Energy, Climate, New Economic Thinking​


The Making of Vladimir Putin

Did the United States and its allies, through excess of optimism or naïveté, simply get Mr. Putin wrong from the outset? Or was he transformed over time into the revanchist warmonger of today, whether because of perceived Western provocation, gathering grievance, or the giddying intoxication of prolonged and — since Covid-19 — increasingly isolated rule? The New York Times

How Oil and Gasoline Prices Actually Work

At some point in their lives, most people learn some version, no matter how rudimentary, of the supply and demand curve. At some later point in their lives, nearly all of those people conclude none of that applies to oil markets, which are, they claim, manipulated by politicians, or a cartel of Western oil companies, or OPEC, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, with 13 members mostly from the Middle East and Africa. But that is a mistake, Clark Williams-Derry, an energy analyst for the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, told Motherboard. He said oil markets are

Weaning Europe off Russian energy will mean making changes

Europe wants to cut imports of gas from Russia by two-thirds within a year. Behind the scenes, politicians and companies are already scrambling to work out how to cope next winter. The obvious upshot, one might expect, would be a change in consumer behaviour not seen since the 1970s, when dizzying oil prices caused a rethink of how the West lived. Not so. While European leaders exude an air of war-time concern, the public is living as if nothing were amiss in a continent at peace. The Economist

Ukraine at war

All of the Economist’s coverage of the war in one place. The Economist

Why the low carbon transition may be much cheaper than models predict

To achieve net-zero emissions by mid-century, global energy systems must undergo a wholesale switch to low-carbon and energy-efficient technologies. However, many models used to chart this transition imply that there are benefits in delaying investment in these technologies, waiting instead for R&D to drive down costs over time. Our new paper in Environmental Research Letters draws on evidence from more than 200 journal articles and concludes that policies promoting such “induced innovation” have been a clear factor behind the remarkable success of low-carbon technologies. Carbon Brief

Powell’s Econ 101: Jobs not inflation. And forget about the money supply

Toss out the college textbooks, because the world has changed. The unemployment rate? Forget it. The Fed only cares about the number of people working and how to get it higher, not an age-old statistic that, for all its familiarity, overlooks a key group, namely those who stopped looking for work during the pandemic and need to be brought back. Inflation? Not a problem anytime soon. Queried by Democratic U.S. Senator Mark Warner about the need to make “a sizeable investment” in U.S. infrastructure, Powell set aside classic concerns of hefty government borrowing driving up prices and responded “this is

New Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm has advice for Texas — and for the oil industry

Jennifer Granholm, who was confirmed as secretary of energy by the Senate on Thursday, takes over a department with a $35 billion budget for an administration that has enthusiastically promoted the further development of clean energy. Even as the Senate vote was tallied, state legislators in Texas were holding hearings on the colossal power failures there of the week before. In a Friday interview with The Washington Post, Granholm had some advice for Texas. But with General Motors vowing to build only electric vehicles by 2035, the former governor of Michigan comes to office on the cusp of national transition.