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Ha Joon Chang’s ‘Shortest Economics Textbook Ever’

Ha Joon Chang’s ‘Shortest Economics Textbook Ever’

The 5 things they don’t tell you about economics…

Economics in brief from Ha Joon Chang

At the time of writing this textbook, he was Professor of Economics at Cambridge University, UK, now with SOAS University of London? Chang has created some great resources, I’ve linked to some more of his work, below this one page, 5 point economics textbook.

And here they are…

95% of economics is common sense

You don’t need a degree to understand it.

We’ve got this profession wrong; a lot of professional economists think what they do is too difficult for ordinary people. You’d be surprised how often these people are stupid enough to say things, at least in private, like ‘you wouldn’t understand what I do even if I explained it to you’. If you cannot explain it to other people, you have the problem.

People express strong opinions on all sorts of things despite not having the appropriate expertise: climate change, gay marriage, the iraq war, nuclear power stations. But when it comes to economic issues, many people are not even interested, not to speak of not having a strong opinion about them. When was the last time you had a debate on the future of the euro, inequality in china or the american manufacturing industry, despite the fact that these issues can have a huge impact on your life, wherever you live?

Economics is not a science

Despite what the experts want you to believe, there is more than one way of ‘doing’ economics.

People have been led to believe that, like physics or chemistry, economics is a ‘science’, in which there is only one correct answer to everything; thus non-experts should simply accept the ‘professional consensus’ and stop thinking about it.

…click on the above link to read the rest…

The decoupling canard won’t die…

The decoupling canard won’t die…

aka, ‘Green Growth is an oxymoron’! I keep coming across people contending that decoupling will allow continued economic expansion, whilst reducing emissions. I put together this summary of rebuttals:

This is a great starting observation from Tim Morgan at Surplus energy economics:

“At the same time, we should dismiss the idea that we can somehow “decouple” the economy from energy. Fortunately, a quite superb recent report from the European Environmental Bureau (EEB) has debunked the concept of “decoupling” so comprehensively that we can defer detailed consideration to a later discussion.

“Our finding is clear”, the EEB report concludes – “the decoupling literature is a haystack without a needle”.

There – political leaders please note – goes your cherished ambition to deliver “sustainable growth”. ‘Sustainable’ is something to which we can and must aspire. But “growth” is not.”

More: https://surplusenergyeconomics.wordpress.com/2019/09/02/155-the-art-of-dark-sky-thinking/

Here’s the direct link to the EEB’s comprehensive debunking of the decoupling canard… https://eeb.org/decoupling-debunked/ summarised as:

Although decoupling is useful and necessary, and has occurred at certain times and places, ‘green growth’ cannot reduce resource use on anywhere near the scale required to deal with global environmental breakdown and to keep global warming below the target of 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, the threshold established as part of the Paris Agreement.

This is the conclusion of ‘Decoupling debunked: Evidence and arguments against green growth as a sole strategy for sustainability’. Published by the European Environmental Bureau (EEB), the report reviews the empirical evidence and theoretical literature to assess the validity of the decoupling hypothesis.

The report, whose lead author is Timothée Parrique of the Centre for Studies and Research in International Development (CERDI), finds that there is no empirical evidence supporting the existence of an absolute, permanent, global, substantial and sufficiently rapid decoupling of economic growth from environmental pressures. Absolute decoupling is also highly unlikely to happen in the future, the report concludes.

…click on the above link to read the rest…

Energy’s role in economic production is severely underestimated!

Energy’s role in economic production is severely underestimated!

Another brilliant exposition by Prof Steve Keen. The wording below is from a LinkedIn post I made tonight, targeted to Megan Woods (NZ Energy Minister) and Tina Schirr (BEC Lead)

I posted the following to LinkedIn tonight, here’s the link to the OP: https://www.linkedin.com/posts/nathansurendran_friede-gard-prize-lecture-05-energy-in-production-activity-6994962828289851392-oU7s

Friede Gard Prize Lecture 05 Energy In Production Functions – Both Neoclassical and Post Keynesian economic models have been “energy blind”, as Dr. Steve Keen outlines in this 23 minute talk: https://lnkd.in/gmCn6hzA

(- I’ll update this post with an embed of this video, once it’s available on YouTube.)

Megan Woods – MBIE’s modelling fails to take this reality into account, and you are getting erroneous assurances (the magnitude of risk is massively underestimated, potentially by a factor of 20 or more) on the magnitude of energy supply fluctuation risks, from the SADEM and GEM economic modelling.

Tina Schirr – this line of thinking is fundamental to getting the scenarios in your BEC Energy Scenarios to properly reveal the relative risk to business of energy supply challenges. This is of critical importance, as the current tightening global diesel supply is a huge risk to BAU and the proposed transition scenarios, which your current modelling is failing to identify.

The fundamental risk that this points to is a cascading failure of the financial system, as FEASTA analysed in this report: bit.ly/trdoff. This could easily be triggered by energy supply disruptions, as explored in this article: https://lnkd.in/gtbPP8im

#energy #business #energytransition #biophysicaleconomics

Olduvai IV: Courage
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Olduvai II: Exodus
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