In his recent post “Twenty Ethical Questions that the U.S. Press Should Ask Opponents of Climate Change Policies” (ClimateEthics.org), Donald A. Brown writes:

By far the most frequent arguments made in opposition to climate change policies are economic predictions of various kinds such as claims that proposed climate change legislation will destroy jobs, reduce GDP, damage U.S. businesses such as the coal and petroleum industries, or increase the cost of fuel. A variation of this argument is that the United States should not adopt policies on climate change until other nations such as China take steps to reduce their emissions because if the United States acts and other nations don’t reciprocate this will harm the U.S. economy.

Mainstream climate economists have been among the worst practitioners of these kinds of scare tactics. Indeed, some of the best-known climate economists have long advocated doing very little very slowly.

If you’re looking for climate economics that tells the other side of the story, try RealClimateEconomics.org, a self-described “reader’s guide to the real economics of climate change, an emerging body of scholarship that is consistent with the urgency of the problem as seen from a climate science perspective.”

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