Saturday, November 03, 2012

The Outline of My Talk for the University of Chicago Alumni Club

The University of Chicago contacted Dora about giving an Alumni talk and I will substitute for her.  Since some of you will not be there to hear my words, I thought I would provide you with an outline of my talk.   There will be no video or audio recorded so you won't know if this talk ever actually takes place.   Here are my notes:

The talk is supposed to focus on "Sustainability" and the event (including the other speakers and panels) is focused on career development.

My Memories of UC

1.  A "Tough Love" place and why I needed that
2.  Meeting my future wife and my hope that our son will attend UC
3.  A focus on problem solving  --- to quote Heckman "learning begets learning"  --- human capital as the ultimate sustainable resource
4.  A love for research

Short Run Macro Conditions and the Labor Market

1.  The Dow Jones Industrial is up
2.  Home prices are up
3. Steve Davis' uncertainty index and the fiscal cliff
4.  Casey Mulligan's new book on the unintended consequences of Obama Policies

Why Did Become an Environmental Economist?

1.  Arbitrage Opportunity
2.  My work on free market environmentalism;  my Climatopolis book and my nascent China book

Risk in the Modern Economy

1.  No more General Motors hiring you for 40 years
2.  shocks to firms, cities, industries and nations
3.  UC graduates better able to "roll with the punhces"
4.  In an uncertain world, the ability to be flexible and adapt to shocks  (example of law firms today).

Returning to Environmental Issues:

Climate Change Adaptation

1.  Hurricane Sandy as a wake up call
2.  Anticipated pain caused by climate shocks creates new opportunities for forward looking entrepreneurs.
3. Many will become rich because of climate change!
4.  Innovation creates jobs and helps us to adapt to the new normal conditions caused by climate change.
5.  My recent Harvard Business Review piece and my thoughts about what Milton Friedman would have to say about FEMA.

California's AB32 Carbon Mitigation Policy

1. Decarbonizing the economy through cap & trade
2. creates new opportunities in many industries that UC graduates can fill
3. The Porter Hypothesis revisited

Conclusion:  Sustainability and the Time Machine

1.  Since leaving UC,  I have always been associated with really good universities

2.  For those who work "in the real world", stay involved with UC not just for social networks but to keep up the mental nimbleness and mind flexibility that great Universities foster.