent future emissions; similar to treatment for environmental pollutants (Giddens, 2009, Ch. 6, pp. 149-155; Gore, 2009, Ch. 15 “The True Cost of Carbon”; Pigou, 1932; Tickell, 2008, Ch.4, Box 4.1, pp. 112-116). Underscoring this idea is the evidence that fines, taxes and fees modify behaviour, reigning in the marginal social cost of “externalities” through financial disincentive (Baumol, 1972; Sandmo, 2009; Tol, 2008). However this approach may not enable the high-value, long-term investment required for decarbonisation, which needs adjustments to the economy at scale (CAT, 2010; Hepburn and Stern, 2008, pp. 39-40, Sect. (ii) “The Consequences of Non-marginality”; MacKay, 2008, Ch. 19; Tickell, 2008, Ch. 2, pp. 40-41). Continue reading The Price of Carbon

BP’s Chief Economist Flunks Logic

I sometimes read the Foreign Affairs magazine, as the articles are written by influential people, some of whom appear to be remarkably knowledgable and sane.

However, trying to read a recent piece by BP’s Chief Economist Christof Ruehl was a journey with little progress, so I’m sorry to admit I couldn’t bring myself to finish digesting it.

The man’s head appears to have been spun, or he might have had a mission to spin his readership. All the same, it’s worthy of a Koan award (see YouTube on this page).

“Global Energy After the Crisis : Prospects and Priorities” by Christof Ruehl, Chief Economist of BP plc, writing in Foreign Affairs Magazine, Volume 89, Number 2, March/April 2010 :-

http://www.bp.com/liveassets/bp_internet/trinidad_and_tobago/STAGING/home_assets/christof-ruehl-global-energy-after-crisis.pdf

Continue reading BP’s Chief Economist Flunks Logic

Anthony Giddens : Demonising Environmentalism

The further I read into Anthony Giddens’ “landmark study” on Climate Change politics, the more I want to offer it to a fuel-poor elderly neighbour :-

http://www.metro.co.uk/news/807821-pensioners-burn-books-for-warmth

“Miles Erwin – 5th January, 2010 : Pensioners burn books for warmth : Hard-up pensioners have resorted to buying books from charity shops and burning them to keep warm. Volunteers have reported that ‘a large number’ of elderly customers are snapping up hardbacks as cheap fuel for their fires and stoves…”

I have taken a fat orange highlighter pen to his more tendentious and incensing statements, and am scratching comments in the margins to indicate my extreme displeasure.

What is it about Anthony Giddens’ phraseology that so irritates me ? I’ll pass over the more nebulous, inaccurate rubbish like his mention of “political scientists” – politics is no more science than the study of fine art. And I’ll try really hard not to call him ideologically-challenged, based on his references to unproven economic theories as if they were axiomatic facts.

My key dislike to his approach seems to be crystallising around his dismissiveness of other peoples’ points of view; his loose, callous talk is likely to alienate a good many people, and he needs repudiation.

Continue reading Anthony Giddens : Demonising Environmentalism