Blogs, environment, politics, technology and the kitchen link, often all in one post!

Saturday, July 14, 2007

OpenOffice 3.0 in 2008

Contrary to rumor, OpenOffice 3.0 will not be a rewrite and is scheduled for September 2008, with 2.3 and 2.4 releases coming out of the kitchen between now and then.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

First D conference next month at Amazon!

D programming language conference.

One step for green software.

Now if Kitchen Linker could just get out of the kitchen...

Be frugal to be green V

Last post in this series Kitchen Linker highlighted one extreme version of being frugal to be green, known as freeganism.

Another (of several) way of being frugal to be green is to turn an economist's eye on the problem. Sometimes the results are counterintuitive, e.g., when recycling uses more resources than it saves.

In this kitchen we want to be actually green, as opposed to just going through the motions. To be sure we are meeting this goal, an analytic component is necessary.

What Kitchen Linker really wants is to take the best of freegan philosophy and economic analysis -- and mash them together into something yummy!

Thursday, July 05, 2007


Iran, Low on Gasoline, to Be Supplied by Venezuela:
Iran, a major oil exporter, imports 40 percent of its gasoline because of high consumption and limited refining capacity. While gasoline costs about $2 a gallon on world markets, the government sells it for 34 cents, a subsidy that costs it about $5 billion a year.
And Kitchen Linker thought NoPigou was bad...

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Apology to David Friedman

Kitchen Linker is honored to have David Friedman commenting here, even if the comment is a justified accusation of making a base assertion. Kitchen Linker has now actually read The Coal Question and Climate Change cited by David Friedman rather than taking a quick glance and throwing it into the frying pan.

A strong case is made that most long term global warming scenarios assume much more hydrocarbons will be burned than are available to burn. Unless we trigger a major change now, the long term (year 2100+) impact on the climate from humans releasing carbon into the atmosphere will be relatively small and transient, because we'll run out of oil and coal.

However, Kitchen Linker does not really believe people are concerned about the year 2100 and beyond, at least not very much (and they shouldn't be--if we survive, people then will have incredible wealth and tools to face down the pedestrian challenges of today). People are concerned about the possibility (admittedly small) of near term catastrophic climate change and/or collapse in oil production.

Frankly, any policy implemented now is going to only slightly tweak the probability of either near term disaster scenario. But that is not an excuse for doing nothing, in particular because people want something done, and that something could be very, very bad, such as anti-technology terrorism and/or resource wars.

Let's ward those off with policy that is good and addresses climate change and energy depletion. In a comment on his own blog post, David Friedman has sage advice:
The conclusions I want to reach lead me to conclude that the future is sufficiently uncertain so that it is almost always a mistake to bear large costs now in or to avoid problems in the distant future. For more on that, see the webbed draft of my current writing project, Future Imperfect.
Yes, but a green tax shift does not involve bearing large costs. To the contrary, it costs less than equivalent taxes on production.

Readings from the Pigoufather

He recommends The Tax Free Lunch by Charles Krauthammer.

He also recommends A Green Employment Tax Swap: Using A Carbon Tax To Finance Payroll Tax Relief by Gilbert Metcalf.

Both recommend swapping the payroll tax for a carbon tax, same as Al Gore. Kitchen Linker could not agree more.

He is of course Greg Mankiw. Podfather, Pigoufather, get it? Ha ha.

No bailout for Wall Street!

Gretchen Morgenson interviewed by Bill Moyers:
BILL MOYERS: But I mean, look what they've been doing. Their past experience is no indication that they will respond to what you're saying.

GRETCHEN MORGENSON: Only if they're held accountable.


GRETCHEN MORGENSON: And if they have to pay the bill that comes a cropper. Let's not make it a bail out where the taxpayer bails out Wall Street, please.

BILL MOYERS: Then Wall Street would be the winner and--

GRETCHEN MORGENSON: Then Wall Street would say, "Fine. I'll go do that again. I'll go throw money at a problem and let it blow up, and I don't mind."

BILL MOYERS: Does this contribute to what you and I both know are-- is growing inequality in the country? The gap between the rich and the poor? The greatest gap since 1929? Is this contributing to that gap?

GRETCHEN MORGENSON: To the degree that Wall Street made an awful, awful lot of money on these securities, yes, it contributes to that gap. To people who work on Wall Street, you saw the enormous bonuses, the enormous payouts to the CEOs of these firms. Absolutely. The mortgage mania contributed to that. The little guy doesn't have the benefit of all the powerful friends in Washington and the powerful friends on Wall Street. The little guy is just trying to be able to retire comfortably and not have to scrimp and worry about money. And he and she have a right to that. And if we're in an ownership society that's ballyhooed around, that should be a benefit. That should be who wins. But unfortunately, the little guy is the guy that's usually the bag holder.
Kitchen Linker may post this ARM reset schedule chart on the kitchen wall, noting that any housing bubble is in part a kitchen bubble, and any housing bust is in part a kitchen blowout.

Both links via Ben's Housing Bubble Blog.