Category Archives: Economics

California’s Climate Litigation

It’s going to be a loser, on multiple levels:

San Mateo County claimed in its complaint to be “particularly vulnerable to sea level rise” with a 93 percent the county will experience a “devastating” flood before 2050. Imperial Beach and Marin County also claimed in their separate complaints to be vulnerable to devastating floods because of climate change.

“If sea levels were to raise that high, it most certainly would be catastrophic,” Epstein said.

However, bond offerings in the last few years by those counties and cities weren’t so forthcoming about those predictions, Exxon said in a verified petition filed last month with the District Court in Tarrant County, Texas.

San Mateo’s 2014 and 2016 bond offerings told would-be investors that the county “is unable to predict whether sea-level rise or other impacts of climate change or flooding from a major storm will occur,” Exxon’s petition said.

Imperial Beach and Marin County never disclosed the same information to perspective bond investors that was detailed in their complaints against the energy companies, Exxon’s petition said.

Making those claims in their lawsuits against energy companies – but not in their bond offerings – smacks of hypocrisy, Exxon is arguing.

As he says, cross-examination will be brutal.

SLS Follies

Eric Berg has the latest on the Leaning Tower of not Pisa, but Launch.

[Late-morning update]

Good point in comments. This London skyscraper only cost half a billion dollars, in the heart of one of the most expensive cities in the world.

Falcon Heavy And Asteroid Mining

Martin Elvis says it’s a game changer. BFR would be even more so. But this (from the story’s author) is a little silly:

Also, I feel like launching all of those rockets and processing the metals can’t be good for the environment.

The metals would be processed in space. The whole point of this is to start to move industry off the planet, which would be great for the environment. He should try thinking, and doing some actually analysis, rather than going on feels.

[Tuesday-morning update]

This seems related, sort of: Planetary Resources has a funding shortfall.

Seems like those billionaires who supposedly founded it don’t actually have that much faith in the venture.

Colonizing The Moon

I agree that we have the tech to do this affordably, but I strenuously disagree with this:

The activities at this moon base would be focusing on science, as is the case in the Antarctic. It could provide an official U.S. government presence on the moon, and its motivation would be rooted in U.S. national policy—again as are the U.S. Antarctic bases.

To the degree that the focus should be on “science,” it should be about better learning how to live on the moon, and Antarctica is a terrible precedent, in that we aren’t allowed to exploit it for its resources. That’s also why the Outer Space Treaty itself, which was modeled on the Antarctic Treaty, is a problem.