Category Archives: Economics

As if climate change didn’t happen fast enough already

NPR: Trump Administration Eases Regulation Of Methane Leaks On Public Lands.

“The Trump administration is rolling back another Obama-era energy regulation, this time one that aimed to curb methane leaks from oil and gas operations on tribal and public lands.

Methane is a powerful greenhouse gas, even more potent than carbon dioxide in the short term, that contributes to climate change. The Obama administration said that large amounts of methane are lost into the atmosphere through leaks, as well as intentional venting and flaring at energy production sites. It moved to limit that by requiring oil and gas companies to capture leaking and vented methane at existing sites, to gradually update their technology and to make plans for monitoring escaping gas.

The Government Accountability Office says as much as $23 million of potential royalty revenue from those gases is lost annually.

But in a statement, the Department of the Interior said that rule was “unnecessarily burdensome on the private sector.“”

(Emphasis mine.)

This is kind of an understatement. Each ton of methane has about the same effect as 21 to 25 tons of carbon dioxide, so it’s much worse. How about methane being “burdensome on the world’s climate”?

“They did a ‘magnificent job.’ President Trump says so himself. Have him come say that to my face.”

The New York Times: On Hurricane Maria Anniversary, Puerto Rico Is Still in Ruins. “By Frances Robles and Jugal K. Patel. September 20, 2018.

“A year ago, on Sept. 20, the deadliest storm to hit Puerto Rico in over 100 years slammed into the island’s southeast coast, just 14 miles south of where Ms. Cruz lives in Punta Santiago. The tourist and fishing town of 5,000 people bore a terrible share of Maria’s initial fury.

Almost 650 houses flooded with water from the sea; others were inundated by an overflowing lake, a river, and two ponds — and also raw sewage. Many homes lost walls and roofs in winds that reached 155 miles per hour when the storm made landfall.
Times journalists visited 163 homes in two neighborhoods in Punta Santiago to cover what progress had been made in the last 12 months.”

Link via MetaFilter.

Spring forward, fall back – not any longer, at least in the EU

Deutsche Welle: EU to stop changing the clocks in 2019. “The EU is doing away with the twice-yearly clock changes and has given member states until April to decide if they will remain on summer or winter time. But there are fears Europe is heading for time-zone chaos.”

“European Commissioner for Transport Violeta Bulc on Friday announced that the EU will stop the twice-yearly changing of clocks across the continent in October 2019.
[She] said EU member states would have until April 2019 to decide whether they would permanently remain on summer or winter time.

Bulc said she was counting on member states and the European Parliament to keep pace with the Commission’s “ambitious” schedule. She also noted the need to find consensus among the member states in order to avoid confusing time jumps.

The plan also raises the prospect of neighboring countries ending up an hour apart.

“In order to maintain a harmonised approach we are encouraging consultations at national levels to ensure a coordinated approach of all member states,” Bulc said.”

For a world-wide view on time zones and by how much noon on the clock differs from the actual time the sun reaches its highest point in the sky, see this map (PNG) by Stefano Maggiolo from The poor man’s math blog.

Link via MetaFilter.

Urheberrechtsreform in der EU

Die Zeit: Europa-Abgeordnete stimmen für Reform des Urheberrechts. “Google oder YouTube sollen Künstler vergüten, wenn deren Inhalte auf ihren Plattformen angeboten werden. Kritiker fürchten Zensur durch die Urheberrechtsreform.”

Die Zeit: Urheberrechtsreform: Diese Überschrift dürfen Sie künftig nicht mehr zitieren. “Die Lobbyarbeit ist aufgegangen: Die EU-Urheberrechtsreform belohnt die Verlage. Für uns alle ist sie desaströs. Die freie Verbreitung von Informationen ist in Gefahr.” Ein Kommentar von Lisa Hegemann.

Wenn diese Urheberrechtsreform in dieser Form in Kraft tritt, kann ich – zusammen mit allen anderen Webloggern in der EU – mein Blog dichtmachen. Dann dürfte ich nämlich hier statt dem obigen Text nur schreiben:

Hier, lest mal diesen Artikel und den Kommentar dazu auf Zeit online. Es geht um die Reform des EU-Urheberrechts.

“Den Bürgern wurde eine Reihe von Lügen aufgetischt.”

Die Zeit: “Die EU wird einfach die Uhr anhalten”. “Je eher Theresa May geht, desto besser, sagt der britische Politiker Nick Clegg. Er hat eine Idee, wie Großbritannien in der Europäischen Union bleiben könnte.”

“Laut einer aktuellen Umfrage sind mittlerweile 59 Prozent für einen Verbleib in der EU. Gerade unter den jungen Wählern spricht sich eine überwältigende Mehrheit für eine EU-Mitgliedschaft Großbritanniens aus. Und diesmal würden wahrscheinlich auch mehr von ihnen ihre Stimme abgeben.”