ISET Economist Blog

A blog about economics in the South Caucasus.

Does Your Smartphone Make You an “Unconscious” Villain?

Our dependence on smartphones can hardly be described as anything other than addictive. We invariably use them to document trips and thus to have the world at our fingertips. Though, these precious little gadgets have a dark history that we, as consumers, unconsciously support. Unfortunately, we will not be able to discuss in detail all the negative impacts within the supply chain of smartphones. Nonetheless, we wish this article to serve as an awakening, and a reminder, of what we as consumers are promoting. Moreover, what we - and governments - could d...
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Is Georgia on the Right Path to Reduce Massive Plastic Bag Usage?

  In October 2018, a new law came into force which prohibits producing, importing, and selling single-use bags thinner than 15 microns.1 The second wave of this reform was introduced in April 2019, and expanded to all forms of plastic bags. It is important to ask, why was it necessary to impose a restriction on plastic bags? What are the implications and the expected consequences of the ban? Plastic shopping bags are produced at a rate of one trillion a year and distributed at store checkout counters across the globe. More than two thirds created ar...
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Guest — Recyclingge
Plastic bags should be banned - necessarily
Friday, 03 May 2019 9:09 AM
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William Nordhaus’ Models – a Dubious Equation for the Climate Debate

In preparation for the COP24 climate change conference in Poland, in December 2018, researchers published a report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) outlining how significant the consequences of climate change would be following a global increase in temperature of just a half degree, from 1.5 to 2 degrees C. In the wake of the newly released IPCC report, alongside William Nordhaus’ Nobel Memorial award, this year’s winner in economics, a heated debate has surfaced. This has come about not only with the instigators in Sweden publis...
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Biosphere Reserve – The Role Model of Regions for Sustainable Development

"And what we're (at National Geographic) doing is a series of journeys to the ethnosphere where we're going to take our audience to places of such cultural wonder that they cannot help but come away dazzled by what they have seen, and hopefully, therefore, embrace gradually, one by one, the central revelation of anthropology: that this world deserves to exist in a diverse way, that we can find a way to live in a truly multicultural, pluralistic world where all of the wisdom of all peoples can contribute to our collective well-being." - Extract from the N...
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Air Quality in Georgia. How Are We Doing?

If you are a governmental stakeholder, civil society organization, research institute or a concerned citizen pondering the state of the environment, the biennial Environmental Performance Index (EPI) tells an inconvenient truth regarding the trajectory of each country and their performance. The rankings provide unpolished results concerning countries and their commitments, or lack thereof, to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and other complementary international agreements. The EPI list should provide signposts for policymakers to fathom what act...
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The Long, Hot Summer: Why We Witnessed a Spike in Forest Fires, and What Can Be Done About It – Part II (man-made fires)

Forest fires pose a threat to human life and property. As we discussed in a previous article, most countries throughout the world, Georgia included, suffered from an unusually high number of forest fires during the summer of 2017. In Georgia, this topic was the subject of a spirited public debate about whether these fires were wild or man-made. In our previous article we discussed how natural causes generate wild forest fires. We mentioned that climate change can play a major role in the occurrence of forest fires, because drier conditions and longer hot...
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