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the Climate Casino - Risk, Uncertainty, and Economics for a Warming World [Anglais] [Relié]

William Nordhaus

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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) 4.3 étoiles sur 5  35 commentaires
21 internautes sur 21 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 A Great Book for Understanding Approaches to Solving The Global Warming Problem 25 novembre 2013
Par Gerald R. North - Publié sur
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
I have been a climate scientist for more than 30 years, always staying away from voicing my opinion about policy issues. This book among other recent events has caused me to speak out more. The case for coal being the dominant cause of AGW is made convincingly in this book. Most other fixes are inconsequential. The various alternative approaches to dealing with the problem are explained clearly. Taxation of carbon via cap and trade or a direct tax is covered nicely. Another key principle often misunderstood by the public is discounting, again explained and illustrated well. This is a great book, clearly written and accessible to all who want to know more about the subject. I hope it is read by millions of caring citizens.
Gerald R. North
14 internautes sur 15 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Excellent supplement and update to earlier work by the expert 8 novembre 2013
Par DavidMills - Publié sur
Includes lots of good subject matter not covered thoroughly in his 2008 book, and elaborates on his earlier report of the DICE model projections (as far as I can tell).

Notes and Quotes:

(p. 10) "current low-carbon technologies cannot substitute for fossil fuels without a substantial penalty on carbon emissions," proof of this is in Chapter 23.

(p. 18) explains meaning of externality = "public good" (actually bad in this case, so he doesn't use this common econ lingo in book.)

(p. 21) Good log-linear plot (he calls it "ratio" scale) of global CO2 emissions since 1900, shows trend of 2.6% per year.

(p. 22) Nice plot of emissions/unit output, trend in US is -1.8% per year (from peak in 1920).

For US, says real output is 3.4% per year, so net emissions currently increasing at 1.6% per year.
For world, real is 3.7% BUT emissions only -1.1%, so for planet, emissions increasing at 2.6% per year (as Fig 2 showed).

(p. 71) Definition managed system. "From an economic point of view, decline and collapse (of some civilizations) came from narrowly based economic structures heavily dependent on unmanaged or mismanaged systems, with poor trade linkages to enable provisioning from other regions." (i.e., Anazazi, Easter Island).

(p. 82) "paradox" that "People will have substantially higher living standards in the growth world even after subtracting the damages from the changing climate." See Fig. 13. But note in unrestrained growth case temperature reaches nearly 6 C by 2200!

(p. 83-84) He states that food production can increase for local temps to +3 C (from now?) based on fourth IPCC report.

(p108) says 4% of population AND output are less than 10 meters, admits this "probably exaggerates" the risk

Good image of "fuzzy telescope" particularly for sea level rise.

Chap 11 covers "Wildlife and Species Loss" very well.

(p. 133), "80 percent of the underlying tree of life survived even when 95 percent of species were lost."

(p. 153) geoengineering by injecting aerosols cost 1/10 to 1/100 as much as reducing CO2 emissions for same cooling!

(p. 189) "Most research on long-term economic growth suggests that continued growth is a good bet. After all, the information and biotechnology revolutions have just begun. Moreover other countries can grow significantly just by catching up…"

Figure 29 (p. 207) Great explanation of minimum in total cost with no discounting. It's at 2.3 C. Fig 31 assumes limited participation and discounting at 4%, gets minimum at 4 C. Probably more realistic goal.

Table 8 (p 229) shows impact of carbon tax at $25 per ton is only increase of 11% on gas, 31% on electricity. Table 10 gives suggested rates versus year for US, 2015 at $25/ton costing 1% of GDP, 2030 at $53/ton equal to 1.25% of GDP

Chap 23 reviews alternative technology, says it will take carbon tax to force major phase out of existing coal and gas plants.
18 internautes sur 21 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Good introduction 3 novembre 2013
Par Richard Tol - Publié sur
This is Nordhaus' second attempt (after Question of Balance 2008) to write a popular book about the economics of climate change. The core message is the same: Climate change is a problem worth solving, but climate policy requires careful thought. Nordhaus has been saying this for 30 odd years. The book is not aimed at me but I enjoyed reading it. I think it is a good introduction to the intricacies of efficient and effective climate policy.
13 internautes sur 15 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Useful; Too Optimistic 5 janvier 2014
Par R. Albin - Publié sur
This is a useful survey of global warming from the very distinguished environmental economist William Nordhaus. To some extent, this book is a summary, aimed at a broad audience, of Nordhaus' extensive work on the economics of global warming. Nordhaus provides a "soup to nuts" survey. The book is divided into 5 sections. He opens with a solid section on the basic features of global warming, followed by a description of likely short-term impacts (short-term being essentially this century). The next two sections, and the heart of the book, are devoted to the economics of global warming. Part 3 looks at strategies for and costs of slowing global warming and Part 4 at the institutional changes needed to implement the required policies. The final section looks at the politics of global warming.

Nordhaus is particularly interested in introducing and explaining basic concepts of economics and data from what is now a large body of economically informed analysis. The co-author of a highly successful basic textbook, he is generally quite successful in this objective. Overall, I found this book to be clear, well organized, generally well written, and thoughtful. Its definitely superior to Nordhaus' last effort at public education.

Nordhaus presents global warming as a very serious but manageable problem, if appropriate actions are taken. Nordhaus argues well that, assuming economically efficient policies are implemented, major impacts of global warming can be reduced without enormous worldwide costs. He emphasizes that decarbonization through mitigation is the both the most effective and cost-effective approach, that a universal carbon tax or equivalent cap-and-trade system should be a cornerstone of policy, and that considerable investment in and subsidy of new technologies will be required, Much of his discussion contains some interesting detail. In an interesting analysis, he shows that extent of national participation has a bigger impact on projected cost-benefit analyses than discounting procedures. Similarly, while he strongly favors a carbon tax or cap-and-trade system as the basic policy instrument, he makes a strong case for complementary and well formulated regulatory measures. I particularly recommend Chapter 18 and Figures 29-32, which provide a nice framework for thinking about cost-benefit accounting in this context.

Despite these considerable positive features, there are some aspects of this book which may be bit misleading. While Nordhaus regards climate change as a grave danger, I suspect he is still somewhat too optismistic about climate change impacts. Some of his misplaced optimism may be due ot outdated data. The chapter on agricultural impacts paints a relatively rosy picture for short-term impacts but the most recent analyses are significantly more pessimistic. I don't think Nordhaus has really assimiliated the existence of long-term feedbacks (tipping points in his parlance) into his thinking. The threshold for these may well be lower than we expect and avoiding long-term disaster may well require more aggressive action now. For an interesting perspective on this issue, see a recent paper in PLoSOne by James Hansen and a group of distinguished colleagues. In this sense, the title of this book, The Climate Casino, is unfortunate. While some of Nordhaus' language indicates he feels otherwise, this title leaves the impression that there is a chance that we'll do OK if we do nothing. This is highly unlikely. Finally, on the highly contested issue of discounting future costs and benefits, I don't find his defense of his conventional opportunity cost accounting convincing.

The final section of the book, on politics, is probably the weakest, though Nordhaus has some interesting things to say about public opinion formation. He is, however, surprisingly naive about some aspects of politi.cs His advice to scientists who become engaged in global warming politics to keep saying the truth over and over again, and claims that this worked for tobacco control. Well, it worked to some extent in the USA but internationally, tobacco abuse continues to spread and present WHO estimates are about 5 million premature deaths per year to due to tobacco, hardly a major success. He also has an unfortunate, and increasingly common, piece of rhetoric in which he presents his very well grounded policy proposals as a "conservative" solution. Nordhaus is advocating an unprecedented international scheme of taxation with the goal of fundamentally changing our civilization's energy production system. This is conservative?
4 internautes sur 4 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 Careful review of climate change's existence, impact and possible mitigation, but not much new here 7 mars 2014
Par Robert S. Warrington - Publié sur
Nordhaus reviews the science establishing climate change and weighs the costs of mitigation versus the harm caused by doing little or nothing, coming up with his best take as to an appropriate target for capping global warming (2-3 degrees C) and the percentage of world income required to meet this target (1.5%). He discusses the pros and cons of cap and trade versus carbon tax mitigation strategies and concludes that either approach meets the basic requirement of prohibiting people/companies from dumping carbon into the atmosphere cost-free.

His writing is clear but ponderous, as he does not start or end a thought without reiterating what he has said previously or intends to say next.
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