[extropy-chat] Climate skepticism patterns

Robin Hanson rhanson at gmu.edu
Thu Jun 8 19:57:54 UTC 2006

At 01:58 PM 6/8/2006, Hal Finney wrote:
>Regarding the cost/benefit of global warming, here is a paper on the
>topic by Richard Tol in the journal Energy Policy.  ...
>There is quite a range in the studies, but the median cost value
>is $14/tC.  That's not super high, compared to estimated costs of
>conservation, but it does mean that global warming is a net cost. ...
> From what I can see, emissions reductions do not make economic sense
>at this time.  The costs of substantial reductions are enormous, and
>there are a number of strategies on the table (ocean fertilization,
>planting forests, stratospheric aerosols, space shields, exotic nanotech
>and biotech engineering) which should be able to do the job cheaper,
>well before the end of this century. ...

Perhaps, but it seems to at least make sense to tax carbon at something
like its estimated externality cost on others.  A $14/tC tax might be a lot
less that some people want, an a zero tax might be better than those large
  taxes people want, but the $14 tax would be better than either.  Then
you'd want to pay people who create those substitutes for reductions at
that same level, and if they come up with stuff great, if not fine too.

Robin Hanson  rhanson at gmu.edu  http://hanson.gmu.edu
Associate Professor of Economics, George Mason University
MSN 1D3, Carow Hall, Fairfax VA 22030-4444
703-993-2326  FAX: 703-993-2323 

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