Quotes on Economic Impacts of Climate Change

"The United States is strongly committed to the IPCC process of international cooperation on global climate change. We consider it vital that the community of nations be drawn together in an orderly, disciplined, rational way to review the history of our global environment, to assess the potential for future climate change, and to develop effective programs. The state of the science, the social and economic impacts, and the appropriate strategies all are crucial components to a global resolution. The stakes here are very high; the consequences, very significant."

President George H. W. Bush
The American Presidency Project
February 5, 1990
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"In a climate of poverty or persistent economic struggle, protecting the environment becomes a far more difficult challenge. Cold statistics don't begin to capture the harsh realities that are at stake. Development doesn't mean just another point in the gross national product, the GNP; it's measured in human lives, an end to hunger, lower infant mortality, longer life expectancy -- not just quality of life but life itself.

Environmental policies that ignore the economic factor, the human factor, are destined to fail. But there's another reason to consider the economic factor when the issue is the environment. There is no better ally in service of our environment than strong economies: economies that make possible the increased efficiencies that enable us to make environmental gains, economies that generate the new technologies that help us arrest and reverse the damage that we've done to our environment. We need new economies that allow us to make vital investments in our common future."

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"The third principle is that we must embrace solutions that will allow us to continue to grow our economy as we honor our global responsibilities and our responsibilities to our children. We've worked far too hard to revitalize the American dream to jeopardize our progress now. Therefore, we must emphasize flexible marketbased approaches. We must work with business and industry to find the right ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. We must promote technologies that make energy production and consumption more efficient.

There are many people here today from companies that are addressing the climate change in innovative ways, taking steps that will save money for American families even as we reduce the threat of global warming."

President William J. Clinton
The American Presidency Project
1997
06
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"The fourth principle is that we must expect all nations, both industrialized and developing, to participate in this process in a way that is fair to all. It is encouraging that so many nations in so many parts of the world are developing so rapidly. That is good news for their people, and it is good for America's economic future. But as we've seen right here at home, rising energy demands that accompany economic development traditionally have meant large increases in greenhouses gas emissions. In fact, if current trends continue, emissions from the developing world will likely eclipse those from the developed world in the next few decades."

President William J. Clinton
The American Presidency Project
1997
06
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"In the pessimistic view of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the costs of global warming might be as high as 1.5 percent of the U.S. gross domestic product by the end of the next century. The cost of reducing carbon dioxide emissions, however, would be much higher. William Cline of the Institute for International Economics has calculated that the cost of cutting emissions by one-third of current levels by the year 2040 would be 3.5 percent of worldwide gross domestic product. The IPCC also reviewed various estimates of losses from stabilizing emissions at 1990 levels, a more modest objective, and concluded that the cost to the U.S. economy would be at least 1.5 percent of gross domestic product by 2050, with the burden continuing to increase thereafter."

Thomas Gale Moore
Hoover Digest, No. 1
Hoover Institution
January 30, 1998
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"As you know, I oppose the Kyoto Protocol because it exempts 80 percent of the world, including major population centers such as China and India, from compliance, and would cause serious harm to the U.S. economy. The Senate's vote, 95-0, shows that there is a clear consensus that the Kyoto Protocol is an unfair and ineffective means of addressing global climate change concerns."

President George W. Bush
The American Presidency Project
March 13, 2001
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"To a great extent, the cost of controlling greenhouse gas emissions and stabilizing atmospheric concentrations will ultimately depend on technological developments over the next century. Innovation that dramatically reduces the cost of producing energy from nonfossil sources or of sequestering carbon dioxide emissions will ease the process of controlling emissions; innovation that tends to reduce the cost of finding, extracting, and using fossil fuels will complicate it."

Congressional Budget Office
April 2003
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"Suppose the utility damage from global warming to generations 50 years from now is equivalent to about $2 trillion of their welfare. At a 3 percent discount rate, this major damage would have a value today of about $500 billion. With a 3 percent discount rate, then, it would not pay to eliminate these harmful effects on future generations if it cost $800 billion (or, more generally, at least $500 billion) to ameliorate the harm through steep taxes on emissions, carbon sequestration, and other methods. To be sure, the benefits would exceed the present value of costs of greenhouse warming if damage were discounted at zero percent, 1 percent, or as high as almost 2 percent. When analyzing effects much further into the future, say 150 years, the discount rate used is even more crucial. The main reason for the much larger estimates of damage in the Stern Review, compared with the work of Nordhaus and others, is its use of a negligible discount rate.

To illustrate the advantage of using a discount rate that reflects the return on capital, assume that the long-term return on investments in physical capital is 3 percent. Instead of spending $800 billion on eliminating greenhouse gases, suppose the present generation invested it in physical capital, and that all the income yielded by the investment were also invested at a 3 percent rate of return. Then, the amount saved to generations 50 years from now would be more than $3 trillion. Hence, future generations would be better off if the present generation, instead of investing the $800 billion in greenhouse gas–reducing technologies, invested the same amount in capital that would be available to future generations."

Gary S. Becker
Hoover Digest, No. 2
Hoover Institution
April 1, 2007
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"For the most part, it [the Stern Review] accurately describes the basic economic questions involved in global warming. However, it tends to emphasize studies and findings that support its policy recommendations, while reports with opposing views of the dangers of global warming are ignored. Such are the rules of the game, but we should be alert in reading the Review that – even though it was published by a university press – it is not standard academic analysis.

Putting this point differently, we might evaluate the Review in terms of the ground rules of standard science and economics. The central methodology by which science, including economics, operates is peer review and reproducibility. By contrast, the Review was published without an appraisal of methods and assumptions by independent outside experts. Nor can its results be easily reproduced."

William D. Nordhaus
May 3, 2007
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"The mountain resort industry is a $ 5 billion industry that employs 165,000 people. When you add in real estate, the equipment and apparel side of the industry, and all of the other businesses that rely on winter tourism to stay afloat, we have profound economic impacts. The ski industry’s economic health is particularly crucial for a number of rural economies across the country."

Michael Berry
Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works
May 24, 2007
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"Global warming has taken center stage in the international arena over the last decade. Serious and disinterested analysts across the entire spectrum of economic and scientific research take the prospects for a warmer world seriously. A careful look at the issues reveals that there is at present no obvious answer as to how fast nations should move to slow climate change. Neither extremes – do nothing, or stop global warming in its tracks – are sensible targets today. Any well-designed policy must balance the economic costs of actions today with the economic and ecological benefits in the future."

William D. Nordhaus
Yale University
July 24, 2007
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"In practice, an economic analysis of climate change weighs the costs of slowing climate change against the damages of more rapid climate change. On the side of costs of slowing climate change, this means that countries must consider whether, and how much, to reduce their greenhouse-gas emissions. Reducing GHGs, particularly deep reductions, will require primarily taking costly steps to reduce CO2. Some steps involve reducing the use of fossil fuels. Others involve using different production techniques or different fuels or energy sources. Societies have considerable experience in employing different approaches to changing energy production and use patterns. Economic history and analysis indicate that it will be most effective to use market signals, primarily higher prices of carbon fuels, to give signals and provide incentives for consumers and firms to change their energy use and reduce their carbon emissions. In the longer run, higher carbon prices will provide incentives for firms to develop new technologies to ease the transition to a low-carbon future."

William D. Nordhaus
Yale University
July 24, 2007
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"The true economic impact of climate change is fraught with 'hidden' costs. Besides the replacement value of infrastructure, for example, there are real costs of re-routing traffic, workdays and productivity lost, provision of temporary shelter and supplies, potential relocation and retraining costs, and others. Likewise, the increased levels of uncertainty and risk, brought about by climate change, impose new costs on the insurance, banking, and investment industries, as well as complicate the planning processes for the agricultural and manufacturing sectors and for public works projects."

Daria Karetnikov
Matthias Ruth
Dana Coelho
Center for Integrative Environmental Research
2007
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"... resources expended on solving today's climate-sensitive problems and advancing sustainable economic development will build human capital, advance technology, and enhance the adaptive and mitigative capacities of future generations."

Indur Goklany
Policy Analysis, 609
Cato Institute
February 5, 2008
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"If one believes that developed countries have a moral and ethical obligation to deal with climate change, that obligation cannot, and should not, be met through aggressive emission reductions at this time - 'cannot' because the planet is already committed to some climate change - and 'should not' because the threats that climate change would exacerbate can be reduced more effectively, not to mention more economically, through focused efforts to reduce vulnerability or through broader efforts to advance economic development. Any such obligation is best discharged through efforts to reduce present-day vulnerabilities to climate-sensitive problems that are urgent and could be exacerbated by climate change."

Indur Goklany
Policy Analysis, 609
Cato Institute
February 5, 2008
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Regarding Calls to reduce GHG emissions by 80% by 2050:

"Consider the residential sector. At the present time, American households emit 1.2 billion tons of CO2 - 20% higher than the entire nation's emissions must be in 2050. If households are to emit no more than their present share of CO2, emissions will have to be reduced to 204 million tons by 2050. But in 2050, there will be another 40 million residential households in the U.S.

Today, the average residence in the U.S. uses about 10,500 kilowatt hours of electricity and emits 11.4 tons of CO2 per year (much more if you are Al Gore or John Edwards and live in a mansion). To stay within the magic number, average household emissions will have to fall to no more than 1.5 tons per year. In our current electricity infrastructure, this would mean using no more than about 2,500 KwH per year. This is not enough juice to run the average hot water heater."

Steven F. Hayward
The Wall Street Journal
April 28, 2008
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"There is abundant empirical economic evidence that an increase in climatic temperature of 2-3 degrees C may well benefit many regions of the United States in the form of enhanced amenity value, increased agricultural productivity, reduced deaths and disease resulting from cold weather, and increased value from warm weather recreational pursuits."

Jason Scott Johnston
Regulation, 31, 3
Cato Institute
2008
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"Carbon-reduction schemes that depend on fees or taxes attain their goals of lower atmospheric carbon by slowing carbon-based economic activity. Producers and consumers respond to the carbon taxes both by switching to less carbon-intensive production and consumption and by simply reducing production and consumption."

Nicolas Loris
Ben Lieberman
David W. Kreutzer Ph.D.
William W. Beach
Karen Campbell Ph.D.
Data Analysis Report, #0904
The Heritage Foundation
August 6, 2009
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"The laudable goal of both carbon markets and carbon taxes is basically the same: make polluters pay for the costs they involuntarily impose on others. So all that remains is to calculate the costs and let policy makers impose either the appropriate markets or taxes. The problem is that in the real world things are never as simple as economic theory would have it. Estimates of the potential damage caused by global warming range widely, depending on estimates of how the climate is likely to react to extra carbon dioxide, future economic growth, and, most crucially, the discount rate.

That term refers to the fact that most people prefer to have a dollar today than a dollar a year from now. This means that current dollars are worth more than future dollars; that people discount the value of future dollars. In other words, a person might be willing to forego a dollar now, but only in exchange for more than a dollar next year. From this insight, economists have developed the concept of discount rates. Let's say someone is willing to forgo a dollar today in exchange for $1.10 next year. The discount rate would be 10 percent. So here's the question that bedevils those trying to calculate the future damages caused by climate change: How much is a dollar in 2100 worth in terms of dollars foregone today? Let's just say that experts have a wide range of opinions on what the proper discount rate should be."

Ronald Bailey
Reason.com
September 8, 2009
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"Looking at recent reports by the Pew Charitable Trusts and the activist group the Natural Resources Defense Council, U.S. GDP in 2100 is projected to be between 0.6 and 3.6 percent lower than it would otherwise have been. Assuming the $14 trillion U.S. economy grows at 2.5 percent per year, GDP in 2100 would be $130 trillion. If climate change damages push GDP 3.6 percent below what it would otherwise have been that means that GDP in 2100 would be about $125 trillion, or $5 trillion lower. That's not nothing, but the loss is more than double ($12 trillion) what would occur if U.S. economic growth were depressed from 2.5 to 2.4 percent per year between now and 2100."

Ronald Bailey
Reason.com
September 8, 2009
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"Clearly, econometric models tell us that implementing smart policies could avoid some damage from climate change. But whether or not the benefits outweigh the costs depends entirely on the policies being optimally adopted. ...

Along similar lines, numerous econometric models project that while climate change will have relatively minor effects on developed countries it will significantly harm poor countries. One proposed policy solution is to have rich countries that emit a disproportionate share compensate poor countries. While this idea might seem appealing to some, one must also consider the sorry 50-year record of wealth transfers in the form of foreign development aid. As development economist William Easterly has argued, most of the $2.3 trillion in aid that rich countries have poured into developing countries over the past half century has been wasted. Is there any reason to think that trillions in climate change aid would be any more effectively managed?

Man-made global warming may simply be a negative externality for which the transaction costs are too high. In other words, any benefits achieved from trying to mitigate global warming will most likely be swamped by the costs of distributing the corporate welfare used to buy the political acquiescence of various industries."

Ronald Bailey
Reason.com
September 8, 2009
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"Many of the natural changes that are likely to result from climate change (such as more frequent storms, hurricanes, and floods) will affect agriculture, forestry, and fishing; the demand for energy; and the nation’s infrastructure. Despite the wide variety of projected impacts of climate change over the course of the 21st century, published estimates of the economic costs of direct impacts in the United States tend to be small. ... Most of the economy involves activities that are not likely to be directly affected by changes in climate. Moreover, researchers generally expect the growth in the U.S. economy over the coming century to be concentrated in sectors—such as information technology and medical care—that are relatively insulated from climate effects. Damages are therefore likely to be a smaller share of the future economy than they would be if they occurred today."

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"By gradually increasing the prices of fossil fuels and other goods and services associated with greenhouse-gas emissions, climate legislation—including the cap-and-trade provisions of H.R. 2454—would tend to reduce long-run risks from climate change. Such legislation would also reduce economic activity through a number of different channels, although the total effect would be modest compared with expected future growth in the economy."

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"Climate change is an international problem. The economic impacts of climate change are extremely uncertain and will vary globally. Impacts in the United States over the next 100 years are most likely to be modestly negative in the absence of policies to reduce greenhouse gases, but there is a risk that they could be severe. Impacts are almost certain to be serious in at least some parts of the world."

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"Agriculture and forestry are not covered sectors under the cap-and-trade system of H.R. 2454. Therefore producers in these sectors are not required to hold allowances for GHG emissions. Nonetheless, U.S. agriculture would be affected in a variety of ways. Energy providers’ compliance with GHG emissions reductions legislation will likely increase energy costs. Higher prices for fossil fuels and inputs would increase agricultural production costs, particularly for more energy-intensive crops. This would, in turn, affect plantings and production, which would affect the livestock sector through higher feed costs. Higher energy prices could also result in increased biofuel production."

Joseph Glauber
Hearing to Review the Potential Economic Impacts of Climate Change on the Farm Sector
House Agriculture Committee, Subcommittee on Conservation, Credit, Energy, and Research
December 2, 2009
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"Beyond the impact on individuals and households, cap-and-trade legislation also affects employment, especially in the manufacturing sector. We estimate job losses averaging over one million. Note that these are net job losses, after the much over-hyped new green jobs are taken into account. Some jobs will be destroyed entirely, others will be outsourced to nations like China or India that have no intention of hampering their own growth with similar measures to raise energy prices.

I should add that the costs are not distributed evenly. The burden of higher energy costs disproportionately hurts the poor, who spend a larger percentage of their incomes on energy."

Ben Lieberman
Heritage Lecture, #1156
The Heritage Foundation
June 16, 2010
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"Free economies tend to be prosperous economies, and wealthy societies are the ones with the means and the desire to address environmental problems. In addition, free economies tend to foster technological development that allows people to produce more with less. Markets are the best way of improving efficiencies, and that includes efficiency in energy use.

This is evident with regard to carbon dioxide emissions. The freest economies lead the way with technologies that reduce carbon intensity, that is, carbon emissions per unit of production. A recent study by the Cascade Policy Institute comes to a similar conclusion as a forthcoming Heritage study: The freest economies have lower carbon intensity, and thanks to constant technological improvements, those carbon intensities continue to fall. Less-free economies emit more carbon dioxide per unit output, and are not improving in the way of freer economies.

So I would argue against command and control and against large-scale interference with the economy. I would argue in favor of free markets, which will leave us wealthier and more technologically advanced and thus better equipped for the future. And that’s a policy that makes sense whether or not global warming turns out to be a problem."

Ben Lieberman
Heritage Lecture, #1156
The Heritage Foundation
June 16, 2010
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"Businesses rightfully have an interest in protecting their bottom lines. Many of them have calculated that some hodgepodge of green policies is inevitable and that their interests will be best served by trying to influence how Congress creates those policies. The best way to do that will be to position themselves as supporters of the legislation and then to provide helpful suggestions on how to 'improve' it. Representatives from the oil, coal, gas, wind, and solar industries, among others, have a stake in the game one way or another—either to stave off harmful legislation or to ensure that legislation is favorable to their business.

This process, known as rent-seeking (because it causes businesses to lobby for rules in their favor at the expense of others), is bad economics and bad for the consumer. Not only is there an opportunity cost to lobbying (business resources spent on lobbying could be spent elsewhere); politics governed by special interests typically worsens conditions for the consumer. Consumers are the ones who bear the costs of these government policies; meanwhile, industry receives a seemingly free windfall. The more that government becomes involved in energy decisions, the more money will be used for special interest politicking."

Nicolas Loris
Backgrounder, #2479
The Heritage Foundation
October 26, 2010
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"Recognizing policymakers’ commitment to reducing greenhouse gases, businesses shaped their plans around government policies, despite the fact they are based on poor scientific evidence. Companies worldwide are taking climate change into consideration when making short-term and long-term business decisions. ...

Businesses are not just changing day-to-day operations and preparing for higher energy costs, but also how they invest for the future. Johnson & Johnson is investing in renewable energy and now uses the most hybrid vehicles of any company in America. ... Wal-Mart CEO Scott Lee made a pledge that each of his stores would eventually run on 100 percent renewable energy. ... Coca Cola’s environmental initiative focuses not only on water stewardship and sustainable packaging, but also climate protection. ...

There is nothing wrong with these business decisions if they are made voluntarily. But if they are made in response to government policies favoring renewable energy over other sources, especially on questionable scientific grounds, it misallocates private resources, crowds out innovation, and wastes taxpayer money."

Nicolas Loris
Backgrounder, #2479
The Heritage Foundation
2010
26
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"The Copenhagen conference last year quickly devolved from a discussion on how to cost-effectively curtail greenhouse gas emissions—the primary culprit behind global warming, according to the U.N.—into a browbeating session designed to get developed countries to accept massive economic costs arising from carbon dioxide cuts and to provide billions of dollars in wealth transfers (up to $100 billion annually was discussed in Copenhagen last year) to help developing nations cope with the projected consequences of a changing climate."

Nicolas Loris
The Foundry
The Heritage Foundation
2010
19
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"No one likes to pay higher taxes. But every realistic observer knows that closing our humongous federal budget deficit will require a mix of higher taxes and lower spending as shares of GDP. Forget about value-added taxes and other new levies you may have heard about. A CO2 tax trumps them all.

Among the major benefits is that a carbon tax would reduce oil imports. Everyone knows that we import too much oil—even if we ignore the fact that much of what we pay for it goes to countries that are not exactly friendly to us. In recent years, our imports of energy-related petroleum products have accounted for nearly two-thirds of our overall trade deficit in goods and services.

Everyone also knows that CO2 emissions are the major cause of global climate change, that climate change poses a clear and present danger to our planet, and that the U.S. contributes a huge share of global emissions. Up to now, our country has done approximately nothing to curb CO2 emissions. A stiff tax would make a world of difference."

Alan S. Blinder
The Wall Street Journal
January 31, 2011
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"When the savings of new, more energy efficient technologies exceed the costs of adopting those technologies, markets have the incentive to adopt them. Indeed the difference between the savings and the costs is the measure of the increased value the economy generates. But it is the voluntary participants in these market transactions that best know the full spectrum of the costs and benefits that matter most to them. While engineers, accountants, technicians, and others might help to inform consumers and producers, no number of green eyeshades, calculators, and lab equipment can substitute for a consumer’s or firm owner’s own determination of value.

In other words, policies mandating energy technologies that markets resist will reduce national income and slow the economic growth that generates good new jobs."

David W. Kreutzer Ph.D.
U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space, and Technology; Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight
April 13, 2011
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"In addition, it does not matter how an economy’s scarce resources are diverted from their most valued uses. Whether by a cap-and-trade law, or regulatory policy, or by subsidies, when consumers or producers are forced to use or pay for expensive or less suitable energy sources or technologies, the value of their production and consumption drops."

David W. Kreutzer Ph.D.
U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space, and Technology; Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight
April 13, 2011
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"A popular misconception encouraged by many in the debate over the cap-and-trade bills, such as Waxman–Markey, was that restricting access to affordable fossil fuels leads to even greater economic activity as markets adapt to the new, artificial constraints. Such a conclusion implies that the new substitutes, whether they be products or processes, are so superior and/or so much cheaper in comparison to the old technology that consumers and producers find the benefits exceed the costs. However, it is exactly this sort of better substitute that markets are constantly striving to find."

David W. Kreutzer Ph.D.
U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space, and Technology; Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight
April 13, 2011
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"In common with many other environmental problems, human-induced climate change is at its most basic level an externality. Those who produce greenhouse-gas emissions are bringing about climate change, thereby imposing costs on the world and on future generations, but they do not face directly, neither via markets nor in other ways, the full consequences of the costs of their actions.

Much economic activity involves the emission of greenhouse gases (GHGs). As GHGs accumulate in the atmosphere, temperatures increase, and the climatic changes that result impose costs (and some benefits) on society. However, the full costs of GHG emissions, in terms of climate change, are not immediately – indeed they are unlikely ever to be – borne by the emitter, so they face little or no economic incentive to reduce emissions. Similarly, emitters do not have to compensate those who lose out because of climate change. ... In this sense, human-induced climate change is an externality, one that is not ‘corrected’ through any institution or market, ... unless policy intervenes."

Nicholas Stern
The National Archives
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"According to calculations by Lombard Street Research in the UK, any global treaty that would stabilise the climate at today's temperatures would cost a total of £8 trillion--45% of the world's current annual economic output, causing permanent economic depression.

Economic growth is an absolute pre-requisite for improved health. One study has shown that if economic growth in the developing world had been a mere 1.5% higher in the 1980s, at least 500,000 child deaths could have been prevented.

This is because much of the disease burden in developing countries is a direct result of poverty. Diarrhoea, chest infections from burning wood and dung indoors, water-borne infections and malnutrition are the biggest killers of children, killing millions regardless of any changes in the climate."

Philip Stevens
International Policy Network
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Quotes on the environmental impact of climate change from leading experts, scientists, economists, and politicians.

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"A half mile below the ground at Prudhoe Bay, above the vast oil field that helped trigger construction of the trans-Alaska pipeline, a drill rig has tapped what researchers think could be the next big energy source."

The question policymakers should be asking is how aggressive do policies need to be in the near term. Society needs to weigh a number of alternatives besides just stabilizing concentrations at 550 ppm.

As with all policy decisions, the choice between combating climate change or continuing the current greenhouse gas emissions trend is a choice between different sets of risks, costs, and benefits.

"A half mile below the ground at Prudhoe Bay, above the vast oil field that helped trigger construction of the trans-Alaska pipeline, a drill rig has tapped what might one day be the next big energy source."

According to present scientific calculations, environmental damage from global warming at current rates of carbon dioxide emissions will be extensive, especially in the latter half of this century and throughout the next few centuries. Because the effects would take so long to appear, there is great uncertainty about their extent.

the expression ‘climate change will be worse for the poor’ amounts to a much stronger argument for creating wealth than it does for the abolition of climate change.

In a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, Alan Blinder listed numerous alleged benefits of a phased-in carbon tax. ... A more balanced assessment shows that a carbon tax presents very real dangers, even if we rely on the same economic analysis that so enthralled Blinder.

So it is with global-warming legislation and the economy. Government-forced cuts in energy use, whether by cap and trade or by a clean-energy standard, would cut incomes and destroy jobs.

A House-passed bill that targets climate change through a cap-and-trade system of pollution credits would slow the nation's economic growth slightly over the next few decades and would create 'significant' job losses ...

With each passing year, it’s clear that international climate change talks are less about climate and more about wealth redistribution.

As Congress considers far-reaching federal climate-change legislation, there has been far too little discussion on the economic costs such policies would impose at the state, local and household levels.

"The Arctic will retain its power to amaze for a long time. Yet it is now changing beyond the usual regional and annual variations in sea-ice formation, glacier melt and so forth. The Arctic is clearly melting. Its floating ice cap is shrinking and thinning and its glaciers are retreating. By the end of this century, maybe much sooner, there will be frequent Arctic summers with almost no sea...

The Stern Review recommended urgent, immediate, and sharp reductions in greenhouse-gas emissions. These findings differ markedly from economic models that calculate least-cost emissions paths to stabilize concentrations or paths that balance the costs and benefits of emissions reductions.

But the economic reality is that PHEVs are not ready for primetime, and the best indicator for when they will be is when the government stops using taxpayer dollars to subsidize their production and consumption.

One such favourite claim states that climate change will lead to the rapid spread of vector-borne diseases, such as malaria, yellow fever and dengue, to new areas. This claim, however, slithers through scientific fact.

Almost all the increase in energy demand and emissions will come from developing countries, where a quarter of the global population lacks any access to electricity.

"Late for a party? Miss a meeting? Forget to pay your rent? Blame climate change; everyone else is doing it. From an increase in severe acne to all societal collapses since the beginning of time, just about everything gone wrong in the world today can be attributed to climate change. Here’s a list of 100 storylines blaming climate change as the problem."

The optimal way to deal with potential climate change is not to embark on a futile attempt to prevent it but to promote growth and prosperity so that people will have the resources to deal with the normal set of natural disasters.

Will government solutions to global warming be worse than global warming itself? Remember that man-made global warming is a negative externality that occurs when burning fossil fuels release carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

A lot of businesses, convinced that the federal government will somehow raise the price of using fossil fuels, are investing in developing green technologies because they believe that the market for them is bound to grow.

"The world's governments are beginning to come to grips with the reality that crude oil is a finite resource."

Many people often assume that one of the negative impacts of climate change will be a decrease in crop production. In this piece, however, Ron Bailey cites a few studies suggesting that increased temperatures could actually increase production.

"When Energy Secretary Stephen Chu announced a half-billion dollars in federal stimulus loans to solar panel maker Solyndra, he called the move part of an aggressive effort to put more Americans to work and end U.S. dependence on foreign oil. But nearly two years to the day later, the bankrupt Solyndra needs help just to keep it own electricity service from being shut off."

The Lancet report details at length how warmer temperatures will lead to so-called tropical diseases such as malaria moving northwards and to higher altitudes. But this ignores the vast range of human and ecological factors that surround disease.

An open question: is global warming worse than what governments might try to do about it? Ronald Bailey reviews the Stern Report, which makes an economic argument in favor of immediate, extraordinary action to stop climate change.

What is this miraculous policy? It's called a carbon tax—really, a carbon dioxide tax—but one that starts at zero and ramps up gradually over time.

As it gears up for a battle over cap-and-trade, the Obama administration is painting a dire picture of the potential effects of global climate change on the American economy.

This piece briefly breaks down the scientific studies available on the economic impacts of climate change.

what we need to do is weigh the risks of global warming against the risks of global warming policy. We don’t want to do more economic harm than environmental good.

The real costs Americans will face if they are to meet President Bush's recently stated goal of stopping the growth of the U.S.'s greenhouse gas emissions by 2025. He also explains why none of the policies proposed by the three presidential candidates are economically feasible.

Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions: What are the Real Economic Costs?
Margo Thorning
Center of the American Experiment Forum
March 6, 2008

"Whatever one thinks or fears about global warming -- how significant or hyped it might be, how dangerous or inconsequential it might be, or...

Global Warming: Risks and Consequences
A "Reason in DC" discussion featuring Lynne Kiesling, Ronald Bailey, and Fred L. Smith

"Few topics generate more heat than global warming and possible policy solutions to increases in the average global temperatures. Indeed, the options bandied about range from doing nothing to...

Chart or Graph

Emissions of CO2, which accounts for the largest share of greenhouse gases, grew at an average annual rate of around 2½% between 1950 and 2000.

The excessive projections of the Stern Review derive from ignoring hard data on concentration trends, and instead using carbon cycle models to predict concentrations from projected emissions.

CBO estimates that households in the lowest income quintile in 2020 would see an average gain in purchasing power of 0.7 percent of after-tax income, or about $125 measured at 2010 income levels.

If we substitute the Stern Review’s assumptions about time discounting and the consumption elasticity into the DICE model, the calculated optimal carbon tax is much higher and rises much more rapidly.

The horizontal axis of Figure 1 shows the increase in average global temperature. The vertical index shows the central estimate of welfare impact.

In the optimistic cases, commodity prices decline, as there are benefits from warming in all areas, with the exception of electricity-based space cooling, under each of the climate change scenarios.

For the pessimistic cases, ... mechanisms reverse and climate change leads to higher unit costs and prices.

The effect on global emissions of the decrease in global energy intensity during 1970 to 2004 has been smaller than the combined effect of global per capita income growth and global population growth.

Table 3 provides summary estimates of the direct effects of climate change on specific market sectors. Here, positive effects represent market benefits while negative effects signal economic costs.

The real, observed concentration of methane has not increased for the last 7 years, contrary to all IPCC modelling and scenarios.

The allowances created by Waxman-Markey to restrain CO2 emissions do not create economic value, which is another way of saying that the allowances do not improve the material well-being of Americans.

The legislation would increase unemployment levels for every year: 1.9 million fewer jobs in 2012, and an average of 1.14 million fewer jobs from 2012 through 2035.

The legislation would reduce the economy by no less than $120 billion in any year, with an average loss of $314 billion from 2012 to 2035 and cumulative losses exceeding $9.4 trillion.

Analysis Report White Paper

"This book reports on a completely revised version of earlier models developed by the author and collaborators to understand the economic and environmental dynamics of alternative approaches to slowing global warming."

Heritage Foundation energy policy experts explain why an imposed national RES would be bad for families, bad for business, and bad for the economy.

The Review’s unambiguous conclusions about the need for extreme immediate action will not survive the substitution of assumptions that are consistent with today’s marketplace real interest rates and savings rates.

"The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change projects that temperatures in the major grain-growing areas of North America will rise by 3–4 °C by 2100. Such abrupt changes will create major challenges, significantly altering the area suitable for wheat."

Some of the most important disagreements about how aggressively to respond to the threat of climate change turn on the choice of the discount rate.

How sensitive are intensively-managed and lightly-impacted ecosystems to different levels of climate change?

United States has relatively less to lose from climate change. In these circumstances, what does justice require the United States to do?

The welfare theory is developed in the context of three empirical studies on the economics of global climate change. I argue that the theoretical foundations of intergenerational welfare economics are still unsettled even in deterministic models.

We study the economic impacts of climate-change-induced change in human health, viz. cardiovascular and respiratory disorders, diarrhoea, malaria, dengue fever and schistosomiasis.

While this study does find the possibility of agricultural losses under models that assume the largest temperature increases, it generally concludes that the world will be able to continue feeding itself over the next century, despite global warming.

"The only consensus over the threat of climate change that seems to exist these days is that there is no consensus. The much-heralded 2007 United Nations report on greenhouse gas emissions has served as a catalyst for lawmakers to burden traditional energy sources with regulations in favor of so-called clean energy."

"The evidence for global warming's being relatively benign is overwhelming. Historical data show that climate has always fluctuated but that warmer climates were better for plants and animals, including humans; statistics demonstrate that warm weather and hot climates reduce mortality and morbidity...."

Climate change is mainly projected to add to existing problems, rather than create new ones. Of particular significance are four categories of hazards to human health and safety which have frequently been cited as major reasons for controlling greenhouse gas emissions.

This paper explores a range of methodological issues surrounding projecting greenhouse emissions over the next century, including an evaluation of the Castles and Henderson critique.

This study finds that the impacts from global warming are likely to be quite modest for the next century.

An article attempting to place a positive economic spin on environmentalism. It hopes to turn the typically dour business opinion of it into a new way to create profit and capital in the world.

Despite using many good references, the Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change is selective and its conclusion flawed. Its fear-mongering arguments have been sensationalized, which is ultimately only likely to make the world worse off.

Climate change presents a unique challenge for economics: it is the greatest example of market failure we have ever seen.

Three strategies, stimulating technological change, sustainable economic growth and free, unsubsidized trade, to enhance future adaptability to global change and develop social, legal and economic frameworks necessary to effect these strategies.

The present study uses the tools of economics and mathematical modeling to analyze efficient and inefficient approaches to slowing global warming.

Since energy is the lifeblood of the American economy, 85 percent of which comes from CO2-emitting fossil fuels, the Waxman-Markey bill represents an extraordinary level of economic interference by the federal government.

In this essay, I begin with a review of the estimates of the total economic effects of climate change. I then focus on marginal cost estimates, which are especially important for economists thinking about policy design.

The present note investigates alternative approaches to estimating the economic impact of abrupt climate change. A number of different approaches are reviewed: surveys, time-series methods, sectoral studies, capital-stockdepreciation estimates, and threshold analyses.

"The economics of climate change uses economic theory and computer models to study the interactions among government policies, the climate system, and the economy. In this article, I survey the field and some of its major controversies."

The year 2005 brought record numbers of hurricanes and storm damages to the United States. Was this a foretaste of increasingly destructive hurricanes in an era of global warming? This study examines the economic impacts of U.S. hurricanes.

"[N]ew research suggests that climate warming will not be as harmful as we once thought it might be. Climate scientists have reduced the magnitude of predicted warming, suggesting milder future climate scenarios."

The shadow price of carbon is an important indicator of the global incremental damage done by emitting greenhouse gases today. Cost-benefit analysis would set the optimal amount of greenhouse-gas-emission reduction.

Two extensive critiques of the Stern Review by various economic and climate change experts.

This report presents a review of economic studies for the United States and relates them to predicted impacts of climate change.

In this report, a team of authors led by Dale Jorgenson of Harvard University developed an integrated assessment of the potential impacts of climate change on the U.S. market economy through the year 2100.

This analysis provides an excellent overview of a variety of issues surrounding climate change and concludes the best way for the world to "combat" climate change is, "...by reducing present-day vulnerabilities to climate-sensitive problems that could be exacerbated by climate change rather than through overly aggressive GHG reductions.

Video/Podcast/Media

A panel of experts recently took on these questions in an Oxford-style debate. The motion for the Jan. 13 debate, part of the Intelligence Squared U.S. series, was: 'Major Reductions in Carbon Emissions Are Not Worth the Money.'

In this podcast, Patrick J. Michaels discusses the 2009 G20 summit and the worldwide struggle over climate change and emission issues.

Economist Margo Thorning discusses the likely consequences of Minnesota's proposed Climate Mitigation Action Plan on employment, household income, and new investments in the state. She also talks about the likely economic and environmental effects of bills currently before Congress, including the Lieberman-Warner Climate Security Act.

In two of his recent op-eds for the New York Times, Nobel laureate Paul Krugman has challenged critics of the government's intentions to regulate carbon dioxide emissions, and he has even specifically endorsed the pending Waxman-Markey bill which includes a 'cap-and-trade' program.

Economist Frank Ackerman argues that the standard economic models used to calculate the global cost of protection, versus the cost of destruction of the planet, focus on an incomplete cost-benefit analysis.

In this clip, Al Gore ... [compares] skeptics of climate change to racists during the Civil Rights Movement. Gore was sitting down for an interview with Alex Bogusky of the Climate Reality Project, and suggested that young people today whose parents do not believe in climate change are asking the same questions now that race-conscious young people in the 60s asked their parents.

Few topics generate more heat than global warming and possible policy solutions to increases in the average global temperatures. Indeed, the options bandied about range from doing nothing to applying planet-wide restrictions on all aspects of energy consumption and technology.

"Competitive Enterprise Institute Senior Fellow Marlo Lewis discusses the United Nations global warming negotiations in Poznan, Poland and how the current economic crisis will affect future environmental policies."

This video features a debate on fossil fuels and their effect on the environment. Patrick Michaels argues that implementing a carbon tax in order to save the environment would be deadly, but his discussion partners disagree.

In his first address to the United Nations as Commander-in- Chief, President Obama addresses the pressing issue of climate change. The one-day UN summit brought together delegations from 90 nations.

A dedicated, unabashed, free market capitalist, T. J. Rodgers takes a businessman's and engineer's view of global warming.

This film by the documentary-maker Martin Durkin presents the arguments of scientists and commentators who don't believe that CO2 produced by human activity is the main cause of climate change.

"Competitive Enterprise Institute Senior Fellow Marlo Lewis explains the truth about global warming in his film Policy Peril: Why Global Warming Policies Are More Dangerous Than Global Warming Itself. The movie includes cameos from Heritage’s Ben Lieberman and David Kreuzter and is full of talking points to debunk the common catastrophic global warming stories you always hear."

Primary Document

Popularly known as the Waxman-Markey bill, this document sought "To create clean energy jobs, achieve energy independence, reduce global warming pollution and transition to a clean energy economy." Highly contentious, the bill failed to pass before the end of the 111th Congress.

In order to create a clean energy economy that will increase our Nation's prosperity, promote energy security, protect the interests of taxpayers, and safeguard the health of our environment, the Federal Government must lead by example.

We are back here at Georgetown today because global climate change clearly is one of the most important of those challenges and also one of the most complex, crossing the disciplines of environmental science, economics ... and global diplomacy...

Produced by the English Parliament, this piece of climate change legislation seeks, among other things, "to set a target for the year 2050 for the reduction of targeted greenhouse gas emissions; to provide for a system of carbon budgeting; to establish a Committee on Climate Change; [and] to confer powers to establish trading schemes for the purpose of limiting greenhouse gas emissions or encouraging activities that reduce such emissions or remove greenhouse gas from the atmosphere...."

To move the United States toward greater energy independence and security....

I see this Conference helping to accelerate the IPCC's agenda as it searches for understanding of some very critical questions, broadening the dialog by exploring the link between scientific research and economic analysis in the study of global change.

The recommendations that this distinguished organization makes can have a profound effect on the world's environmental and economic policy. By being here today, I hope to underscore my country's and my own personal concern about your work, about environmental stewardship, and to reaffirm our commitment to finding responsible solutions. It's both an honor and a pleasure to be the first American President to speak to this organization, as its work takes shape.

Thank you for your letter of March 6, 2001, asking for the Administration's views on global climate change, in particular the Kyoto Protocol and efforts to regulate carbon dioxide under the Clean Air Act.

This report summarizes the science of climate change and the impacts of climate change on the United States, now and in the future.

When the savings of new, more energy efficient technologies exceed the costs of adopting those technologies, markets have the incentive to adopt them. Indeed the difference between the savings and the costs is the measure of the increased value the economy generates.

On December 2, 2009, Congressman Tim Holden ... held a hearing to review economic analyses that consider the potential economic impacts of climate change on the farm sector.

The main activity of the IPCC is to provide at regular intervals Assessment Reports of the state of knowledge on climate change. The latest one is "Climate Change 2007", the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report.

Under a regime that taxes CO2 directly, the transfer of revenue is not the immediate source of economic damage. The damage is a result of the behavioral changes brought about by the tax.

"The Kyoto Protocol is an international agreement linked to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. The major feature of the Kyoto Protocol is that it sets binding targets for 37 industrialized countries and the European community for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. These amount to an average of five per cent against 1990 levels over the five-year period 2008-2012."

[W]hat the Stern Review shows is how the economic benefits of strong early action easily outweighs any costs.

The analysis draws from numerous published sources to summarize the current state of climate science and provide a conceptual framework for addressing climate change as an economic concern.

The economic impacts of climate change on the farm sector are broad, complex and will evolve slowly over the next decades.

Global climate change poses one of the nation’s most significant long-term policy challenges.

An overview of issues related to climate change, focusing primarily on its economic aspects. The study draws from published sources to summarize the state of climate science and provide a framework for addressing climate change as an economic problem.

I cannot think of a business that will be more directly and profoundly impacted by global warming than the ski business.

The aim [of this document] is to give a new as yet unnamed U.N. body the power to directly intervene in the financial, economic, tax and environmental affairs of all the nations that sign the Copenhagen treaty.

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