Links for the Week Ending 21st July

  • Lots of commentary on whether the bankruptcy of Detroit is emblematic of a post-industrial, post-growth world, or just an exception. This blog post by Juan Cole (via Stuart Staniford’s Early Warning) delves far deeper than most.
  • And from a very different perspective, Raghuram Rajan, who wrote the wonderful book Fault Lines, continues to ask some probing questions as to why we continue to need financial repression by the the central banks to underpin what little growth we have—and where this could all lead.
  • Forbes has been gleefully dancing on the grave of The Oil Drum (here). Of course, they fail to reference the fact that oil prices have remained remarkably high despite a significant slowdown in global growth and that all Daniel Yergin’s predictions (Yergin being the cheerleader for the cornucopians) have been wrong. Like climate change, resource depletion in the form of peak oil is something people have grown bored with. Unfortunately, just because you get bored with something, it doesn’t mean it goes away (as a final post in The Oil Drum points out).
  • Having brought up climate change, it is worth directing you to the World Meteorological Office (WMO)’s state of play for the decade 2001-2010. No sign of climate change going away here. And we have had a record turnaround in this year’s snow and ice melt after a slow start. At this time of year, I check Arctic sea ice extent daily (here) to see how our dying canary is doing.
  • Meanwhile, the wilfully ignorant continue to buy real estate in Miami, which is likely to be the first major advanced city to be lost to climate change. An excellent article in Rolling Stone details the city’s fate here. And no, just because this is likely to happen decades in the future doesn’t mean current prices won’t be impacted. We just need a couple of climate-induced hurricane hits to change the valuation metric from free hold to lease hold as the market suddenly realises that all real estate in the city will ultimately be worth zero at some future date.

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