By Michael Hoexter
To address the dependence of our societies on fossil fuels will be an enormous undertaking, despite the recent re-appearance of often well-meaning analyses and reports emphasizing how comparatively easy and inexpensive it will be. The physical dimensions of this still mostly-future undertaking are often downplayed or misunderstood. Taken together, effective climate action will be made up of a series of interacting, at points interwoven, simultaneous, sometimes very large, building projects to achieve the outcomes we desire and require. As the outcome, the stabilization of the global climate, is a unitary outcome, these building projects can also be understood for some purposes as a single immense building project. As in all building or manufacturing projects, many costs will be incurred upfront for some immediate benefits in terms of employment and the sales of materials but many more of the benefits will be enjoyed years and decades down the road. Furthermore. those additional benefits associated with climate change will be very great and enjoyed still further down the road with an indeterminate but large monetary valuation.
By William K. Black
Regular readers understand the three dynamics that drive economists crazy about the New York Times’ coverage of the troika’s infliction of austerity on the Eurozone. The troika consists of the European Central Bank (ECB), the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and the European Commission (EC).
- NYT reporters treat austerity as a response to the eurozone’s Great Recession as obviously the only possible response – they rarely discuss alternative policies or views
- The NYT refuses to inform its readers that economists overwhelmingly consider this malpractice and that it has caused catastrophic and gratuitous harm
- All of this is particularly bizarre given the NYT’s economist, the Nobel Laureate Paul Krugman, who writes regularly in the paper to explain why austerity is a disastrous response to the Great Recession. The NYT eurozone writers routinely ignore Krugman (and anyone else who makes the same point).
The massive, wholly avoidable harm caused by “bleeding the patient” to make him well (austerity in response to a recession) for the people of the eurozone is stark, but typically minimized or wholly ignored by the NYT reporters. Roughly one-third of the population of the eurozone lives in nations with Great Depression levels of unemployment.