24 August 2009

Speed Blogging

  • Russ Roberts chats with Christopher Hitchens about Orewell. Fascinating discussion of a man opposed to imperialism, fascism and communism -- different ways to curtail freedom.

  • The American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity has engaged (actively or passively) in fraud by sending forged letters protesting climate change legislation. Don't fine them (the customers would pay) -- just put their PR department in jail. Oh, and then tax all fuels in proportion to carbon content.

  • US Army Corps of Engieers supplies water to 10 million people in 115 cities [pdf]. They are outside their mission and unaccountable to their customers. This is crazy mission creep.

  • Speaking of mission creep, USACE and BurRec are being told to consider environmental values when doing cost benefit analyses; formerly, they only paid attention to economic values -- and that got us in trouble.

  • Speaking of bureaucratic failure, this 1971 paper [pdf] details the Bureau of Reclamation's failure to clarify water rights before building Shasta Dam (for the CVP). BurRec got busted by farmers who were paid off with... the Trinity River Project. (BurRec knows how to turn two wrongs dams into a right bribe.)

  • Ranjan and Shogren use math to "show" [pdf] that farmers who are unsure about the future are unlikely to "efficiently" participate in water markets. (Did I miss some deep insight or is this a no duh paper?)
hattips to DB and PB

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