Building a green economy

Outstanding feature on climate change in the New York Times Sunday magazine last weekend by Nobel prize winner Paul Krugman. This is a great primer on the key economic issues.

Banging the high rise drum

The Age is banging the high rise drum again.

This quote from Living the high life or just scraping by? in The Age on Saturday (who writes these clever puns, Tim Vine?) is a good example of setting up a ‘straw man’:

“With Australia’s population growth an increasingly vexed issue, ‘density’ has become a popular word with planners and developers. But are skyscrapers the way to achieve it?”

A ‘straw man’ is a logical fallacy where a decoy argument is substituted for the real issue under debate. In this case high-rise is easier to disparage than the real issue, even though (almost) no one is actually arguing that high rise is the answer. The real issue is almost entirely a debate about sprawl versus medium density housing. Sprawl is mostly about detached houses while medium density is mostly about two storey town houses and four storey apartments. Read the rest of this entry »