Monday readings

“We can’t have stronger environmental laws, it hurts business too much and they will just flee overseas, therefore we can’t have stronger environmental lows.” We’ve all heard this arguement, so is it true?

No, its not, says some economists. The article is fairly hardcore economics, so I’ll just quote the last page:

“Conclusion – Pro-environmental nations experience better economic outcomes on several measures, controlling for other factors, than nations with lax environmental policies. These findings run counter to a theme articulated by many scholars of globalization: that nations must cater to the demands of industry and global capital regarding environmental and social policy or be punished by the flight of capital and production. Most countries are augmenting their environmental protection laws, and doing so does not appear to prompt the flight of capital or other adverse economic effects.”

If I was to elope with any periodical, it’d be the London Review of Books. Here’s an X000 word esay on climate change, yeah, yeah, you’ve read enough on that this year to last a tedious lifetime… but this has not a word wasted, it’s a precise and clear summary of the science, the uncertainty, the politics and why not much is being done. Dr Jez recommends you read it. After all, its Monday, and you don’t actually want to do any work, do you?

And as for what to do about it, Dr Jez recommends:

  • eat less meat
  • drive less
  • fly less
  • get your electricity from Meridian
  • and with all the money you’ve saved from not doing things, buy a sunny, insulated, warm house

Instead, you probably want to stick captions on cats. Why? Coz aliens asked us to:

12 thoughts on “Monday readings”

  1. If you eloped with the London review of books, would you have to be married to another periodical for it to be bigamy?

    I was assuming that you were planning to make an honest periodical of her.

    1. I wouldn’t want to change her, she’s perfect as she is. (Well, apart from the inevitable changes in location caused by elopement. And as I quite like it where I am, she’ll have to become the Wellington Review of Books.)

    1. Re: Loremo!

      Yeah, unfortunately, you can’t buy one till 2009, which I think counts as vapourware. But there definitely seems room for an efficienct two-seat car, something like a Smart but more driveable, not far off an MX-5, but with an engine more balanced to hippiness than hoonage, but still performing great coz it weighs less than a Hummer’s spare wheel.

      Hmm… maybe its an Elise? (Oh, sorry, I meant less hoonage, not more…)

      I’d say it should be a Smart Roadster, which you can buy right now. Except they’ve just stopped making them, and they cost about the same as Prius. Oops.

      1. Re: Loremo!

        well, i figure by 2009, I will have got sufficient use from the Starlet that I won’t feel so evil for buying a New Car. So that’s not a bad time frame for me. And if something else turns up in the meantime, Sweeeeet.

        For some reason i Don’t Like the Smart Roadsters and i Do Like the lines of the Loremo. we shall see.

      2. Re: Loremo!

        My MGF does about 9litres/100km on mixed driving, which isn’t too bad. An Elise (similar powertrain, less weight) should be even better.

        I read that article. I think one of the factors they didn’t control for is that a nation that is environmentally aware will probably have an intelligent, liberal population who will do smart things that help their economy grow.

  2. Hmm, yes…

    A lot of food for thought in the LRB article…

    Unfortunately we don’t have a convenient land mass polewards to retreat to with the camels…

    1. Well, we’re long, thin and aligned north to south, so orange and kiwifruit growers can head south, maybe start to grow all sorts of interesting things in the very north, and the South Island wines might just get better and better.

      But this is all assuming we’re not swamped by hordes of desperate Ozzie boat-people…

      1. Hey! It’s just me so far, the rest have their fingers in their ears and probably won’t remove them until it’s way too late to flag down a passing pirate ship 😛

        1. There’s a joke here to be made about (inevitably) brief encounters between eco-pirates, with old-style sailing ships, versus fossil-fuel powered corporate raiders with real big guns, including possible references to the raft of immigrants coalesced around the nuclear-powered ex-US aircraft carrier from Snow Crash, and the objectivist-capitalist pirate Ragnar Dannekjold from the dire Atlas Shrugged but err… its half-four on a monday and my brain isn’t quite up to it.

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