Things I Liked, Saturday
New Science paper on costs of climate change, via Tyler Cowen:
"The combined value of market and nonmarket damage across analyzed sectors—agriculture, crime, coastal storms, energy, human mortality, and labor—increases quadratically in global mean temperature, costing roughly 1.2% of gross domestic product per +1°C on average. Importantly, risk is distributed unequally across locations, generating a large transfer of value northward and westward [in the US] that increases economic inequality. By the late 21st century, the poorest third of counties are projected to experience damages between 2 and 20% of county income (90% chance) under business-as-usual emissions"
Mike Konzcal, writing for Vox, has an excellent paragraph:
"First, Democrats need to reevaluate their idea of themselves as disinterested stewards of the economy — as a party that accepts the current economic arrangements largely as a given. Second, they need to understand what their coalition looks like if they can’t peel off moderate Republicans, as they predicted they would throughout 2016. Third, they also need to decide if the economy requires structural changes, or merely some tinkering around the edges. And finally, they must decide whether social programs should target narrow populations or lean towards universalism."
Bill McKibben, New Yorker, writes about off-grid solar providers in Sub-Saharan Africa:
"There are as many people living without electricity today as when there were when Thomas Edison lit his first light bulb. ...
The push for quick returns could lead some companies to try to "squeeze more out of poor households" .. "the gush of money may be too much, too fast for a sector that still has not fully solved core business model issues and may struggle under the high growth expectations and misaligned incentives of many venture capitalists."
The Guardian, on Brexit:
“It is odd, if we want a deep and special relationship with the EU, not to have proposed one. A year after the referendum, we have still put forward no plan, suggestion, outline or proposal for how one might in future organise cooperation.”
The odds of a reversal on Brexit are slightly higher (though still low).
Cardiff Garcia interviews Heidi Williams on health care innovation:
E.g., on "the economic incentives for pharmaceutical companies to invest in late-stage cancer treatments versus preventive and early-stage treatments. A particular problem is the design of patents, whose protections in some industries begin at the time of discovery rather than at the time of the first commercial sale. But early-stage treatments for cancer can take a while to arrive at the market, in part because clinical trials required by the Food & Drug Administration naturally take longer than they would for late-stage cancers, especially given that the traditional qualification for success is lower mortality. Thus the period of exclusivity for early-stage treatments is shorter, potentially incentivising pharma companies to focus more on later-stage treatments."
99% Invisible on that day in the 60s Sweden switched from driving on the left to driving on the right. They'd held a referendum, 83% voted against switching, and the government did it anyway!
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