Tag Archives: economics

2014 Was a Good Year: Better Than You Remember

Eric Garner. Michael Brown. The Sony hack and surrender to fear. 2014 seems to be ending on a crappy note. My twitter feed is full of people expressing good riddance to the year. 2014 was better than that. I want … Continue reading

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Solar and Wind Plunging Below Fossil Fuel Prices

Asset management firm Lazard has a fascinating new analysis of renewable and other energy prices out. There are a huge number of insights in this, from an outside analyst whose primary interest is financial. (Those are, in my mind, the … Continue reading

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Carbon Prices Drive Clean Energy Innovation

I want to point out something I see commonly missed.  Carbon prices accelerate innovation that brings down the price of green energy. So do renewable energy portfolio standards, green energy subsidies, and a whole swath of other climate policies. They do this … Continue reading

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The Shrinking Dominance of the Big Dogs in Tech

"In 1981, the top ten technology companies represented 95% of the global IT market cap. Today, that share has fallen to 26% and the ratio continues to fall."   Microsoft, IBM, DEC, HP, and so on were once titans.  Apple, … Continue reading

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The Sunlight is Where the Energy Poverty Is

The future world energy system will undoubtedly be a mix of many different energy technologies – nuclear, hydro, wind, solar, and some fossil fuels for decades and decades to come.  Yet I’m particularly optimistic about solar. One reason is its … Continue reading

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Income, Energy Use, and Life Expectancy

One of the best indicators of human well-being is life expectancy.  High life expectancy means low infant mortality. It also, almost invariably, correlates with high access to food, medicine, shelter, and education, and low levels of disease and violence.  So … Continue reading

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China’s Tipping Point on Environment?

Chinese environmental protesters have won the cancellation of an industrial waste pipeline that would have dumped waste from a paper factory into the ocean near the town of Qidong. This is not the first such victory.  The Guardian notes that: The protest followed … Continue reading

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Pricing Nature to Save the Planet

New Scientist, covering Rio+20, talks about putting a price on the natural world: Green economics, the theory goes, will work by quantifying nature and giving it a cash value. As Steiner put it: “Factoring natural capital into the bottom line … Continue reading

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Is Automation the Handmaiden of Inequality?

In Technology Review, Christopher Mims asks if the increasing automation of US industry has contributed to growing inequality, by bringing its gains to factory owners rather than workers. Here’s how I would interpret the odd coincidence of these two trends: … Continue reading

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Is Moore’s Law really a fair comparison for Solar?

A reader at Scientific American raises some healthy skepticism about whether or not the exponential trend in solar watts / dollar can continue. This is a fine thing to be skeptical about.  As I mentioned in the original post, we … Continue reading

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