Monday, September 11, 2006

The Heat is on: Climate Change Survey

In the Economist this week there is an excellent survey of climate change. Although there are the usual nods to Lovelock's The Revenge of Gaia and Lomborg's The Skeptical Environmentalist it is still well researched as one would expect from the Economist.

One of the more pertinent paragraphs related to climate change, other than the usual display of interesting facts and figures, is included below:

Ignorance and fear have spawned an industry. Governments, international bureaucracies and universities are employing many thousands of clever people to work out what is going on. Foundations are pouring money into research. Big corporations now all have high-level climate-change advisers with teams of clever young things scurrying around to find out what the scientists are thinking and what the politicians are planning to do.

As environmental economists we must at least try and ensure that the politicians are making informed decisions and that "what politicians are planning to do" considers an economic perspective whenever possible. A related debate is touched upon in a couple of interesting posts (and subsequent comments) in the Environmental Economics blog of John Whitehead and Tim Haab.

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