Πέμπτη, Νοεμβρίου 08, 2007

1st PhD Conference in Economics 2008, in Memory of Vassilis Patsatzis

1st PhD Conference in Economics 2008
In memory of Vassilis Patsatzis
May 16th, 2008

Call for Papers

The Department of Economics and the University of Athens Doctoral Program in Economics (UADPhilEcon) at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens invite PhD Students and Junior Researchers, all around the world, in economics and related disciplines to submit papers for presentation at the 1st PhD Conference in Economics 2008 in memory of Vassilis Patsatzis. Research papers to be presented may source from all fields of economic theory, both theoretical and applied.

Researchers interested in applying must send a one-page abstract, summarizing the content and contribution to economic theory of their work. The document submitted should additionally include contact information (name, affiliation, phone number, e-mail address), 3-4 keywords and JEL classification codes. All the above necessary information must be included in a single PDF file, sent at econphdconference@gmail.com.

The deadline for submitting the research papers’ abstract is January 31st, 2008. Notification of acceptance will have been announced by March 15th, 2008.

Papers and presentations must be in English.

No registration or participation fee will be required.

Please do not hesitate to contact with any member of the organizing committee for any questions.

Vrettos Konstantinos: kvrettos@econ.uoa.gr
Zekente Kalliopi-Maria: popizek@econ.uoa.gr
Magonis George: gmagonis@econ.uoa.gr
Dafermos Yannis: yannis.dafermos@gmail.com
Kitsios Manos: manoskitsios@gmail.com

For more information check: www.uadphilecon.gr

Κυριακή, Νοεμβρίου 04, 2007

Νερό-δηλητήριο απειλεί την Αττική

Ψευδάργυρο, αρσενικό, μόλυβδο, νικέλιο, νιτρικά και άλλες επικίνδυνες ουσίες ανίχνευσαν οι ερευνητές
Ακατάλληλα για ύδρευση και άρδευση τα ύδατα σε Μαραθώνα, Μεσόγεια, Νέα Μάκρη, Σχινιά, Λαύριο, Φαληρικό όρμο και Θριάσιο


Οι βιομηχανικές και οι γεωργικές δραστηριότητες δηλητηριάζουν τα υπόγεια ύδατα με αποτέλεσμα τα νερά σε πολλές περιοχές της Αττικής να είναι ακατάλληλα ακόμη και για άρδευση

Το εξασθενές χρώμιο που «ξερνούν» τα ποτάμια και τα δίκτυα ύδρευσης στην Ανατολική Αττική και στη Βοιωτία, βάφοντας κόκκινο το νερό, δεν είναι ο μόνος θανατηφόρος κίνδυνος που απειλεί τους κατοίκους της περιοχής. Ψευδάργυρος, αρσενικό, μόλυβδος, νικέλιο, νιτρικά και άλλα επικίνδυνα τοξικά στοιχεία - τα οποία στην πλειονότητά τους ενοχοποιούνται για την εμφάνιση σοβαρών ασθενειών, ακόμη και για καρκινογενέσεις - ανίχνευσαν στα νερά όχι μόνον αυτών των περιοχών, αλλά και πολλών άλλων της Αττικής, οι ερευνητές του Ινστιτούτου Γεωλογικών και Μεταλλευτικών Ερευνών (ΙΓΜΕ). Οι ανεξέλεγκτες βιομηχανικές και γεωργικές δραστηριότητες «εμπλουτίζουν» τα υπόγεια ύδατα με επιβλαβείς για τη δημόσια υγεία ουσίες και δημιουργούν ένα «εκρηκτικό κοκτέιλ», ακατάλληλο για κάθε χρήση. Τα νερά στον Μαραθώνα, στα Μεσόγεια, στη Νέα Μάκρη, στον Σχινιά, στο Λαύριο, στον Φαληρικό όρμο και στο Θριάσιο δεν μπορούν να χρησιμοποιηθούν για ύδρευση, αλλά ούτε για άρδευση καλλιεργειών ή οιαδήποτε άλλη εφαρμογή.

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Πέμπτη, Οκτωβρίου 04, 2007

Τρίτη, Σεπτεμβρίου 25, 2007

Law and Economics for a Warming World

by Lisa Heinzerling and Frank Ackerman
Harvard Law and Policy Review volume 1, no. 2, pp.331-362

Both law and economics offer frameworks for understanding public policy – and both require changes in order to respond effectively to the challenge of climate change. Contrary to implicit conservative assumptions, maintaining the status quo is not an option; “business as usual” will lead to rapidly worsening results as greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise. The causal links between actions and impacts extend across centuries; the most important effects of our actions occur long after our lifetimes. The consequences, and probabilities of damages, from climate change are incalculable in detail, although worsening in general. Each of these problems compels a rethinking of aspects of both law and economics, as Lisa Heinzerling and Frank Ackerman explain in this article.

Visit the journal at: http://www.hlpronline.com/

Τετάρτη, Μαρτίου 28, 2007

Έρευνα για την Ελληνική Blogόσφαιρα

Καλησπέρα σε όλους του Έλληνες, αυτή τη φορά, αναγνώστες. Mια έρευνα διεξάγεται σχετικά με την ελληνόφωνη blogόσφαιρα από το Πάντειο Πανεπιστήμιο. Νομίζω ότι αξίζει να ξοδέψουμε λίγο από τον χρόνο μας ο καθένας για να απαντήσουμε στα ερωτήματα της έρευνας (δεν παίρνει ειλικρινά πολύ χρόνο). Όσοι αγαπάμε το blogging καλό είναι συμμετέχουμε σε αυτή την έρευνα. Παραθέτω το σχετικό link παρακάτω.


Παραθέτω και το παρακάτω άρθρο από την εφημερίδα το "Έθνος" για περαιτέρω κατανόηση της έρευνας.

Σε εξέλιξη βρίσκεται αυτές τις ημέρες διαδικτυακή έρευνα για τους Έλληνες blogger, στο πλαίσιο του Προγράμματος Μεταπτυχιακών Σπουδών «Δυνητικές Κοινότητες : Ψυχο-Κοινωνιολογικές Προσεγγίσεις και Τεχνικές Εφαρμογές» του Παντείου Πανεπιστημίου.

Όπως μας ενημέρωσαν αναγνώστες του Ethnos.gr που διατηρούν ή απλώς διαβάζουν ελληνικά ιστολόγια (blog αν προτιμάτε), η έρευνα καλεί τους «ιδιοκτήτες» σχετικών τόπων να συμμετάσχουν στη συμπλήρωση του ερωτηματολογίου, προκειμένου να σχηματιστεί μία πληρέστερη εικόνα για την ελληνική blog-όσφαιρα.

Μπορείτε να δείτε τη σχετική σελίδα και να συμμετέχετε στην έρευνα κάνοντας κλικ εδώ.

Στο σχετικό e-mail του ο συντάκτης κ. Ζαφείρης Καραμπάσης ενημερώνει ότι το Πρόγραμμα Μεταπτυχιακών Σπουδών «Δυνητικές Κοινότητες : Ψυχο-Κοινωνιολογικές Προσεγγίσεις και Τεχνικές Εφαρμογές» του Παντείου από τη Δευτέρα 26/3 και για περίπου 1,5 μήνα διεξάγει την πρώτη στην Ελλάδα μεγάλη on-line έρευνα -με τη μορφή ερωτηματολογίου- που αφορά στο προφίλ, τα κίνητρα και τις πρακτικές των ελληνόφωνων bloggers/ιστολόγων.

Όπως σχολιάζεται στο τέλος, «Νομίζουμε ότι πέρα από το προφανές ερευνητικό ενδιαφέρον, τα αποτελέσματα μιας τέτοιας έρευνας παρουσιάζουν ενδιαφέρον τόσο για τους ίδιους τους bloggers όσο και γενικότερο, αφού τα αποτελέσματα θα ανακοινωθούν δημόσια προσβάσιμα από όλους. Παράλληλα όμως θεωρούμε ότι η ακαδημαϊκή και πανεπιστημιακή αρχή με όλες τις θεσμικές και δεοντολογικές εγγυήσεις που φέρει, ως κατεξοχήν ανεξάρτητη και πέρα και πάνω από εμπορικές διαδικασίες, όχι μόνο αποτελεί έναν κατάλληλο φορέα να αναλάβει και να πραγματώσει ένα τέτοιο έργο -λόγω της πολλές φορές απαραίτητης για τέτοιες έρευνες ουδέτερης υπόστασής του- αλλά πολύ περισσότερο ότι η πρωτοβουλία αυτή αποτελεί και ένα κάλεσμα στήριξης, καλής θέλησης και βοηθείας, μια συσπειρωτική πρωτοβουλία που απευθύνεται σε όσους συμμετέχουν ή ενδιαφέρονται για το ελληνικό internet».

Κυριακή, Μαρτίου 25, 2007

Hollywood's Climate Follies

Washington Post
Wednesday, March 21, 2007

by Robert J. Samuelson

"My fellow Americans, people all over the world, we need to solve the climate crisis. It's not a political issue. It's a moral issue. We have everything we need to get started, with the possible exception of the will to act. That's a renewable resource. Let's renew it."

-- Al Gore, accepting an Oscar for "An Inconvenient Truth"

Global warming has gone Hollywood, literally and figuratively. The script is plain. As Gore says, solutions are at hand. We can switch to renewable fuels and embrace energy-saving technologies, once the dark forces of doubt are defeated. It's smart and caring people against the stupid and selfish. Sooner or later, Americans will discover that this Hollywood version of global warming (largely mirrored in the media) is mostly make-believe.

Most of the many reports on global warming have a different plot. Despite variations, these studies reach similar conclusions. Regardless of how serious the threat, the available technologies promise at best a holding action against greenhouse gas emissions. Even massive gains in renewables (solar, wind, biomass) and more efficient vehicles and appliances would merely stabilize annual emissions near present levels by 2050. The reason: Economic growth, especially in poor countries, will sharply increase energy use and emissions.

The latest report came last week from 12 scientists, engineers and social scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The report, " The Future of Coal," was mostly ignored by the media. It makes some admittedly optimistic assumptions: "carbon capture and storage" technologies prove commercially feasible; governments around the world adopt a sizable charge (a.k.a. tax) on carbon fuel emissions. Still, annual greenhouse gas emissions in 2050 are roughly at today's levels. Without action, they'd be more than twice as high.

Coal, as the report notes, is essential. It provides about 40 percent of global electricity. It's cheap (about a third of the cost of oil) and abundant. It poses no security threats. Especially in poor countries, coal use is expanding dramatically. The United States has the equivalent of more than 500 coal-fired power plants with a capacity of 500 megawatts each. China is building two such plants a week. Coal use in poor countries is projected to double by 2030 and would be about twice that of rich countries (mainly the United States, Europe and Japan). Unfortunately, coal also generates almost 40 percent of man-made carbon dioxide (CO2), a prime greenhouse gas.

Unless we can replace coal or neutralize its CO2emissions, curbing greenhouse gases is probably impossible. Substitution seems unlikely, simply because coal use is so massive. Consider a separate study by Wood Mackenzie, a consulting firm. It simulated a fivefold increase in U.S. electricity from renewables by 2026. Despite that, more coal generating capacity would be needed to satisfy growth in demand.

Carbon capture and storage (CCS) is a bright spot: Catch the CO2and put it underground. On this, the MIT study is mildly optimistic. The technologies exist, it says. Similarly, geologic formations -- depleted oil fields, unusable coal seams -- provide adequate storage space, at least in the United States. But two problems loom: First, capture and storage adds to power costs; and second, its practicality remains suspect until it's demonstrated on a large scale.

No amount of political will can erase these problems. If we want poorer countries to adopt CCS, then the economics will have to be attractive. Right now, they're not. Capturing CO2and transporting it to storage spaces uses energy and requires costlier plants. On the basis of present studies, the MIT report says that the most attractive plants with CCS would produce almost 20 percent less electricity than conventional plants and could cost almost 40 percent more. Pay more, get less -- that's not a compelling argument. Moreover, older plants can't easily be retrofitted. Some lack space for additions; for others costs would be prohibitive.

To find cheaper technologies, the MIT study proposes more government research and development. The study's proposal of a stiff charge on carbon fuel -- to be increased 4 percent annually -- is intended to promote energy efficiency and create a price umbrella to make CCS more economically viable. But there are no instant solutions, and a political dilemma dogs most possibilities. What's most popular and acceptable (say, more solar) may be the least consequential in its effects; and what's most consequential in its effects (a hefty energy tax) may be the least popular and acceptable.

The actual politics of global warming defies Hollywood's stereotypes. It's not saints vs. sinners. The lifestyles that produce greenhouse gases are deeply ingrained in modern economies and societies. Without major changes in technology, the consequences may be unalterable. Those who believe that addressing global warming is a moral imperative face an equivalent moral imperative to be candid about the costs, difficulties and uncertainties.

Copyright 2007 The Washington Post Company

Παρασκευή, Μαρτίου 23, 2007

Gore Warns Congress of "Planetary Emergency"

The New York Times
March 21, 2007
By Felicity Barringer and Andrew Revkin

WASHINGTON, March 21 — It was part science class, part policy wonk paradise, part politics and all theater as former Vice President Al Gore came to Congress on Wednesday to insist that global warming constitutes a “planetary emergency” requiring an aggressive federal response.

Mr. Gore, accompanied by his wife, Tipper, delivered the same blunt message to a joint meeting of two House committees in the morning and a Senate panel in the afternoon: Humans are artificially warming the world, the risks of inaction are great, and meaningful cuts in emissions linked to warming will happen only if the United States takes the lead.

While sparring with Representative Joe L. Barton, a Texas Republican critical of his message, Mr. Gore resorted to a simple metaphor. “The planet has a fever. If your baby has a fever, you go to the doctor.” He added, “If the doctor says you need to intervene here, you don’t say ‘I read a science fiction novel that says it’s not a problem.’ You take action.”

In the House, there was little debate about the underlying science; the atmosphere was more that of a college lecture hall than a legislative give-and-take. But in the Senate, James M. Inhofe of Oklahoma, the ranking Republican on the Environment and Public Works Committee, set a pugilistic tone, challenging Mr. Gore’s analysis of the dangers of climate change from hurricanes and melting ice in Antarctica.

“It is my perspective that your global warming alarmist pronouncements are now and have always been filled with inaccuracies and misleading statements,” Mr. Inhofe said.

Beneath the carefully groomed surface of the House and Senate committees’ scripted production, a rift was evident. Republican committee leaders, including Mr. Barton in the House, and Mr. Inhofe in the Senate, seemed somewhat isolated from their rank-and-file colleagues, who appeared more receptive to Mr. Gore’s message and the scientific consensus on climate change. Even J. Dennis Hastert of Illinois, the former House speaker, seemed to accept the scientific consensus.

Climate experts have concluded with growing accord that human-generated greenhouse gases are the dominant driver of recent global warming and that centuries of rising temperatures and seas lie ahead if emissions are not curbed.

Instead of challenging the science, many Republicans focused on questions of how to attack the problem in the United States, tending to favor nuclear power — which Mr. Gore said should be a “small part” of any solution — and asking what to do about the emissions of large developing economies like China and India.

Senator John W. Warner, a Virginia Republican who briefly considered trying to replace Mr. Inhofe as the ranking member on the Senate’s Environment and Public Works Committee, expressed concern about how to coax China into reversing its build-out of coal-fired power plants, which are heavy emitters of carbon dioxide, the most prevalent heat-trapping gas associated with global warming.

“When we lead, they will be a part of it,” Mr. Gore replied, adding that two recent speeches by Chinese leaders indicate “there’s excellent evidence that they” are concerned about the effects of climate change.

From the time that he arrived in the morning at the Rayburn House Office Building in a black Mercury Mariner hybrid S.U.V. to the time he was whisked out of the senators’ entrance at the Dirksen Building committee room, Mr. Gore combined the erudition of a professor with a touch of the preacher’s fire.

Evoking the movie “300,” about the ancient Spartans’ stand at Thermopylae, Mr. Gore, speaking to a joint session of the House Energy and Commerce Committee and the House Science Committee, called on Congress to put aside partisan differences, accept the scientific consensus on global warming and become “the 535,” a reference to the number of seats in the House and Senate.

Democrats and Republicans, he said, should emulate their British counterparts and compete to see how best to curb emissions of smokestack and tailpipe “greenhouse” gases.

Mr. Gore also proposed a 10-point plan, calling for initiatives like a tax on carbon emissions, a ban on incandescent light bulbs and another on new coal-fired plants that cannot be designed to capture carbon. He also called for a national mortgage program to underwrite the use of home energy-saving technologies.

Waving his finger at some 40 House members, he said, “A day will come when our children and grandchildren will look back and they’ll ask one of two questions.”

Either, he said, “they will ask: what in God’s name were they doing?” or “they may look back and say: how did they find the uncommon moral courage to rise above politics and redeem the promise of American democracy?”

On the Senate side, Mr. Inhofe quickly hit an issue that some of Mr. Gore’s critics have sounded in recent weeks — the size and energy-consuming properties of his new home in Tennessee. Mr. Inhofe sought to exact a pledge from Mr. Gore to cut electricity use so that his home outside Nashville used no more than the average American home in a year.

This triggered a jousting match with both Mr. Gore and Senator Barbara Boxer of California, the committee chairwoman, which ended when Ms. Boxer made a tart reference to the change in power in the Senate. “You’re not making the rules,” she told Mr. Inhofe.

Mr. Gore then said he pays extra to use wind-generated electricity at the home; Mr. Inhofe took that response as a rejection of the pledge.

When Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, Democrat of New York, asked if Mr. Gore would favor a tax on carbon emissions over a cap on emissions, accompanied by a system of trading pollution allowances, he said both were needed.

Representative Ralph M. Hall, Republican of Texas, said calls for cuts in emissions of greenhouse gases amounted to an “all-out assault on all forms of fossil fuels” that could eliminate jobs and hurt the economy.

In written testimony for the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Bjorn Lomborg, a Danish statistician and author critical of people who present environmental problems as a crisis, asserted that Mr. Gore’s portrayal of global warming as a problem, and his prescription for solving it, were deeply flawed.

Mr. Lomborg said that “global warming is real and man-made,” but that a focus on intensified energy research would be more effective and far cheaper than caps or taxes on greenhouse gas emissions or energy sources that produce them.

Felicity Barringer reported from Washington, and Andrew C. Revkin from New York.

Source: The New York Times