Quotes on environment, economics and climate change

I’m saving some quotes for my thesis here:

Sooner or later, we will have to recognise that the Earth has rights, too, to live without pollution. What mankind must know is that human beings cannot live without Mother Earth, but the planet can live without humans. Evo Morales

Some people call it global warming; some people call it climate change. What is the difference? Frank Luntz

There is no question that climate change is happening; the only arguable point is what part humans are playing in it. David Attenborough

Your life~the way it looks today is a result of your choices…What will you choose today for your tomorrows? – Robert G. Allen

When all the trees have been cut down,
when all the animals have been hunted,
when all the waters are polluted,
when all the air is unsafe to breathe,
only then will you discover you cannot eat money. – Cree Prophecy

If the wars of [the 20th] century were fought over oil,
the wars of the next century will be fought over water.— Ismael Serageldin, former VP for sustainable Development at the World Bank (Newsweek, 1995)

 Water will be to the 21st Century what oil was to the 20th.—Fortune Magazine

Should we be consistent in dealing with inconsistencies?

From the economics of climate change, I believe that Carbon trade will benefit the society eventually. That is consistent. However, the effectiveness of this scheme is modelled as a function of carbon price, which is not consistent at all (in either short term or long term). In fact, recent fall of EU carbon price has shaken AUS government’s faith in the policy.

This is an ironic that you will necessarily face if your policy is based on quantitative analysis of data. That’s why I prefer non-data quantitative reasoning such as in AHF model to consider this kind of policy.

P/S: Could the price be constant in long term if we can create a perfectly competitive market for carbon?

Should Australia become world’s nuclear waste dump?

This plan was initiated by John Howard and George W. Bush in 2009 and now is being supported by Alexander Downer of the Liberal Party. For the enormous economic benefit, more and more people back the plan. I personally go for the other way, because of 4 reasons:

1/ Since you have “imported” the waste, there is no way to return it back, meaning high irreversibility .

2/ The nuclear “waste” will remain radioactive for thousands of years. For such a long time, the risk of leaking out is high.

3/ Australia’s reputation is about an environmentally friendly and safe country. It is an ideal place for nature tourism and eco-tourism. You dont want visitors to think that now it is a dump and they have to watch out for any thing they drink or eat.

4/ An essential condition for a good nuclear waste dump is being dry, which WA is quite eligible for. However, it might be different in the next thousand years. Was it very dry in Queensland some decades ago too? and now? flooding in recent two years!! Imagine what happens if there is a flood of nuclear contaminated water flowing on the flat WA?

Those are what occurred straight away in my mind since I heard the news.

SpaceX launch – an economic lesson

These two things don’t seem related.  That’s why I’ve ignored watching the news on the launch until catching up with the CNN student news today. So, thanks Carl for reminding me about such an important event.

Indeed, the launch of  The Falcon 9 rocket along with the Dragon capsule by SpaceX company at 07:44 GMT on Tuesday May 22 is the first commercial rocket launch in the history.

But what is the economic lesson from this? We have to look at NASA for the answer:

Right now NASA has to pay 63 million dollars to Russia to flight one astronaut to the ISS. So it is like an oligopoly market of space rockets where Russia is the cheapest seller comparing to Japan, Europe and USA itself. Conceivably, the price is hefty.

NASA certainly wants to lower the price. What can it do? It creates a competitive market for the low earth orbit business.

– NASA ended its shuttle program in 2011

– NASA’s programs support Blue Origin, Boeing , SpaceX, Sierra Nevada and Orbital (OSC). The companies then have to compete for contract of taking cargo (and astronauts in a near future) to ISS.

– With 7 seats aboard the successful Dragon capsule, SpaceX is predicted to offer the price of $20 million per seat to ISS.

And that price is not yet a competitive equilibrium price.

Perhaps I will briefly talk about this tomorrow in microeconomics class.

P/S: More details of the story could be found on The Economic Times.