College students are often the first to jump on the bandwagon of saving the environment, which is in general a good thing. However, often lost in the “saving the environment” discussion is the need to frame the argument in economic terms. Saving the environment at any cost is not economically or politically feasible at this time (or any other time for that matter). Some economists have pointed out that there have been major successes at reducing CO2 emissions even in the United States. A major issue regarding environmental change is the inability to properly price (another pricing story) the environment or carbon. There are many supporters of taking great action immediately, and others who insist on not getting ahead of ourselves.
There are various reports regarding the economic impacts of climate change which are both widely reported and widely disputed. Bjorn Lumberg is a leading proponent of those putting the economy and the environment in the same discussion. However, he appears to be standing up against environmental protection by not supporting many environmental proposals simply due to their costs. The Stern report on the economic impact of climate change is only one of many estimates.
Questions you might try to answer:
- What is the proposed impact of global warming on US GDP? Global GDP?
- What is the proposed impact of a treaty like Kyoto on US GDP? Global GDP?
- Think of a specific proposal regarding CO2 emissions, the benefits to the environment, and the costs to the economy. You must use a source in your defense/rebuttal of an argument.
- Report and critique an estimate of the cost of global warming.
- Report and critique an estimate of the measures to prevent global warming.
Remember… I would like your statements to be as subjective as possible, or in jargon terms, positive and not normative in nature. Also, remember, I want you to keep your descriptions short, basic, and related to classroom content. Read other students comments before posting, and please leave your name with your posting.