Don't you hate it when the weatherman gets it wrong? Apparently, so does Kim Jong Un.
According to state-run newspaper Rodong Sinmun, the North Korean leader has been touring meteorological facilities in his country complaining that there are "too many incorrect" weather forecasts.
As further proof of the supreme leader's extreme displeasure, the Rodong Sinmun report includes photos of a red-faced Kim chastising what appear to be sheepish meteorological personnel.
The wording of the report is a little unclear at times, but it claims Kim's concerns about the weather relate to its potential impact on the economy.
Blaming outdated equipment and scientific method, the young leader stressed a need for accurate forecasts to protect people's lives and property from "abnormal climatic phenomenon" (sic) and to safeguard industries like agriculture and fisheries from natural disasters in a timely manner, according to Rodong Sinmun.
Seeing this post on Vox got me thinking - I wonder how housing prices vary in response to disaster risk when the risk is forecasted over a longer term rather than a shorter term? I've read a bit of the literature on the housing price response to hurricane risk and climate change-based flood risk (from a certain blogger here as well as my undergraduate advisor no less) and covered some basics but I don't think I've seen a comparative study.
It seems that short term risk predictions would be more likely to be internalized in the price. For one, disasters such as hurricanes seem to strike more often so they're often more salient in homeowners' minds. Additionally, many of the predictions often comprise of statements such as "more intense hurricanes are likely to hit X area over the next 8 years," which seems a little more digestable than "there is a 56.2% chance of having a huge earthquake somewhere in your relative vicinity over the next 50 years" which is how many earthquake studies read.
Given the housing prices in the San Francisco Bay Area, where I live, I find it hard to believe that climate change risk and earthquake risk are being appropriately priced into the housing stock around here. That being said, it is also entirely possible that there are governmental programs that are distorting risk pricing as well. Discount rates could play into this as well - I suppose many people will just discount away any risk beyond some threshold (see here for what economists tend to think about discount rates in comparison to observed discount rates).
If anyone has a good place to point me for articles comparing short run and long run distaster risks and how (or if) it is priced into housing stocks, I would be grateful for the reading!
Gov. Pat McCrory said Wednesday he’d like to improve salaries for all of the state’s educators eventually, including veteran teachers, community college instructors and university faculty. But he said that will depend on the state’s future revenue picture.
Immediately, he said, the focus is on raising base pay for early career teachers to $35,000 by 2016 – a plan he announced last month.
“There has been no strategy on education compensation for the last decade,” McCrory added. “It’s just been dealt with year by year, and the last five years with almost no pay raises. So part of our goal is to have a long-term strategy on how we compensate our teachers.”
Still, he cautioned, “We cannot make that commitment until we know the money is available.”
McCrory said the budget forecast isn’t even clear for the upcoming fiscal year and could be affected by higher Medicaid expenses and lower tax collections because of the recent winter storms. ...
UNC President Tom Ross said the university system is producing 8,500 additional degree earners now compared with 2007-08, yet spending 18 percent less to do it. The UNC system has sustained more than $600 million in recurring cuts during that period, he said. Part of the system’s budget request for next year includes money to keep top professors.
This is the second time Gov. McCrory has blamed the cold weather for not wanting to give raises to teachers and professors (here is a link to the first one). I've Google Scholared all sorts of "weather" and "taxes" combinations and can't find anything in the literature that suggests that bad weather affects tax collections in the long run. There is nothing on this in the short run either but there is anecdotal evidence that people don't spend much money when they are locked in the house due to bad weather. What might surprise you is that once people are released from their weather prison they go shopping and tax collections go back up!
It will be interesting to see how long the long term university faculty pay strategy takes to develop. In the interim, faculty are leaving for other jobs.
Drezner also mentions that his own most influential publication was one making the obvious point that China’s ownership of a bunch of US bonds doesn’t give it leverage over America; a point people like Dean Baker and yours truly have also made. When you try to make this point to Beltway types, however, you encounter not so much disagreement as incredulity — “everyone” knows that China has immense power over us, “nobody” disagrees. Indeed, if you go to the link you’ll see that Dean was reacting to a news article that stated the Chinese power thing not as a dubious hypothesis but as simple fact.
I've made that point for about 13 years (after I taught Money and Capital Markets at UNCW ... at 8 am with a brand new baby after teaching a night class [what sort of sadist gives a guy that sort of schedule?]). How does China have power over us by holding our bonds? What are they going to do, sell them? Then the price of bonds goes down, interest rates spike, we have a recession and demand for Chinese exports fall. Also, they're holding our bonds so they can keep the value of their currency artificially low.
The central and eastern parts of the United States are currently suffering through one of the coldest winters on record, with the so-called polar vortex returning yet again this week to the Midwest and Northeast. Here are The Onion’s answers to readers’ most common questions about this year’s unusual and bitterly cold winter:
Does the inclement weather have anything to do with global warming?
No one’s looked into it yet.
How many people totally ate it while walking on a slick sidewalk this winter?
Only you, and everyone saw.
This harsh winter has been caused by the North Enchanter holding dominion over the winds of the ether plane. So to defeat him, we just need to summon a hearth witch, right?
Who are you?
I am Professor Snowflake.
What is the best way to deal with this world’s cold?
You just have to keep carrying the flame inside you. No matter how hard it gets to be, you carry that goddamn fire. It’s a hard world. Life is hard. But no matter what, you carry that fire, and you don’t let go.
These are only my favorites. You should read the whole thing.
North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory went on two national talk shows Sunday to talk about climate change and the winter storms that have iced over the state in the past two weeks. ...
Instead of focusing on global warming, McCrory said people should concentrate on keeping the air and water clean. ...
But environmental protection must also strike a delicate balance with economic development, McCrory told host Bob Schieffer. ...
Both shows also spoke to the governor about the two winter storms that battered North Carolina over the past two weeks. McCrory pointed out the beautiful North Carolina sun was out and the weather was going to warm this week. He also thanked public employees that worked hard to keep people safe.
"It about depleted our budget. It's also going to have an impact on our economy in North Carolina because people were stuck inside and not spending money," McCrory said of the storms on "Face the Nation."
See post title (if you have a better sun than we do, prove it!)
Once people get back outside they end up spending that money. I doubt if there is anything but a small temporal effect on the economy (i.e., you can't use the weather as an excuse to say that tax collections are too low to give state employees small raises).
Update: I've read this again and am in serious distress. The "stuck inside" comment indicates a serious misunderstanding of how an economy works. One would think that the cash in one's pocket disintegrates unless it is refreshed by exposure to a market or two.
"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
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... 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
"... I try and read the blog everyday and have pointed it out to other faculty who have their students read it for class. It is truly one of the best things in the blogosphere." -- Anonymous