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by Gernot Wagner, Martin L. Weitzman
“Most everything we know tells us climate change is bad. Most everything we don’t know tells us it’s probably much worse.” So observe Environmental Defense Fund economist Wagner and Weitzman in this dismal-science look at a very dismal subject indeed.
Of course, the authors add, just because something is bad doesn’t mean it’s hopeless … Wagner and Weitzman offer the case of New York City drowning in horse manure at the end of the 19th century, a problem whose fix came in the form of the internal combustion engine ... “It didn’t require much in terms of active policy intervention: invent car + find oil = Eureka!” Yet these are more fraught times, and we are in need of policy intervention, since the vaunted free market hasn’t done much to self-correct to avoid the end of the world …Specialized and a touch rarified but useful for policy workers in helping shape dollars-and-cents arguments about the environment and global climate.