The Blind Side of Climate Change Economics

by Rachel Ashton Lim

How accurate are the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) economic estimates of Climate Change-induced damage? A post-Paris agreement review of its Fifth Assessment Report (Stern, 2016) calls for an imperative revision to its economic model. The review’s main suggestion is for the social science to become better integrated with the natural sciences in order to accurately evaluate the economic consequences of Climate Change, which are direr than is currently estimated. However, the review also suggests that the benefits of transitioning to low-carbon growth are underestimated in the report and must be evaluated more holistically. Combined, these two factors will enable the public, private and non-profit sectors to make decisions that will drive the world into the net-zero carbon economy it must achieve within this century. Continue reading

The Blind Side of Climate Change Economics

by Rachel Ashton Lim

How accurate are the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) economic estimates of Climate Change-induced damage? A post-Paris agreement review of its Fifth Assessment Report (Stern, 2016) calls for an imperative revision to its economic model. The review’s main suggestion is for the social science to become better integrated with the natural sciences in order to accurately evaluate the economic consequences of Climate Change, which are drier than is currently estimated. However, the review also suggests that the benefits of transitioning to low-carbon growth are underestimated in the report and must be evaluated more holistically. Combined, these two factors will enable the public, private and non-profit sectors to make decisions that will drive the world into the net-zero carbon economy it must achieve within this century. Continue reading

Religion calls for dialogue with science over the “global commons”.

by Xiaoshi Zhu

In a time when global efforts are required to address climate change, Pope Francis unprecedentedly published an encyclical on climate change, poverty and inequality in 2015. This is the first time a Pope from The Roman Catholic Church has addressed an encyclical to all “people living on planet Earth”. It has extraordinary meaning for the relationship between religion and science. In the article Science and religion in dialogue over the global commons, authors Ottmar Edenhofer, Christian Flachsland and Brigitte Knopf explore the significance of the Pope’s encyclical. Continue reading

The Need for Social Sciences in Climate Policy

by Becky Strong

In 2015, David G. Victor, a professor of international relations at the University of California, San Diego wrote about the importance of looking into the social sciences when seeking to implement policies about climate change. Victor believes that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has become irrelevant to climate policy due to its focus on only the most well-known facts about climate change and avoidance of controversy.
He believes that in order to find insights that truly matter regarding climate change, one must look beyond the natural sciences. Continue reading

Fool Me Once, Shame on You. Fool Me Twice, Shame on Me.

by Jassmin Del Rio

Is lack of education the reason that skeptics of climate change are skeptics? Chloe Lucas, Peat Leith, and Aidan Davison suggest that, instead, a lack of trust in the scientific community is a main contributor to the skepticism. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was established by the United Nations (UN) to produce “consensus reports” on the effects of climate change. At first, IPCC was thought of as a trustworthy organization, however, that changed in some people’s eyes after the events of “Climategate” in 2009, the release of 1079 emails that were stolen from the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia. Upon reading the emails, conservatives concluded that scientists were reporting false statistics, dismissing data that disagreed with climate change, and covering up errors. Subsequently, the general public grew doubtful of the scientific community and their reports on anything related to climate change. Continue reading

Potential for Tariffs as Climate Change Mitigation: Legal and Economic Analysis

by Sam Peterson

There exist many approaches to solving the problem of climate change, which generally can be delineated in one of two categories: adaptation and mitigation. Adaptive policies include efforts to change human behavior to be compatible with the evolving global climate. Mitigation techniques result from more stringent policies. Both carbon dioxide emission caps and legislation against use of fossil fuels are environmental approaches to mitigation policy. There also exist economic mitigation policies which, by their nature, utilize market forces to dissuade continued use of products harmful to the environment. Cottier (2014) examined the effects imposition of tariffs might have on decreased use of environmentally unfriendly goods and services. They conclude, through use of elasticity measurements, that multilateral action would be effective for pursuing tariff policy, which would lead to an “average 1.4% net reduction in carbon-intensive imports from a 5% increase in tariffs.” The paper examines the World Trade Organization (WTO) legislation surrounding tariffs and concludes that countries can act unilaterally to increase tariffs or act as a group. Continue reading

Modelling Influence of Climate Change on Global Malaria Distribution

by Amelia Hamiter

Malaria is an infectious disease which has significantly affected global human populations throughout history. Its impact declined greatly throughout the 20th century in many regions due to extensive intervention efforts, though it continues to be found in tropical areas such as parts of Africa. Like other vector-borne diseases, though, the distribution and “seasonal activity” of malaria could potentially be altered by global climate change. One way to prepare for changes in patterns of malaria outbreaks is to model scenarios of change under different climate outcomes. Continue reading