economics of climate change

What the Convention Speeches Could Teach Economists About the Discount Rate

The economic formulas assume that people want their children and grandchildren to be as well off as they are, no better and no worse. But people actually want the future to be better than the present, and they’re willing to make sacrifices for this to happen.


Jeremy Bentham and Polar Bears

Over at the Reality-Based Community, my co-blogger James Wimberley rightfully takes to task a right-wing economist named Karl Smith for what Wimberley calls the dumbest blog post of 2011.  Smith essentially seems to argue that it’s okay to cause hundreds of species to become extinct because it will increase aggregate wealth in the short run. In doing …


News on the Political Front

Both the NY Times and the Washington Post had lead stories on the politics of climate change legislation.  The Post’s story centered on the increasing focus of the debate on the economic impact of climate legislation and on the difficulty of establishing the facts: In anticipation, groups on the left and the right — as …