When we started this blog, I agreed to put the answer desk on the site so I could spout wisdom frequently and quickly and so I would seem accessible to our readers. Unfortunately I always forget that I'm forgetful and I forget to check for new questions. To make up for it, here are responses to a year's worth of questions all in on post, carefully selected for purposes only I know. Enjoy.
My responses are in italics--because the formatting get's all screwed up when I cut and paste from the Answer Desk. I don't want you to confuse my amazing insight with the drunken ramblings of our readers--or the opposite.
- Regarding "Green Accounting", has the UN's SEEA application to SNA been implemented in any country and what are the limitations of this accounting system?
I typed UN SEEA SNA into the lingo to english translator at transl8it.com. It crashed. I have no idea what that means, but I didn't have an answer for the original question. Fortunately for us, Gernot Wagner gave us an answer two years ago.
- I don't understand the Hotelling Rule...can someone please explain it to me in plain english? and perhaps use an example. The textbook explanation just confuses me.
Ok, I'll take a crack. Suppose you plant a tree. Each year the tree grows some. It grows slow at first, then it grows faster, then it grow slower. When is the best time to cut it down? That depends on what you can do with the money from the tree. When you cut down the tree, you can invest the money in a bank account. Each year the money will grow at the interest rate. If the value of the tree grows faster than the interest rate, then you should let the tree grow. If the growth rate of the tree slows, then you are better off cutting the tree and putting the money in the bank account.
Oh crap, that's Faustman's Rule. I always get that and Hotelling's rule confused. Just substitute oil for tree and suppose the tree can't grow and you get Hotelling's rule--or at least close to it.
- who would I call to find out if it is legal for a owner of a small natural gas well to sell some of the gas to private citizen.
- When carrying out a stated preference survey what are the difficulties when using a contingent Valuation method to estimate a value placed upon the environment?
The most difficult part--beyond, designing a survey, holding focus groups, pretesting, administering the survey, following up, entering the data and cleaning the data--is analyzing the data. Fortunately there is a superb book that describes how to estimate willingness to pay from contingent valuation surveys. You can find it here.
I believe that is in the Dagobah system (a joke for all you Star Wars dorks out there). The correct answer is...drumroll...Savannah or grasslands, scrub forests or mountains. Google rocks.
- I’m writing because of my interest in Globalization and am hoping to critically look at neo liberal economics practiced by wal-mart as well as understanding some more post modernist schools of economic thought. I’m currently Auditing Econ 266- I’d like to get some supplemental reading on economic thought that are bound to be expresses in the course. I am interested to find post modernist and critical analysis of the assumptions of sacristy and competition. In addition, academic reports on cooperation and appropriate technology, also whether the demand has been artificially manufactured into the social consciousness. As I am sure that hunger is a demand where as other economic trends seem to be a reactionary behavior to marketing campaigns to the extent of a malady in the personal integrity of individuals a symptom of devolution. I’d also be interested to know if Neo Liberal Economic theory and Capitalism has been deemed mal adaptive rather than the proclaimed efficiency that is voiced all so often.
I now have to go pull the ice pick out of my eye that I jammed in to make reading that more entertaining.
- Can you please tell me if the Pine Beetles in British Columbia audibly buzz while they are eating away our trees? I have been walking through the forest by our house amidst a vast array of pine trees and you can hear a very pronounced buzz. Would this be the pine beetle? Do they make a noise?
Would that make woodpeckers a buzzkill? Come on, that's funny.
- I, an engineer and computer scientist and architect and test engineer, and physicist, and reader of such things as Uncle Milts paper using control system theory on why it takes at least 75% accuracy predicting econ cycles to just not make things worse, have been bothered by "externalities" I am forced to work across fields; nothing is external to my work. I deal with one system of algoritms, software, firmware, hardware, cabinets and fans, cables and boxes, networks, people, applications. I deal in computer systems - I'm a systems engineer. So, after reading Lester Brown's eco-economy, the first page of chapter 1, I had the "ah ha moment." Economics sees the world as the center of the universe, but there are these strange gods, the externalities that make the stars wander about the sky, instead of moving around the earth. As he put it, and I can only google this statement by him, at least before I started dropping it all over: the economist sees the environment as a subset of the economy. the ecologist sees the economy as a subset of the environment.
Whoa, the earth is flying through space with the sun, moon, planets, stars, galaxy,... The macro-astronomy view. We still model the stars as if the revolve around the earth, for the first order, micro-astronomy view. I see macro economics to still be too much of a subset of the environment. A biologist will talk of cost-benefit and circular flow, so economic isn't some strange intellectual ideas detached from the environment. Economics is a subset of the environment. environmental-economics is either macro-macro economics which gets closer to including the environment that contains it, or it is a bag on the side of economics that is filled with strange gods that wander about messing up the axioms of economics. The fist axiom of economics must be, economics is part of the environment, and is thus, as finite as the environment. Economics can't take from the environment; it can only move things around the environment. There is no free lunch where you can take from the environment and not return something to the environment and, depending on what and how you return it, either benefit, or suffer the consequences. The circular flow of goods and services are circular flows in the environment. The circular flow of buying gasoline is just an instant in a billion year circular flow that took CO2 from the air into plant into animal into sediment into the deep into oil into gas into your car and finally back into the air.
So, how does economics make the leap from the Adam Smith Ptolemy view to a Copernican view?
$7,435,792,497,924. Either that or $2,546. Or somewhere in between
- Would it not solve the problem of climate change faster if the English language had 3 new words.
This would allow everyone to see what the result the investments they make would have one the environment.
Right. Because confusing language that all sounds the same but means different things makes things crystal clear. We have enough trouble with quantity demanded and demand.
That settles it. All of our readers are high.