For some reason – it may be the near universal introduction of unleaded gasoline in most countries – the role of vehicular emissions on human health has been deemphasised in many environmental economics discussion. Of course we all know about the terrible air pollution problems in the mega-cities of the developing world but these aberrant [...]
I wasn’t sure whether this suggested water quality was improving or not. I suppose 1,000 dead ducks are better than 14,000+ dead pigs.
After all (quoted from the last link):
“Authorities have assured the 23 million residents of the Shanghai urban area that the water supply, of which 20% comes from the Huangpu (the pig-cum-dead-duck [...]
I have been interesting myself in the “deep ecology” movement (a good introduction is the Wikipedia link here) having recently heard the Australian, John Seed, speak on the topic*. (716)
A while back I ran a post on a really silly article in The Age defending the role of feral cats in the environment arguing that negative attitudes toward them were analogous to racism towards migrants. The facts are that cats are among the most destructive element in our local environment.
This claim is verified in a [...]
While I was working in Beijing during 2010 some of the worst air pollution ever struck that city. It seems that these pollution records have been broken over the past few days with the thickest ever blanket of PM 2.5 particulates covering much of north east China – the video clip in this story promotes [...]
I have been engaged in trying to understand some environmental ethical issues. Comments very welcome. (1783)
I’ve used it before but, who cares, its my favourite Mill quote. Its about the most sensible general statement on “optimal population” and the need to co-exist with nature that I have come across. (1445)
I gave an economics class today at La Trobe University, Bendigo – to a highly motivated group of students – on carbon pricing. I felt a reasonable compensation for this assignment was the opportunity to head out into the Whipstick Forest around Bendigo. They were in great condition given the recent rains – wildflowers everywhere [...]
It is mainly during the last 300 years that sustained economic gains to certain people have occurred. For the most part these people were living in industrializing Western-style, market-based economies. From the longer-term historical perspective of human existence over 50,000 years this sustained, broad-based economic progress has been a relatively short-lived aberration. (1406)
I have acquired something of a reputation as the economist who is obsessed with the harm of tobacco products. “There he goes again….” There might be an element of truth to this but maybe, because it reflects a reality, it is a relatively healthy obsession. I’ve been reading a report by the OECD (2012) on [...]
About 99% of Victoria’s wet eucalytus old growth forest has been destroyed by logging and forest fire in what amounts to an ecological catastrophe. By-in-large the 450 year old forests have been irreversibly replaced by scrubby wattles.
It is not green fanaticism to suggest that harvesting of such forests should now cease entirely with [...]
These are the comments I made at a Productivity Commission Roundtable on a paper by Don Henry that was concerned with environmental population interactions. More generally I was concerned with synthesising a variety of approaches to this issue – from extreme libertarian ‘gains-from-trade’ arguments favouring a large population to extreme Malthusian arguments that supporters of [...]
When I worked on transport sector externality issues recently I became aware of the issue of the impact of air pollution from vehicles on human health. Concern with this issue has subsided a lot over recent years because of improved emissions performance by vehicles. Most attention gets focused on traffic congestion issues and road accident [...]
From Nicholas Gruen at Troppo I became aware of the Yale Environmental Performance Index. The 2010 EPI ranks 163 countries on 25 performance indicators tracked across 10 policy categories covering both environmental public health (50%) and ecosystem vitality (50%). These indicators provide a gauge at a national level of how close countries are to “established [...]
I’ve spilt a lot of printers ink on this topic over the years. Here is a draft of some notes I prepared for a Productivity Commission meeting next week. Comments welcome. (243)
China is set to levy a range of charges on various types of pollutants over the next 5 years. It is expected to be announced soon in the next 5-year plan – by far the greenest five-year plan in China’s modern history once renewable resource investments are included.
The environmental tax – which will levy fees [...]
It costs nothing to send an email beyond the cost of composing it – the latter is low when a message is simply a copy of something received or simply something forwarded to everyone on a group email list. However receiving hundreds of emails each day on topics that have no relevance to those receiving them [...]
I had mild problems breathing last night here in north-west Beijing – I am a once-a-year asthmatic. This morning I sought to check out air pollution conditions in Beijing. A website from the US embassy describes conditions today (Sunday) as hazardous to the entire population although it is difficult to interpret this information. More information that suggests [...]
I enjoyed reading Barbara Finamore’s piece on transparency in environmental regulation in China which I posted earlier. This is a partial and somewhat shorter re-post.
The use of transparency as an environmental policy tool in China has particular interest for the US given the stumbling block of verifiability on Chinese carbon emissions reductions at [...]
One of the plausible hypotheses I have seen raised is that China’s internal environmental problems (air, water) are improving but it is the regional and global problems that are continuing to worsen. This article in The Economist suggests that internal problems are not improving – they are worsening. The only possible ray of light is [...]