Saturday, May 31, 2008

Freeman Dyson on Global Warming

Freeman Dyson has a take on global warming in the NY Review of Books.

He cites William Nordhaus, perhaps the leading economist on the issue, projecting the net cost of global warming over 100 years at present value in today's dollars in the case of...

[] No action taken: $23 trillion.
[] Optimal policy, a best-case carbon tax: $20 trillion ($3 trillion of benefit).
[] Kyoto protocol, everybody participating: $22 trillion ($1 trillion of benefit).
[] Stern proposals followed: $38 trillion (things made worse by $15 trillion).
[] Al Gore's proposals: $45 trillion (Go Al!).

100-year projections no doubt have some small margin of error in them, but that being as it may, Dyson is a giant and this article, which is a review of Nordhaus's book and another, is entirely worth reading for his own thinking on the subject.