Day: October 18, 2019

Wind Power Wipeout: Monster Wind Farm Threatens Rare & Endangered Eagles

STOP THESE THINGS

Wind industry victim: the endangered Tasmanian wedge-tailed eagle.

Cars, cats and skyscrapers don’t kill Eagles – like the critically endangered Tasmanian wedge-tailed eagle, but 60m wind turbine blades with their tips travelling at 350Kph routinely smash them out of existence.

The current crop of well-fed and poorly educated teens raging against the evil patriarchy and its grand conspiracy to cook the planet and demanding immediate ‘climate action’ – code for carpeting the planet in windmills and solar panels – either have no idea about the carnage caused by these things, or they couldn’t care less.

Millions of tonnes of beneficial bugs get splattered annually, along with millions of birds and bats, some of them being among the last of their kind.

All, as we’re constantly berated, in the name of ‘saving’ Mother Earth. [Note to Ed: with friends like that, who needs enemies?]

Denial, obfuscation and outright lies…

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The Excommunication of Susan Crockford

NOT A LOT OF PEOPLE KNOW THAT

By Paul Homewood

h/t AC Osborn

Donna Laframboise brings shameful news from the University of Victoria:

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Like geologist BobCarter before her, Susan Crockford has been stripped of her Adjunct Professor status by a university with which she has a long history. Why? Because she promotes facts and eschews climate activism.

In May, Canada’s University of Victoria (UVic) advised Crockford that an internal committee had voted to end her 15-year stint as an Adjunct Professor. Having undergone hip surgery in the interim, only now is she going public.

When the matter was last considered, the committee voted unanimously in her favour. What changed? Talks she was invited to give to schools apparently “generated concern among parents regarding balance.” That concern was “shared with various levels of the university,” according to an April 2017 e-mail from Ann Stahl, then chair of the Anthropology Department.

These vague accusations, leveled by an…

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An important conference for NZ First as it braces for the prospect of a painful year ahead

Point of Order

Expect  the  old  campaigner Winston  Peters to be at  his belligerent  best as he   gears  up for another election.  He’s kept his party alive for 27 years  and  he  shows  no sign  of quitting.

The  omens  may be  bleak—polls  this week  showed  his party below  the  5% threshold– but  Peters  insists   NZ  First’s  own polling puts the party  “comfortably  in the  zone”  to do well.  He told   Radio NZ the  party   is getting  “enormous  support” in the provinces  and  he’ll use  the   conference  to  outline a winning  strategy.

As  for  those  political commentators  who say NZ  First  won’t make it back  into Parliament,  they are   “moronic”.

Yet  even  when  Peters  fires   up,  as  he  did  in  that interview,  the  odds   are stacking up against  NZ  First.    He  can brush off the polls, dismiss  leaks of  sensitive party documents  pointing to questionable  internal administrative issues,  and  assert   his  party …

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Offended 9 year old girl objects to math question about weight

Why Evolution Is True

This is one of those issues where I can sort of see a point, but in general think it’s also overblown. In fact, it was the subject of an NBC Today show post and tv segment. It turns out that a nine year old Utah girl named Rhythm Pacheco was asked to answer a math question in which the weights of various students (females) were compared. In particular, as you see below, it was a simple subtraction question, one that Rhythm answered but then expressed anger, saying she “wont right this its rood” (committing four errors in five words). Here’s her answer.

In the NBC video on the site, the hosts get all upset and see the question as sexist (or otherwise offensive).

Now Rhythm wrote a nice note to her teacher, and the teacher responded nicely (and corrected Rhythm’s writing in brown ink!:

Here’s a television report from…

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“Eliminating Uncertainty in Market Access: The Impact of New Bridges in Rural Nicaragua,” W. Brooks & K. Donovan (2018)

A Fine Theorem

It’s NBER Summer Institute season, when every bar and restaurant in East Cambridge, from Helmand to Lord Hobo, is filled with our tribe. The air hums with discussions of Lagrangians and HANKs and robust estimators. And the number of great papers presented, discussed, or otherwise floating around inspires.

The paper we’re discussing today, by Wyatt Brooks at Notre Dame and Kevin Donovan at Yale SOM, uses a great combination of dynamic general equilibrium theory and a totally insane quasi-randomized experiment to help answer an old question: how beneficial is it for villages to be connected to the broader economy? The fundamental insight requires two ideas that are second nature for economists, but are incredibly controversial outside our profession.

First, going back to Nobel winner Arthur Lewis if not much earlier, economists have argued that “structural transformation”, the shift out of low-productivity agriculture to urban areas and non-ag sectors, is fundamental…

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Lant Pritchett — The Debate about RCTs in Development is over.

From https://medium.com/@ismailalimanik/lant-pritchett-the-debate-about-rcts-in-development-is-over-ec7a28a82c17

What Randomization Can and Cannot Do: The 2019 Nobel Prize

“A PhD student of ours on the market this year, Carlos Inoue, examined the effect of random allocation of a new coronary intervention in Brazilian hospitals. Following the arrival of this technology, good doctors moved to hospitals with the “randomized” technology. The estimated effect is therefore nothing like what would have been found had all hospitals adopted the intervention. This issue can be stated simply: randomizing treatment does not in practice hold all relevant covariates constant, and if your response is just “control for the covariates you worry about”, then we are back to the old setting of observational studies where we need a priori arguments about what these covariates are if we are to talk about the effects of a policy.”

A Fine Theorem

It is Nobel Prize season once again, a grand opportunity to dive into some of our field’s most influential papers and to consider their legacy. This year’s prize was inevitable, an award to Abhijit Banerjee, Esther Duflo, and Michael Kremer for popularizing the hugely influential experimental approach to development. It is only fitting that my writeup this year has been delayed due to the anti-government road blockades here in Ecuador which delayed my return to the internet-enabled world – developing countries face many barriers to reaching prosperity, and rarely have I been so personally aware of the effects of place on productivity as I was this week!

The reason for the prize is straightforward: an entire branch of economics, development, looks absolutely different from what it looked like thirty years ago. Development economists used to be essentially a branch of economic growth. Researchers studied topics like the productivity of large…

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