Climate Shock

Climate Shock

The Economic Consequences of A Hotter Planet

Book - 2015
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If you had a 10 percent chance of having a fatal car accident, you'd take necessary precautions. If your finances had a 10 percent chance of suffering a severe loss, you'd reevaluate your assets. So if we know the world is warming and there's a 10 percent chance this might eventually lead to a catastrophe beyond anything we could imagine, why aren't we doing more about climate change right now? We insure our lives against an uncertain future--why not our planet?

In Climate Shock , Gernot Wagner and Martin Weitzman explore in lively, clear terms the likely repercussions of a hotter planet, drawing on and expanding from work previously unavailable to general audiences. They show that the longer we wait to act, the more likely an extreme event will happen. A city might go underwater. A rogue nation might shoot particles into the Earth's atmosphere, geoengineering cooler temperatures. Zeroing in on the unknown extreme risks that may yet dwarf all else, the authors look at how economic forces that make sensible climate policies difficult to enact, make radical would-be fixes like geoengineering all the more probable. What we know about climate change is alarming enough. What we don't know about the extreme risks could be far more dangerous. Wagner and Weitzman help readers understand that we need to think about climate change in the same way that we think about insurance--as a risk management problem, only here on a global scale.

Demonstrating that climate change can and should be dealt with--and what could happen if we don't do so-- Climate Shock tackles the defining environmental and public policy issue of our time.

Published: Princeton :, Princeton University Press,, [2015]
ISBN: 9780691159478
Branch Call Number: 363.7387 WAG
Characteristics: xi, 250 pages ;,23 cm
Additional Contributors: Weitzman, Martin L. 1942-


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May 07, 2017

150 pages on why there should be a carbon tax by two economists. Perfectly sensible argument except you could have read the wikipedia page and gotten the same info more quickly.

Also, and why I'm not voting it more stars, economists have the wrong end of the stick regarding both the end of oil and global warming. They operate under the assumption that growth/ an increasing GNP is both a good thing and possible in the face of decreasing/no fossil fuels. It is neither. Because this underpins the argument here, I found it unconvincing--or perhaps I should say I found it beside the point. The more-more-more mindset is what got us here. We need to grow up and discard it in order to have any hope of our great-great-great grandchildren ending up as anything other than cannibal survivors of an ugly crash of civilization at the end of oil. A carbon tax (or choosing to have none) will help avoid that future about as much as switching to a low-flow toilet or your decision to plant marigolds rather than petunias in your windowbox might.

So sayeth the grumpy old pessimist.


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