Talk:Economics of climate change mitigation

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Welfare[edit]

I think that Each individual's or country's welfare, Uj, is a function of its own consumption, Cj... is obvious nonsense. It certainly isn't true of this individual William M. Connolley (talk) 22:35, 10 March 2010 (UTC)

Agree. Welfare in economics is deffianlty not limited to consumption or monetary worth. Leisure, culture, environment, freedom, health, education etc should all be considered. A simple google scholar search for 'welfare economics' or 'measuring welfare' will show this. Or this article is one that I found when I did this: http://publishing.eur.nl/ir/repub/asset/7954/1991JEctrics.pdf . Catonz (talk) 22:55, 6 May 2010 (UTC)

Capitalise title?[edit]

Should the title be capitalised? Catonz (talk) 22:50, 6 May 2010 (UTC)

No, article titles are styled in sentence case on Wikipedia, in solidarity with those of us who don't want to slow down from the shift keys. Why Other (talk) 02:37, 23 August 2010 (UTC)

Magnitudes for carbon prices[edit]

I've been trying to ask about this at WP:RDS, here (now archived), here, and here.

Is transferring the $500 billion/year of fossil subsidies to wind and water sufficient, too much, or not enough? Should we try to arbitrage against the expected prices in 2020? Why Other (talk) 04:59, 27 August 2010 (UTC)

Per Dr. Jacobson, this is related to Eqn. 3 in http://www.stanford.edu/group/efmh/fossil/ClimRespUpdJGR%201.pdf

"[calculate] the time-dependent change in CO2 mixing ratio from a given anthropogenic emission rate, [and with that] the time-dependent difference in mixing ratio resulting from two different emission levels by subtracting results from the equation solved twice. Note that chi in the equation is the anthropogenic portion of the mixing ratio (this is explained in the text) and units of E need to be converted to mixing ratio. The conversion is given in the paper."

Why Other (talk) 21:55, 27 August 2010 (UTC)

Use of subsidies[edit]

I've removed the following sentence:


Scientists have advanced a plan to power 100% of the world's energy with wind, hydroelectric, and solar power by the year 2030,[22][23] recommending transfer of energy subsidies from fossil fuel to renewable, and a price on carbon reflecting its cost for flood and related extreme weather expenses.


I do not think that it is appropriate to offer a selective treatment of the literature on climate change policy. These suggestions for policy relate only to the work of a few researchers. Citing their work above others is, in my opinion, biased. If suggestions are to cited, they should offer a broad overview of the entire climate policy literature, e.g., see Gupta et al 2007. Enescot (talk) 16:07, 27 August 2010 (UTC)

First of all, thanks very for your help with the Barker et al. reference.
One of the references you removed, Jacobson, M.Z. (2009) "Review of solutions to global warming, air pollution, and energy security" Energy and Environmental Science 2:148-73 doi 10.1039/b809990c (review), is a peer reviewed secondary source which per WP:PSTS is the highest quality possible for a Wikipedia article. And it is in fact a survey of the entire climate policy literature, highlighting the optimum solution which was then published in the popular press (the other Scientific American reference.) I did a literature search to make sure that all of the peer review articles citing it do not take any major issues, and to make sure that there were no errata, corrections, or retractions. Based on the fact that the Review is still held in high esteem in the scientific literature, I am going to replace that passage. I found a better courtesy link for the Scientific American article.
One of the things I found when looking for citing articles was this conference paper on "Carbon-Neutral Transportation Fuels From off-Peak Wind and CO2" which strongly supports the idea of building out excess wind capacity, to make transportation fuel from, e.g., natural gas and coal plant waste carbon, and is thus in line with the primary thrust of the wind-water-solar plan. The huge advantage of that method as an alternative to carbon capture and storage is a reduction in the prevalence of resource wars. Why Other (talk) 20:30, 27 August 2010 (UTC)

I have no problem with the quality of the source. My main concern is with presenting a balanced treatment of the literature. For instance, Barker et al (2001) make reference to the possible effects of carbon leakage due to the removal of fossil fuel subsidies. You could also take the view that the use of subsidies, even for renewables, is economically inefficient. If the article is to cover policy-prescriptive suggestions, I think it should cover all areas, e.g., suggestions for sectoral targets, technology transfer, etc.

I'm not knowledgeable enough address this possible problem of bias, i.e., of only citing one paper. Therefore I've put in an expansion tag to the section on subsidies. Since the cited paper is policy prescriptive, I think it needs to be placed in its own sub-section. I also feel that referring to the authors' names directly is preferable to referring to them as scientists. Enescot (talk) 14:08, 29 August 2010 (UTC)

I agree with the expansion tag. But it doesn't surprise me that there might be an optimal direction to go in, or that we can choose to go in that direction to a variable extent, i.e., by how many subsidy dollars we transfer from fossil to renewable sources. The atmospheric greenhouse gas concentration controls opacity in the blackbody infrared, which in turn governs the amount of precipitation and thus money we will be spending on floods. So it should be possible to derive a dollar amount which needs to be transfered from fossil to renewable subsidies in order to minimize total financial losses. The most interesting question may be: Is that figure more or less what we are currently spending on fossil subsidies, and if so by how much?
On the other hand, the Jacobson (2009) literature review is a summary of the literature on policy prescriptions for subsidies, isn't it? Why Other (talk) 02:22, 30 August 2010 (UTC)

I didn't know the Jacobson article was a literature review. Despite this, I feel that it is important to attribute the statement over the use of subsidies. My impression is that economists rarely agree on anything. I'd be surprised if there is a consensus about the redirection of fossil fuel subsidies to renewables. Some economists, might, for example, want those fossil fuel subsidies to be phased out, with the resources freed up used to cut income tax. Enescot (talk) 15:48, 1 September 2010 (UTC)

Carbon leakage and subsidies[edit]

I've moved the bit on carbon leakage and subsidies from the “policy suggestions” section to the introduction of the "energy subsidies" section. The Barker et al statement is analytical, and not policy prescriptive, i.e., it does not say that fossil fuel subsidies should or should not be removed, rather it presents a possible effect of their removal. This contrasts with the Jacobson and Delucchi paper, which makes a specific policy suggestion, i.e., that fossil fuel subsidies be moved to renewables. Enescot (talk) 15:48, 1 September 2010 (UTC)