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EP92 – Nuclear energy and decarbonizing economies

Is nuclear energy a cost-effective and reliable way for economies to decarbonize, or is it too risky? Episode 92 of Economics Explored considers how nuclear energy can provide zero-carbon, reliable energy and why it should potentially be considered as a key part of the world’s response to climate change. This is a conversation between Economics Explored host Gene Tunny and Adept Economics Research Officer Ben Scott. Gene and Ben’s profile are available on the Adept Economics website.

Links relevant to the conversation include:

Does nuclear energy have a future in Australia?
What’s going on with the so-called hydrogen economy?
OPAL multi-purpose reactor
Nuscale Power

Please get in touch with any questions, comments and suggestions by emailing us at contact@economicsexplored.com. Economics Explored is available via Apple PodcastsGoogle Podcast, and other podcasting platforms.

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Podcast episode

EP91 – Negotiation and Design Thinking with David Johnson of Stanford

In Economics Explored EP91, David Johnson of Stanford speaks about his work and teaching on Negotiation and Design Thinking (e.g. David’s Stanford course Negotiation by Design: Applied Design Thinking for Negotiators). David provides some great insights into how design thinking can help improve our negotiating skills. As part of this discussion, host Gene Tunny and David reflect on how better negotiating skills, gained through design thinking, could help us solve important economic, social, and environmental challenges. Toward the end of the episode, David talks about a book he is currently writing on Climate Activism by Design.

Other links relevant to the conversation include:

Designing Online Mediation: Does “Just Add Tech” Undermine Mediation’s Ownmost Aim?

Negotiation: From Boardroom To Bedroom with David Johnson

d.school resources

About this episode’s guest

David Johnson is a lawyer, writer and professor. He teaches Advanced Negotiation at Stanford Law School, and Design Thinking at the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design at Stanford. Across the last 20 years he has also practiced law in Silicon Valley, primarily as General Counsel for tech companies and, most recently, a non-profit foundation.

He has testified before Congress and the California Assembly on law and technology issues. He has conducted dozens of trials and appeals, including two state Supreme Court arguments. His client list included some of the biggest names in science and technology: Apple, Caliper, Google, McKesson, Sankyo Pharma, and The Computer History Museum.

In 2007 David completed a JSM in Law, Science and Technology. His thesis explored design methods for software and their potential application to systemic environmental issues. In 2014, David wrote, produced and delivered the world’s first free online course on Negotiation to some 5,000 students in 47 nations. General Electric thereafter licensed the course for a four-year run in their executive education program, “Brilliant U.” 

Last year, during sabbatical in Singapore, he wrote a keynote article for the Singapore Academy of Law, Design for Legal Systems. Now back at Stanford, David is working on a book applying design thinking to climate change activism, working title: Climate Activism by Design. In addition to writing and teaching, David is an avid skier and sailor, and a diligent but decidedly average tennis player.

Please get in touch with any questions, comments and suggestions by emailing us at contact@economicsexplored.com. Economics Explored is available via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcast, and other podcasting platforms.

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Podcast episode

EP90 – Lockdown Cost-benefit Analysis with Professor Douglas Allen

Episode 90 of Economics Explored features a discussion regarding COVID lockdown costs versus benefits with Professor Douglas Allen from Simon Fraser University, Canada. Professor Allen has concluded COVID lockdowns have been the greatest peacetime policy failure in Canada’s history. Please check out our conversation for Professor Allen’s justification for this claim.

Links relevant to the conversation include:

Professor Allen’s Lockdown CBA for Canada

Economist: Lockdowns ‘Greatest Peacetime Policy Failure’ in Canada’s History – Foundation for Economic Education

Our World in Data – Coronavirus

Please get in touch with any questions, comments and suggestions by emailing us at contact@economicsexplored.com.

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Podcast episode

EP85 – Business cases for public infrastructure projects

Episode 85 of Economics Explored is a conversation on business cases for public infrastructure projects, featuring a case study of an Australian dam project. It includes a discussion of the requirements and processes for the development of public infrastructure business cases in Australia, with a case study of a current business case process relating to an irrigation dam which program host Gene Tunny is involved in. While Australian examples are used, the insights and lessons are relevant internationally. In many respects, Australian processes and requirements for developing public infrastructure business cases are world-leading. 

Links relevant to the conversation:

Business Case Development Framework of Building Queensland

Paradise Dam Improvement Project

$2.4 billion cost to economy if Paradise Dam not fixed

Australian lungfish

Please check out our conversation and let us know what you think via email: contact@economicsexplored.com.

Economics Explored is available via all the usual podcast providers including Apple Podcasts and Google Podcasts.

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EP84 – Economics & Religion with Darren Brady Nelson

In 2017, the Huffington Post published an article asserting Jesus was a Socialist. In my latest Economics Explored podcast episode on economics and religion, I asked returning guest Darren Brady Nelson, Chief Economist of LibertyWorks and a policy advisor to the Heartland Institute, whether Jesus was indeed a socialist (and also whether the question even makes sense given Jesus lived 1700-1800 years before the industrial revolution). Among other points, Darren noted:

The weight of biblical evidence certainly suggests that he wasn’t a socialist, not that he was a capitalist, but there’s certainly more overlap. And one of the key points would be socialism is involuntary…so any redistribution…it’s by government fiat, by government force. That’s at great odds with the Bible and what Jesus taught…Jesus expected people to follow him voluntarily. He expected them to be generous voluntarily. And, obviously, the free market is all about things being voluntary.

Darren and I had a wide-ranging discussion considering, among other issues, the impacts of religion on economic growth and whether the rich can get into heaven, given you cannot serve both God and Mammon.

Darren’s articles on religion and economics include:

Murray Rothbard on Christianity, Catholicism, and theology

Christian liberty: are you serious??

Please check out our conversation and let us know what you think via email: contact@economicsexplored.com.

Economics Explored is available via all the usual podcast providers including Apple Podcasts and Google Podcasts.

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Podcast episode

EP79 – Running the numbers on COVID-19 measures

One year on from when many countries started imposing tough COVID-19 control measures, Economics Explored host Gene Tunny asks eminent Australian finance Professor Peter Swan whether lockdowns pass a cost-benefit analysis test. In Episode 79 Running the Numbers on COVID-19 measures, Professor Swan says he stands by his view expressed last year that they do not. Listen to this episode to hear why Prof. Swan believes this is so.

About this episode’s guest – Professor Peter Swan

Professor Peter Swan AO FRSN FASSA is currently in Banking and Finance, UNSW-Sydney Business School. Peter completed his Honours Economics Degree at ANU, his PhD at Monash and after a visiting position at the University of Chicago, joined the Economics faculty at ANU, then to a chair at AGSM (UNSW), and was foundation professor in the Finance Department at the University of Sydney prior to returning to UNSW in 2002 with a Scientia Professorial Award in 2003.

He was elected a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia in 1997 and gained recognition in the Queen’s Birthday Honours lists in 2003 and 2016 with the Order of Australia (AM) and (AO), respectively. In 2018 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of New South Wales (FRSN). His Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) Citation states: “For distinguished service to finance and commerce as a leading academic, journalist, and commentator on domestic investment, and on a range of political and economic issues.” His Member of the Order of Australia (AM) Citation states: “For services to academia as a scholar and researcher and through contributions to public policy in the fields of economics and finance”.

Links relevant to this episode

Prof. Swan’s Quadrant article Run the Numbers, Survey the Folly

Open letter from 122 Australian economists: don’t sacrifice health for ‘the economy’ (which Prof. Swan critiques in his Quadrant article and in this episode)

COVID-19 deaths worldwide per million population as of March 19, 2021

If you’d like to ask a question for Gene to answer in a future episode or if you’d like to make a comment or suggestion, please get in touch via the website. Thanks for listening.