Category Archives: Economics


Sarah Rumpf had a little tweetstorm the other day, and I largely agree with her. I continue to be happy she lost, and happy with many of the policy outcomes, but that doesn’t mean that I have to abandon my principles just because the clown in the White House apparently has none.

[Update a few minutes later]

Hillary Clinton, the woman in the high castle.

Mars And SLS

I really find Chris Carberry’s op-ed on SLS incomprehensible. Oh, I don’t mean I don’t understand it, it just seems disconnected with reality, and the interests of anyone seriously interested in seeing humans go to Mars. He speaks about SLS as thought it has kind of reality, and actual utility. To me, a sane Mars organization would be screaming bloody murder at the waste of money to the detriment of hardware needed to actually get to Mars.

[Thursday-afternoon update]

Thoughts on the ever-receding SLS, from Bob Zimmerman.


California’s Climate Litigation

It’s going to be a loser, on multiple levels:

San Mateo County claimed in its complaint to be “particularly vulnerable to sea level rise” with a 93 percent the county will experience a “devastating” flood before 2050. Imperial Beach and Marin County also claimed in their separate complaints to be vulnerable to devastating floods because of climate change.

“If sea levels were to raise that high, it most certainly would be catastrophic,” Epstein said.

However, bond offerings in the last few years by those counties and cities weren’t so forthcoming about those predictions, Exxon said in a verified petition filed last month with the District Court in Tarrant County, Texas.

San Mateo’s 2014 and 2016 bond offerings told would-be investors that the county “is unable to predict whether sea-level rise or other impacts of climate change or flooding from a major storm will occur,” Exxon’s petition said.

Imperial Beach and Marin County never disclosed the same information to perspective bond investors that was detailed in their complaints against the energy companies, Exxon’s petition said.

Making those claims in their lawsuits against energy companies – but not in their bond offerings – smacks of hypocrisy, Exxon is arguing.

As he says, cross-examination will be brutal.

SLS Follies

Eric Berg has the latest on the Leaning Tower of not Pisa, but Launch.

[Late-morning update]

Good point in comments. This London skyscraper only cost half a billion dollars, in the heart of one of the most expensive cities in the world.

Falcon Heavy And Asteroid Mining

Martin Elvis says it’s a game changer. BFR would be even more so. But this (from the story’s author) is a little silly:

Also, I feel like launching all of those rockets and processing the metals can’t be good for the environment.

The metals would be processed in space. The whole point of this is to start to move industry off the planet, which would be great for the environment. He should try thinking, and doing some actually analysis, rather than going on feels.

[Tuesday-morning update]

This seems related, sort of: Planetary Resources has a funding shortfall.

Seems like those billionaires who supposedly founded it don’t actually have that much faith in the venture.