81 thoughts on “Monday message board

  1. JQ: there has been substantial deindustrialisation in western Europe over the last quarter century while industrial output remains substantial here and in USA. But even more pertinent is that the French maintain their elegant lifestyle with per cap GHG emissions at not merely half but a third of the USA level. Nothing to with their nuclear powered electicity I suppose.

  2. The availability of nuclear power is one of many options that shows observa’s claims about the essentiality of current levels of carbon-based fuel use to be wrong. Let’s put a price tag on carbon emissions and see which option wins out – I assume as an economist, you’d support this, Tim. BTW, as regards your claims on deindustrialisation (a side issue in any case), you might want to check the balance of trade in goods for the countries you mention.

  3. Just a note with all this talk on C02 I notice more press on methane esp regarding the food industry.

    Anyone willing to give up their steak or burger?

    I wonder what they would cost if you factored in this externality?

  4. John: trade balances are flows; the LEVELS of value added in industry and manufacturing in UK, France, Italy and Germany as a proportion of total GDp all fell very substantially between 1980 and 1999, by 13% in France, 16% in Italy, 18% in UK; Germany also had very large falls because of union with East Germany, but comparable data are n/a for 1980 for both Germanies; the proportion fell in the USA as well but not by nearly as much, at 11%. (Source: World Development Indicators 2000). In principle I agree with you about carbon taxes but not emissions trading, which I feel is foolish, so far it has achieved nothing in UK and EU. But I do not see either party winning the next election here on a platform of say an extra 20 cents on petrol plus $200 a year on electricity bills just for for the feel good about doing something for the planet.

  5. Simonjim I believe about 12% of Australian greenhouse gases come from our ruminants. However there are ways of inoculating cattle to reduce their emissions (not sure it works for old men:). There are other economic reasons for doing this because CH4 represents a loss of the value of the feed and if you reduce a cow’s emissions you can get better use of the feed. Perhaps a small incentive to farmers may enable Australia to meet Kyoto?

  6. Kevin I wonder what the cost of that would be and level/% it would then be at.

    The other factor I would raise is the amount of water needed to produce this food resource.

    I we coupled the methane problem and this relatively inefficient use of our water resources, even if we inoculated them and were then to show the true cost, would meat be affordable?

    I would also imagine it takes more resources to process this food resource than most plant based products so it would still have a larger footprint.

    BTW I’m not a vegitarian.

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