Category Archives: Economics

No climate trend in hurricane damage losses

Jessica Weinkle, Chris Landsea, Douglas Collins, Rade Musulin, Ryan P. Crompton, Philip J. Klotzbach, Roger Pielke Jr. Normalized hurricane damage in the continental United States 1900–2017. Nature Sustainability (2018)

Direct economic losses result when a hurricane encounters an exposed, vulnerable society. A normalization estimates direct economic losses from a historical extreme event if that same event was to occur under contemporary societal conditions. Under the global indicator framework of United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, the reduction of direct economic losses as a proportion of total economic activity is identified as a key indicator of progress in the mitigation of disaster impacts. Understanding loss trends in the context of development can therefore aid in assessing sustainable development. This analysis provides a major update to the leading dataset on normalized US hurricane losses in the continental United States from 1900 to 2017. Over this period, 197 hurricanes resulted in 206 landfalls with about US$2 trillion in normalized (2018) damage, or just under US$17 billion annually. Consistent with observed trends in the frequency and intensity of hurricane landfalls along the continental United States since 1900, the updated normalized loss estimates also show no trend. A more detailed comparison of trends in hurricanes and normalized losses over various periods in the twentieth century to 2017 demonstrates a very high degree of consistency.

Ending capitalism will destroy sustainable communities

“The latest United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report led Eric Holthaus, a Grist writer, to tweet enthusiastically, “The world’s top scientists just gave rigorous backing to systematically dismantle capitalism as a key requirement to maintaining civilization and a habitable planet.”click here

Carbon tax rejected in Washington State

“The measure, called Initiative 1631 is the third attempt to impose a carbon tax in Washington state. Voters rejected a similar ballot measure in 2016, and carbon tax legislation failed earlier in 2018.” click here

The economics of climate change, science and politics

An economist’s perspective on the science, politics, and economics of climate change. click here


A carbon tax has a proven track record; It does not achieve the promised results

The “cost of carbon” is a political regulatory construct. It is not something that can be measured. It is not a metric. Arbitrarily manipulating prices by instituting a carbon tax to raise the cost of carbon sounds like a good idea at first. But upon closer examination such a decision based on a singular focus (carbon tax) has not yielded expected results.

Some advocacy groups go further and say supporting a “carbon tax” is leadership. But as in this case it would “leadership” in the wrong direction. A different approach is needed to achieve sustainable communities and cities.

“For some time now, a small but vocal group of writers have tried to convince the base of libertarians and conservatives that a carbon tax is actually consistent with their principles. Although I disagree with their arguments, I’m happy to have such a debate, as I think the case against a carbon tax is very strong. ” click here


National Security and Economic Growth are Needed to Adapt to Changes in Climate

“Climate policies will continue to shape the global energy system,” the national security strategy states. “U.S. leadership is indispensable to countering an anti-growth, energy agenda that is detrimental to U.S. economic and energy security interests. Given future global energy demand, much of the developing world will require fossil fuels, as well as other forms of energy, to power their economies and lift their people out of poverty.” click here

Time for a New Credit Rating Agency

This threat by Moody’s (here) is nonsense. It’s time to move on and rely on a different agency that can demonstrate integrity and honesty.