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11. Global Warming, Uncertainty, Irreversibility & LongTerm Policymaking (SPRING 2002) Larry D. Sanders Dept. of Ag Economics Oklahoma State University INTRODUCTION (ch. 10 Hackett) Purpose:

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11 global warming uncertainty irreversibility longterm policymaking spring 2002 l.jpg

11.Global Warming, Uncertainty, Irreversibility & LongTerm Policymaking(SPRING 2002)

Larry D. Sanders

Dept. of Ag Economics Oklahoma State University


Introduction ch 10 hackett l.jpg
INTRODUCTION (ch. 10 Hackett)

  • Purpose:

    • to become aware of the concept of uncertainty & irreversibility with respect to environmental & natural resource policies

  • Learning Objectives. To understand/become aware of:

    1. To understand uncertainty & irreversibility.

    2. To become aware of the issue of global warming.

    3. To consider the policy options with respect to

    possibly irreversible actions/events such as global

    warming.


Background on concepts l.jpg
Background on concepts

  • Uncertainty--involves the probability that some event/action will or will not occur

    • precipitation

    • new technology

  • Irreversibility--suggests that some action/event will transform a resource to the extent it cannot be returned to its original state, limiting future options

    • clear-cutting a forest

    • draining a wetland

    • damming a river


Risk perceptions may vary w knowledge severity of result whether individual choice l.jpg
Risk Perceptions: may vary w/knowledge, severity of result, whether individual choice . . .

Unknown Risk

Desire for regulation

Nitrogen

Fertilizers

Nitrites

x

x

x

RadioactiveWaste

x

Pesticides

x

X Global warming

Lead

Paint

x

Caffeine

DDT

Minor

Risk

x

Severe

Risk

Skate-

boarding

x

x

Smoking

x

Nuclear War

Rec.

Boating

x

x

Commercial Flying

x

Handguns

Adapted from Carlson et al. Agricultural & Environmental Resource Economics, 1993; also Sanders

Known Risk


Case study global warming background l.jpg
Case Study: Global Warming--background whether individual choice . . .

  • Greenhouse gases--carbon dioxide, chlorofluorocarbons, methane, nitrous oxide, ozone, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorinated carbons

  • Their function--filter solar energy, limiting infrared energy radiated back in to space

  • Greenhouse effect--as greenhouse gas concentration increases, capturing of infrared energy increases, & temperatures are likely to rise


The importance of greenhouse gases l.jpg
The Importance of Greenhouse Gases whether individual choice . . .

  • Provides a blanket that “insulates the Earth by trapping heat, a lot like panes of glass in a greenhouse. . . ‘part of what makes the planet of work’.

  • “Without greenhouse gases, the Earth would be much too cold for comfort . . . problem now is that humans are thickening the blanket . . . & . . . nature’s thermostat is nudged up.”

    --From cnn.com special section on global warming article “Messing with the thermostat can be devastating”, Miles O’Obrien, November 27, 1997.


The claims about global warming it s real skeptical l.jpg

Sea level will rise 2-3 feet, covering many islands, changing coast lines & contaminating water supplies

Southern US climate becomes tropical changing ag production

Northern US climate moderates, more like Southern US today

Increase in heat-related deaths/diseases (malaria, dengue fever)

Only 24% of public is concerned

Models under-estimate complex global ecosystem (can’t predict 7 days out, much less years)

Models under-estimate the “technological fix” & market economics

Doubtful that government intervention will do anything but create more immediate problems

The Claims about Global Warming:“It’s Real”“Skeptical”


Case study global warming science in conflict l.jpg
Case Study: Global Warming --Science in Conflict changing coast lines & contaminating water supplies

  • Scientists continue to debate both

    1. whether global warming is in fact occurring, &

    2. the level of severity of impact

  • Trade-offs:

    1. If predictions are true & nothing done to stop it, large-scale changes in global climate that will severely affect the planet & our geo-political-economic system.

    2. If predictions are not true but actions are taken to minimize global warming (Kyoto Agreement), wide-scale economic impacts on the US will reduce competitiveness (30-50% increase in fuel & utility bills).


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If Global Warming Perceived as Market Failure changing coast lines & contaminating water supplies

S’=MCs

S=MCp

Price

P2

D=MBp=MVp=MWTPp=MBs

P1

Quantity

Q2

Q1


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Major Contributors to Greenhouse Gases changing coast lines & contaminating water supplies

Per Capita Energy

Country Emissions (%) Consumption (mil. Btu)

US 19 335

China 10

Japan 5 171

Brazil 4 33

Germany 4

India 4

UK 2 169

Indonesia 2

Italy 2


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Issues & Options with Global Warming changing coast lines & contaminating water supplies

  • KEY ISSUES:

    • Time Perspective?

    • Sources?

    • Geography (Trans-national?)

    • Irreversibility?

    • Science?

  • FREE MARKET

  • RESEARCH & EXTENSION

  • REGULATION

  • SUBSIDIES


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Other Sources changing coast lines & contaminating water supplies

http://cnn.com/TECH

(see interactive features; see global warming 101)


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