Economics

Carbon taxes have begun to play a strange role in debates on climate change politics. Designed to appeal to conservatives they are now a focus of rage on the political right. At the same time, they are supported by some big fossil fuel companies who see them as a comparatively small cost and a potential […]

{ 0 comments }

Geoff Dembicki has a piece out about how Trudeau’s method is to promise substantive reforms to voters, while privately comforting business with the understanding they won’t really be meaningful: So on climate, for instance, he was presented as this kind of river-paddling environmental Adonis. He promised that fossil fuel projects wouldn’t go ahead without the […]

{ 0 comments }

I hadn’t heard about this weird distortion in the US medical system, where pharmaceutical companies use tax-exempt charities to manipulate the co-payment system used by health insurers for prescription drugs: Half of America’s 20 largest charities are affiliated with pharmaceutical companies. … Pharmaceutical companies will often claim that helping patients with their co-payments is a […]

{ 0 comments }

{ 1 comment }

It seems like a plausible rule for climate change reduction schemes that the people running them will generally prioritize other political and economic objectives over actual emission reductions. This meshes together with other forms of wishful thinking, where we give ourselves credit for overly generous assumptions about reduced emissions, then find every possible way to […]

{ 0 comments }

Surprisingly, despite the importance placed on it in the University of Toronto fossil fuel divestment brief and in the divestment movement generally, I don’t have a post on the idea of the carbon bubble. If we start with the temperature targets countries have chosen as the upper limit for tolerable climate change, we can calculate […]

{ 3 comments }

The National Trust – described by the BBC as “the biggest conservation charity in Europe” – has 4% of its £1bn stock market investment in fossil fuel corporations, but will now divest those holdings over 3-12 months.

{ 0 comments }

Natural gas is often held up as a solution to climate change, or at least a transition in the right direction, on the basis of producing less CO2 per unit of energy than oil or coal. Other factors are also relevant, however. Natural gas is mostly methane (CH4) which is a much more powerful greenhouse […]

{ 1 comment }

The CBC is reporting on polling results pertinent to this fall’s federal election: CBC News poll takes snapshot of Canadians ahead of fall election. They say the cost of living was the top concern identified, followed by climate change. This suggests a familiar Canadian dynamic: being notionally concerned about climate change, but rejecting action on […]

{ 18 comments }

Over the years I have written a variety of academic papers on various aspects of nuclear weapons and nuclear power: 1) Written for an undergrad international relations course at UBC and subsequently published in a journal and given an award: “The Space Race as ‘Primitive’ Warfare.” UBC Journal of International Affairs. 2005. p. 19-28. 2) […]

{ 0 comments }