Relevant and even prescient commentary on news, politics and the economy.

A Washington State Carbon Tax Goes Down in Flames

A Washington State Carbon Tax Goes Down in Flames Initiative 1631, which would have created a carbon tax in Washington State, lost by almost 12% of the vote this week.  Commentators on all sides have interpreted this as a decisive defeat for carbon pricing, making more indirect policies like subsidies to renewables the only politically […]

Scratch That

I made a mistake. And it’s a good thing. Following up on my Running on Empty post, I wanted to give a more finely-grained analysis of climate costs relative to GDP growth, so I returned to my sources to see who their sources were and how they did their calculations. Watson et al., compiled their […]

Business As Usual: Running on Empty

A little over a year ago, Robert Watson, former chair of the IPCC, and two co-authors published a report titled “The Economic Case for Climate Action in the United States.” Based on trends over the past few decades, the authors estimated the current total annual cost in the U.S. of losses from weather events intensified […]

Absolute Decoupling and Relative Surplus Value: Rectification of Names

Jargon is a heck of a drug: If names be not correct, language is not in accordance with the truth of things. If language be not in accordance with the truth of things, affairs cannot be carried on to success. The discourse of global warming/climate change is lousy with jargon. This rampant obfuscation gives science […]

2018 Arctic sea ice minimum

2018 Arctic sea ice minimum As I may possibly have mentioned once or twice before, I am a total nerd.  One of the web sites I watch is NSIDC’s site tracking arctic sea ice.  To be honest, I’m a little surprised that it is still functioning, since the Trump Administration believes that climate change is […]

Is the Ecological Salvation of the Human Species at Hand?

Is the Ecological Salvation of the Human Species at Hand? In “De-growth vs a Green New Deal,” Robert Pollin relies on the same blurring of distinctions that Robert Solow employed 46 years earlier in his condemnation of The Limits to Growth as “bad science.” Nicholaus Georgescu-Roegen pointed out Solow’s obfuscation in the article that inspired the term […]

Is the Ecological Salvation of the Human Species at Hand?

The July-August issue of New Left Review published an essay by Robert Pollin titled “De-growth vs. Green New Deal” in which he outlines his objections to what Peter Dorman affectionately refers to as “a suicide cult masquerading as a political position.” I have written a response to Pollin’s article, that I have submitted to NLR, […]