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Posts Tagged ‘global warming’

Early Spring

Did you know that in 1965 the U.S. Department of Agriculture planted a particular variety of lilac in more than 70 locations around the U.S. Northeast, to detect the onset of spring — in turn to be used to determine the appropriate timing of corn planting and the like? The records the U.S.D.A. have kept show that those same lilacs . . .

Did Jane Fonda Ruin Nuclear Power? A Guest Post

William Tucker, author of the forthcoming book Terrestrial Energy, blogged here earlier this week about nuclear power. This is his second of three guest posts here on the subject. A year ago, Stephen Dubner and Steven Levitt wrote a New York Times Magazine column entitled “The Jane Fonda Effect,” in which they argued that Fonda’s efforts in the movie The . . .

How Are You Fighting Global Warming? A Freakonomics Quorum

Whenever the subject of global warming comes up on this blog, readers have plenty to say. There are a lot of things to think about, of course, including the effectiveness (or lack thereof?) of carbon taxes; the environmental impact of a global food market; even whether it’s greener to drive than walk. For the average person, the issue probably seems . . .

Which Industry Makes the Most Misleading Ads?

My vote is for the companies that design closets. The photos in their ads routinely show closets that are drenched in sunlight while the owners of those closets always seem to possess exactly three pairs of (identical and very clean) pants or skirts but not a single accordion, hockey stick, papier-mache dragon, or any of the other stuff that actually . . .

FREAK Shots: Gas Masks and Getting Used to It

Reader Leonardo Piccioli sent this photo of one employee’s adaptation to smoke in Buenos Aires caused by natural fires nearby. In a similar fashion, Americans should begin adapting to man-made pollution instead of trying to reverse the inevitable, writes Spencer Reiss in Wired. “Climate change is inevitable,” he writes, and we should “get used to it” by focusing our energies . . .

To Fight Global Warming We Must Tax All Recreational Exercise

A recent Lancet article argued that obesity is contributing to global warming because the obese consume more calories. Since making food releases carbon, that means an obese person, on average, is worse for global warming than a skinny person. (Not to mention the extra methane the obese might release, but that is my father’s area of expertise, not my own.) . . .

Global Warming and the Minefield of Unintended Consequences

Dubner and Levitt recently wrote a column discussing the unintended consequences of legislation intended to help the neediest segments of society. Few movements for change have met with as many unintended consequences as the efforts, both in the public and private sector, to combat global warming. Take biofuels (another topic Dubner has addressed here and here). Hailed as the darling . . .

The FREAK-est Links

Gangs using social network sites to recruit members. (Earlier) Twenty Chicagoans fooled into “voting” with invisible ink. (Earlier) New York City stores begin taking euros. Will global warming spread epidemics across the globe? (Earlier)

The FREAK-est Links

What Hitwise can say about mortgage rates. (Earlier) Will the housing bubble lead to baby bundles? (Earlier) What will become of the “Tipping Point”? Climate change and impending doom? (Earlier)

The FREAK-est Links

Is the “Google generation” really so Internet savvy? 2007 tied for Earth’s second-warmest year. (Earlier) See it to believe it: the eco-friendly Hummer. (Earlier) A complete guide to Marginal Revolution’s “Markets In Everything.” (More)

Is California’s Environmental Policy Worth Fighting For?

California’s environmental policy has made headlines recently, with Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger announcing that he plans to sue the federal government over its refusal to let the state enact its own plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and instead adopt a more lax federal plan. While the E.P.A.’s regulation promises to increase fuel efficiency standards by 40 percent come 2020, the . . .

Is ‘Stop Liking Men Who Drive Hot Cars’ Sound Climate Advice?

Richard Gray at the U.K. Telegraph reports that Sir David King, a University of Cambridge chemist, staunch global warming activist, and one of Britain’s top government scientists, gave the following advice to a woman who asked him what she could do to curb global warming: “[S]top admiring young men in Ferraris.” King’s larger point — that we should act individually . . .

The FREAK-est Links

Methane-free kangaroo gas could slow global warming. (Earlier) Weather prediction traditionalists face off against modernists. Honda introduces hydrogen-fueled car. (Earlier) Read newspapers on the Web? That could make you an “influencer”.

The FREAK-est Links

Terminally ill professor to write a book based on his final lecture. (Earlier) Climate change scientists bet on disappearance of Arctic ice. (Earlier) Should NFL teams go for it on fourth down? A debate. (Earlier) Airports now offering flu shots to travelers. (Earlier)

Creating the Car of the Future: A Q&A With the Author of Zoom

It’s tough to imagine a world without cars. They serve as a base for our social and economic structure in a way that wasn’t thought possible a century ago. But the rapid growth of an automobile-based culture has produced economic and environmental consequences that, if left unchecked, could cripple society. As such, we’re facing a major dilemma: we can’t tell . . .

The FREAK-est Links

A proposed history of the efficient markets hypothesis. (Hat tip: MidasOracle) U.N. climate change conference to discuss global warming post-2012. (Earlier) Senator proposes national registry for convicted arsonists. (Earlier) The misery of economy air travel continues. (Earlier)

Devra Davis Responds to Your Cancer Questions

Last week, we ran a few excerpts from the new book The Secret History of the War on Cancer and and solicited your questions for its author, Devra Davis. I found her answers to be extraordinarily informative, and hope you do too. According to Davis, the economics of cancer prevention (not treatment) seem to be improving hard and fast, which . . .

Environmentalism Run Amok

An e-mail just turned up in my in-box. It was clearly selling something, and the text ended with the following thoughtful note: Please consider the environment — do you really need to print this e-mail? And what, you ask, was the e-mail selling? Private jet travel. Like the man said: please consider the environment.

The FREAK-est Links

“Anti-groping Appli” on cell phones now available for Japan’s female commuters. Will the growing wage gap affect elite colleges’ admissions? (Earlier) Coal-fired plants dominate electricity in China. (Earlier) Monkeys may have cognitive dissonance. (Earlier)

From Bagels to Coal Fires: An Unorthodox Economist Keeps Pushing for Change

You may remember Paul Feldman as the Bagel Man we wrote about in Freakonomics. You may also remember that he was an economist before he got into bagels, with an interest in agricultural, medical, and military issues. He recently wrote to us about an environmental issue he’s been looking into: the abundance of underground coal fires in abandoned mines and . . .

The FREAK-est Links

“Womenomics” on the rise. Want crime stats, school rankings, and home listings in L.A.? Look no further. Government to increase use of pilotless planes. (Earlier) Are there factual errors in An Inconvenient Truth? (Earlier)

A Coal/Nuclear/Solar Energy Faceoff That Is Almost Real

Seth Schiesel wrote a fascinating piece in the Times about a new collaboration between game maker Electronic Arts and the energy company BP in designing the latest version of E.A.’s SimCity computer game. In case you don’t know, SimCity “focuses on building and managing a modern metropolis.” As Schiesel tells us, “coping with environmental pollution has long been part of . . .

The FREAK-est Links

The key to good health? Eat more garbage. Technology meets baby naming. (HT: BoingBoing) New report says global warming kills more Europeans than car accidents. (Earlier) Which ten businesses will be extinct within the next decade?

Tobacco Farmers and Clotheslines

There were two fascinating page-one articles in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal that reinforce why it is so hard to predict the future. “U.S. Farmers Rediscover the Allure of Tobacco,” by Lauren Etter, is about how tobacco farming has spiked in the U.S. in the three years since federal tobacco subsidies ended. Although the U.S. tobacco/cigarette industry has taken a few . . .

Al Gore Blames the Media for Global-Warming Inaction

Here’s what he had to say. I would argue that he is, um, wrong. Anyone who can say with a straight face that the mainstream media’s portrayal of global warming has been overly skeptical deserves — well, an Oscar. P.S.: David Remnick wrote a very interesting essay on Gore in this week’s New Yorker (and his long Gore profile from . . .

Are Children Sounding the Global-Warming Alarm?

Even though Americans may be less concerned with global warming than people in many other countries, it is amazing how the subject has recently become so omnipresent. The media is brimming with global warming stories every day, from a variety of angles: environmental, economic, political, etc. How did this happen? How has such a sweeping, complex, controversial issue become such . . .