Monday Message Board

Another Monday Message Board. Post comments on any topic. Civil discussion and no coarse language please. Side discussions and idees fixes to the sandpits, please. If you would like to receive my (hopefully) regular email news, please sign up using the following link


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10 thoughts on “Monday Message Board

  1. The article below is positive, Chetty’s work looks able to drive long term change.

    We need something like Opportunity Atlas & Institute for Australia to pull all our disparate policy threads together.

    Here is what Chetty is up to;

    “Chetty’s institute released an interactive map of the United States called the Opportunity Atlas, revealing the terrain of opportunity down to the level of individual neighborhoods. This, he says, will be his microscope.

    “For a man who has done so much to document the country’s failings, Chetty is curiously optimistic. He has the confidence of a scientist: If a phenomenon like upward mobility can be measured with enough precision, then it can be understood; if it can be understood, then it can be manipulated. “The big-picture goal,” Chetty told me, “is to revive the American dream.””

    “The end goal is the social equivalent of precision medicine: a method for diagnosing the particular weaknesses of a place and prescribing a set of treatments. This could transform neighborhoods, and restore the American dream from the ground up.”

    “When I saw this, I was reminded of another map: one President Abraham Lincoln consulted in 1861, demarcating the counties with the most slaves. The two maps are remarkably similar. Set the documents side by side, and it may be hard to believe that they are separated in time by more than a century and a half, or that one is a rough census of men and women kept in bondage at the time of the Civil War, and the other is a computer-generated glimpse of our children’s future.”

    For me, the real insight from Chetty’s work, which is bourne out by native American gambling revenues showing second generation benificial effects; ” “The big insight,” Kathryn Edin, a sociology professor at Princeton, told me, “is that it took a generation for the effects to manifest.”

    With the continual changes in policy in Australia, ideology overriding fact and the lack of movement in “bridging the gap”, Australia needs to set equality programs over 2 gererations – yes – 40+ yrs. Not 20.

    https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2019/08/raj-chettys-american-dream/592804/

  2. From Gold Plated to Capacity Zero within a decade? Only as it stands now. As defined by a for profit – Transgrid. I would have thought Transgrid would be investing and offering to connect, not saying “capacity zero”.

    “Mapping by network operator Transgrid shows the capacity to connect new energy to the grid across much of New South Wales is next to zero.”

    “Andrew Dillon says that’s a significant challenge.”

    https://abc.net.au/news/2019-09-02/powerline-infrastructure-holding-back-renewable-energy-boom/11457694

    Electricity network maps.
    “The Network Opportunity Maps (NOM) provide consistent, transparent annual planning data to identify opportunities for distributed generation, energy storage and other non-network solutions to address network capacity constraints and reduce costs for customers.”
    https://www.energynetworks.com.au/network-opportunity-maps

    … developed by;
    https://www.uts.edu.au/research-and-teaching/our-research/institute-sustainable-futures/our-research/energy-and-climate-9

  3. Yes, I saw that and thought that for all the chest beating and table thumping by pro coal activists there has been little spoken about the transport and distribution of this energy – an intrinsic link to any supply chain. I had thought that renewables had the advantage of decentralising, which could be a problem when retrofitting to an existing structure.

  4. Indian coal update
    **********************
    The Australian Office of the Chief Economist has released a report on prospects for Australian coal exports to India (****industry.gov.au/sites/default/files/2019-08/coal-in-india-2019-report.pdf_). Eviscerated here by Tim Buckley of IEEFA (*****reneweconomy.com.au/coalition-report-on-coal-exports-to-india-is-missing-the-backstory-28127/). He tries to be nice, but it’s a fence-sitting job with considerable input from new hire Ms Rosie Scenario.

    One nice touch is the OCE’s use of outdated numbers on solar costs from the always-wrong IEA of all people (not cross-checked with BNEF, IRENA, or Lazards, which would have told them something is badly out). So they cite a 2017 price that is twice the going PPA rate for utility solar on India, three times if you correct for the non-indexation. Inflation in India is running at 4.9%, so the correction is significant.

    Even more striking is Rosie’s take on import substitution. If Coal India fails to increase output at its recent five-year rate of ca. 5% pa, the Indian government will fail to met its import substitution targets. Sure. But it’s not only the public-sector behemoth that plans to increase production. Several large owners of coal generators are planning on getting into the mining business – including guess who:
    “Nor does the OCE mention that Adani Enterprises is well on track to lift its Indian coal mining capacity tenfold to 100 Mtpa.”

    Of course, Indian success in raising coal production is not good news for the climate. But for Carmichael, it makes no difference if Indian domestic coal booms, or crashes from the competition of cheap renewables. (See earlier comment on the drying up of project finance for Indian coal plants). The imports will go either way.

    BTW, India has plenty of potential sites for pumped hydro storage to firm wind and solar, according to Blakers’ atlas (***nationalmap.gov.au/renewables/#share=s-oDPMo1jDBBtwBNhD). Much of Ladakh is mountains of 6,000m so hydro heads of 2,000m (200 bar water pressure) should be possible. (Height is valuable as you get the same power from smaller dams and reservoirs). The Eastern and Western Ghats (600m and 1,000m) are lower but much closer to centres of population.

  5. @Harry Clarke

    Here is an excerpt from Weitzman’s obit In the New York Times

    “On Wednesday, the Massachusetts medical examiner’s office … ruled the death a suicide by hanging. Colleagues said Professor Weitzman had grown increasingly despondent after being passed over for the Nobel Prize in economics last year “

    That’s just tragic.

  6. The federal court has found in favour of Peter Ridd’s alleged unfair dismissal by JCU. To the tune of $1.2M.

    The IPA are ecstatic.

  7. @Smith9, I always thought his lecture on why climate change is a difficult problem to get people acting on was one of his best. I always asked my students to watch this.

    Nordhaus got the Nobel gong.

  8. @HarryClarke

    From what I read he had a career that would have been the envy of 99.99999% of people in his profession. But he missed out on the Nobel, which would have been the ultimate affirmation of his life’s work, and so he killed himself.

    It’s bad enough that so many people live to work rather than work to live, but to die for work in this way is a tragedy worthy of Sophocles.

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