24 September 2009

Speed Blogging

  • This story gives an update on the Bay Area's carbon tax (prior post). First, it's working logistically. Second, it's probably going to be adopted Statewide. Third, it's probably going to rise from $0.045/ton CO2e to a real price...

  • Robert Glennon continues to say that water shortages will end when water prices rise. He's right.

  • "It's not surprising to find pathogens in municipal waters, said Pace. But the CU-Boulder researchers found that some M. avium and related pathogens were clumped together in slimy "biofilms" that clung to the inside of showerheads at more than 100 times the "background" levels of municipal water. "If you are getting a face full of water when you first turn your shower on, that means you are probably getting a particularly high load of Mycobacterium avium, which may not be too healthy," he said."

  • T-Mobile started charging customers to receive paper statements (instead of giving them praise). Enrollment in the program jumped from 1,000 people/day to 33,000 people/day. That's called a "price response." (They ended the fee after losing a "you changed the contract!" lawsuit. Gaia continues to weep.)

  • "We employ a field experiment that examines the manner in which police officers in a major Latin American city respond to socioeconomic distinctions when requiring a bribe. In this experiment, four automobile drivers commit identical traffic violations across a randomized sequence of crossroads, which are monitored by transit police... Our core finding is that officers are more likely to target lower class individuals and let more affluent drivers off with warnings. The qualitative results suggest that officers associate wealth with the capacity to exact retribution and therefore are more likely to demand bribes from poorer individuals"

  • Why are LA's water mains bursting? "But some experts said a prime suspect should be the city's recent decision to allow sprinklers to run only on Mondays and Thursdays. They say that if more water flows through the system on those two days when people water their lawns and then pressure suddenly changes on other days, it could put added stress on already aging pipes." The Law of Unintended Consequences strokes again. Just raise prices!
hattip to JWT

1 comment:

  1. Data presented in that story clearly show year-on-year increases in the number of September blowouts, since 2006. If the increase was a steady linear trend, about 25 blowouts would have been expected; so maybe the extra 9 could be attributed to the effects of the rationing program. Or, maybe the deterioration is non-linear; as pipes get older and weaker, the failure rate accelerates. Not enough information presented here to tell - certainly not enough for that guy to invoke the Sherlock Holmes Doctrine.

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