In an overwhelming show of support for dangerously escalating temperatures, 7.1 billion people from nearly every nation on earth staged massive demonstrations yesterday in favor of global warming. “Whether they were sitting in their living rooms, watching football at a bar, or just driving somewhere, a sizable portion of the world let its support for climate change be heard loud and clear,” said environmental policy expert Janet Purvis, adding that the protest that began in the morning never lost steam at any point throughout the day. “This should serve as a wake-up call to officials around the world that the factors contributing to global warming are real, important, and must be protected at any cost.” At press time, the 7.1 billion protesters were reportedly making plans to stage similar rallies every day for the foreseeable future.
Climate Realities: ...It is true that, in theory, we can avoid the worst consequences of climate change with an intensive global effort over the next several decades. But given real-world economic and, in particular, political realities, that seems unlikely..., let’s look at the sobering reality.
The world is now on track to more than double current greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere by the end of the century. This would push up average global temperatures by three to eight degrees Celsius and could mean the disappearance of glaciers, droughts in the mid-to-low latitudes, decreased crop productivity, increased sea levels and flooding, vanishing islands and coastal wetlands, greater storm frequency and intensity, the risk of species extinction and a significant spread of infectious disease.
The United Nations has set a goal of keeping global temperatures from rising by no more than two degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels. ... Meeting this goal would require a worldwide reduction in greenhouse gas emissions of 40 to 70 percent by midcentury, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. That’s an immense challenge. ...
Of course, the political climate in the United States presents its own challenges. It will require immense effort — and profound good fortune — to find political openings that can resolve the debilitating partisan divide on climate change. But if destructive politics have been at the heart of the problem, the best hope may be that creative politics and leadership can help provide a solution.
In March we
told you about a paper written by Bren professor Chris Costello and
former Bren School post-doc and now assistant professor at Cal Poly San
Luis Obispo Crow White. In it, the authors suggested that closing the high seas to fishing might be the best way to allow stocks of migratory fish in international waters to recover.
The paper has generated a great deal of interest, and the U.S. Dept of Commerce is now seeking public comment after being petitioned to make a rules change that would require NOAA to adopt the proposal.
Follow the links below if you would like to add your voice to the conversation. The comment period is open until Sept. 22.
As we’ve pointed out before, economics and business journals have few retractions compared with the other academic literature. Opinions vary on why this is, but the fact that only a few journals have plagiarism policies can’t help.
Research Papers in Economics, or RePEc, an organization that maintains a database of economics papers, however, thoroughly investigates accusations of misconduct. A RePEc report, which indicated that the plagiarists were polite enough to cite the original paper, was used in the notice as evidence for a retraction in Economic Modelling.
Here’s the notice for “Retraction notice to “Analysis of nonlinear duopoly game with heterogeneous players”:
This article has been retracted at the request of the Editor-in-Chief.
This paper has been removed on the grounds of plagiarism. This case was investigated by the REPEC Plagiarism Committee and plagiarism was confirmed. The complete plagiarism case is described athttp://plagiarism.repec.org/zhang-da-wang.html.
Original article details: Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Volume 320, 15 March 2003, pages 512–524.
The paper has been cited 42 times, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge.
That is a new paper (pdf) by John Cawley, here is the abstract:
This guide, updated for the 2014-15 job market season, describes the academic market for new Ph.D. economists and offers advice on conducting an academic job search. It reports findings from published papers, describes practical details, and provides links to internet resources. Topics addressed include: preparing to go on the market, applying for academic jobs, the AEA’s new electronic clearinghouse for the job market, signaling, interviewing at the ASSA meetings, campus visits, the secondary market scramble, offers and negotiating, diversity, and dual job searches.
Here is some of the good news from the paper itself:
National Science Foundation data indicate that Ph.D. economists have the lowest unemployment rate (0.9%) of any doctoral field, as well as one of the highest median salaries of any doctoral field. Finally, the vast majority of people are happy with the outcome of their search. Of the new Ph.D. economists in 2001-02, 94% reported that they liked their jobs very much or fairly well (Siegfried and Stock, 2004).
The true cost of electricity is difficult to pin down. That’s because a number of inputs comprise it: the cost of fuel itself, the cost of production, as well as the cost of dealing with the damage that fuel does to the environment.
Energy Points, a company that does energy analysis for business, factors in the these myriad values in terms of what percentage of the energy input—fossil fuel energy, plus energy for production and energy for environmental mitigation—will become usable electricity. ...
Energy Points’ methodology measures environmental externalities and calculates the energy it takes to mitigate them. For example, it quantifies the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions that result from turning coal and natural gas into electricity and then calculates the energy it would take to mitigate those emissions through carbon capture and sequestration. Water scarcity and contamination are quantified as the energy that is required to durably supply water to that area. And in the case of solar or wind energy, Energy Points incorporates the life cycle impact of manufacturing and shipping the panels.
This metric is a more rounded calculation than merely cost or carbon footprint. For example, hydro electricity has the lowest carbon footprint (4 kgCO2/kWh), but when Energy Points factors in the full lifecycle of the different fuels, wind is the most efficient. Additionally, natural gas is the cheapest fuel to produce electricity, according to levilized cost data from the Environmental Protection Agency, which measured the total cost of building and operating a generating plant over an assumed financial life and duty cycle. Though it’s cheap, it’s not very efficient if you factor in its production and emissions.
In a new RFF discussion paper, “Valuation of Ecosystem Services in the Southern Appalachian Mountains,” RFF colleagues Dallas Burtraw, Alan Krupnick, and Juha Siikamäki and I, along with Susie Chung Criscimagna of Eden Housing, Bernard Cosby of the University of Virginia, and David Evans of EPA, estimate the monetary value of reducing acidity in the southern Appalachian region. Our estimates were based on the stated preference method, which allowed us to survey households about their willingness to pay (WTP) for the restoration of ecosystem services in the region. Based on their answers, we determined that households across the region would be willing to pay $15.67 per year each—or about $208 million in total—to restore the environment of the southern Appalachians to a healthy state. Aggregated and discounted into the future, and allowing for a 50-year delay for the ecosystems to recover, these annual values come to a present value of $3.7 billion. Yet it’s worth noting that these ecosystem service benefits still pale in comparison to the total economic benefits of reducing air pollution, which stem overwhelmingly from public health.
A complex story in the Guardian about California Almond production, water, drough and government regulation provides great fodder for an introductory microeconomics class (oh, and it provides good coverage for our favorite Aguanomist, David Zetland):
Touted as the ultimate superfood and an essential ingredient in everything from mezze to marzipan: the humble almond has never been so popular. But with prices at a nine-year high, almonds are in the frontline of a battle over water as California struggles to cope with one of its worst-ever droughts – stoking fears of an almond shortage over Christmas.
This language bugs me. There will be no shortage--unless prices fail to adjust. There may be a decrease in supply that results in higher prices, but the word 'shortage' implies that the quantity demanded by buyers exceeds the quantity supplied by sellers at the current price. In order for a shortage to persist, there has to be something keeping the price from adjusting upward to alleviate the shortage.
Californian farmers, estimated to grow around 80% of the world's almonds, have been accused of siphoning off groundwater at the expense of the state's future water reserves.
A classic tragedy of the commons. The optimal solution is to ration water so that the discounted present value of water is maximized. Unfortunately when there is a lack of property rights over water, it is impossible to ration water and the result is a literal race to the bottom. Short term gain at the expense of long-term value.
As rivers and lakes have dried up, with more than 80% of the state in the grip of "extreme" or "exceptional" drought, the state's farmers have resorted to pumping groundwater – underground reserves – to nourish almond trees, vineyards and orchards. David Zetland, economics professor at Leiden University College in the Netherlands, says farmers are pumping water at a rate four to five times greater than can be replenished: "The people of the state of California are more or less destroying themselves in order to give cheap almonds to the world."
You go David Zetland.
Although California produces even more milk and grapes than almonds, the spotlight has turned on the $4.3bn (£2.65bn) almond crop, following a rapid expansion in planting. Almost a million acres of California's central valleys have been planted with almond trees – a twofold increase since 1996.
Increased supply decreases prices.
The world's appetite for the nut – which botanists actually classify as a seed – apparently knows no bounds, with scores of academic studies extolling its ability to lower cholesterol, sate the appetite and improve the skin. In the US, almonds have overtaken peanuts as the country's favourite snack, while almond milk has overtaken soy, as milk from cows continues to fall out of favour.
Hey, they spelled favor wrong.
In the UK, sales of almonds increased by 45% over 2012-13 after a marketing blitz in lifestyle magazines. In China, where the nuts were initially marketed as "big American apricot kernels" – a fruit with lucky connotations – demand has grown by 110% since 2008, although sales dipped last year after the name of the product was changed.
California has emerged as the world's almond orchard because it is blessed with near-perfect conditions found in few regions of the world: brief cold winters that chill the seed to accelerate its flowering (vernalisation), early warm springs and long dry summers. David Doll, crop adviser for Merced County at the University of California, says the state may be approaching peak production for almonds. "The future for farming almonds in California will always be there," he says, pointing out almonds are more tolerant to drought than other crops. "It is more about coming into balance with our water resources."
Rewrite: "The future for farming almonds in California will always be there...unless we run out of water."
But nearly two thirds of farmers with large almond holdings recently said they expect to pump more groundwater this year than last. A recent report from the University of California found that farmers had spent an extra $500m in pumping extra water to cope with the drought, while the total cost to the state reached $2.2bn.
We're pumping...damn the consequences.
However, Richard Howitt, a co-author of the study, cautions against singling out particular crops: "Don't blame almonds for the problem. The problem is one of water mismanagement." He wants to see sweeping changes in how California manages water, so farmers monitor their use of groundwater and replenish supplies when rain is more plentiful.
"[The farmers] should be repaying what they are taking. And if they are taking more, as they always are in droughts, then they should be making plans to repay it back in the wet years," he says. "If you treat your groundwater they way you treat your retirement account, then everything would be OK."
I like the idea...but how do you bank water in wet years? That's not a rhetorical question. I don't understand.
A spokesperson for the Almond Board of California says almond producers are using water more efficiently than ever before. "California almond growers are proud leaders in agriculture water efficiency, using 33% less water per pound of almond produced as compared to 20 years ago."
But they're growing 100% more pounds (from above). That means more water in total.
The US department of agriculture is forecasting a record 952bn kg crop. But when the harvest ends in late October, most experts think the crop will be smaller, as that estimate – based on a survey of 890 orchards – was made before the drought's severity was clear.
With the drought forecast to drag on into 2015, many growers are unwilling to sell this year's crop, sending prices soaring.
Future expectations affect supply today, especially with storable commodities.
Growers want to conserve stocks, because they fear the damage to next year's crop will be even worse. "Most farmers have been able to get by this year because they have begged or borrowed water," says Doll. "If we have another year of drought we will probably start to experience problems." And if the drought goes into 2016, "the impacts would be devastating".
Withholding supply today in anticipation of higher future prices will increase prices...today. A sort of self-fulfilling prophesy.
The price of Californian almonds has climbed by 10% over the last six to eight weeks to $10,500 a tonne, according to Giles Hacking, a London-based trader and vice president of the International Tree Nut Council.
"The prices are rising because concerns about crop size are bringing more buyers to market, but suppliers are holding back from sales. It has the effect of squeezing prices," he says.
Sanjoy Das, founder of Freeworld Trading in Edinburgh, says trade is at a standstill. "These are record high prices. The result will be very expensive [almonds] and a lack of almonds for the Christmas market."
Zetland says higher prices should be welcomed, if combined with tighter regulation of California's water management. He dismisses the idea that consumers should steer clear of Californian almonds, arguing that the only way to curb "unsustainable" supplies would be even higher prices.
Blasphemer! How dare you suggest that higher prices as a result of market conditions may result in an efficient rationing of scarce resources?
"The problem is that California, because of its failed institutions for managing water, is allowing these almonds to come on market at $3-$4 a pound wholesale, when the price would be tripled if California was managing its water sustainably and farmers faced the real cost of water."
But I like cheap almonds. Therefore almond prices should be regulated to stay cheap.
We shortlisted you after reading your thoughtfull research work: "Research Article"
Impact Factor 3.274 Our journal International Journal Management Sciences and Business research ISSN-2226-8235)with good reputation and published by USA and UK PHD Doctors Collaboration and referred from them, which focused on business, management, marketing, finance, economics, human resource management, Project thesis, Business problems and solutions and relevant subjects..
"This blog aims to look at more of the microeconomic ideas that can be used toward environmental ends. Bringing to bear a large quantity of external sources and articles, this blog presents a clear vision of what economic environmentalism can be."
Don't believe what they're saying
And allow me a quick moment to gush: ... The env-econ.net blog was more or less a lifeline in that period of my life, as it was one of the few ways I stayed plugged into the env. econ scene. -- Anonymous
... the Environmental Economics blog ... is now the default homepage on my browser (but then again, I guess I am a wonk -- a word I learned on the E.E. blog). That is a very nice service to the profession. -- Anonymous
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