Building a Green Economy [NYT]
If you listen to climate scientists — and despite the relentless campaign to discredit their work, you should — it is long past time to do something about emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. If we continue with business as usual, they say, we are facing a rise in global temperatures that will be little short of apocalyptic. And to avoid that apocalypse, we have to wean our economy from the use of fossil fuels, coal above all.
But is it possible to make drastic cuts in greenhouse-gas emissions without destroying our economy?
It is a good question. This article is a must read for all environmental economics students.
In what follows, I will offer a brief survey of the economics of climate change or, more precisely, the economics of lessening climate change. I’ll try to lay out the areas of broad agreement as well as those that remain in major dispute. First, though, a primer in the basic economics of environmental protection.
The conclusion of this excellent article is that the economists and ready and we are tooled up with tools to make it happen. What is missing is the political will. Not for the first time, bad political decisions could have bad economic consequences.