Archive for May 2009
Normally, I don’t debate random bloggers on Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW). However, I made an exception for Robin Hanson. For those who don’t already know of him, he was both an early proponent of decision markets and has a reasonably well known journal article on why two Bayesian rationalists can’t agree to disagree. I’m a fan of his work and have been reading his blog for years.
Yesterday, he put up a post titled CO2 Warming Looks Real. He’s not an expert. Like me, he has an economics background and did some detailed research. Yet from the title and body of the post, I though he must have reached a very different conclusion than I did. So I thought I’d try to engage him to find out where we differ. The results were interesting.
A number of people responded to my recent post on the California budget. So I thought I’d dig a little deeper into the issue. The three points I’d like to address at the moment are whether spending as a percentage of income is rising, where the extra spending is going, and whether the extra spending is beneficial.
First, let me apologize for the posting lull. I’ve been busy with work and also struggling with a sinus issue that has sapped my discretionary intellectual energy. But enough about me.
In honor of California’s special election on budget measures, I thought I’d shed a little light on the fundamental problem. Contrary to what polticians are saying, the cause of the budget problem is not falling revenues in a recession. Rather, the cause is a dramatic increase in spending over the last 10 years.
Yesterday, the attorney for my new company advised me that I should be careful about what I disclose to the public about the company’s activities. The company operates in a highly regulated field. Evidently, any open discussion of what the company does, especially of any offerings it may or may not hypothetically be considering, could be construed as a solicitation.
From an economics point of view, I think that such restrictions, however well meaning their original intent, tend to merely protect incumbents from competition. Nevertheless, I obviously don’t want the company to get into any trouble. Therefore, I have edited or redacted any potentially problematic revelations from these posts
- What I’m Working On: Supercharging Innovation
- Revolutionizing Angel Funding
- You Can’t Pick Winners at the Seed Stage
If you have any questions, post a comment here and I will contact you privately.
In order for you to believe we should do something about anthropogenic global warming (AGW) such as impose a carbon tax, you really need to believe all of these things:
- CO2 causes a direct temperature increase
- Positive feedbacks amplify the direct temperature increase several fold
- The effects on humans of the total temperature increase are significantly bad
- The cost of reducing CO2 emissions is less than the bad effects we can avoid