It is a curious coincidence that the latest IPCC report on climate change was issued the same day that the Nobel Prize in Economics was announced, isn’t it? It is coincidence because the Nobel Prize has been awarded to Paul Romer “for integrating technological innovations into long-run macroeconomic analysis” and William Nordhaus “for integrating climate change into long-run macroeconomic analysis:”
Climate change – Nordhaus’ findings deal with interactions between society and nature. Nordhaus decided to work on this topic in the 1970s, as scientists had become increasingly worried about the combustion of fossil fuel resulting in a warmer climate. In the mid-1990s, he became the first person to create an integrated assessment model, i.e. a quantitative model that describes the global interplay between the economy and the climate. His model integrates theories and empirical results from physics, chemistry and economics. Nordhaus’ model is now widely spread and is used to simulate how the economy and the climate co-evolve. It is used to examine the consequences of climate policy interventions, for example carbon taxes.
Some media have stressed the coincidence as a clear warning on the need for urgent action on climate change, while others find both, IPCC and Nordhaus, lukewarm. However, the best summary comes from one IPCC author and it is that YES or YES ―whether we decide to fight against climate change or we decide to ignore it― we will be facing huge changes:
I wouldn’t want to be too optimistic as it [LIMIT WARMING TO 1.5 DEGREES] will require huge changes, but if we don’t do it, that will also require huge changes.
Climate seems to be changing and the times… who knows. Don’t you love change?
Featured Image: Front cover for the album The Times They Are a-Changin’ by Bob Dylan (another Nobel Laureate, by the way!)