Michael Perelman | 1 Jun 01:35 2007

Carbon offsets, Carbon Trading, and Other Nonsense

Carbon offsets, Carbon Trading, and Other Nonsense.  

A couple weeks ago, a colleague told me about a website called

http://www.terrapass.com/index.html

All you have to do is provide your car and a number of miles you drive, and the 
website calculates how much carbon you need to offset.  You give them your credit 
card information and then you have been absolved from carbon sin.

The website indicates great support from the environmental community.
Read on and tell me how this sort of scam will help global warming.  What's even 
more important is that a bigger scam -- carbon trading -- is the preferred method 
for dealing with global warming.
BusinessWeek published an exposé of what this company really provides.
Elgin, Ben. 2007. "Another Inconvenient Truth: Behind the feel-good hype of carbon 
offsets, some of the deals don't deliver."  Business Week (26 March).
"TerraPass was the brainchild of Karl Ulrich, a professor at the Wharton School. 
Ulrich, an environmentalist who bikes to work, became concerned several years ago 
about the carbon dioxide emitted when he drove to his cabin in Vermont. In the fall 
of 2004 he gave one of his classes $5,000 and challenged students to create an 
affordable carbon-offset program.  TerraPass, with a number of Wharton graduates as 
shareholders, has soared since then.  The company now claims 42,500 customers.  Tom 
Arnold, the 30-year-old former Ulrich student who runs the business, says TerraPass 
has already had a major impact by offsetting more than 117,000 tons of greenhouse 
gases.  Ford Motor Co. and the travel Web site Expedia.com collaborate with the 
offset-retailer to offer customers the option of neutralizing travel-related 
emissions for an added cost."
"One of the largest in its portfolio is a sprawling garbage dump outside of 
Springdale, Ark., from which TerraPass has purchased thousands of tons of gas 
(Continue reading)

Jim Devine | 1 Jun 01:38 2007
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critique of Gintis

[disclaimer: I wrote one of the articles in the book in question.]

In his Amazon.com review of by Edward Fullbrook's A GUIDE TO WHAT'S
WRONG WITH ECONOMICS, Herbert Gintis writes:
> In June 2000, several Parisian economics students circulated a petition calling for the reform of their
economics curriculum. Their complaint was the inability of the neoclassical economics they were
studying to satisfy their need for a deep understanding of the operation of real-life economies. They
called for a reform of the university curriculum that would tolerate analytical diversity and foster
critical dialogue across contrasting approaches to economics. Their demand was taken up by large
numbers of students, and a similar demand was formulated by Ph.D. students at Cambridge University in the
UK the next year. This reform movement has grown in Europe, under the rubric of "post-autistic
economics." This volume presents their case, but with voices of professional economists rather than students.

> My interest in this book and this movement stems from my life-long battle against neoclassical
orthodoxy. My conclusion from reading this edited volume is that the post-autistic economics critique
is incapable of leading to positive change in how economics is done and taught. The central critique is
that neoclassical economics does not describe real-world economies, and must be replaced by or
supplemented with other approaches. This is just wrong. While the elementary courses are far from the
real world, advanced courses in such areas as labor, international finance, macroeconomic policy,
economic development, law and economics, environmental economics, and so on, are quite real-world. If
an undergraduate students left with a degree in economics that allowed them to understand The Economist
and the Journal of Economic Perspectives, the level of economic awareness in the world would be
considerably higher. If the undergraduate curriculum does not bring students to this level, the
curriculum is, to my mind, faulty. Perhaps less stress on arcane theories that are relevant only to
professional economists should be replaced by a more historical, institutional, and hands-on approach
to microeconomic and macroeconomic issues. But, this is a critique of pedagogy, not of economic theory.<

The post-autistic economics (PAE) approach is not about the JOURNAL OF
ECONOMIC PERSPECTIVES and the like. Instead, when it started it was
about the "autistic" math-econ approach of Gerard Debreu and similar
(Continue reading)

Michael Perelman | 1 Jun 01:50 2007

Re: critique of Gintis

I liked the older Gintis better.  It is sad that he can be so critical of others,
yet seemed to act as if he were a poor kid getting bullied by the pen-l ruffians
when he was here.
 --
Michael Perelman
Economics Department
California State University
Chico, CA 95929

Tel. 530-898-5321
E-Mail michael at ecst.csuchico.edu
michaelperelman.wordpress.com

Julio Huato | 1 Jun 01:51 2007
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pensions in Venezuela [Oil Wars]

Michael (Lebowitz),

Who wrote this piece?

Thanks.

Jim Devine | 1 Jun 01:53 2007
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Re: critique of Gintis

On 5/31/07, Michael Perelman <michael@...> wrote:
> I liked the older Gintis better.  It is sad that he can be so critical of others,
> yet seemed to act as if he were a poor kid getting bullied by the pen-l ruffians
> when he was here.

well, you gotta admit that us pen-l ruffians are pretty ruff.

I remember having a dialogue with him on pen-l in which he wanted me
to present a _complete economic picture_ of what socialism would look
like. Because I didn't do so, he rejected it.
--
Jim Devine /  "Segui il tuo corso, e lascia dir le genti." (Go your
own way and let people talk.) -- Karl, paraphrasing Dante.

Julio Huato | 1 Jun 01:58 2007
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critique of Gintis

Is Gintis a PEN-L member?

Michael Perelman | 1 Jun 02:07 2007

Re: critique of Gintis

not for some time now.

On Thu, May 31, 2007 at 07:58:05PM -0400, Julio Huato wrote:
> Is Gintis a PEN-L member?

--
Michael Perelman
Economics Department
California State University
Chico, CA 95929

Tel. 530-898-5321
E-Mail michael at ecst.csuchico.edu
michaelperelman.wordpress.com

michael a. lebowitz | 1 Jun 02:13 2007
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Re: pensions in Venezuela [Oil Wars]

oops, another grey cell clearly gone--- I forget the name of the
blogger for oil wars: http://oilwars.blogspot.com/ Generally, pretty
good stuff. Then, there's Don Kingsbury, who does a gringo in the
bolivarian repub---http://gringo-venezolano.blogspot.com. Good daily
coverage as he's on the spot-- teaching english at the School of
Planning (along with George Ciccariello-Maher, who's had some things
in Counterpunch and MRZine.. and will have a nice one on dual power
in Vzla in the July-Aug issue of MR, along with Meszaros, Frederico
Fuentes, Claudio Katz, Saul Landau, Camila Pineiro Harnecker and me).
                 m
ps. another vzla blog, focused on media coverage, is http://www.borev.net
At 19:51 31/05/2007, you wrote:

>Michael (Lebowitz),
>
>Who wrote this piece?
>
>Thanks.
>
>
>
>
>--
>No virus found in this incoming message.
>Checked by AVG Free Edition. Version: 7.5.472 / Virus Database:
>269.8.4/825 - Release Date: 30/05/2007 15:03

Michael A. Lebowitz
Professor Emeritus
Economics Department
(Continue reading)

Julio Huato | 1 Jun 02:16 2007
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Re: critique of Gintis

Michael Perelman wrote:

> not for some time now.

I would put things *very differently*, but -- to be blunt -- I tend to
agree with the gist of his dismissal of "post-autism."  It's a big
step backwards.

It would be nice if he were allowed to reply here.

Michael Perelman | 1 Jun 02:37 2007

Re: critique of Gintis

ask him if you want.

On Thu, May 31, 2007 at 08:16:33PM -0400, Julio Huato wrote:
> Michael Perelman wrote:
>
> > not for some time now.
>
> I would put things *very differently*, but -- to be blunt -- I tend to
> agree with the gist of his dismissal of "post-autism."  It's a big
> step backwards.
>
> It would be nice if he were allowed to reply here.

--
Michael Perelman
Economics Department
California State University
Chico, CA 95929

Tel. 530-898-5321
E-Mail michael at ecst.csuchico.edu
michaelperelman.wordpress.com


Gmane