If we want to save the planet, we have to educate ourselves as part of “changing ourselves first.”
Here’s an interview with Columbia Business School professor Geoffrey Heal on the dangerous economics of climate change, which he discusses at length in his new book, “Endangered Economies: How the Neglect of Nature Threatens Our Prosperity.”
The interview appeared in the current issue of “Catalyst,” the magazine of the Union of Concerned Scientists, a fine team offering both factual science and economics, as well as advocacy – Global Warming for Busy People follows and supports them.
I’ve ordered the book and am looking forward to adding to my own education on the economic dangers of climate change over the coming decades, in particular:
Often lost in the smoke cast by climate deniers in Big Oil, Big Coal and their political pawns is this stark economic reality: It is vastly, vastly cheaper for civilization to prevent global warming than to bear its costs in failed agricultures; regional economic collapse and the resulting brush wars and heinous refugee flows; worse and more frequent extreme weather events; and almost inconceivably high costs to taxpayers to move civilization to higher ground because of sea-level rise and failing polar ice caps.
As well, the book advocates a key global warming solution of a carbon fee-and-dividend or carbon tax, as Professor Heal discusses our broken never-count-the-costs-of-pollution cost accounting system.
This proposal is also advanced by organizations like Citizens Climate Lobby on the left, but also many on the political right who see that economies are disfunctional without this kind of correct and transparent accounting: Please, check out the works of conservative economists like William Nordhaus of Yale, and conservative wise elders like former secretaries-of-state James Baker and Georgie Schultz and former treasury secretary Henry Poulson, as well as conservative advocacy groups like RepublicEn and the Niskanen Center.
Climate change affects all of us, and a bipartisan set of views are emerging…
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Not sure where to start saving the planet (civilization, really)? Our Thesis is: “Start by deeply knowing your three personal Superpowers: ”
3) To save the planet, USE YOUR VOICE and take advocacy seriously! Never miss a vote and never, ever stop influencing your government and all businesses locally, at the state level, and at the national level.
It falls upon you to lead the way with substantive global warming solutions.
And in all cases and at all times, cast aside the learned-helplessness that infects so much of modern life… the time is now for climate change solutions. No one else is going to do your part for you… never give up.
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