Markets’ blindness to environmental effects is costing us dearly [Hebrew]

In a piece for Local Call, I discuss the economic concept of “market failures” and specifically the type called “externalities” — in which effects such as environmental degredation are ignored by market forces, and often exacerbated, because they do not come with an attached financial cost to businesses nor consumers.

For Israel’s Sake and the World’s, Leave the Gas in the Ground [Hebrew]

In this piece for Local Call, I review the strong evidence for the seemingly outlandish argument that Israel should not extract the massive gas reserves discovered off of its shores, but leave them in the ground. Although burning the gas is less damaging immediately around the power plant than burning coal or oil, when its full life-cycle is taken into account its greenhouse gas emissions are actually worse than oil or even coal. Now that the cost of renewable energies from new installations has sunk below even that of continuing to operate existing fossil-fuel plants, continuing to invest in fossil gas is not only environmentally suicidal, but economically backwards — but it does massively benefit the major players who own the extraction rights.

The Green Case for Fare-Free Public Transport [Hebrew]

In this piece for Local Call, I argue for universal fare-free public transport (FFPT) as part of the transition to a sustainable economy. Public transport is the only practical way to enable mobility without continuing the environmental destruction associated with oil-powered vehicles on a scale and schedule relevant for reducing climate degradation. Turning it into a universal, free service for all will end the destructive competition between public and private transit, and pave the way politically for expanding, renewing, and improving public transport as a viable alternative for all.

Green Consumerism is Impossible – and Anti-Democratic (Hebrew)

In this piece for Local Call I tackle conscious consumption – the most prominent approach to combating climate change in recent years. I point out that even setting aside the costliness of environmentally-friendly products, it is rarely possible to choose them exclusively, and the information required to estimate what one’s best choice is for the environment is way beyond what consumers can figure out for every single product. I place this trend within the broader context of the neoliberal turn, and point out the deeply anti-democratic sentiment embedded in the idea that our consumer choices are an expression of democracy – one which excludes those with less time and money on their hands.