• Energy (and Empire) in World History

    Introduction Vaclav Smil’s Energy in World History (1994) provides an overview of global changes in human energy use from before the Neolithic Revolution to modern times.  In various places in the book, Smil discusses the relationship between energy use and the rise of centers of economic and political power in world history.  In explaining what […]

  • Is Rising Global Inequality a Myth?

    The second issue of the recently-launched journal Harvard College Economics Review dealt with the topic of economic growth and inequality.  In one of the articles, Professor of Sociology at the University of North Carolina François Nielsen (also current editor of the academic journal Social Forces) contends that rising global income inequality is really a myth.1  […]

  • The Failure of Climate Change Economics

    In 1896, the Swedish chemist Svante Arrhenius developed a theory to explain the likely impact of burning coal on the climate.  Arrhenius claimed that, due to human activity, the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere would increase, creating an “enhanced” greenhouse effect.  His theory did not enjoy consensus in his time, but the scientific community […]