Showing posts from May 31, 2016

Drowned baby picture captures week of tragedy in Mediterranean

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[How many dead babies will it take before the West starts doing more about the global refugee problem it created than building more walls and hiring more armed guards at its borders? *RON*]

Steve Scherer, Reuters, 30 May 2016

A photograph of a drowned migrant baby in the arms of a German rescuer was distributed on Monday by a humanitarian organization aiming to persuade European authorities to ensure safe passage to migrants, after hundreds are feared to have drowned in the Mediterranean last week.

The baby, who appears to be no more than a year old, was pulled from the sea on Friday after the capsizing of a wooden boat. Forty-five bodies arrived in the southern Italian port of Reggio Calabria on Sunday aboard an Italian navy ship, which picked up 135 survivors from the same incident.

German humanitarian organization Sea-Watch, operating a rescue boat in the sea between Libya and Italy, distributed the picture taken by a media production company on…

Neoliberalism: Oversold?

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[Because Wall Street Journal and others are publishing 'doubting Thomas' articles about what the International Monetary Fund is actually saying about neoliberalism, here it is, straight from the horse's mouth: "Instead of delivering growth, some neoliberal policies have increased inequality, in turn jeopardizing durable expansion." While you're at it, see: IMF: Greece Is Totally Screwed. *RON*]

Jonathan D. Ostry, Prakash Loungani, and Davide Furceri, International Monetary Fund, Finance & Development, June 2016, Vol. 53, No. 2

Click here for the PDF version

Instead of delivering growth, some neoliberal policies have increased inequality, in turn jeopardizing durable expansion.

Milton Friedman in 1982 hailed Chile as an “economic miracle.” Nearly a decade earlier, Chile had turned to policies that have since been widely emulated across the globe. The neoliberal agenda—a label used more by critics than by the architect…

'Huge wake up call': Third of central, northern Great Barrier Reef corals dead

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[The real story is that a UN report calls Australia's behaviour 'disgusting.' Australia's attempt to redact any reference of the Great Barrier Reef from a UNESCO climate change report angers researchers. *RON*]

Peter Hannam, Sydney Morning Herald, 30 May 2016

More than one-third of the coral reefs of the central and northern regions of the Great Barrier Reef have died in the huge bleaching event earlier this year, Queensland researchers said.

Corals to the north of Cairns – covering about two-thirds of the Great Barrier Reef – were found to have an average mortality rate of 35 per cent, rising to more than half in areas around Cooktown.
The study, of 84 reefs along the reef, found corals south of Cairns had escaped the worst of the bleaching and were now largely recovering any colour that had been lost.

Professor Terry Hughes, director of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies at James Cook University, said he was &qu…

Scientists Say Canada's Proposed LNG Port Threatens Paris Climate Accord

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[Hello, Christy, are you even listening? Ninety climate change experts say the BC project 'will emit at least 11.5 million tonnes of CO2 per year, not including downstream emissions when the gas is burned in Asia.' Supporting such projects will put BC in an economic extinction death-lock. The provincial elections are in 2017. *RON*]
by Nika KnightCommon Dreams, 30 May 2016

Ninety climate change experts from around the world urged Canadian government officials to "take urgent action" and reject a proposed, "unjustified" liquid natural gas (LNG) export terminal to be built on the British Columbia coast, joining with fierce local Indigenous opposition to the controversial project.

"The carbon emissions of the proposed PNW LNG terminal and associated upstream natural gas development would be 'high in magnitude, continuous, irreversible and global in extent.'"

In an open letter (pdf) dated Thursday, the sc…

Canada's energy superpower status threatened as world shifts off fossil fuel, federal think-tank warns

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['Significant disruptions' to oil and gas industries forecast in 10 to 15 years as cost of renewables, energy storage plummet. The precise timeline isn't clear, but the trend is inevitable. Time to start investing in rare earths, essential components to battery storage. *RON*]

By Robson Fletcher, CBC News, 30 May 2016
External Links

Read the full Policy Horizons report (PDF link)

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Canada's status as an "energy superpower" is under threat because the global dominance of fossil fuels could wane faster than previously believed, according to a draft report from a federal government think-tank obtained by CBC News.

"It is increasingly plausible to foresee a future in which cheap renewable electricity becomes the world's primary power source and fossil fuels are relegated to a minority status," reads the conclusion of the 32-page do…

Success Means Competing and Cooperating. Adam Smith as You’ve Never Seen Him Before

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[Another good one from Evonomics. On the synergies between public goods and private goods in free markets, and the need for cooperation in addition to competition. *RON*]

By Nicholas Gruen, Evonomics, 23 May 2016

Part one of this essay showed how two dimensions of free riding define what we call “public goods” – things that often fall to governments to supply because markets frequently can’t: Things like defense forces, suburban roads and public fireworks displays.

The ‘non-excludability’ of such goods creates a free rider problem for market provision. It’s hard to charge prices because, once provided, people can free ride on such goods, whether or not they pay. So we invented government to fund public goods through taxation.

But as well as being ‘non-excludable’, public goods are also ‘non-rival’. This article is a public good. Your reading it doesn’t prevent others from doing so. So once they’re provided, public goods provide a free rider oppor…