Thursday, October 17, 2013

EI of fracking from Purdue University and other assorted links

1. Jayson Lusk has a link to a Bill Moyer interview of Wendell Berry

The whole post is worth reading, but I want to point out one excerpt where Jayson didn't comment:
BILL MOYERS: When you and I were born in 1934 there were almost seven million family farms in this country. There are now roughly around two million family farms and most of us are further away from the foundations of nature than we’ve ever been.
WENDELL BERRY: Well, there’s another tough problem. And so you have to look ahead a little bit. 
How is this a problem?  This means five million people/families are freed up to do other productive things for society?  So many journalists and talking heads miss this obvious point. It is better for society when we can produce the same products with fewer people.  That way we can produce more products and services.

2. Purdue University agricultural economists study shale gas with two findings.

First, they find that through 2035, US GDP should be 3.5% higher because of shale gas. (2.2% higher with it, but it would be 1.3% lower without.)

Second, they estimate that shale gas exports would decrease GDP.  Their reasoning is that prices would go up in the US, and that price increase would more than offset the increased in GDP from exports.  I have to dig into their model more to know, but at first glance I think they're likely underestimating how much natural gas is available.  The amount is so enormous that I suspect the moment prices start to rise by even a little bit, oil companies seeking to make a profit will drill more, keeping the price down.

That being said, I am planning to read both of the articles referenced to examine their assumptions/models/etc.

3.  Larry Flynt advocates torture for his shooter.  

While I am in favor of the death penalty, I think "enhanced interrogation" techniques should be reserved for the cases where there's potentially information that would save lives if discovered.  That being said, I agree with Flint that this shooter gets a quick and painless death - and that isn't justice.

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