Ryan Avent

Ryan Avent is a freelance economics writer living in Washington, D.C. He blogs at ryanavent.com, and at The Economist's Free Exchange.

Climate & Energy

The Freakonomists weigh in on the effects of warming

Manzian (as in Jim Manzi) climate policy skepticism stems in part from a fairly simple idea: The cost of legislation is unlikely to be justified given likely savings from averted warming effects. In other words, warming, in the short-term, just …

Climate & Energy

Is a consumer choice necessarily the best choice?

Jim Manzi, climate change voice of non-denialist conservatives, writes: But consider this at a common-sense level: you are forcing people, through rationing, to use something like 80% less of a substance that they choose to use because they believe that …

Climate & Energy

The GOP disinformation machine settles on an angle

It seems that another way that the GOP will try to win on this issue is by painting carbon pricing as a massive tax increase. This is just dishonest, though politically it’s their best bet (assuming a complete lack of …

Climate & Energy

Conservative heads increasingly buried in sand

Andrew Sullivan reads this Jim Manzi post (Conservatives are going to win on climate change! By doing nothing!) and says he’s on board. He then proceeds to blow my freaking mind: The key will be private and public innovation of …

Cities

Better cities, better growth

The Overhead Wire directs us to a Christian Science Monitor write-up of a new Brookings report on how we might want to support metropolitan economies: “If you’re going to get serious about the economy, then you’ve got to get specific …

Climate & Energy

China’s emissions are an argument for, not against, America taking action

The fight against global warming: China has clearly overtaken the United States as the world’s leading emitter of carbon dioxide, the main heat-trapping gas, a new study has found, its emissions increasing 8 percent in 2007. The Chinese increase accounted …

Cities

Focusing population growth in the right places will make us both

The New York Times looks at the impact of high gas prices in communities across the nation today and concludes that increases are most painful in rural areas. Part of this analysis involves an examination of money spent on gas …

Climate & Energy

A carbon policy is likely to be less devastating than nature, or oil markets

Reihan responds. Let me just say a few more things. First, I described his characterization of carbon pricing as “insane” based on this: What we need is a $100 billion prize or set of prizes to the person or firm …

Climate & Energy

An acknowledge-and-do-nothing strategy is little better than denialism

Reihan Salam writes an incredibly disappointing, and boggling, blog post here, on his preferred strategies for dealing with climate change. Disappointing, because if Reihan, one of the best conservative writers out there, doesn’t get the logic of carbon pricing, then …