Jon Lovett

Jon Lovett

Jon Lovett is Chair in Global Challenges in the School of Geography at the University of Leeds and works on institutional economics.

Location United Kingdom


  • Welcome to the course Mark. The course is also supporting my teaching this term at the University of Leeds so my students are here too. This is the third of the Environmental Challenges courses we've been using this term and there are two more after this one in case you're interested in the others.

  • Welcome to this course on property rights! I'll be following the course as well so please put any questions into the Q&A step 2.11 in Week 2.

  • That's a very good summary and a nice critical analysis of some of the contradictions. There are many different discourses around nuclear power that range from the 'ban nuclear' to 'its the best option to provide base load for renewables that fluctuate'. Other arguments against (aside from the risks and waste disposal) are that civilian nuclear power is used...

  • Welcome!

  • Here is a recent news article that raises contrasting values about elephants with people being killed as conservationists move elephants to a new habitat in a protected wildlife park:

    "Four more people have died after an elephant translocation overseen by two wildlife organisations, including one that was headed by Prince Harry, in a protected area in...

  • I'm now over in the ‘Rights and Values in Ecosystem Services’ course so please join us there!

  • Welcome to the Rights and Values in Ecosystem Services Course. I will be following the 'comments' as we go through the course and will try my best to keep up with responding to comments. There are a lot of steps in the course so if you have any specific questions you'd like answering then please put them in Step 2.11 Q&A where I can find them. Thank you!

  • Very good analysis. Readjusting the distribution of land rights to correct historical discrimination is difficult. The same is true in many other countries. For example countries as different as South Africa and Scotland have very unequal patterns of land ownership and redistribution of land is politically contentious.

  • You are welcome! I hope you find the course of interest.

  • Marketing of vapes to children has been attracting a lot of media attention recently. I was listening to a radio programme yesterday about child grooming and vapes. It certainly appears to be an institutional failure.

    "A BBC investigation has uncovered evidence that vapes are being used to groom children into sexual or criminal exploitation. Last week, the...

  • I don't know enough about law and the 'reasonable man' concept to respond in detail as to whether this creates discrimination. At first sight (and I am ignorant of case law details) I would assume that a reasonable person in law could be any gender, ethnicity, orientation etc. because of the principle of equality before the law (i.e. first principle of...

  • That's an interesting example. From the perspective of China the interpretation might be different - they would say that they are breaking the hegemony of western control and empowering developing countries in Africa by supporting creation of economic infrastructure. But as you point out, it is also to enhance trade with China which needs raw materials and...

  • That is a good example of inequality that had many consequences that are still being played out to this day. For example emigration of people from Ireland to the USA where people of Irish descent have strong political influence (the current president, Joe Biden, is of Irish descent) and political fractures in Northern Ireland. At the time it was certainly...

  • Yes, there is a lot of elite capture in United States politics. Following a series of Supreme Court decisions e.g. Citizens United v. FEC (2010) the amount of funding that could be allocated to campaigning politicians was uncapped. In 2020 $14 billion was spent on campaigning. This favours influence from super-rich elites.

  • Air BnB is a good example as it is an elite who are capturing the resource under a particular type of institutional arrangement that they've created. I had a quick look for literature and found this paper which seems nicely relevant:

    Elite capture and urban geography: Analyzing geographies of privilege

    Many cities have a two-tiered system for governing...

  • I wasn't sure if this was really elite capture or simply part of normal dynamics in a city. Cities change all the time and they can't be regarded as museums with everyone stuck in a diorama of a past age. So I did a quick lit search and found this article which I thought was quite interesting in this context:

    Challenging the financial capture of urban...

  • Elite capture by private agents of colonial powers is a good one and on a grand scale. It's happened again and again. The modern equivalent are transnational companies who can shift their capital around to places with the cheapest minerals, land and labour. This is often called 'free market economics', but its not because it goes against the basic principles...

  • The oil company example (and not just Nigeria) is a good example of elite capture and the consequences can be devastating with very long term consequences. The case of Persia/ Iran and BP is fascinating and the effects are still being played out today. In Nigeria there is great wealth and crushing poverty - and this is true of many countries rich in...

  • That's an interesting example. It could also be construed as market economics and is quite nuanced. A bit different from the luxury flats example you give: 'council houses' were sold off cheaply to the people who lived in them as a privatisation of the social housing sector as a way of creating a 'home owning' class. But now (I might be wrong on the numbers,...

  • Welcome to the Justice in Natural Resource Management Course. I will be following the 'comments' as we go through the course and will try my best to keep up with responding to comments. There are a lot of steps in the course so if you have any specific questions you'd like answering then please put them in Step 2.11 Q&A where I can find them. Thank you!

  • @paulgwynn A lot of countries are developing microgrids at a range of scales from local communities to larger scale operations. Here's an article about microgrids and mining in Indonesia for example:

    It's not only clean energy, microgrids are also cheaper, more...

  • A great many thanks to all the course participants. The discussion forums during the past two weeks were lively and informative, I very much enjoyed reading them and replying. I wish everyone success in their future careers and I hope you find PyEPLAN a useful tool for designing microgrids.

  • Many thanks, I'll ask Lizzie to add that. United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

  • Thank you! We hope that you are able to apply the information in the course and the design software in your own work.

  • Thank you! We are very pleased that you enjoyed the course.

  • Thank you very much, we are pleased that you enjoyed the course.

  • Thank you very much Muhammad. We wish you success in your future career.

  • Thank you Lorna. we're really pleased you've enjoyed it. As you say, it takes a lot of work to put a course like this together so it makes it all worthwhile when the participants say they've gained something from it!

  • @MERCYMirriamapio Thank you very much for your appreciation. We are very pleased that the course has been worthwhile for you and wish you success in your future career.

  • @MojahedMnzool Welcome to the course. I hope you find it interesting and useful.

  • Thank you! We very much appreciate your nice feedback.

  • Many thanks! It's very nice for us to know that you've enjoyed the course and gained some useful knowledge.

  • Many thanks for your kind words and valuable contributions in the discussions. There are some very knowledgeable and engaged people on the course.

  • @LornaAllen Yes, I agree that's not very clear. It refers to the different types of sources of generation e.g. a solar panel is a renewable unit with the Microgrid design area map. Hope that helps.

  • @MichaelBaker They look very handy. I'll put a link here in case anyone else is interested:

  • @HenryNeondo,Herman Welcome to the course!

  • Welcome to the course Liberty. I hope you find it interesting and useful.

  • #2 Using available technologies and smart grids we can supply household needs using smart/mciro grids. As you point out, it's already been done in many places. It's easy and just needs political will and local action to make it happen. If we wanted to shift to net zero for households we could do it right away.

    The next question is how to power energy...

  • @LornaAllen Interesting question ... small claim to fame... and I once had the opportunity to discuss this with Ian Blackford and gave him the concept of the 'Porter Hypothesis' which he then mentioned in a speech in Parliament. :). I doubt if he remembers the discussion!

    The main point of your question relates to nuclear power. This is much debated. You...

  • I did a quick internet search on fossil fuel subsidies. I have no idea if these are correct or not:

    n 2020-21, Australian Federal and state governments provided a total of $10.3 billion worth of spending and tax breaks to assist fossil fuel industries. The $7.8 billion cost of the fuel tax rebate alone is more than the budget of the Australian Army. Over...

  • Conventional thinking about microgrids is that they are more resilient, so you are correct. However... and the truth is always after the 'but'. Microgrids need a good institutional and governance framework (see my other online courses about institutional economics). So, technically yes, microgrids are the next best thing. But... it needs strong local...

  • I couldn't find the context of the use of the term. Can you give me a bit more info?