The Scientific Consensus Is That We're Doing Too Much About Climate Change, Not Too Little

April 25, 2014 2:53 PM

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I’m aware that this isn’t what you usually hear about climate change but it is nevertheless true. That the scientific consensus over what we should do about climate change is that we’re doing too much, not too little. Agreed, this is the consensus from the economists who study the economics of climate change but that’s fine. The economists are indeed the correct experts to be consulting on the economics of what we should be doing about climate change. And it is again the mainstream scientific consensus as well: here’s Richard Tol explaining matters and Tol was the co-lead author on the economics part of the most recent IPCC report. It’s not possible to get any more mainstream than that.

There is another, perhaps more serious problem with cost-benefit analysis – the optimum target is set under the assumption that it is met at the lowest possible cost. That implies a uniform carbon price – for all emissions from all sectors in all countries – that rises over time at the appropriate r...

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