Natural Monopolies and Cap and Trade

Note: this post is intended as discussion of economic theory. The use of certain analytical tools should not be construed as approval or said tools, nor should assertions and arguments be construed as advocacy. This is simply an exercise in economic analysis.

Taking the mainstream definition of natural monopolies, and assuming that the human-produced . . . → Read More: Natural Monopolies and Cap and Trade

Pollution vs. Income

Just what I am pondering.  From more recent work out of the Cleveland Fed: Manufacturing and Pollution: Trends in Old and New Industrial Centers is this graphic:

Geordie Mark: Coal and Uranium Generate Heat

From fossil fuels to fission, growing global demand for power generation offers investment opportunities. Thermal coal is heating up and the uranium junior mining sector is set for development and a wave of consolidation. Geordie Mark, mining analyst with Haywood Securities in Vancouver, shares his thoughts in this exclusive Energy Report interview.

The . . . → Read More: Geordie Mark: Coal and Uranium Generate Heat

Residential water heating and the rise of the gas-fired economy

When electricity distribution networks fall into place, people start using electricity for everything. Heating, air conditioning, cooking, etc.: electricity is the supple path to all applications. Electricity is conveniently accessed at home, but at a system level, there are problems. Electricity is typically made in big facilities, primarily by burning coal or gas. It . . . → Read More: Residential water heating and the rise of the gas-fired economy

`The Quest' by Daniel Yergin: A great job but we need more

I recently read Daniel Yergin’s fascinating book The Quest. It’s a panoramic view of the global energy industry. For me personally, many parts were familiar territory. But many parts were new to me, and the overall integration of the story was valuable. I encourage every non-specialist (like me) who is curious about energy to . . . → Read More: `The Quest’ by Daniel Yergin: A great job but we need more

The Market and Efficiency

Mark Thornton shares a story:

Remarkably, the cost of air conditioning plummeted over the decades. The cost of air conditioning units declined, and they became increasingly reliable, safe, and efficient in turning electricity into relief from heat and humidity.

That is until recently. Twenty years ago I had an air-conditioning system (i.e., heat pump, . . . → Read More: The Market and Efficiency

Where does the greatest challenge to liberty come from?

‘If respect for individual rights were to be shown to lead, not to order and prosperity, but to chaos, the destruction of civilization, and famine, few would uphold such alleged rights, and those who did would certainly be held the enemies of mankind. Those who can see order only when there is a conscious . . . → Read More: Where Does the Greatest Challenge to Liberty Come From?

How Should We Respond to a Small Risk of Catastrophe?

I try to remember to pay house insurance premiums. Otherwise, I tend to avoid thinking about small risks of catastrophe. There are plenty of other things to worry about.

This avoidance strategy usually helps me to maintain a positive state of mind until someone manages to ambush me with the thought of how dreadful . . . → Read More: How Should We Respond to a Small Risk of Catastrophe?

Why We Are Too Rational to Stop Polluting, Part 2

In the previous article, I explained how in any game, it is reasonable to assume that a stable outcome will be a Nash Equilibrium. Today, I will show how it is impossible for rational people like us to save the planet by cooperating to stop using carbon fuels.

Currently, as things stand, . . . → Read More: Why We Are Too Rational to Stop Polluting, Part 2

Why Big Oil Should Back Renewable Energy

On July 8, oilman T. Boone Pickens launched a personal initiative to promote wind power as a primary renewable energy source for the United States. Pickens wants the next U.S. president to lead the nation to 20% wind power by 2018 by tapping a “wind corridor” that runs from the Northern Midwest all the . . . → Read More: Why Big Oil Should Back Renewable Energy