January 23rd, 2009


Norway's carbon confusion

Binge and purge (The Economist)
This story expands on my earlier comments about Norway's double attitude toward the environment. As one of the world's leading exporters of oil and gas, it is "responsible" for much of the global warming. On the other hand, local stardards are extremely strict, with taxes on cars and fuel that make the hairs stand up on foreign visitors, and with massive investments in green technologies.

As other countries become more advanced, they too will face many of the same things. America under Obama will presumably be looking in this direction, for instance. Other Nordic countries and the Netherlands are already doing much of the same.

Deploying environmental measures in developing countries looks like a great idea at first glance. The scope for improvement is enormous there, but pitifully small at home. And developing countries need the money and the transfer of technology. I agree - but the number of countries available is less than it seems.

The reason poor countries remain poor long after the end of overt colonialism is largely that they have retained a culture of deceit and betrayal, or are engaged in various level of ethnic war. Investing in such places is worse than nothing, certain to either line the money of corrupt officials or finance the military of one or the other warring faction.


My Political Views
I am a right social libertarian
Right: 3.2, Libertarian: 5.21

Political Spectrum Quiz

As usual with such things, I don't really fit into their worldview. Is gay rights a sign of progress? The ancient Greeks had not just gay rights, it was practically an obligation, but they thought slavery was cool. On the other hand, it would be progress if Americans stop dragging gays after cars till they die (or even tagging their houses). So there are a number of questions where I just made myself as small as possible even though I might have opinions if asked the right questions.