We May Have Been Thinking About a Carbon Price All Wrong

Putting a price on carbon is a key element of climate policy. The idea is simple: Carbon pollution is making the Earth uninhabitable, but companies have no incentive to stop polluting because they’re sociopathic. So slap a fee on every tonne emitted, and it should (in theory) cause companies to find other, less polluting ways of producing widgets, sprockets, and whatnot. Read More >>

China Considers Ban on Cryptocurrency Mining Because It’s a Stupid Waste of Energy

Regulators in China are considering a ban on cryptocurrency mining as an “undesirable” economic activity, according to a government document released Monday. Read More >>

giz asks
What’s the Ideal Number of Humans on Earth?

Earth might be looking a little worse for wear, after the last four hundred years of reckless wide-scale resource extraction, but to its credit it hasn’t collapsed entirely. Despite our best efforts, it continues to gamely welcome our rapidly expanding population, barring the occasional earthquake. Whether the planet might be a little better off with fewer of us is a different question, a freighted one. Read More >>

Ignore Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg’s War Over Killer Robots, the Real Challenge is Already Here

Tech giants Elon Musk and Mark Zuckeberg have been engaged in a very public, somewhat silly and self-indulgent battle over artificial intelligence lately. Musk has warned AI-powered robots could usher in some form of automated war to give humanity its richly deserved demise, while Zuckerberg responded by saying he is “really optimistic” it could usher a golden age of lifesaving technology. Read More >>

Australia’s Great Barrier Reef Has Been Valued at a Whopping £33 Billion

With the Great Barrier Reef under unprecedented environmental stress, a new report is raising the alarm in terms of its potential economic loss. Valued at Aus$56 billion (£33 billion), the largest living structure on Earth is now deemed “too big to fail.” Read More >>

Robots Are Already Replacing Human Workers at an Alarming Rate

We all know, or at least suspect, that robots are taking people’s jobs, but new research shows the dramatic degree to which industrial robots are replacing human workers and forcing down wages. Read More >>

UK Inflation Jumped To 2.3% In February

The Office for National Statistics has just announced that UK inflation jumped from 1.9% in January to 2.3% in Feb, meaning in real terms, your money is now worth less. The new rate is the highest it's been since 2013. Read More >>

star trek
We Can Learn a Lot from the Economics of Star Trek

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the hugely popular sci-fi franchise Star Trek — arguably one of the profoundly influential fictional series of the last century. It’s also the 500th anniversary of Sir Thomas More’s classic work, Utopia, offering his vision of an ideal society. For Manu Saadia, that’s a fitting coincidence: “The world of Star Trek is an economic Utopia.” Read More >>

How Much Money Would it Take to be Batman?

Is it possible to be Batman? Okay, better question, who could afford the technology to be Batman? Could we even make much of what we see being used by Batman in the Dark Knight movies? Read More >>

What Would the World Look Like if Half of All Jobs Were Held by Robots?

Numerous intelligent people have now claimed that within the next few decades, robots will automate half of all existing jobs. Whether or not that will pan out — or whether you’re in the luckless 50 per cent — will only be determined by time. But either way, what would that world look like? Read More >>

Why Assuming You’re Mediocre Could Save You From Financial Ruin 

Why do many of us feel like we’re not doing so well financially — even in times of relative prosperity? Read More >>

star wars
Economist: The Destruction of Two Death Stars Bankrupted the Galactic Empire

It’s common knowledge that Death Stars are wildly expensive weapons of mass destruction. What we didn’t know, until now, is that destroying two of them would bankrupt the Galactic Empire. Apparently Luke and his small band of Rebels didn’t crunch the numbers, either. Read More >>

Why Does Montreal Have a Bitcoin Embassy?

In the heart of downtown Montreal, between a boarded-up bar and restaurant, there’s a three-storey glass building. It looks for all the world like any other normal office — that is, until you spot the sign swaying in the wind: “Bitcoin Embassy”. Read More >>

Tesla is That Rarest of Things – A “High-End Disruptor”

Elon Musk’s electric car company Tesla has defied expectations and succeeded — despite having a product that nobody was sure even had a market. But how did it happen? Read More >>

Bubble Wrap’s New Design is Unpoppable and it’s All Our Fault

Our ruthless new era of super-efficient global shipping has made it irrelevant. Read More >>