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Climate and economic storms of our grandchildren

  • John A. “Skip” LaitnerEmail author
Article

Abstract

The evidence continues to mount. As our industrial economy continues to dump large amounts of carbon into the atmosphere, we are affecting the atmospheric chemistry of the global climate. This has led prominent physicist and climate scientist James Hansen to reach the “startling conclusion” that the continued exploitation of fossil fuels threatens not only the planet, but also the survival of humanity itself. At the same time, however, the evidence also suggests that the lagging rate of energy productivity is among the critical reasons for both a slumping economy and an imperiled climate. Hansen further suggests the backbone of a strategy to ensure a “global phaseout” of all fossil fuels is to encourage “a rising price on carbon.” This paper suggests we can achieve the same result in a less costly manner through cost-effective energy efficiency programs and standards. This action will require a smaller carbon charge even as we strengthen the robustness of the larger economy.

Keywords

Climate change Carbon charge Economic activity Energy efficiency 

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Copyright information

© AESS 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Economic and Human Dimensions Research AssociatesTucsonUSA

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