Email News #25

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Hi all,

Another email newsletter. I’ve been working fairly quietly for the last few weeks, but I recently attended an interesting panel discussion with Joe Stiglitz, the Nobel Laureate who brought the “1 per cent” to popular attention. He pointed to some interesting research by Mark Stelzner at Connecticut College relating the rise in inequality to anti-union decisions by the National Labor Relations Board (rough equivalent of the Fair Work Commission). The important question, is whether the campaign to Change the Rules can help to reverse this process. More on this from me before too long, I hope.
On 29 November, I’ll be in Sydney at a Forum organized by the Royal Society of NSW and various Academies on the topic “Towards a prosperous and sustainable Australia: what now for the lucky country?.
I’ll be talking about how to get climate policy back on track.

Economics in Two Lessons
I’m dealing with minor but important things like blurbs, permissions and so forth.
US publication is currently scheduled for May 2019, hopefully with an Australian edition to follow. I’ve set up a Facebook page (see below) and have been posting extracts regularly.

Facebook Public Page:

Economics in Two Lessons Facebook Page:
Twitter feed

3 thoughts on “Email News #25

  1. On climate policy: I personally find Andrew Blakers’ minimal scenario helpful. He asks not what is the optimum mix of technologies for 100% renewable electricity, but what is the simplest. He shows Australia can get there with just four mature and low-risk technologies, wind and PV for generation and pumped hydro plus HVDC transmission for firming, all at a system price lower than present. The beauty of this approach is that you can see the long list of other technologies for generation and firming as side orders: you buy nuclear, CSP, grid batteries, biomass. V2G and so on if and only if they lower system costs. Otherwise, forget about them.

    And don’t forget the health costs of fossil fuels. The latest WHO report estimates annual mortality in children under 15 from ambient air pollution (= fossil fuels) at 286,000. It’s these massive health costs that make the energy transition a colossal free lunch.

  2. An older report said 3,000 deaths a year from total air pollution with each death representing an average of 9 years of life lost. A recent report says 279 deaths from coal pollution per year in NSW alone. For Australia as a whole it might come to half the road toll. Maybe more given how polluting coal generation is in densely populated Victoria.

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