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Climate Shock: The Economic Consequences of a Hotter Planet

Author

Listed:
  • Gernot Wagner

    (Environmental Defense Fund)

  • Martin L. Weitzman

    (Harvard University)

Abstract

If you had a 10 percent chance of having a fatal car accident, you'd take necessary precautions. If your finances had a 10 percent chance of suffering a severe loss, you'd reevaluate your assets. So if we know the world is warming and there's a 10 percent chance this might eventually lead to a catastrophe beyond anything we could imagine, why aren't we doing more about climate change right now? We insure our lives against an uncertain future--why not our planet? In Climate Shock, Gernot Wagner and Martin Weitzman explore in lively, clear terms the likely repercussions of a hotter planet, drawing on and expanding from work previously unavailable to general audiences. They show that the longer we wait to act, the more likely an extreme event will happen. A city might go underwater. A rogue nation might shoot particles into the Earth's atmosphere, geoengineering cooler temperatures. Zeroing in on the unknown extreme risks that may yet dwarf all else, the authors look at how economic forces that make sensible climate policies difficult to enact, make radical would-be fixes like geoengineering all the more probable. What we know about climate change is alarming enough. What we don't know about the extreme risks could be far more dangerous. Wagner and Weitzman help readers understand that we need to think about climate change in the same way that we think about insurance--as a risk management problem, only here on a global scale. Demonstrating that climate change can and should be dealt with--and what could happen if we don't do so--Climate Shock tackles the defining environmental and public policy issue of our time.

Suggested Citation

  • Gernot Wagner & Martin L. Weitzman, 2015. "Climate Shock: The Economic Consequences of a Hotter Planet," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, number 10414.
  • Handle: RePEc:pup:pbooks:10414
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    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
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    Cited by:

    1. Freeman, Mark C. & Wagner, Gernot & Zeckhauser, Richard J., 2015. "Climate Sensitivity Uncertainty: When Is Good News Bad?," Working Paper Series rwp15-002, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
    2. Michel Aglietta & Etienne Espagne, 2016. "Climate and finance systemic risks, more than an analogy? The climate fragility hypothesis," Working Papers 2016-10, CEPII research center.
    3. Frederick Ploeg & Armon Rezai, 2019. "Simple Rules for Climate Policy and Integrated Assessment," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 72(1), pages 77-108, January.
    4. Kent D. Daniel & Robert B. Litterman & Gernot Wagner, 2016. "Applying Asset Pricing Theory to Calibrate the Price of Climate Risk," NBER Working Papers 22795, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Doncaster, C. Patrick & Tavoni, Alessandro & Dyke, James G., 2017. "Using Adaptation Insurance to Incentivize Climate-change Mitigation," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 135(C), pages 246-258.
    6. Weili WENG, 2016. "Geoengineering Research Overview," Chinese Journal of Urban and Environmental Studies (CJUES), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 4(02), pages 1-10, June.
    7. Moreno-Cruz, Juan B. & Wagner, Gernot & Keith, David w., 2017. "An Economic Anatomy of Optimal Climate Policy," Working Paper Series rwp17-028, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
    8. Garth Heutel & Juan Moreno-Cruz & Katharine Ricke, 2016. "Climate Engineering Economics," Annual Review of Resource Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 8(1), pages 99-118, October.
    9. Etienne Espagne, 2016. "Climate Finance at COP21 and After: Lessons Learnt," CEPII Policy Brief 2016-09, CEPII research center.
    10. Calzolari, Giacomo & Casari, Marco & Ghidoni, Riccardo, 2018. "Carbon is forever: A climate change experiment on cooperation," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 92(C), pages 169-184.
    11. Frank J. Convery & Gernot Wagner, 2015. "Reflections–Managing Uncertain Climates: Some Guidance for Policy Makers and Researchers," Review of Environmental Economics and Policy, Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 9(2), pages 304-320.
    12. Clarke, Harry, 2015. "Climate policy decisions under uncertainty," Working Papers 249517, Australian National University, Centre for Climate Economics & Policy.
    13. repec:eee:ecolet:v:168:y:2018:i:c:p:144-146 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Goher-Ur-Rehman Mir & Servaas Storm, "undated". "Carbon Emissions and Economic Growth: Production-based versus Consumption-based Evidence on Decoupling," Working Papers Series 41, Institute for New Economic Thinking.
    15. Freeman, Mark C. & Groom, Ben & Zeckhauser, Richard, 2015. "Better Predictions, Better Allocations: Scientific Advances and Adaptation to Climate Change," Working Paper Series 15-051, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
    16. repec:kap:enreec:v:68:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1007_s10640-017-0166-z is not listed on IDEAS
    17. repec:eee:eneeco:v:68:y:2017:i:s1:p:103-115 is not listed on IDEAS
    18. Ghidoni, Riccardo & Calzolari, Giacomo & Casari, Marco, 2017. "Climate change: Behavioral responses from extreme events and delayed damages," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(S1), pages 103-115.
    19. repec:eee:jeeman:v:92:y:2018:i:c:p:148-168 is not listed on IDEAS
    20. repec:eee:energy:v:166:y:2019:i:c:p:1047-1062 is not listed on IDEAS
    21. Bovens, Luc, 2016. "The ethics of Dieselgate," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 66926, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    22. Peter Linquiti & Nathan Cogswell, 2016. "The Carbon Ask: effects of climate policy on the value of fossil fuel resources and the implications for technological innovation," Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences, Springer;Association of Environmental Studies and Sciences, vol. 6(4), pages 662-676, December.

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