Krugman Smears SuperFreakonomics

Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner certainly don’t need my help defending their new book SuperFreakonomics. They’re doing a great job of it themselves. However, I do want to draw my readers’ attention to the debate surrounding the book and recommend the book itself.

The first thing to note about the book is that it contains five chapters plus an epilogue (about monkeys). The main text of the book runs through page 216 (while notes and such run through page 270). The fifth chapter mostly concerns climate change, though it also rambles into topics such as auto thefts and AIDS, and it runs from page 165 to 209. The book covers a wide range of topics from prostitution to hospital sanitation. But the part about climate change is what has the critics riled up.

Though the debate has since seen more developments, I want to focus on Paul Krugman’s attack on the book in his blog post, Superfreakonomics on climate, part 1, published October 17.

Krugman claims that “the first five pages” of the chapter on climate change “are enough to discredit the whole thing… [b]ecause they grossly misrepresent other peoples’ research, in both climate science and economics.”

The chapter opens with the “global cooling” story — the claim that 30 years ago there was a scientific consensus that the planet was cooling, comparable to the current consensus that it’s warming.

Um, no. Real Climate has the takedown. What you had in the 70s was a few scientists advancing the cooling hypothesis, and a few popular media stories hyping their suggestions. To the extent that there was a consensus, it was that there wasn’t much evidence for anything, and more research was needed.

Krugman puts much more trust in the politically subsidized computer models projecting human-caused global warming than I do, but he legitimately points out that global warming now has much more scientific support than global cooling did decades ago. Uncle.

So where do Levitt and Dubner claim that global cooling was the consensus in the 1970s? They don’t say that. Krugman just made that up. Talk about grossly misrepresenting other people’s research.

What Levitt and Dubner do is quote two old articles about global cooling to begin their chapter. Through the course of their chapter, Levitt and Dubner make precisely the same point that so excites Krugman: global cooling soon lost support whereas global warming now has widespread scientific support.

On to the next point. On page 169, SuperFreakonomics states, “The economist Martin Weitzman analyzed the best available climate models and concluded that the future holds a 5 percent chance of a terrible-case scenario — a rise of more than 10 degrees Celsius.”

Krugman replies,

Yikes. I read Weitzman’s paper, and have corresponded with him on the subject — and it’s making exactly the opposite of the point they’re implying it makes. Weitzman’s argument is that uncertainty about the extent of global warming makes the case for drastic action stronger, not weaker. … Again, we’re not even getting into substance — just the basic issue of representing correctly what other people said.

So where do Levitt and Dubner imply that Weitzman’s paper urges weaker action on global warming? They don’t imply that. Krugman just made that up. Because it’s “just the basic issue of representing correctly what other people said.”

Indeed, just two paragraphs later, Levitt and Dubner quote another economist who favors spending over a trillion dollars per year to address the problem. Perhaps that’s not sufficiently “strong” action for Krugman, but it seems pretty strong to me.

Krugman more recently complains that Levitt and Dubner don’t include arguments from Weitzman’s paper that Krugman wishes they had included. But so what? Krugman is welcome to write his own book on climate change. Levitt and Dubner use the information from Weitzman fairly to set up their question, “So how should we place a value on this relatively small chance of worldwide catastrophe?”

Levitt and Dubner’s broader point is that it’s far cheaper and much faster-acting to geoengineer cooler temperatures than it is to dramatically curb carbon emissions. Read the book for details, or read Levitt’s post on the matter.

You might also want to check out replies from Levitt and Dubner to other environmentalist critics.

Our authors do raise an interesting question: given that geoengineering seems like it would solve potential problems of global warming much faster and much cheaper, why are most environmentalists so dismissive of the idea? I think my dad and I provide the answer in our recent op-ed: environmentalists “see untouched nature as intrinsically valuable. They have no problem with natural climate change, smoke, or chemicals. They just dislike anything that people do to alter nature.”

Environmentalists favor carbon reduction because that reduces human interaction with the rest of the environment. Environmentalists oppose geoengineering because it increases human interaction with the rest of the environment. And that preference has exactly no basis in science.

In the end, the mere fact that Paul Krugman blasts SuperFreakonomics should interest readers in buying and reading the book.

* * *

Which is not to say that the book is perfect. Apparently I’m the outlier in reading the book from the beginning, but my issue with it arose much earlier, in the introduction, pages 2 and 3.

Levitt and Dubner write that “1 of every 140 miles is driven drunk, or 21 billion miles each year.” The “total number of people killed in alcohol-related traffic accidents each year” is “about 13,000.”

Here comes the sketchy part: “The average American walks about a half-mile per day outside the home or workplace. … If we assume that 1 of every 140 of those miles are walked drunk — the same proportion of miles that are driven drunk — then 307 million miles are walked drunk each year.”

The upshot is that, given “more than 1,000 drunk pedestrians die in traffic accidents,” it’s more dangerous to walk drunk than it is to drive drunk.

But whey should we “assume that 1 of every 140 of those miles are walked drunk?” The notes offer no clue about this. Offhand it seems like a wildly implausible assumption.

First, a lot of people go on long walks every day, and typically people don’t get drunk before they exercise. So that skews the averages. Second, when people are rip-roaring drunk, it can seem very hard to walk down the street but very easy to turn the ignition key. So I suspect that the fraction of miles walked drunk is much lower than what our authors assume — which bolsters their point that drunk walking is dangerous.

Regardless of the exact risks, as someone who used to abuse alcohol, I can confirm the author’s broader point that getting drunk can be generally dangerous, and traffic fatalities hardly exhaust the list of potential harms.

Radical Environmentalists Undermine Human Progress

The following article originally was published October 26 by Grand Junction’s Free Press.

Radical environmentalists undermine human progress

by Linn and Ari Armstrong

The documentary Not Evil, Just Wrong apparently draws its title from an interview with an advocate of DDT, the pesticide sprayed in the U.S. decades ago to wipe out malaria by killing disease-causing mosquitos. Thanks to radical (and dishonest) environmentalists, such as Al Gore’s hero Rachel Carson, international bans on DDT helped cause millions of deaths from malaria in developing nations.

The DDT advocate says that he doesn’t think these environmentalists are evil, just wrong. Yet they advocated policies that caused misery and death for millions of human beings, and they continue to advocate policies that would devastate the global economy and cause more death particularly among the world’s poor.

Your younger author attended a free screening of the documentary October 18 at an event sponsored by the Independence Institute. The same night the documentary also streamed online.

In addition to reviewing the history of DDT, the documentary also pokes holes in some of the major “global warming” claims, including the infamous “hockey stick” graph and claims that recent years have been the warmest on record. Indeed, even the BBC recently admitted that we seem to be headed into a relative cool spell.

The documentary also offers some historical perspective. The earth has gotten warmer and cooler many times over the ages for entirely natural reasons. And, since the beginning of human civilization, some people have been predicting the apocalypse. The global cooling scare is just a few decades old, the documentary reminds us, and some scientists quickly jumped from global cooling to global warming fear mongering.

Unfortunately, while the documentary is better than the work of, say, Al Gore or Michael Moore, it drops the ball on a number of important points.

The film should have offered more information about the earth’s natural warming and cooling cycles, including theories attempting to explain them.

The film says that replacing coal with windmills and solar panels would be economically devastating, and we agree, but the film doesn’t offer much detail on the matter. Nor does the film discuss nuclear power generation in Europe or, potentially, in the U.S.

The film doesn’t even clarify its view on global warming. The film seems to alternately suggest that human-caused global warming is unreal or overstated, that some global warming might be a good thing, and that we’ll be able to develop the technology required to deal with warming.

Critics will legitimately ask: if human-caused global warming is real, and if it will cause harm, and if we can deal with that harm technologically, then why can’t we also explore new technology to reduce CO2 emissions in the first place?

The film plausibly argues that reducing U.S. CO2 emissions would merely shift emissions to China and other developing nations, where coal burning tends to be a lot dirtier. However, the film could have offered considerably more detail on the projected impacts on CO2 emissions from anti-industrial “cap-and-trade” proposals.

A better documentary would have clearly articulated these themes. Radical environmentalists grossly exaggerate human-caused global warming and the potential harms of it. Industry operating in relatively free markets has progressively created cleaner and more abundant energy, leading to dramatic improvements to human life, and it should have the freedom to continue. More political controls on energy will stifle industry and innovation while trivially impacting global CO2 emissions.

There is a broad sense in which we are practically all environmentalists. We all want to breath clean air, drink clean water, and eat healthy food. We all want to limit our exposure to dangerous chemicals. More broadly we want to live and work in comfortable homes and offices in a productive and economically expanding society. We want what’s good for people, and we want an environment conducive to human life.

But radical environmentalists often see people as the enemy. Some environmentalists have likened people to a virus or plague, lamented the growing human population, and hoped for human-killing diseases and catastrophes.

Such environmentalists tend to make two basic errors. First, they see untouched nature as intrinsically valuable. They have no problem with natural climate change, smoke, or chemicals. They just dislike anything that people do to alter nature. Second, they see people as unnatural, as something apart from nature and disruptive to it.

We view nature as good for people. We enjoy wilderness areas for their recreational value. We enjoy the products of mines, tree farms, and factories. We see people as part of the environment, and our proper goal is to use and modify nature for our own benefit.

Radical environmentalists opposed human industry long before the global warming scare. If the earth cools again, they will soon offer some other pretext to destroy human development.

We do not know whether human-caused global warming will ever pose significant challenges for people. But we do know that radical environmentalists pose a grave threat to human progress and life.

Save the Flies!

Move over, whales. Chill out, penguins and polar bears. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has a new campaign: save the flies.

Yes, the flies. As in, the maggot-laying, filthy flies.

No, this is not a story from the Onion. Apparently we’re not getting punk’d. It’s not April Fool’s Day. PETA seriously wants to save the flies. Not the flies joyously buzzing about in the wild, the flies in your house. No joke.

During filming of an interview with Barack Obama on CNBC, a fly pestered the president. Obama said, and I quote, “Hey, get out of here.” The interviewer said, “That’s the most persistent fly I’ve ever seen.” Then the fly landed on Obama’s left hand, and Obama gave it good hard slap with his right hand, killing it, dead, dead, dead. The interviewer said (and again I quote directly), “Nice.” Obama said, “Now, where were we? That was pretty impressive, wasn’t it? I got the sucker… It’s right there, you want to film that? There it is.”

Why, the heartless bastard. See the travesty for yourself:

According to the Associated Press, “PETA is sending President Barack Obama a Katcha Bug Humane Bug Catcher, a device that allows users to trap a house fly and then release it outside.”

If you think this is a joke, check out PETA’s store, where you can purchase the contraption for a mere eight dollars.

As the AP reports, PETA spokesman Bruce Friedrich said, “We support compassion even for the most curious, smallest and least sympathetic animals. We believe that people, where they can be compassionate, should be, for all animals… [S]watting a fly on TV indicates he’s not perfect, and we’re happy to say that we wish he hadn’t.”

Okay. Let me just come out and say it. The PETA crew is insane. It is not “humane” to catch a fly and release it into the wild. It is stupid. It is pathetic. It is ridiculous. It is insulting to the humanity — and the intelligence — of actual people.

The reality is that Obama’s swift, decisive action toward the fly ranks among his most impressive moments as president. If Obama would stand up to Ahmadinejad’s Iran or North Korea with half the backbone that he stood up to that fly, I wouldn’t worry nearly as much about the threat of nuclear warfare.

Should Government Own Wilderness?

The following article originally appeared in Grand Junction’s Free Press on June 9.

Should the government own, manage wilderness?

by Linn and Ari Armstrong

Just how far do we want to push our free-market agenda? The short answer is all the way. A free market means that people’s rights to control their resources and associate with others voluntarily, so long as they don’t violate the rights of others, are consistently protected. It means that the initiation of force is outlawed. The alternative is coercion: taking people’s resources by force and and threatening them with jail for not doing what you want.

Here’s how the argument has developed so far. On April 28, we argued that government (including the town of Fruita) should not forcibly take money from people to subsidize recreation facilities.

On May 12 we replied to Keith J. Pritchard’s concern about externalities, in this case a benefit (such as keeping kids off the streets) not funded by the beneficiaries. We argued that, by Pritchard’s reasoning, government should seize control of the entire economy. “The system of individual rights provides justice as well as the best framework for solving economic problems,” we wrote.

But, Pritchard complained, we did not address one of his points. By our logic, Pritchard wrote, “we should auction off all public parks, BLM land, State Parks, and National Forest to the highest bidder!”

A lot of conservatives would reply to such a challenge by invoking pragmatism: “Of course we don’t want to auction off public lands, but we need a balanced approach that lets government subsidize only some things, not others, and take by force only some of our money, not all of it.” Regular readers know that’s not our answer.

Pritchard’s complaint is intended to cut off any principled approach. If we want wilderness areas, then what’s wrong with Fruita subsidizing a recreation facility? Surely we have to compromise and agree that government must control some industries, even if there’s no clear standard to decide what government should control and what should be left to the voluntarist free market.

We refuse to sanction the mixed economy, the current blend of some liberty and some socialist controls. We advocate liberty, all the time, without exception.

Politically, of course, it’s usually easier to stop the government takeover of something new (such as a recreation facility) than to restore a government-controlled entity to the free market. Even though there’s no reason whatever for the national government to run trains or deliver the mail, the National Railroad Passenger Corporation (Amtrak) and the United States Post Office have resisted market reforms. Trains and mail remain largely socialized industries.

At least government-run businesses should be self-financing. For example, the gasoline tax is a fairly effective fee-for-use that funds government-owned roads. In Denver, though some lines of the RTD receive heavy subsidies, properly the lines should charge enough to cover costs. If people are not willing to pay enough to ride on a line to keep it operational, it should be closed down.

Many government-run wilderness areas require fees. If you head up the road to Vega Reservoir, you’ll find that you must purchase a state park’s pass. The showers there cost money. The campgrounds and facilities should charge enough to cover all costs, so as not to unfairly compete with the private facilities near the lake. If you go to Rocky Mountain National Park, you’ll pay a fee at the gate.

We ask a simple question: why do you think government does a better job managing wilderness areas than individuals and organizations would do on a free market? The pine-beetle infestation is at least partly the result of inept forest management.

Do you think government would do a better job building cars, growing food, erecting houses, and sewing clothes? People tried that in the last century, and it didn’t work out so well. Then why do you think government is uniquely qualified to manage wilderness areas?

We do not, as Pritchard claims, think all wilderness areas should be sold to the highest bidder. In some cases, the land should be given or sold to its current users. For example, Powderhorn leases most of its land from the Forest Service, and the company has a vested interest in caring for the land.

It seems that organizations like the Sierra Club complain most loudly about federal wilderness management. Therefore, we suggest simply giving many federal lands to the Sierra Club or similar groups. We’re confident they would do a good job managing the land, and they’d be more open to charging fees for use and even drilling to pay for land management. The rest could be transfered to a privatized Forest Service or sold, with the proceeds used to pay down the national debt.

We enjoy wilderness areas as much as the next person. We also enjoy eating. That doesn’t mean we want the government to nationalize farms or forests. America is about liberty, and that is the principle to which we should return.

Martian Climate Cycles

Omigosh! Mars has suffered both Global Warming and Global Cooling! Quick—pass another subsidy! Charles Q. Choi reports for Fox:

Peering beneath the ice at the north pole of Mars has now revealed the red planet may be surprisingly colder than was thought.

Any liquid water that might exist on Mars therefore might be hidden deeper than once suspected, closer to that world’s warm heart, researchers suggested. …

Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter… scans revealed the polar cap has up to four layers of ice rich in sand and dust, each separated by clearer sheets of nearly pure ice. Each dirty and clean layer is some 1,000 feet thick (300 meters).

These dirty and clean layers were created by ages of intense dust storms followed by icy eras. This five-million-year-long cycle was likely driven by wobbles in Mars’ tilt and fluctuations in the shape of its orbit around the sun.

The more sunlight the red planet saw because of these changes, the more the polar icecaps retreated and the more dust storms Mars saw.

You mean something other than human production influences climate? You mean, like, maybe the sun?

Whether and to what extent human emissions of carbon dioxide and other gases influence Earth’s climate, liberty remains the best policy.

Liberty also offers people the greatest promise of mining that Martian ice and generally setting up camp on the planet. There’s a whole solar system filled with natural resources just waiting for people to exploit them.

Sunshine Payola

Now that Peter Blake has taken his retirement package from the Rocky Mountain News, he seems to writing for the paper for free. But, whether or not he’s not being paid for his work, his articles remain invaluable. His February 28 article describes the case of a Rick Gilliam, who pushed for mandates for solar power before cashing in on… solar power. Here is the story as Blake tells it:

Amendment 37, an initiative approved by voters in 2004, was designed by renewable-energy advocates. It specified that 10 percent of the power generated by the state’s largest utilities had to come from renewable sources by 2015. Most will come from wind, which, though unreliable as a baseload source, is relatively cheap. But solar, although far more expensive, has its advocates, and they must be appeased. The initiative specified that 4 percent of the 10 percent [meaning 4 percent of total energy] be generated by the sun.

The voters chose in 2004, but three years later the legislature was so confident that renewables were popular it decided to kick up their share to 20 percent, by 2020, without a referendum.

Rick Gilliam of Western Resource Advocates, a nonprofit environmental group, was the principal author of Amendment 37 and its registered representative. In 2005 and 2006, after Amendment 37 passed, he won major environmental awards.

But in January 2007 he… join[ed] SunEdison of Baltimore as director of Western states policy. SunEdison had just landed a contract from Xcel to build the largest “solar electric farm” in Colorado, near Alamosa. Designed to produce 8.22 megawatts capable of powering 2,600 homes along the Front Range, it cost $60 million. It went online late last year.

In other words, Gilliam is responsible for the forced transfer of wealth to solar-electric producers — including himself. Neat trick! But this is hardly new: who do you think pushed for the corn-gas laws? Or the mercury-bulb laws? Rent seeking is the second-oldest profession in human history, if not nearly as honorable.

The Negawatt

The “negawatt” is a symptom of the insanity of the environmentalist movement. Indisputable is the fact that energy production has enhanced and prolonged our lives in countless ways. Modern transportation allows us to move ourselves and goods around our towns, nation, and world. Electricity powers our household appliances, factories, offices, lights, computers, medical equipment, and on and on. But the environmentalist movement wishes to subvert human well-being to “unblemished” nature. While many environmentalists reluctantly acquiesce to the use of “alternative” forms of energy, which today almost always costs more, environmentalists most forcefully push for energy reduction. As two environmentalists recently explained for The Denver Post:

Investing in energy efficiency is a better deal for consumers and the environment. As Gov. Bill Ritter has stated, “The cheapest watt of electricity is the watt that isn’t consumed at all. It’s called the negawatt.”

In other words, we are supposed to spend our time and resources, not expanding our production of energy, but contracting it. Rather than produce, we are supposed to reduce. Rather than seek out ways to provide more watts of energy, we are to actively use less. We are to measure our success not by the megawatt by by the “negawatt.”

Obviously, people in a free market continually strive to produce more and better products for lower costs, which means finding more efficient means of production. If a factory’s owners can produce the same amount of goods in the same amount of time by spending less on energy, then, other things being equal, those owners will freely and happily make the change. If consumers can purchase a lightbulb that works at least as well but costs less to operate without causing other problems, producers will be able to persuade consumers to act in their own interests. Politicians need not hold a gun to people’s heads or otherwise threaten force to get people to do things that are efficient in the full sense of the term, which accounts for preferences and time as well as energy use. Economic efficiency often entails energy efficiency, which properly means that an expanding pool of energy becomes available for other uses.

Yet the environmentalists exuberantly call for the threat and use of physical force to change people’s behaviors. They call for “renewable” energy mandates (but for bans on nuclear power), mandates for bulbs that some people don’t like and fear are toxic, forced wealth transfers for corn gas, and so on. Environmentalists measure “efficiency” in terms of restricting human use of natural resources, and they generally ignore the most important natural resources: human life and time.

As a release from the Ayn Rand Institute points out, environmentalists are becoming more brazen in their demands to impose economic controls:

Many people are calling for drastic political action to cope with climate change. But the authors of a new book, The Climate Change Challenge and the Failure of Democracy, go much further, claiming that global warming can be effectively dealt with only by “an authoritarian form of government.”

Environmentalists argue that humans are the primary cause of global warming and, absent a wide-scale political take-over of the economy, global warming will advance until it causes catastrophic problems. Yet the degree of human involvement in warming and the magnitude of future problems are matters of politically-motivated guess work. To reach their alarmist conclusions, environmentalists pretend to predict not only the weather but the stock market — for a century into the future.

Even assuming the environmentalist case about carbon dioxide and the future consequences of global warming, the further assumption — that this problem requires expansive political force in the economy — is hardly warranted. Indeed, it is only an unfettered free market that could ably handle the potential problems of warming while ensuring the maximum advancement of human life.

Consider just two recent news reports. Futurist Ray Kurzweil believes that “the technology needed for collecting and storing [sunlight] is about to emerge as the field of solar energy is going to advance exponentially” over the coming decades. If this is true, then the best thing the government could to is to return to its proper function of protecting property rights and freedom of production. Maybe solar energy won’t turn out to be the best way to go. Maybe it will be some sort of nuclear power, or even something not yet invented. But threatening to send in the storm troopers to non-authorized production plants and throw people in jail for declining to subsidize the projects favored by special-interest groups is hardly the way to go, though it is the way favored by the typical environmentalist.

Other scientists think that they can remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. If global warming actually worsened over the coming decades and actually started to cause the sorts of wide-scale catastrophes that environmentalists scream about, then many people would be quite willing to spend a bit extra on fuel or even voluntarily contribute to carbon-dioxide removal factories.

But the simple fact is that today’s politicians do not know what the future climate holds or what the best response to any change would be. Nor are their political aspirations typically in consonance with such lofty concerns. What is certain is that subjecting people to political force wastes resources (in the full, economic sense of the term) and prevents people from applying the full force of their minds to the problem of improving methods of production and adapting to changing circumstances of all varieties.

Straw Men in Warm Phone Booths

Colorado State Representative Kevin Lundberg said that Governor Bill Ritter’s Climate Action Plan is “predicated on junk science,” according to The Denver Post.

It would be somewhat easier to take Lundberg’s pronouncements about science seriously had he not also claimed that “most of our laws” have a “religious foundation.”

Nevertheless, the environmentalist response is no more persuasive. The Post continues:

Jim Martin, executive director of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and one of the plan’s authors, said the carbon dioxide/global warming connection is widely accepted as scientific fact.

“You could have a convention of all the scientists who dispute climate change in a relatively small phone booth,” he said.

Martin has created a straw man. Nobody disputes “climate change.” Everybody grants that the earth’s climate has long cycled between warm and cool periods. Nor does anybody doubt a “connection” between carbon dioxide and warming. However, one point in serious dispute is whether increased carbon dioxide causes or follows warming. Another point in serious dispute it to what degree industrialization has contributed to modern warming.

However, even if Martin were correct that human activity is primarily responsible for global warming and that the trend will eventually generate serious problems, his “solution” — to further socialize the economy — is hardly defensible (though it’s terrific if you’re a special-interest group looking to line your pockets with tax dollars and political favoritism). The best way to enable people to cope with nature, and to promote the sorts of technological innovations that will eventually create serious alternatives in energy production, is to achieve a free market.

Green Death

We are again reminded that one person’s reductio ad absurdum is another’s logical conclusion:

updated 10:49 a.m. EST, Thu December 27, 2007

‘Green funerals’ feature biodegradable coffins

PORTLAND, Oregon (AP) — Cynthia Beal wants to be an Oregon cherry tree after she dies. She has everything to make it happen — a body, a burial site and a biodegradable coffin.

“It is composting at its best,” said Beal, owner of The Natural Burial Company, which will sell a variety of eco-friendly burial products when it opens in January, including the Ecopod, a kayak-shaped coffin made out of recycled newspapers.

Biodegradable coffins are part of a larger trend toward “natural” burials, which require no formaldehyde embalming, cement vaults, chemical lawn treatments or laminated caskets. Advocates say such burials are less damaging to the environment.

Cremation was long considered more environmentally friendly than burials in graveyards, but its use of fossil fuels has raised concerns. …

Biodegradable containers cost from around $100 for a basic cardboard box up to more than $3,000 for a handcrafted, hand-painted model.

As Monica Hughes pointed out in an e-mail, why “waste” resources by using any sort of container? Wouldn’t it be better to repeal the laws requiring them? I mean, $100 worth of cardboard — do we really want to meet our deaths bearing that kind of guilt? Instead of recycling newspaper — a process that requires (gasp!) energy — shouldn’t we demand that the newspaper not be produced in the first place?

But, assuming that we must be buried in a box, here’s a thought: why doesn’t the national government force car makers to sell the green coffins along with the new fuel-economy death cars?