Econometria · estatística · falhas de governo · meio ambiente · random walk

É a mudança climática um passeio aleatório?

Eli Dourado:

The human brain is “hard-wired” for pattern recognition. So much so, in fact, that it often finds patterns that are not really there. This is why the field of statistics is so counter-intuitive for so many people (and you thought it was all the Greek letters).

I was thinking and reading about global warming this morning when a thought struck me: could I test climate trends against a null hypothesis of a random walk? It took only a few minutes to discover that a pair of authors from the US Geological Survey have already done so. In a 2005 article in Geophysical Research Letters, Timothy Cohn and Harry Lins were unable to reject the hypothesis that the warming of the last 100 years was due to randomness. The trend is statistically insignificant.

I draw two conclusions. First, politicians should not do anything drastic to “fix” global warming. Second, if we insist on democratic governance, we ought to emphasize statistics in the high school curriculum. I propose dropping trigonometry (which is useless to almost everyone) and replacing it with statistics.

Al Gore · Ciência · meio ambiente · Nobel

Landsburg merecia o Nobel, não Al Gore

Basta ler isto. Trecho:

Barring a last-minute intervention by the Supreme Court, the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize will be shared by Albert Gore Jr. Admittedly, Gore has been less of a menace to world peace than some previous laureates (think Henry Kissinger). But there is nothing particularly peaceable about Gore’s rhetorical approach to climate policy. At his most pugnacious, Gore has depicted the fundamental trade-off as one between environmental responsibility and personal greed. Of course, as everyone over the age of 12 is perfectly aware, the real trade-off is between the quality of our own lives and the quality of our descendants’.

In other words, climate policy is almost entirely about you and me making sacrifices for the benefit of future generations. To contribute usefully to the debate, you’ve got to think hard about the appropriate level of sacrifice. That in turn requires you to think hard about roughly half a dozen underlying issues.

Leia as questões e tente responder antes de cair no conto do vigário.

Desenvolvimento econômico · economia · meio ambiente

O meio ambiente continuará o mesmo, apesar do etanol

“Con los biocombustibles no se ahorran emisiones de CO2”

Pergunta para alunos de economia: Se o que o Nobel de Química aí acima disse está correto (assuma que sim, para fins de análise) que interesses, então, são os responsáveis pelo discurso pró-etanol? Quem ganha e quem perde com a adoção (entusiasticamente apoiado por setores do governo) deste combustível?

Claro, a outra pergunta é se o que ele diz está correto, mas nada garante que não haja muita gente por aí soltando desinformações para conseguir subsídios (às custas do bolso do contribuinte).