Sean Meriwether's Blog: The Green Economist

August 30, 2018

Book Review: Climate of Hope

A number of climate change themed books track how we got to this (tipping) point and paint disaster-porn scenarios of our continued inaction. Cities underwater! Millions of climate refugees! Runaway temperatures! Melting icebergs! They raise multiple red flags and back up their statements with statistics and data trends. They rightfully lay blame on obstructionist government officials (looking at you U.S. Republican party), the oil and gas industry which continues to receive billions in gover...

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Published on August 30, 2018 14:12

August 17, 2018

Book Review: The Water Will Come

The most frightening theme in Jeff Goodell’s tour of coastal cities is not the rising oceans but the maddening certainty of many residents living in these threatened areas that someday someone else will fix the problem… if there is a problem. This blind hope is especially pronounced in Republican-dominated U.S. cities where politicians and waterfront real estate developers claim that climate change is not a problem while water reclaims land that maybe should never have been built on in the fi...

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Published on August 17, 2018 09:33

June 1, 2018

Basic Income Can Be Used to Protect Ecosystems

Objections to basic income typically follow a colonialist mentality. Like parents dispensing an allowance, those holding the purse strings are certain that they know best about how funds should (or if they should) be purposed. Detractors believe that the recipients will misspend the money, stop working, and/or become permanent dependents of the state. Expensive administrative constraints have been placed on who receives aid and how it should be delivered, for instance in the form of food stam...

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Published on June 01, 2018 13:27

How Basic Income Can Be Used to Protect Ecosystems

Objections to basic income typically follow a colonialist mentality. Like parents dispensing an allowance, those holding the purse strings are certain that they know best about how funds should (or if they should) be purposed. Detractors believe that the recipients will misspend the money, stop working, and/or become permanent dependents of the state. Expensive administrative constraints have been placed on who receives aid and how it should be delivered, for instance in the form of food stam...

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Published on June 01, 2018 13:27

May 18, 2018

Oil & Gas… time to divest?

Starting in 2010 students on U.S. college campuses began to gain traction—and media attention—for protests trying to force their institutions to divest from oil and gas companies and shift into alternative energy. College endowments, along with pensions, can have enormous holdings and winding down holdings across an entire industry would have significant market impact. For example, as of November 2017, just 4 of the top ten U.S. college endowments (Columbia, Princeton, Stanford and the Univer...

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Published on May 18, 2018 14:12

May 11, 2018

Green & Gray Infrastructure vs CSOs

Many American cities have a problem hidden beneath their paved streets. Approximately 860 communities in the U.S. have combined sewers that carry commercial and residential sewage along with storm runoff. On dry days these aged sewer systems, parts of which may date back to the 1800s, route soiled water to treatment facilities. However, rain or melting snow can easily overtax the sewer systems, which causes the waste to spill into a local body of water. These spillages, called combined sewer...

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Published on May 11, 2018 08:17

May 4, 2018

The Atlantic is Running AMOC

Imagine the water circulation system of a swimming pool. Water is drawn into filters around the pool’s edge, stripped of debris, and then the cleaned water is pumped back into the pool, restarting the cycle. If the filtration system got shut off the water would quickly fill with dead bugs and leaves, grow stagnant, and create an environment ripe for algae and mosquitos. Tens of thousands of swimming pools abandoned during the U.S. housing crises created a public health hazard and helped mosqu...

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Published on May 04, 2018 20:49

April 27, 2018

Natural Capital and the Resource Curse

Countries that are rich in natural resources such as oil, gas, or minerals often fare worse economically because of those resources. This conundrum, known as the resource curse, occurs when the country becomes heavily dependent on one export. Rather than distribute income to the general population, the single revenue source can inflate the local currency and drive up the prices of other exports (decreasing export sales), increase the odds of economic disparity and high-level corruption, and t...

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Published on April 27, 2018 18:21

October 6, 2017

Empowering Smallholder Farmers with Measurements

Smallholder farmers are providing up to 70 percent of the world’s food using traditional methods that may have been passed down for generations. However, the conditions that today’s farmers have inherited bear little resemblance to those of their parents and grandparents. Climate change is altering the volume and frequency of rain, flooding and droughts are becoming more pronounced and prolonged, and temperatures are rising. Subsistence farmers must adapt to these conditions to protect their...

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Published on October 06, 2017 12:45

July 11, 2017

Dear Climate Science Skeptic

Over the last few decades there has been a growing division between us. We have each chosen our position and vigorously stuck to our set of facts, confused about how the other side can be so easily duped by misinformation. The internet gives us access to global news and volumes of research, yet we normally seek out stories that agree with what we already believe to be true, seldom crossing the aisle to see what the other side is saying. There is no dialogue or compromise, only an unwavering c...

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Published on July 11, 2017 16:18

The Green Economist

Sean Meriwether
Sean Meriwether has been working his own brand of magic on the page, drafting immersive fiction and erotica and transporting boys and girls into the tumultuous landscape of his imagining. He has publi ...more
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