Monday, April 1, 2013

Tuesday Links

  • The above is unemployment in Europe which is reaching new highs (since the creation of the Euro, at least).  The economy in Europe is clearly continuing to worsen.
  • Hmmm.  This is a dangerous situation between the Koreas - the risk of an actual war is probably not zero.  The north is restarting it's plutonium generating reactor also.
  • Climate scientist James Hansen is retiring from NASA in order to be able to function more freely as an activist.  Hansen is one of my heroes.


Seth said...

Hansen should be a hero to everyone. So far his warning looks likely to be treated as Cassandra's was.

James said...

Please permit me to repost a link to Kahneman's brilliant essay on why we humans go to war more often than we would if we were purely rational actors. To quote, "People have dozens of decision-making biases, and almost all favor conflict rather than concession". I too am worried about Korea.

Regarding Europe, I am currently reading Lords of Finance by Liaquat Ahamed. He is discussing the period between World War I and World War II when the western world was trying to understand monetary economics and decide whether to stay on the gold standard. The parallels to the current situation in Europe are jumping off the page at me: (i) being tied to the gold standard is analagous to being in a currency union because you cant control your own interest rates, (ii) there was a huge amount of debt that had been taken on my debtor nations who were not going to be able to pay it back, and nobody wanted to admit this and take the necessary writedowns. I've also developed a renewed appreciation of why the Europeans are so grateful to the EU project for interrupting their long established habit of going to war with one another.