Friday, May 27, 2011

Thank you, etc.

Not sure anyone is a subscriber or reader aside from personal friends. Thank you for reading and commenting and subscribing and what have you. It has been edifying!

Though I imagine the technology is nearly the same, I'm retiring the blogspot account (not deleting, just retiring its use) and posting things on tumblr, which seems to encourage the sort of content that my schedule allows moreso lately. That is, less so paragraphs of commentary, moreso sharing things I find interesting with minimal comment, which is sort of what the Pigouist had turned into. Also, I'm using this transition to hopefully expand into other kinds of content aside from the environment/economics intersection, including, hopefully, music I write or have participated in, or other types of content (vlogs? anyway).

If you use an RSS reader, you can subscribe to the tumblr here.

Again, thanks.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Misdiagnosed Ills

Much like how you don't notice the inefficiency of urban design until you have to buy gas, you often don't realize how expensive it is to maintain roads until you have to get alignments more often:

Forty-one percent of Cleveland-area highways and major roads were in "poor or mediocre condition," based on 2008 reports to the Federal Highway Administration, TRIP reported.
The pock-marked routes result in $295 in added costs yearly for the average Cleveland driver, the report said.

Unfortunately, when the cost is only paid at the gas pump or at the repair shop, it's harder to identify that the cause is systemic.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Two articles in Slate

The first is on the bizarre double standard regarding how we react to catastrophes in the nuclear industry versus fossil-fuel industries:

Less than a year ago, a drilling rig exploded off the coast of the United States, killing 11 workers and pouring 4 million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. No natural disaster caused this tragedy. It was entirely man-made. President Obama halted deep-water drilling but lifted the moratorium less than six months later. On Friday, while fielding questions about Japan's nuclear reactors, he proudly noted that his administration, under new, stricter rules, had "approved more than 35 new offshore drilling permits."

That's how we deal with tragedies in the oil business. Accidents happen. People die. Pollution spreads. We don't abandon oil. We study what went wrong, try to fix it, and move on.

The second is on why ethanol won't work either:

They started to change their minds as a stream of research showed that biofuels from most food crops did not significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions – and in many cases, caused forests to be destroyed to grow more food, creating more net carbon-dioxide emissions than fossil fuels.
Some green activists supported mandates for biofuel, hoping they would pave the way for next-generation ethanol, which would use non-food plants. That has not happened.
Today, it is difficult to find a single environmentalist who still backs the policy.

Monday, December 6, 2010


Downtown developers have complained that COTA passengers waiting for transfers near Broad and High streets, and buses lining the curbs make the area less attractive for retail stores and their customers...

Transit-dependent riders who are going through Downtown, for whatever reason, don’t shop… Large numbers of people waiting for a transfer can be intimidating for someone walking down the sidewalk.

Translation: People who buy things want to be protected from knowing about and interacting with people who are too poor to buy things.

From Sociological Images.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Even Goldman-Sachs

Even Goldman-Sachs will admit that unemployment insurance is good for the economy.

A Labor Department report shows that for every $1 spent on unemployment insurance, $2 are spent in the economy. If you don’t believe the Labor Department, maybe you’ll believe Goldman Sachs analyst Alec Phillips, who estimates that if unemployment benefits are allowed to expire, the American economy would slow by a half a percent.

From Robert Reich

Friday, November 12, 2010

Quick Keynsian Quote

From Marinner Eccles, chairman of the Fed, to Franklin D. Roosevelt, March 6, 1935 (quoted by Robert Reich):

Given the “totally inadequate” amount of money the administration is prepared to spend to jump-start the economy, there’s no reason “to expect any substantial improvement. If we spend some every year, but not sufficient to give the required stimulus to private expenditures, we can build up a large debt and still not be out of the Depression.”

Relatedly, from the Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear, we consider whether or not Obama is a Keynsian:

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


From bakadesuyo:

Compared with a normal population distribution of BMI, a population with 40% obese requires 19% more food energy for its total energy expenditure. Greenhouse gas emissions from food production and car travel due to increases in adiposity in a population of 1 billion are estimated to be between 0.4 Giga tonnes (GT) and 1.0 GT of carbon dioxide equivalents per year.