Strange times for Europe's aviation carbon tax

The whole global climate negotiation process is a bit of a sideshow, in that negotiators don’t have the freedom to actually agree to anything meaningful. When they head to Poznan, or Copenhagen, or Durban, they get their briefings from finance and economic ministries, not environment ministries. The mandates are evidently that there’s no way most … Continue reading “Strange times for Europe's aviation carbon tax”

Aviation Pontification

Last week I presented in an INFORMS 2008 panel, Role Reversal: The Impact of Climate Change on Aviation. My slides are here (you’ll miss a model demo using a carbon cycle/climate model, but that wasn’t central). I got challenged on one assertion – that participation in regional initiatives is meaningful – on the grounds that federal … Continue reading “Aviation Pontification”

Thinking systemically about safetey

Accidents involve much more than the reliability of parts. Safety emerges from the systemic interactions of devices, people and organizations. Nancy Leveson’s Engineering a Safer World (free pdf currently at the MIT press link, lower left) picks up many of the threads in Perrow’s classic Normal Accidents, plus much more, and weaves them into a … Continue reading “Thinking systemically about safetey”

Surveys and Quizzes as Propaganda

Long ago I took an IATA survey to relieve the boredom of a long layover. Ever since, I’ve been on their mailing list, and received “invitations” to take additional surveys. Sometimes I do, out of curiosity – it’s fun to try to infer what they’re really after. The latest is a “Global Survey on Aviation … Continue reading “Surveys and Quizzes as Propaganda”