Tag: Development

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I first saw “How the West Was Won” as a young boy with my family when it came out in 1963. It was filmed in Cinerama and was quite the experience when viewed at a theater set up properly for the process. In any event, Turner Classic Movies (TCM) played the movie today and I […]

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Richard Epstein describes how government interventions have driven the Golden State’s housing prices to extraordinary heights.

The Unsexy Stuff


shutterstock_126203432Given all the attention it has received recently, it’s worth considering climate change’s potential implications in perspective. That is, even if we take some of the worst-case scenarios at face value, what kind of problems are on the table?

Via Bjorn Lomborg, the World Health Organization (hardly a conservative source) estimates that there are 141,000 deaths each year attributable to climate change. I haven’t been able to track down a more recent number, but — given that we’re trying to do a worst case-scenario and that the WHO currently estimates that this number will climb to 250,000* by 2030 or 2050 — let’s just call it 200,000 per year now. For the sake of argument, let’s further stipulate that this is mostly human-caused. (By the way, I have this farm that I’m looking to sell, cheap. I mean, I’d like to make make money on it, but if you’re really interested…)

Now, that’s a lot of people, the equivalent of about 75% of the 2004 Asian Tsunami each year. Obviously, we’d like to see that number lowered and there are doubtless a great many small things we could do to reduce harm at the margins. But before we put on our do-gooder hat, we should consider two additional questions: 1) What are the costs (economics and human) of ameliorating this harm?; and 2) Are there other harms that are equally or even more worthy of our attention?