The economists consensus on global warming

Discussion in 'Economy' started by Old Rocks, Feb 20, 2009.

  1. Old Rocks
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    Old Rocks Diamond Member

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    Ask a random sample of journalists whether our top scientists agree on the basics of climate science, and they'll surely say yes: Greenhouse gasses are warming the Earth, man is the cause, and we have to reduce emissions, or else. But ask the same journalists whether our top economists agree on the basics of climate economics—the costs and benefits of addressing the problem—and they'll almost certainly say no: There's no comparable consensus among economists.

    But that simply isn't true, and it's time for the press and public to recognize it. There is an emerging economic consensus about the cost of climate action, but most journalists have failed to notice it, so the public doesn't know it exists. That's a problem, since the opponents of climate action use the cost issue—and doomsday analyses based on skewed assumptions—to block cap-and-trade legislation. Gullible press reports treat these junk forecasts as if they are credible and give them equal weight alongside respected academic and governmental studies. I spent the fall at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government studying how this "he said, she said" reporting style muddies the waters of the climate debate, and I recently published a discussion paper about it. Since the paper came out, I've been hearing from economists—some of whom argue that they, too, deserve a share of the blame for this sorry state of affairs. Before we look at what reporters and economists are doing wrong, let's summarize the economic consensus.

    Surprise—Economists Agree! | The Big Money
     
  2. editec
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    editec Mr. Forgot-it-All

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    It cracks me up when people seem to think that somehow the economy is going to be uneffected by global weirding.

    I don't care if we all multibillionaires, if the climate goes into full blown weird-state, none of us are going to much like the outcome.

    And of course the economy will be so in the crapper but few of us will be thinking about it as though it were something different than our world generally.

    Everything (and the economy is one measurement of human activity) we know will be wrong, folks.

    Our best hope is that the climate changes slowly enough that mankind can adapt.

    That is our only hope, too.

    I am not sure if we turned off every human source of Co2 pollution TODAY that our climate won't keep changing anyway, and frankly I doubt anyone else knows for sure either.

    The earth is our petri dish and we are the bacteria living on it, folks.
     

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