The Economist on climate change

In: Uncategorized

10 Sep 2006

This week’s Economist includes a survey on climate change which is certainly worth reading. But the two measures proposed in the comment section of the main magazine are thoroughly mainstream. The Economist proposes an economic tool to put a price on the emission of greenhouse cases – it could be a carbon tax or a cap and trade system. It also supports government spending on new technologies such as carbon sequestration. The Economist argues that the Bush administration, until now weak on the issue, should heed an increasing number of Americans by taking a decisive lead on the issue

“California’s state assembly has just passed tough Kyoto-style targets. Many businesses, fearing that they will end up having to deal with a patchwork of state-level measures, now want federal controls. And conservative America, once solidly sceptical, is now split over the issue, as Christians concerned about mankind’s stewardship of the Earth, neo-cons keen to reduce America’s dependency on the Middle East and farmers who see alternative energy as a new potential source of energy come round to the idea of cutting down on carbon.”

Interesting that American opinion is shifting but sad that bolder measures, such as adaptation and geo-engineering, do not figure in the Economist’s discussion. Mitigation – cutting carbon emissions – is certainly not the only and arguably not the best way of tackling climate change.

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