Links for Week Ending 19th of January

  • The theory that developed countries (and soon developing countries) are going post growth is a tentative hypothesis at present. The growth economist Robert Gordon is the latest person to give it some support (here). Regardless, it presents a significant risk (remembering risk = probability times effect). Global economic, political and social institutions have been built around the assumption of 2 or 3% annual growth. If growth disappoints, then those institutions will come under severe pressure. The Economist magazine gave the subject its cover, the main leader and a full briefing  last week.
  • Meanwhile, here is a good critique of the Robert Gordon hypothesis by Roger Pilke Jnr. We will likely need a couple more business cycles before we are better able to separate the trend of economic growth from mere short-term fluctuations. 
  • Economist’s View has become the undisputed clearing house for tracking the economics profession. Given how climate change has the potential to alter everything in the economic sphere, I am always surprised over how few links address the topic. And often when they do, their treatment of the subject is appallingly ill-informed, like here.
  • Stuart Staniford at Early Warning has a couple of excellent posts (here and here) covering CO2 emissions paths.
  • In Slate, Phil Plait doesn’t pull any punches: about the climate skeptic machine: “And instead of doing something about it (climate change), we have to tie up all our time fighting denialist propaganda. It’s shameful. So let this be clear: There is no scientific controversy over this. Climate change denial is purely, 100 percent made-up political and corporate-sponsored crap.” I couldn’t put it better myself.

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