Today at Mises.org I have an infomercial for my class, starting this coming Tuesday, on energy economics. The main description:
The weekly lectures will run from July 2 through July 30. The first week will address the question, “Will we run out of energy?” We will cover the standard mainstream treatment (based on the classic article by Harold Hotelling) and then see the weakness in this perspective, because it fails to account for the role of entrepreneurship. To see the “optimistic” Austrian take, we will cover selections from Julian Simon and Robert Bradley, arguably the world’s leading Austrian expert on energy economics, who chose Murray Rothbard to oversee his dissertation on the U.S. experience with oil and gas regulation.
In week two we will cover the libertarian property rights framework of environmental issues as laid out in the classic article by Murray Rothbard. We will also mention some of Walter Block’s contributions in this area. Contrary to popular belief, “free market environmentalism” is not a contradiction in terms. In fact, the worst ecological basket cases in history occurred under strong centralized States.
In the third and fourth weeks we will focus on my specialty (which I have developed over the past 6 years in my role as Senior Economist at the Institute for Energy Research), which is the economics of climate change. We’ll first get a broad overview of the physical science, but then focus on the economic issues involved, such as the role of the discount rate, the nature of the (alleged) damage estimates, and a comparison of a carbon tax versus a “cap and trade” approach. As always in my Academy classes, we will cover the conventional textbook approach, before listing criticisms of the typical case for a penalty on carbon to correct the “negative externality” of greenhouse gas emissions.
Finally, in the fifth week we will put the theory aside and discuss the real-world policy debates on energy issues, as I have testified before Congress and toured several states during a “bus tour for affordable energy.” After slogging through some of the technical details in previous weeks, this lecture will consist of fun anecdotes, including my (subtle) attempt to push Dennis Kucinich to end the Fed.
It’s a steal at $59. Sign up here.