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Talking Climate Change and MMT with students and staff from UMKC

This was a "brown bag" seminar arranged by Masters students at the University of Missouri Kansas City, the home of academic MMT, focusing mainly upon the dreadful Neoclassical economics of climate change, but also covering issues from MMT and macroeconomics.

Steve Keen considers the following as important:

This could be interesting, too:

Lars Pålsson Syll writes What’s the point of all science?

New Economic Perspectives writes New Economic Perspectives 1970-01-01 00:00:00

Robert Vienneau writes Nonsense Taught At MIT

Mike Norman writes Links — 11 August 2022 Part 1

This was a "brown bag" seminar arranged by Masters students at the University of Missouri Kansas City, the home of academic MMT, focusing mainly upon the dreadful Neoclassical economics of climate change, but also covering issues from MMT and macroeconomics.
Steve Keen
Steve Keen (born 28 March 1953) is an Australian-born, British-based economist and author. He considers himself a post-Keynesian, criticising neoclassical economics as inconsistent, unscientific and empirically unsupported. The major influences on Keen's thinking about economics include John Maynard Keynes, Karl Marx, Hyman Minsky, Piero Sraffa, Augusto Graziani, Joseph Alois Schumpeter, Thorstein Veblen, and François Quesnay.


  1. Now we are evolving neomedicine where politicians do the prescribing and debt collectors the surgery. It seems whenever NEO is attached to anything it becomes a paradox – neoliberalism, neoconservatism, neoclassical anything. NEO – in medicine we have acronyms like WNL (within normal limits or we never looked) – I take NEO to mean "No Evidence Of" whatever it seeks to describe.

  2. And then it dawns on me that Steve is a communist.

  3. Pretentious Preachings

    Nice video Steve, there is one thing I have to comment on, I don't know if it is your mic but your voice seemed much deeper in this video, you sounded a lot more lower pitch and bassy. Other then that, great presentation.

    • I guessed dental work.

    • Pretentious Preachings

      @Timmy Schnitzel Lol maybe, although my guess is that Keen accidentally screwed up his audio recording (he stopped his Audacity recording during this stream) and the audio we are hearing is from somebody else in that chat call.

  4. Your voice sounds much deeper

  5. One of the first things we’re taught in engineering school is never to fit a polynomial to a limited data set. Why? Because you can get different peaks or valleys based on the order of the polynomial. If the set of solutions does not behave according to a polynomial, unless you’re doing some kind of infinite sum, there’s no way to model it with a polynomial. Maybe in very limited cases like a boundary layer approximation, where you know the shape of the solution already from experiment, but that’s about it. Edit: My guess is they picked a quadratic on purpose because they wanted that as a result (therefore all tipping points are removed from the “model”)

    • Michael Pettis, who is a really excellent author and speaker and predicted quite accurately how the Chinese economy isn't doing that well, while being a professor at a Chinese university, opined that economists should only really use arithmetics, perhaps a little bit of very basic statistics and perhaps some probability theory and that's it.

      They don't have the rigours to use higher order maths.

      That said, system dynamics is something worth looking at. The beauty of it, as far as I understand it, is that the while individual equations are very simple, first order maths, but due to the dependencies, create very complex dynamics.

    • @V T it’s just sad to see Mathematics being abused as a tool of propaganda

  6. Steve, have you considered publishing a paper? As your valid points are likely to achieve greater recognition than merely countering Nordhaus and Troll. Btw, I see that the last submission date for AR6 WG3 has been extended from the 19 Sept to 14 Dec 2020.

  7. Harry Kiralfy Broe

    Excellent interview. You are a legend Professor Keen ?

  8. 58:29 – Q : Returning to the stupidity . . . mining
    59:07 – 2018 Nordhaus winning problem . . . Jay Wright Forrester did in 1998
    _______ .

    Profiles in Operations Research: Jay Wright Forrester by David C. Lane & John D. Sterman
    1:01:07 – 1973 student revolt & formed the University Dept. of Political Economy
    1:01:33 – 1972, economists didn't do math's…Today I say they do MYTH-O-MATICS
    1:04:44 – They ab-use mathmaticss
    _________ They make a stupid assumption to ignore math's results they don't like
    1:01:50 – The fictional basis of THE EFFICIENT MARKETS HYPOTHESIS
    1:11:29 – Q :
    1:12:35 – Hi !
    1:21:04 – Professor William K Black
    1:21:34 – Books by Richard Vague or
    A Brief History of Doom
    Two Hundred Years of Financial Crises By Richard Vague
    . or .
    The Next Economic Disaster
    Why It's Coming and How to Avoid It By Richard Vague
    1:23:18 – Explain the crash of 1929 : A Real Estate bubble begun in 1920s
    1:23:27 – J K Galbraith did not have the data gathered by Rich Vague's researchers
    1:24:14 – Professor William K Black : 1920s: The origin of Selling Florida Swampland
    1:24:28 or .
    Three Passages From Akerlof & Romer’s 1993 Article That Should Have Prevented The Crisis
    Posted on 04 APR 2014 By William K. Black
    1:25:09 – What a bunch of delusional . . . [ ROFLMAO ]
    1:25:23 – book titled eCon Comics
    1:25:30 – Professor William K Black – Not a single empirical comment & –>> N Gregory Mankiw
    1:26:03 – Q : 1837 Crash
    _________ [ Andrew Jackson's payment of USA-FED-GOV-Debt caused longest depression ]
    1:27:07 – Public "debt" effectively ZERO & Then a fall in Private debt –>> fall in money supply
    1:29:35 – Professor William K Black – We should be so lucky to have crowding out
    1:30:21 – MINSKY
    1:31:56 – Paper accepted for publication of USA Treasury Thinking during WW2
    1:32:35 – But there's no problem in generating the money to save ourselves . The problem is the money going to the wrong things . So you'd sell the bonds to get money out . So people can't go and buy you know, airline flights to nowhere because they haven't got the money [ to spend on such things ] .
    But, you're getting all the money you need to build nuclear power stations and solar power stations
    1:33:08 – Coming ATTRACTIONS
    _________ Book titled The Code of Capital: How the Law Creates Wealth and Inequality by Katharina Pistor HC – 28 MAY 2019 .
    A compelling explanation of how the law shapes the distribution of wealth

  9. 56:02 – Limits to growth .
    . .
    The message of this book still holds today: The earth’s interlocking resources – the global system of nature in which we all live – probably cannot support present rates of economic and population growth much beyond the year 2100, if that long, even with advanced technology. In the summer of 1970, an international team of researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology began a study of the implications of continued worldwide growth. They examined the five basic factors that determine and, in their interactions, ultimately limit growth on this planet-population increase, agricultural production, nonrenewable resource depletion, industrial output, and pollution generation. The MIT team fed data on these five factors into a global computer model and then tested the behavior of the model under several sets of assumptions to determine alternative patterns for mankind’s future. The Limits to Growth is the nontechnical report of their findings. The book contains a message of hope, as well: Man can create a society in which he can live indefinitely on earth if he imposes limits on himself and his production of material goods to achieve a state of global equilibrium with population and production in carefully selected balance.
    . .
    . .
    The Limits to Growth: A report for the Club of Rome's Project on the Predicament of Mankind
    PDF .
    EPUB .
    Graham Turner or .
    Limits to Growth was right. New research shows we're nearing collapse MON 1 SEP 2014
    Four decades after the book was published, Limit to Growth’s forecasts have been vindicated by new Australian research. Expect the early stages of global collapse to start appearing soon by Graham Turner and Cathy Alexander
    The whatIf?® Modeling Platform is a unique and powerful environment for the development of systems models and their use in scenario analysis, strategic planning, policy analysis, decision support and education.
    The platform includes facilities for interactive data analysis, data management, reporting and documentation that are integral to the process of model development. Furthermore, whatIf? is not confined to a single mathematical paradigm or analytical technique whether that be optimization, econometrics, agent or event simulation, or differential equations (system dynamics).
    . .
    . Software WhatIf: Software for Evaluating Counterfactuals

  10. 40:04 – The Humbug Production Function ( Shaikh 1974)
    49:40 – Q : Planetary Population Density
    50:19 – A :
    51:40 – Will Steffen
    . .
    Will Steffen – Climate Change 2020 – Why we are facing an emergency – April 2020
    23 APR 2020
    . .
    Episode 94: Interview with Will Steffen, climate scientist 09 JUN 2020
    . .
    SUMMER OF CRISIS 11.03.20
    . .
    . .
    . .
    . .
    . .
    The Climate Change Crisis: Where on Earth are We Going? Will Steffen 06 JUN 2019
    52:59 – Q : < GDP
    54:18 – A : 55:18 – What is the link between the physical planet & production ?

  11. 20:20 – The Survey of Experts Approach 1994 & 2017 Non-expert , FRIENDS of NORDHAUS
    21:04 – Only 3 of 19 were Climate Science Experts 21:1221:26
    21:42 – [ Too stupid to be anything other than fraud or early onset Alzheimers ]

    Scientist responds in writing
    23:09 – Nordhaus BURIED the results
    24:0524:15 – A literature survey – 3 search locations
    24:45 – EconLit : Writings by economists , not by Climate Scientists
    25:10 Web of Science
    _______ The world’s largest publisher-neutral citation index and research intelligence platform
    25:58 – Manual for D. I. C. E.
    26:30 – Nordhaus uses a quadratic which is SMOOTH , w/0 tipping points
    27:25 – Nordhaus describes research of Lenton
    27:55 – "Lenton 2008 on Tipping Points"
    29:09 – If Nordhaus were in 7th Grade & submitted this example of his reading
    _______ comprehension, next year he would be repeating 6th Grade
    29:20 – Nordhaus made it up
    30:56 – Lenton's unambiguous language
    32:29 – Lenton 2008 Conclusion :
    32:42 – [ Wanna-be-worthy-someday-to-be-a-moron ROFLMAO ]
    32:57 – [ ROFLMAO ]
    33:21 – This "work" is a failure of effort if done by a secondary student
    33:27 – Who publishes Nordhaus [ Nonsense ] ?
    33:30 – "Neoclassical [ -itis ] disease [ symptoms ] "simplifying assumptions"
    _______ or .
    . . . While this argument for instrumentalism might seem very plausible, it suffers from several flaws. In his paper, ‘Unreal Assumptions’ in Economic Theory: The F-Twist Untwisted, Alan Musgrave discusses these flaws. By distinguishing between 3 different types of assumptions, negligibility, domain, and heuristic, Musgrave shows the lack of clarity surrounding Friedman’s paper and his use of the word “assumption”.
    37:28 – What Should Be Done ?
    38:2038:34 – and this little thought popped in my mind : Labor w/o energy is a corpse & capital w/o energy is a sculpture.

  12. Sharing is caring or .
    00:00 – Introducing ProfSteveKeen
    02:00 – Now in Thailand
    _______ Needless lost lives .
    03:00 – Thailand has 1/6 population of the USA and successfully contained Covid-19
    03:35 – Linwood

    05:07 – The [clueless] economics prize of [clueless] Nordhaus
    05:50 – Nordhaus [delusionally] describes the outputs of a Ramsey Growth Model
    06:15 – Notice Nordhaus [foolishly] labels the optimal [politically economic] path
    06:45 – Science notes a rise of 2 deg C causes "tipping cascade"
    09:57 – How does Norhaus get his numbers? Let us count the ways . . .
    10:10 – He made them up ! In (3) Main Methods
    10:44 – 1st : The enumerative Approach
    11:03 – Nordhaus Assumed 87% of climate change will happen indoors
    11:32 – 2nd : The Statistical method
    11:50 – 3rd : Survey of Experts – Larry Summers & the 18 Climate Experts Just Like Larry
    12:15 – 4th : Poor reading comprehension of tipping points
    12:39 – High Discount Rate
    13:34 – Expert on Future 200 years of events
    13:40 – Norhaus is self-isolated in a circled-wagon peerage
    13:57 – The I.P.C.C. chart 2014 14:33
    14:55 – About the Enumerative Approach 15:30 – TOL : THE ENFORCER
    16:0016:1016:25 – Nordhaus found errors a decade later
    16:3316:3916:5017:0517:20 – Table
    18:40 – The Enumerative Approach
    19:00 – Exposed to the WEATHER = CLIMATE CHANGE 19:21 – Equating MICR to MACRO
    19:30 – Ignoring disequilibrium
    19:53 – JMK : "But this long run is a misleading guide to current affairs.
    _______ In the long run we are all dead. Economists set themselves
    _______ too easy, too useless a task, if in tempestuous seasons they
    _______ can only tell us, that when the storm is long past, the ocean is flat again."
    _______ — JMK Tract on Monetary Reform (1923), Ch. 3, p. 80
    _______ I missed this too-darn-stupid 04 MAY 2013
    ___ Today's big economic brouhaha comes courtesy of historian
    ___ Niall Ferguson, who reportedly told a group that J M Keynes'
    ___ economic philosophies were informed by the fact that he was
    ___ childless and gay, and thus not concerned about the
    ___ ramifications of policy on future generations. ROFLMAO
    ___ . . .
    ___ Whether we've achieved Keynes' vision is hotly debatable.
    ___ But there's no debate that Keynes thought immensely about
    ___ the long-term future, and wanted the world to be prepared for it.

  13. Sounds like Nordhaus’ work is , like Lord Byron, “mad, bad and dangerous”!

  14. Voice of Keen sound like its distorted like as if you were interviewing a anonymous bank robber

  15. I love the opening lines where you said 'i'm not gonna die due to neoclassical F^%& ups!' Spoken like a straight shooter! Love it! Much love from neoclassical dumpster fire known as Australia!

  16. Sonds like Dr. Keen hulked up over the weekend!

  17. Only has capital & labor as inputs book An Overripe Economy with Alan Nasser
    15 OCT 2020 or

  18. Your voice sounds different and fake. What’s going on?

    • No idea–I noticed that too. It might have been the hour: morning for me, evening for them. My voice can be croaky first thing. But it sounds more like my tone was dropped an octave or so by the recording software.

    • I've also just bought a new mic (a Shure) after my RODE failed (damaged in the move to Thailand, and terminally so after it fell off my small desk here a week or so before this recording. Plus I'm using an external mixer/soundcard now rather than the one in my Alienware laptop. I could do with a sound professional helping me set up properly one day.

  19. Larry Summers an environmental economist, what a joke. Lol!!

  20. Hello Steve, I’ve recently been watching ( again ) via SBS online, during the lockdown in Melbourne, all four seasons of the Coen Bro’s. Fargo. Interesting thing I noted in the third season, a cartoon type character appears as a robot, who’s name is Minsky, from the planet WYH. You may have seen it? Anyway, the robot travels for millions of years, and says along the way, to everyone it meets, “I can help”. Funny enough, no one ever takes up the offer. Eventually the intergalactic federation awards the robot for it’s millions of years of service, observing the rise and fall of many different evolutions of beings. After being awarded, the robot is advised to rest, and it switches itself off.
    ‘I can help’.

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