Economists, Like Scientists, Agree on Climate

January 4, 2016



You’ve heard about the 97 percent. Did you know about the 95 percent (of economists?)

Dana Nuccitelli in The Guardian:

In the 2015 survey, the number of expert economists saying that the US should cut its emissions no matter what rose to 77%. A further 18% said that if other countries agree to cut their emissions, the US should follow suit. In other words, there is a 95% consensus among expert climate economists that the US should follow through with its pledges to cut carbon pollution in the wake of the Paris international climate negotiations, and more than three out of four agreed that the US should take action to curb global warming no matter what.

This expert consensus is in stark contrast to conservative political opposition to the Paris accord. For example, Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio said of the agreement,

This kind of unilateral disarmament in our economy is reckless, and it is hurting the American Dream

Quite obviously an international agreement made by 195 nations around the world is the antithesis of unilateral action. However, 77% of expert economists agree that unilateral action would be appropriate in any case, directly contradicting Rubio’s comments. Additionally, 82% of the experts agreed that by implementing climate policies, the US could strategically induce other countries to cut their carbon pollution.

Climate change is already hurting the global economy

When asked at what date climate change will have a net negative impact on the global economy, the median survey response was 2025. In the recent past, climate change likely had a net positive impact on the global economy, due primarily to the effect of carbon fertilization on crops and other plant life. However, even contrarian economists agree, when accounting for the vulnerability of poorer countries to climate impacts, global warming has been hurting the global economy since about 1980.

Institute for Policy Integrity, New York University School of Law:

• Experts on the economics of climate change expressed higher levels of concern about climate change impacts than the general public, when asked identical survey questions.
• Economic experts believe that climate change will begin to have a net negative impact on the global economy
very soon – the median estimate was “by 2025,” with 41% saying that climate change is already negatively
affecting the economy.
• Respondents believe that numerous sectors of the U.S. economy will be harmed by climate change. A majority
predicted negative impacts on agriculture (94%), fishing (78%), utilities (electricity, water, sanitation – 74%),
forestry (73%), tourism/outdoor recreation (72%), insurance (66%), and health services (54%).
• More than three-quarters of respondents believe that climate change will have a long-term, negative impact on the growth rate
of the global economy.
• More than 80% of experts believe that the United States may be able to strategically induce other nations to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by first adopting policies to reduce U.S. emissions.
• Respondents overwhelmingly support unilateral emissions reduction commitments by the United States, regardless of the actions other nations have taken (77% chose this option over alternatives such as committing
only if multilateral agreements are reached).
• The vast majority (75%) of respondents believe that the most economically efficient way for states to comply with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s “Clean Power Plan” carbon regulations is through “market-based mechanisms coordinated at a regional or national level (such as a regional/ national trading program or carbon tax).”
• The discounting approach that the U.S. government currently uses to analyze climate regulations and
other policies – a constant discount rate calibrated to market rates – was identified by experts as the least desirable approach for setting discount rates in the context of climate policies. Nearly half (46%) of
respondents favored an approach that featured declining discount rates, while 44% favored using rates
calibrated with ethical parameters.
• On average, economic experts predicted far higher economic impacts from climate change than the estimates found in older surveys of economists and other climate experts. Respondents predicted a global GDP loss of roughly 10% if global mean temperature increases by 3°C relative to the pre-industrial era by 2090 (this increase approximates a “business as usual” emissions scenario).
• Experts believe that there is greater than a 20% likelihood that this same climate scenario would lead to
a “catastrophic” economic impact (defined as a global GDP loss of 25% or more).
•Our findings revealed a strong consensus (69%) that the “social cost of carbon” should be greater than or equal to the figure currently used by the U.S. government (only 8% believe the value should be lower).



9 Responses to “Economists, Like Scientists, Agree on Climate”

  1. Dan Pangburn Says:

    A peer reviewed paper at Energy & Environment, vol. 26, no. 5; 841-845 provides compelling evidence CO2 has no effect on climate.

    • redbbs Says:

      E&E eh? How much did they charge you for your silly windmill tilt?

      Dan, scientists do science so that you don’t have to go to the expensive hassle of loading all that complex data into your Commodore 64.

      Rather than blowing money on a vanity publisher why not take out a subscription to Scientific American?

    • dumboldguy Says:

      LMAO over redbbs comment. Actually, I think Dan does his work on a Sinclair ZX81 hooked up to a 17″ TV with a CRT screen, and sits on his shag carpet while he works.

      I’m surprised Dan is still working at AGW denial, and thinks that anyone on Crock cares about his mechanical engineer’s maunderings. He is one of those engineers that thinks he is a “scientist”, and is a signer of the Oregon Petition. Here’s some 3-year-old commentary that’s more meaningful.

    • ubrew12 Says:

      from your paper: ” the AGT at the beginning and end of the time period are the same and the time-integral of the [CO2] forcing is not zero, [therefore] the [CO2] scale factor must be zero.” The ‘time integral over a Milankovich period’ of the CO2 forcing has a value above or below zero depending on where you place the ‘Radiation balance point’. During the Phanerozoic, with the Sun cooler than it is today, that ‘zero point’ could well have been at a CO2 level much higher than it is today. Go below that ‘zero point’, and your integral is actually NEGATIVE: Earth is cooling.
      “Pick another time period with equal beginning and ending temperatures, but different from the first pick, and a different ‘break-even’ level might be calculated [and hence, CO2 is not causing Phanerozoic climate change].” Please list the climate scientists who have argued that Phanerozoic climate change was caused by CO2. Ancient CC is demonstrably caused by shifts in integrated solar absorption per Milankovich cycles. Nobody disputes this.

      I think your paper is arguing itself toward a preconceived conclusion, but even if it checks out, all you have proven is that ancient CC did not have a CO2 cause. In that case, welcome to the club.

      Here’s food for thought: WHY would shifts in Earth’s attitude wrt the Sun cause glacial periods and interglacial periods? Last time I checked… Earth is a Sphere. It’s not as if tilting a Sphere wrt a flashlight causes the Sphere to absorb MORE light energy, so whats up? (hint: by the time you figure this out, you’ll be quite convinced that CO2 is a potent greenhouse gas).

  2. I note that there is agreement by many that the climate of our planet cycles between Ice Age and Tropical over a 200,000 year period, regardless of whether there are humans emitting large quantities of CO2. It would seem reasonable to accept that what humans are doing is speeding up the warming process, and it would be a good thing if we stopped polluting the planet. One thing that does not receive much attention is that infinite growth is not possible on a finite planet. If growth was curtailed to a sustainable level, many of the other problems would disappear.
    One other thing that does not appear in current discussions is the need for increased water storages for the increases in world population. This, along with the fact that each additional million humans on the planet is an additional 37 megalitre water storage.
    Economists in general are the last group of people to be consulted about climate change unless they are willing to accept zero growth.

    • greenman3610 Says:

      any “good” level of human emissions was most likely passed decades ago when we exceeded 350 ppm of CO2.
      In the paleo record, levels above 350 are associated with large losses in ice sheets, and rises in
      sea level that in today’s world will be catastrophic. Ice ages are a thing of the past at this point,
      unless humans disappear, or decided to create one thru radiation management.

      • dumboldguy Says:

        Create an ice age through “radiation management”? I have succeeded in chasing that moron Bryant Morganelli away from Crock and back to Fractal Planet, a site that he craps up badly with his maunderings. Fractal Planet is populated by a bunch of luke warmers who accept AGW and climate change but are in a state of denial, wishful thinking, and brightsidedness—Bryant and others there think SRM and geoengineering and other “technologies” are going to save us from ourselves, and anyone who thinks otherwise is a “doomer”.

        They are big on aerosol injection solar radiation management (SRM) because “Mount Pinatubo proved it works”, but conveniently forget the Siberian and Deccan Traps. If man “decides” to do SRM, I am confident that he will F**K it up, just as he has with every aspect of the biosphere that he has touched.

  3. […] Another massive flood eruption occurred about 250 million years ago, forming the massive Siberian Traps (massive flood basalts that formed about the time of the great end-of-Permian extinction). [10] They are big on aerosol injection solar radiation management (SRM) because “Mount Pinatubo proved it works”, but conveniently forget the Siberian and Deccan Traps. [11] […]

  4. Reblogged this on groundswell bass coast climate change renewable energy and commented:
    Even Jobson Growth promoting Economists recognise we need climate emergency action, at grass roots level, NOW if not sooner

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