Category Archives: Economics

The UK Election

Is Boris on track to get a majority?

The new swing voter in the UK is the reason the Tories are on track for a large majority government. The new swing voter is the fiscally liberal, socially conservative voter who wants more money spent on northern towns and health care in regional areas and less money spent on “elites”, which routinely means whoever that voter isn’t a fan of. They’re wary of immigrants, mad at the Blair-era broken promise of only 13000/year net immigration from the 2004 EU Accession states – 250000/year would come in the decade after – and is annoyed by social issues that grip the modern left. This class of voter was staunchly Labour for decades, especially in the aftermath of Margaret Thatcher’s term in office. These voters were tempted by Theresa May last time, but went home to Labour because Corbyn did enough to reassure that Brexit would happen. With Labour policy now being a second referendum with an option to Remain – and every senior Labour politician outside Corbyn saying no possible deal is better than staying in – their likelihood of repeating their 2017 trick is somewhere between small and non-existant.

That would be a shake up.

Climate Alarmism

How it hurts us all.

Frightening kids with this unscientific nonsense is one more form of child abuse in government schools. And Greta T is the poster child for it.

[Update a while later]

The UN’s “woke” climate-change propaganda is an insult to science.

[Update a couple minutes later]

Sorry, just noticed that the last link is behind a paywall.

Sand

Are we really running out of it?

The problem lies in the type of sand we are using. Desert sand is largely useless to us. The overwhelming bulk of the sand we harvest goes to make concrete, and for that purpose, desert sand grains are the wrong shape. Eroded by wind rather than water, they are too smooth and rounded to lock together to form stable concrete.

We cannot extract 50 billion tonnes per year of any material without leading to massive impacts on the planet and thus on people’s lives – Pascal Peduzzi The sand we need is the more angular stuff found in the beds, banks, and floodplains of rivers, as well as in lakes and on the seashore. The demand for that material is so intense that around the world, riverbeds and beaches are being stripped bare, and farmlands and forests torn up to get at the precious grains. And in a growing number of countries, criminal gangs have moved in to the trade, spawning an often lethal black market in sand.

Ironically, as we discussed at the Space Settlement Summit last week, lunar regolith dust has ideal properties in that regard, which is why it’s such nasty stuff to deal with. Probably not worth the cost of importing it to earth, though.

[Update a while later]

For some reason, this reminds me of the old joke about what would happen if socialists took over the Sahara Desert.