September 20, 2013

Global Warming Without Fear by Bjørn Lomborg - Project Syndicate

Lomborg makes more sense about climate change than most commentators

Global Warming Without Fear by Bjørn Lomborg - Project Syndicate:

"As a result, the likely outcome of the report’s (IPCC report due 9/26/13) release will be more of the same: a welter of scary scenarios, followed by politicians promising huge carbon cuts and expensive policies that have virtually no impact on climate change. 
Maybe we should try to alter this scenario. We should accept that there is global warming. But we should also accept that current policies are costly and have little upside. The European Union will pay $250 billion for its current climate policies each and every year for 87 years. For almost $20 trillion, temperatures by the end of the century will be reduced by a negligible 0.05ºC.
The current green-energy technologies still cost far too much and produce far too little to replace existing energy sources. To insist on buying these expensive non-solutions is to put the cart before the horse. What we need is investment in research and development to reduce green energy’s cost and boost its scale. When solar and other green technologies can take over cheaply, we will have addressed global warming – without the angst."

'via Blog this'

September 14, 2013

Jesse is Gone

We had to put Jesse, our 12 1/2 year old female Airedale Terrier, down yesterday. She refused to eat last Saturday and after several meds and trips to the vet this week, with no improvement or even a diagnosis, we decided with great difficulty to put her down. 

She had a very high white blood cell count which indicated a serious infection, but after many tests and xrays, they could not find the source. The vet came yesterday, 9/13/13 and euthanized her.

Needless to say, this was very difficult for both Carol and me. She was a champion companion, a brilliant and sensitive dog despite her dog-aggression tendencies.

We will miss her greatly.

September 11, 2013

Estlin, my grandson, featured in a University of Chicago publication. He's a talented, hard-working dude!

September 3, 2013

Not Really Labor's Day -

Not Really Labor's Day - "The lack of any fiscal stimulus aimed at lowering unemployment has contributed to this trend. Ironically, the Federal Reserve’s policy of quantitative easing to stimulate the economy and lower unemployment – which some Republicans tried unsuccessfully to outlaw — has probably also benefited those at the top more than those at the bottom. Lower interest rates have driven up the price of stocks, but left those dependent on less risky sources of investment income (such as savings accounts and bonds) stranded with low returns."

Accelerated adoption of digital technology (reduction in the labor component) and globalization (lower priced labor component) on the classical economic definition of productivity has favored capital investment and its returns. These megatrends have disrupted the expectations and requirements for workers.

This is why I believe the historic Keynesian economic theory that government 'stimulus' will goose the economy no longer works as it has in the past.

The Fed's stimulus efforts (low interest rates, QE, etc.) have fallen short of expectations and have benefited capitalists far more than labor because of the two mega-factors mentioned above.

Add to these difficulties the inertia of the education system and we have a dispirited workforce ill-prepared for today's and tomorrow's economy.

September 1, 2013

President Pulls Lawmakers Into Box He Made -

President Pulls Lawmakers Into Box He Made -

The President has no good options. The trick will be to muster enough votes in the House and Senate to approve what he intends to do. The risk of unintended consequences must be addressed in detail.

With all the talk of moral outrage, I think this Syria incursion, should we undertake it, is more about Iran.

What's missing in this discussion is the refusal of the President and the media to talk about the reality that this Middle East unrest is first and foremost a religious war within Islam. This is far less a political struggle than an Islamic sectarian conflict where radical Islamists seek to destabilize existing governments in the hopes of establishing a caliphate in the region. This is not merely a civil war.

TeamObama surely does not want to be seen as taking sides in the this ideological struggle, but he has boxed himself into a corner and whichever course is chosen in Syria will be interpreted by the Arab 'street' as interfering in Islamic affairs.