How Fast Should We Graze the Global Commons?
Unlike the vast preponderance of planets, earth has been bequeathed a hospitable environment in which to thrive. Up to now, man's activities have affected this environment negligibly. Scientists are becoming convinced, however, that release of carbon dioxide (CO2) from combustion of fossil fuels will lead to a significant modification of the global climate (see Woodwell). How should we think about such a destruction of our heritage? Should it be treated as anathema, like bondage? Or should the pace and extent of use of our global commons be subject to the same reasoned balancing of costs and benefits as other economic activities? The present paper takes the second approach -- asking how fast the global economy should allow a buildup of atmospheric CO2. The first section reviews the current scientific knowledge on this subject, while the second puts this into an optimal growth framework. The third section then presents a numerical example, while the last presents some realistic policy views on the subject.
|Date of creation:||Jan 1982|
|Date of revision:|
|Publication status:||Published in AEA Papers and Proceedings, American Economic Review (May 1982), 72(2): 242-246|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Phone: (203) 432-3702
Fax: (203) 432-6167
Web page: http://cowles.yale.edu/
More information through EDIRC
|Order Information:|| Postal: Cowles Foundation, Yale University, Box 208281, New Haven, CT 06520-8281 USA|
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cwl:cwldpp:615. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Glena Ames)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.