Two thoughts on larger themes:
1. The FT tells us that “Republican politicians have highlighted the dollar’s slide as evidence of waning US power,” going on to quote that superpower of economic analysis, Sarah Palin. Oh, that’s rich, especially seeing as how some of us had noticed years ago the “longstanding bearish case against the currency” (Economist), caused by the Bush era’s reckless-at-best inflation of a colossal debt-and-overconsumption bubble.
There is a lovely comeback from AEI’s Norm Ornstein, though: “there may be a legitimate debate to be had… but Sarah Palin is not qualified to participate in it.”
Of course, we also have reasonable voices on the left (here’s Chris Hayes) calling for “a forceful, unequivocal, ‘yes to inflation,’ ” so let’s just say that I’d like to get my international travel over with sooner rather than later.
2. The idea of a per-capita carbon cap — versus a per-country limit, the idea being that each of us humans has an equal right to the sky above all our heads — has apparently come back. “The authors suggest setting a cap on total emissions, and then converting that cap into a global per-person limit… The paper suggests that the personal emissions target would be set at around 10.8 tonnes of CO2 per year.” (Economist)
Getting everyone’s emissions down to urban levels would be a great start, of course: Chicago nearly clears the bar with 12 tons per capita, while NYC and London easily clear it with 7 and 6 tons apiece, respectively.
I don’t know where the Economist is getting that 10.8 tonnes of per capita emissions would be acceptable.
The Stern Report asserts that 2 tonnes per annum by 2050 would keep global warming to a 2 degree level.