Princeton ; Oxford : Princeton University Press, 
Book — xi, 250 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm
Bailing out the planet
What you can do
A different kind of optimism.
If you had a 10 percent chance of having a fatal car accident, you'd take necessary precautions. If your finances had a 10 percent chance of suffering a severe loss, you'd reevaluate your assets. So if we know the world is warming and there's a 10 percent chance this might eventually lead to a catastrophe beyond anything we could imagine, why aren't we doing more about climate change right now? We insure our lives against an uncertain future--why not our planet? In Climate Shock, Gernot Wagner and Martin Weitzman explore in lively, clear terms the likely repercussions of a hotter planet, drawing on and expanding from work previously unavailable to general audiences. They show that the longer we wait to act, the more likely an extreme event will happen. A city might go underwater. A rogue nation might shoot particles into the Earth's atmosphere, geoengineering cooler temperatures. Zeroing in on the unknown extreme risks that may yet dwarf all else, the authors look at how economic forces that make sensible climate policies difficult to enact, make radical would-be fixes like geoengineering all the more probable. What we know about climate change is alarming enough. What we don't know about the extreme risks could be far more dangerous. Wagner and Weitzman help readers understand that we need to think about climate change in the same way that we think about insurance--as a risk management problem, only here on a global scale. Demonstrating that climate change can and should be dealt with--and what could happen if we don't do so--Climate Shock tackles the defining environmental and public policy issue of our time. (source: Nielsen Book Data)
You are one of seven billion people on Earth. Put bluntly, whatever you do personally - eat tofu in a Hummer or hamburgers in a Prius - the planet doesn't care. Nor, for that matter, does the economy. And when confronting the entwined challenges of climate change, species preservation, and a planet going off the cliff, it is what several billion people do that makes a difference. The solution? Not scientists, not politicians, not activists. Cue the economists. The hope of mankind, and indeed of every living thing on the planet, is now in the hands of the masters of the dismal science. Fortunately, they've been there before, albeit on a much smaller scale. It was economists who solved acid rain in the 1990s, admittedly with a strong assist from a phalanx of lawyers and activists. Economists have helped get lead out of our gas, and they can explain why lobsters haven't disappeared off the coast of New England but tuna is on the verge of extinction. More disquietingly, they can take the lessons of the financial crisis and model with greater accuracy than anyone else the likelihood of environmental catastrophe, and they can rationalize the abandonment of threatened species. They can also solve the climate crisis, if only we let them. (source: Nielsen Book Data)