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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Larry D. Sanders
Dept. of Ag Economics Oklahoma State University
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
Desire for regulation
X Global warming
Adapted from Carlson et al. Agricultural & Environmental Resource Economics, 1993; also Sanders
--From cnn.com special section on global warming article “Messing with the thermostat can be devastating”, Miles O’Obrien, November 27, 1997.
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 problemsThe Claims about Global Warming:“It’s Real”“Skeptical”
1. whether global warming is in fact occurring, &
2. the level of severity of impact
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).
Per Capita Energy
Country Emissions (%) Consumption (mil. Btu)
US 19 335
Japan 5 171
Brazil 4 33
UK 2 169
(see interactive features; see global warming 101)