Links for the Week Ending January 19

  • Just as I am close to concluding my series of posts on technology and jobs (herehereherehere and here), The Economist places the topic on its front page with a picture of a tornado ripping through an office. Their editorial is here and briefing here. The times are a changing: there is no disdain for the lump of labour fallacy to be seen (surely a first for The Economist) and, indeed, a recognition that we have a major problem in finding enough jobs.
  • On a tangental theme, many academic economists have pointed to a structural change surfacing in the labour market from around the year 2000. Interestingly, an article in the weekend’s Financial Times sees a structural change in the U.K. housing market taking place at around the same time. In short, from the end of WW2 to the turn of the millennium, housing wealth broadened to encompass a growing share of the population, and since that time it has struck. A further symptom of the return to an Edwardian Downton Abbey-type economy? (Note, FT articles are free as long as you register.)
  • And for an upper middle-class lament on both housing and education affordability trends read this article by David Thomas in The Telegraph titled “We’ll Never Have It So Good Again“(it’s a few months old, but I missed it until seeing it referenced by The Browser).
  • The climate skeptic spin on the scientists stuck in Antarctic ice is too depressing for words, but at least I think this incident will be forgotten within a year or so. Nonetheless, strange things are happening to the Antarctic climate as this piece in The New York Times explains.
  • Still on climate, Michael Mann—he of the hockey stick controversy— has a fine op-ed (again in The New York Times) explaining why he gets involved in the bar fight that is climate change action advocacy. In his words: “How will history judge us if we watch the threat unfold before our eyes, but fail to communicate the urgency of acting to avert potential disaster? How would I explain to the future children of my 8-year-old daughter that their grandfather saw the threat, but didn’t speak up in time?” Bravo!
  • And don’t miss Gavin Schmidt’s talk and comments on the role of scientists in climate change advocacy available at Realclimate here.
  • For an angle on just how much we have left to do, read the International Energy Agency‘s Maria van der Hoeven’s  CNN Money piece on the inexorable rise of coal consumption. Disturbing reading. The IEA report on coal that sits behind this article is here.

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