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The Review of Austrian Economics

, Volume 26, Issue 2, pp 183–206 | Cite as

Austrian economics and climate change

  • Graham DawsonEmail author
Article

Abstract

The aim of this paper is to outline and defend an Austrian policy response to climate change. A privatised climate change policy, based on Austrian welfare economics, is the only way to defend to the greatest possible degree the liberties both of fossil fuel users and people whose property rights will be violated if carbon emissions cause climate change. Neoclassical and ‘Post-Austrian’ analyses of climate change are both theoretically unsound and impractical, in requiring for their implementation a foundation in reliable scientific knowledge that is not available. Anthropogenic climate change is a putative interpersonal conflict rather than market failure. The use of fossil fuels should be subject to side-constraints designed to avoid the infringement of other people’s property rights. Tort litigation would protect these rights, where necessary. Litigation would also promote the public understanding and even the advancement of climate science.

Keywords

Climate change Neoclassical economics ‘Post-Austrian’ economics Austrian economics 

JEL

B5 K3 Q5 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Visiting Research Fellow in the Max Beloff Centre for the Study of LibertyThe University of BuckinghamBuckinghamUK

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