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Posted By Don Boudreaux On October 21, 2013 @ 2:55 pm In Cleaned by Capitalism,Crony Capitalism,Data,Economics,Environment,Politics,Regulation | Comments Disabled

Matt Ridley reports the scientific consensus that climate change has been a net benefit to humanity, and will continue to be so until at least the year 2080 [1].  Here’s a slice (emphasis added):

Now Prof [Richard] Tol has a new paper, published as a chapter in a new book, called How Much have Global Problems Cost the World?, which is edited by Bjorn Lomborg, director of the Copenhagen Consensus Centre, and was reviewed by a group of leading economists. In this paper he casts his gaze backwards to the last century. He concludes that climate change did indeed raise human and planetary welfare during the 20th century.

You can choose not to believe the studies Prof Tol has collated. Or you can say the net benefit is small (which it is), you can argue that the benefits have accrued more to rich countries than poor countries (which is true) or you can emphasise that after 2080 climate change would probably do net harm to the world (which may also be true). You can even say you do not trust the models involved (though they have proved more reliable than the temperature models). But what you cannot do is deny that this is the current consensus. If you wish to accept the consensus on temperature models, then you should accept the consensus on economic benefit.

UPDATE: In light of the findings that Matt Ridley here reports, should Greg Mankiw and other members of the Pigou Club [2] switch from advocating taxes on carbon emissions to advocating subsidies for carbon emissions? :-)

Here’s Jason Brennan on Raj Chetty on the question: Is economics a science? [3]

Bob Higgs explains clearly the meaning of regime uncertainty [4].

Here’s CEI’s Wayne Crews (M.A. in Econ, GMU, by the way) writing in Forbes on regulatory budgeting [5].

Although the government ‘shutdown’ is now over, my old teacher Randy Holcombe’s thoughts from a few weeks ago on retroactive pay for furloughed government workers are still worth reading [6].

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URLs in this post:

[1] Matt Ridley reports the scientific consensus that climate change has been a net benefit to humanity, and will continue to be so until at least the year 2080: http://www.spectator.co.uk/features/9057151/carry-on-warming/

[2] Pigou Club: http://gregmankiw.blogspot.com/2006/10/pigou-club-manifesto.html

[3] Here’s Jason Brennan on Raj Chetty on the question: Is economics a science?: http://bleedingheartlibertarians.com/2013/10/is-economics-a-science/

[4] Bob Higgs explains clearly the meaning of regime uncertainty: http://blog.independent.org/2013/10/17/government-spending-and-regime-uncertainty-a-clarification/

[5] Here’s CEI’s Wayne Crews (M.A. in Econ, GMU, by the way) writing in Forbes on regulatory budgeting: http://www.forbes.com/sites/waynecrews/2013/10/21/toward-a-regulatory-budget-part-1-ending-the-abuse-of-executive-and-legislative-power/

[6] Although the government ‘shutdown’ is now over, my old teacher Randy Holcombe’s thoughts from a few weeks ago on retroactive pay for furloughed government workers are still worth reading: http://blog.independent.org/2013/10/06/retroactive-pay-for-furloughed-government-workers/

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