Thursday, January 02, 2003

I have an undergraduate degree in environmental science: a multidisciplinary degree covering physical geography, organic chemistry, population biology and some sociology. What my program didn't cover was economics. I think that's a shame because many environmental problems are really economic problems. Or more specifically, many long term environmental problems are ignored in order to resolve short term economic problems instead. Think spotted owls vs. logging jobs, for example.

Some time after I graduated I resolved to figure out general economics and finance on my own. I think more environmental activists should do the same - if just to understand the charges are being made against them. I also think activists can use economics for their own ends.

In the last two weeks I have been pouring over the business section of the newspaper reading the economic forecasts for next year. The optimists are saying that statistically we are due for a recovery and the pessimists are saying there are few signs to suggest that a recovery should occur.

One of the reasons why the markets are so skittery is the immending (escalation of) war on Iraq. The war and its inherent increased crude oil prices are scaring both investors and regular folk. This could be a good thing. This could be the one reason why Bush might delay or even call off this one-sided war on a crippled nation because there is real fear out there that if the bear market continues, it could be real serious as again and again with alarming frequency, the word deflation is rearing its ugly head.

Lets fight the dismal business of war with the dismal science!

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