6 Jul 2010

Speed Blogging

  • Nature can clean up some oil, but we can help.

  • Eating spicy food? Don't cool it with water. Try these.

  • Background on Concord's ban on bottled water. (Bad idea, but activists love it.)

  • UAE citizens use 550 lcd, 3x the world average, and their water is subsidized. Dubai's mirage is running into the wall of reality.

  • Iraqi tribes are using force to take water (Tragedy of the Commons), sometimes killing irrigation inspectors. Water wars? Nope. More like broken government and insufficient time to create new institutions.

  • The Economist on California water:
    Silly prices like that send the wrong signal to the market. With people having little incentive to conserve, the authorities then have to resort to rationing when droughts occur. That is neither efficient nor fair: it penalises those who use water sparingly as much as those who waste it. In an ideal world, water would be priced so as to reflect its scarcity. In periods of drought, its price would increase and people would therefore demand less.

    It is not a perfect world, least of all in California. But nor is it beyond the wit of those in charge to consider water like oil or any other commodity, and to use market mechanisms to match supply and demand.
Hattips to EF, DL and SS


  1. David: What do you mean to communicate with "Nature can clean up some oil, but we can help" with your link to the website The Straight Dope?

  2. Dr. Zetland:

    Re: Where Thoreau Lived, Crusade Over Bottles

    Jean Hill has proposed a ban on the sale of bottled water in Concord, which will be reviewed by the state attorney general and could go into effect next January.

    “I’m going to work until I drop on this,” she said. “If you believe in something, you have to persist and you have to have a thick skin.”

    The bottled water companies are draining our aquifers and selling it back to us,” she said, repeating her pitch from the town meeting in April. “We’re trashing our planet, all because of greed.”

    Lets see, self interest (depicted as greed) by Jean Hill is the culprit. Hmmmm. As explained on many occasions by Thomas Sowell, Milton Friedman, and Harold Demsetz, self interest exists in all organizations of economy (from capitalism through communism). In other words, self interest is freely occurring and is everywhere. One might say self interest is a normal human condition.

    However, self interest has a twin brother known as self direction. Self Direction is directly related to freedom. Although self interest occurs in all economies, self direction only occurs when freedom occurs.

    Now lets examine Jean Hill’s campaign to ban plastic water bottles. Would her campaign be based on self interest? If one would like to politicize “self interest“, would Jean Hill’s campaign be based on “greed”? Ops! There goes Jean’s argument.

    What Jean doesn’t comprehend is that she is able to take her self interest (or Jean’s “greed” in her own words) and add self direction (“I’m going to work until I drop on this,” she said. “If you believe in something, you have to persist and you have to have a thick skin.” ) as Jean has the freedom to add self direction to her self interest.

    However. Jean apparently has a problem with other people’s self interest and self direction. In other words, Jean’s self interest and self direction somehow, some way, trumps other peoples’ self interest and self direction.

    Jean is apparently “greedy”.

  3. @FC -- you can't just leave a spill to nature.

    @WEH -- "greed is good"? :)


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