Thursday, September 8, 2011

Your little steps are taking you nowhere

"Every ton of carbon dioxide pollution causes around $20 worth of damage to economies, ecosystems, and human health.... That's not damage you're going to do in the distant future; that's damage each of us is doing right now." Little steps don't amount to a hill of beans, says the author: we need a big policy that "internalizes the externality," as we economists say. If we don't pay the full price of our actions, there's no way we'll really solve the problem. Quite a clarion call in today's New York Times. What do you think of this 1 page article?

Update: A class member pointed me to this follow-up article answering such questions as, "Where does the $20 estimate come from?" and noting that one of the most socialist of economies, in Sweden, is one of the only to impose a carbon tax. Thanks for the tip!

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