Saturday, March 28, 2015

Climate Change Proposal

William Nordhaus, an economist who has long been investigating climate change issues, recently published a paper with an idea for how to combat climate change. Concerned countries should form a "club" and agree to all take action to mitigate climate change. In addition to acting to prevent climate change, the countries should also implement a tariff on all trade from countries not in the "club." The tariff would not in itself help fight climate change, but it would give outside countries a reason to want to be in the club. (Of course, once they are in the club they will have to take action to reduce climate change themselves.)

Please take a look at the paper. I will not hold you responsible for reading the whole thing, but please look it over. This is an example of a peer-reviewed paper of the type you will need for the paper you will start working on next week. In fact, it's from one of the very top (if not THE very top) journals for work in the discipline of Economics, so it carries a lot of weight among my people.

Here is another, more accessible piece by Nordhaus. You probably won't believe it after reading this, but Nordhaus was a skeptic of climate change initially. One of his early papers came to the conclusion that yes, the climate was warming, but that warming would benefit the United States, since we are a mid-latitude country. He has since revised that assessment, concluding that the costs greatly outweigh the benefits.

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