Review: The Magical Thinking of Degrowth

This is a review of the blog post Degrowth: Solving the Impasse by Magical Thinking by Branko Milanovic. An exciting new activity—my first blog post about another blog post. Am I a degrowther? Maybe. I don’t think I’m well-versed enough yet on these matters to label myself with a position. But from what I’ve written… Continue reading Review: The Magical Thinking of Degrowth

Review: OECD Decoupling Indicators and Decoupling for Ecological Sustainability

The OECD defines “decoupling” as ” breaking the link between ‘environmental bads’ and ‘economic goods.’”1 To put it more vividly, this is generally understood as having economic growth happen without increased resource use and its associated environmental damage. An economy could get more decoupled by selling a more fuel-efficient car instead of an inefficient one,… Continue reading Review: OECD Decoupling Indicators and Decoupling for Ecological Sustainability

Haber & Bosch: Heroes or Not?

The Haber-Bosch process is perhaps one of the most widely known industrial chemical processes. I won’t describe the history in too much detail (there’s Wikipedia for that), but in a nutshell, it’s a chemical process for making ammonia (NH3) from nitrogen (N2) and hydrogen (H2) invented in 1909. N2 + 3H2 → 2NH3 This doesn’t… Continue reading Haber & Bosch: Heroes or Not?

Review: Beyond Accumulation and Technical Progress: Negative Externalities as an Engine of Economic Growth

It’s a long title for an elegant idea. This paper asks: “why does the economy grow?” It argues that the existing reasons of 1) accumulation and 2) technical progress fail to explain why a) people work so much for money and b) why they’re still so unhappy. Bartolini argues that the missing piece of the puzzle is negative externalities, which are in fact an engine of economic growth.