Rafe’s Roundup 21 Jan

UPDATE. Don Aitkin on ten years of commentary on the global warming caper. Don Aitkin on what do about the United Nations.

OPEC oil producers vs US shale gas producers. Low energy prices for the foreseeable future.

The full measure of the shale oil model’s impact will be tested when the current crude glut clears and geopolitical risk returns, which is a near certainty. As oil prices eventually rise, will production from America’s shale oil fields rise in tandem and absorb the shock? The next president is likely to find out, and the answer will almost certainly be “yes.” And maybe that president will do something President Obama has never done — acknowledge the game-changing shale revolution as the most extraordinary energy success story in U.S. history.

Good news. Some CEOs still have their feet on the ground.

Climate change fails to top list of threats for business leaders at Davos. Geopolitical uncertainty, over-regulation and cyber attacks among biggest threats to business. The high profile UN summit on climate change in Paris appears to have had little impact on the decision making and worries of global business leaders.

More good news. Refutation of the claim that 20 years of manmade heat have been stored up in the ocean deeps.

Even more good news. Increasing extreme weather is hard to find.

Not good news. Regulators at work.

Film. The Big Short is short on understanding the real dynamics of the markets.

History. How the welfare state wrecked the Roman empire. Thanks Emperor Tiberius. What was that about learning from history?

Ernst Gombrich, a hidden treasure of art history and scholarship. The Gombrich archive. Richard Gombrich talks about his father. Good content, pity about the presentation. The man himself on his life and work.

Gold plating books. The art of gilding books.

Gilding is an age old art which consists of applying gold in powder or thin sheet (gold leaf) form to an object – in this case, a book’s pages or even cover boards.

The gold in gold leaf has typically been mixed or alloyed with other metals such as silver or copper. But there are other options, and not all that glitters is gold. Some cheaper editions simply have gold-colored paint, which can dull quickly, while at the other end of the spectrum are firms like Easton Press, who still accent editions in genuine 22kt gold.

For nerds. Articles wasting space in economics journals. A check on 12 months of articles in a leading journal to find how many make a contribution to understanding the world outside. The answer is no more than 12%.

We argue that a model may qualify as theory only if it purports to answer three questions: Theory of what?, Why should we care?, What merit in your explanation? We examine the 66 regular articles appearing in the 2004 issues of Journal of Economic Theory—“the leading journal in economic theory” —and apply the three requirements. We find that 27 articles fail the first test (Theory of what?) and 58 articles fail at least one of the three requirements. Thus, 88 percent of the articles do not qualify as theory. We contend that the journal’s claim to scientific status is doubtful, as well as the very title of the journal.

Heterodox economics newsletter. Speed read this. Quantum computing.

UPDATE. See you in Argentina in August.

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20 Responses to Rafe’s Roundup 21 Jan

  1. Robbo

    “Don Aitkin on what do about the United Nations.”

    Easy answer. Cancel our membership and tell them to go and annoy some other country. Put the money saved towards reducing our huge debt.

  2. David

    Increasing extreme weather is hard to find

    Not according to Channel 9 News who reported that NOAA claims 2015 to have been the hottest year since records began and a lot of it has to do with humans.

    I have fired off an e-mail to Ch 9 suggesting they may like to do a bit of honest research before broadcasting bovine droppings. I am not expecting a reply.

  3. .

    History. How the welfare state wrecked the Roman empire. Thanks Emperor Tiberius. What was that about learning from history?

    Don’t forget the welfare in Athens for professional jurors.

  4. Stackja

    UN is going the way of the League.

  5. JohnA

    Don Aitkin on what do about the United Nations.

    TLDR (small type hurts my eyes!)

    My summary (in the best traditions of social media commentary of course)
    Either
    a) The Rabz Doctrine
    OR
    b) Rule 303 (Breaker Morant) at the organizational level (therefore NADT)

  6. .

    That critique of the Big Short by Ropbert P Murphy is excellent.

  7. .

    How much quicker will true quantum computing be than this?

    http://www.dwavesys.com/d-wave-two-system

  8. I am the Walras, Equilibrate and Price Take

    The comments on the shale oil piece are informative.

  9. wmmbb

    Don Aitken claims to have read much on the underlying science of climate change. Why then does not engage in and focus on the scientific arguments? Where is the evidence that, for example, the observed warming can be attributed to natural causes? I know, he could suggest, I have advanced the arguments, and listened to the counter-arguments, not I putting the position in black and white with the emotional labelling. To do so, is to give up on the democratic process. George Orwell would be very critical of the refusal to accept objective evidence. seeing that as presaging totalitarianism, as he envisaged it. We should appreciate the discussion has been manipulated by the fossil fuel industry, as happened with Tobacco. I know that libertarian view is that individuals should go to hell in their own way. While sympathetic to that view, it presupposes full access to information, including appreciation of warnings and risks, because some foolishness is irrevocable.Furthermore, decisions made in relation to the climate system are social in nature and global in extent. Who might those be best qualified to give advice?

  10. Rafe

    Where is the evidence that the fossil fuel industry has manipulated the climate debate?

  11. wmmbb

    Rafe, I had in mind two lines of evidence. There is the case the EXXON internal scientists had established Climate Change and then the Company took a contrary public position. Jane Mayer, staff writer for The New Yorker, has recently published “Dark Money”. The sub title refers to the rise of the American Right. It is about the influence exerted by the Koch Brothers. I did not know that Charles Koch is an engineer. Among other comments, Jane Mayer stated:

    Their fortune is built on fossil fuels. I mean, they are refiners, and they have tremendous numbers of pipelines, and they own a huge amount of the tar sands that are up in Canada. And so, if America moved off fossil fuels, it would be catastrophic for their business. It’s a direct interest that they’ve got in this. And so, one of the things I do is try to follow the money in the denial of climate change, and an awful lot of it goes back to the Kochs and their circle. They have a number of other fossil fuel companies that are part of their network, their group, this group of 400 or so. The members are secret, but there’s one guest list that actually was left behind somewhere, so we’ve been able to see a little bit of who the members are—at least at one point. And it includes many well-known players and a number of fossil fuel interests.

  12. JC

    Shut up WMMMMMMMMMD

    Go find a conspiracy site to post that shit, you clown.

    Furthermore you’re advocating that executives right to free speech should be curtailed….. Because the New Yorker says so.

    You’re a dangerous communist arsehole who ought to be jailed with hard labor.

  13. JC

    Rafe, I had in mind two lines of evidence. There is the case the EXXON internal scientists had established Climate Change and then the Company took a contrary public position.

    What this scumbag WMD is alluding to is that partisan leftist , NY AG is threatening EXXON executives with criminal action over their public announcements of gerbil warming scepticism. He’s using complicated security laws to go after them. This is so crude, so shocking it resembles Soviet actions against Russians who dared speak up against “Lyensko science” .

    Since when have internal scientists had control on what the senior executives say or do in terms of their public pronouncements anyway, fuckface?

    Jane Mayer, staff writer for The New Yorker, has recently published “Dark Money”.

    I’m guessing that Jane didn’t mention any dark money appearing in the coffers of the Left and the astroturf operations set up by 250 year old Soros and the hoards of billionaires who assist them?

    That dark money wasn’t mentioned, was it, WMD, you rat?

    The sub title refers to the rise of the American Right. It is about the influence exerted by the Koch Brothers. I did not know that Charles Koch is an engineer. Among other comments,

    Oh Lord, the Kochs are ebil. Haven’t heard that one before.

    Dickhead, I didn’t know he was an engineer either, but I would have guessed he wasn’t a wymens studies major. Fuck off.

  14. .

    What this scumbag WMD is alluding to is that partisan leftist , NY AG is threatening EXXON executives with criminal action over their public announcements of gerbil warming scepticism. He’s using complicated security laws to go after them. This is so crude, so shocking it resembles Soviet actions against Russians who dared speak up against “Lyensko science” .

    Absolutely. You’re a pro authoritarian disgrace wmmmbbb…

    Dickhead, I didn’t know he was an engineer either, but I would have guessed he wasn’t a wymens studies major. Fuck off.

    LOL, he’s actually useful.

  15. Rafe Champion

    So people in the oil industry have non-alarmist views about fossil fuels.

    You have not remotely established any kind of conspiracy to manipulate the climate debate.

    I am advised that most of the oil companies have gone green so they can get their snouts into the renewables trough.

  16. wmmbb

    Your individual responses eloquently speak for each of you. A disagreement should not be a cause for psychological meltdown, otherwise discussion is pointless and dialogue is impossible. Rafe, for a philosopher, you are here engaged in a somewhat tendentious line of argument.

  17. Stu Morgan

    Tiberius Gracchus – not Emperor Tiberius. That’s like getting Napoleon Bonaparte confused with Napoleon Dynamite.

    You should go research the Gracchi brothers – they’re fascinating guys. If you like podcasts then you can’t go past Mike Duncan’s History of Rome podcast. Actually I believe he’s writing a book on the subject which I’m looking forward to. Or try the book Rubicon by Tom Holland.

  18. Myrddin Seren

    How the welfare state wrecked the Roman empire.

    Dan Mitchell also writes an update on the Greek situation

    He quotes from the UK Tele, the cutting point I prefer use to encourage you to read the whole post, because demographics is destiny:

    The country has a population of 10?million, of which
    2.5?million are pensioners,
    one million are government employees and
    two million work in the private sector.
    A further 1.7 million are unemployed.
    The rest are children or students.

    Shrinking, aging populations and unproductive economies that are distorted by the political class to favour core constituencies.

    Europe is toast. If the Brits had any sense – ie, the traitorous Political, Bureaucratic, Academic, Media and Arts classes were shoved into the Chunnel and pointed at their beloved More Europe – they should then blow the portals to the Chunnel and return to being an independent island trading nation.

  19. .

    wmmbb
    #1923800, posted on January 22, 2016 at 4:00 pm
    Your individual responses eloquently speak for each of you. A disagreement should not be a cause for psychological meltdown, otherwise discussion is pointless and dialogue is impossible. Rafe, for a philosopher, you are here engaged in a somewhat tendentious line of argument.

    You’re a Lysenkoist. You’re a disgrace son. You are in no position to judge the academic credentials of others.

  20. Thanks[,] Emperor Tiberius.

    The article referred, rightly, to the reformer Ti. Sempronius Gracchus (died 133BC, in his early thirties, by being beaten to death, partially at the instigation of his cousin, P. Cornelius Scipio Nasica, the Pontifex Maximus). Gracchus should not be confused with the Divine Tiberius, Ti. Claudius Nero* (42BC – 37AD).

    * of course, Ti. Claudius Nero, the Divine Tiberius, should not be confused with his famous ancestor Ti. Claudius Nero, nor with his father Ti. Claudius Nero, nor with his nephew Ti. Claudius Nero, the Divine Claudius, nor with his great-grand nephew, Ti. Claudius Nero, the emperor Nero.

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