Tuesday, August 29, 2023

[NJFAC] Critiquing economists, especially Wm Nordhaus. for underplaying climate change

"Blame economists for decades of false security And the cataclysmic gap between theory, policy and ecosystem collapse https://annpettifor.substack.com/p/blame-economists-for-decades-of-false Ann Pettifor Aug 21, 2023


Nordhaus's 1991 paper "To Slow or Not to Slow: The Economics of The Greenhouse Effect", published in the prestigious Economic Journal—one of only 9 papers that this journal has ever published on climate change — kicked off the practice of economists estimating the economic effects of climate change.

In it, Nordhaus assumed that 87% of America's GDP— manufacturing, mining, utilities, retail and wholesale services, government, and finance—would be "negligibly affected by climate change", because these activities take place in "carefully controlled environments that will not be directly affected by climate change" (Nordhaus 1991, p. 930).

Keen explains that:

The only thing these industries have in common is that they occur under cover (if one ignores, as Nordhaus evidently did in 1991, open-cast mining), and therefore are not directly exposed to the weather. The industries he said would be "potentially severely impacted"—farming, forestry and fishing—are affected by the weather.

Nordhaus therefore effectively equated being exposed to climate change to being exposed to the weather.


Nordhaus shared the Nobel in Economics, sponsored by the Swedish Central Bank, in 2018 for his work on climate. jz
June Zaccone
National Jobs for All Network

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