Quite a debate is going on over the findings of Yale professor William Nordhaus, who received a Nobel Prize in economics in 2018 primarily for his studies of climate change and how to address it. In 1994, Nordhaus developed a way of measuring the impact of climate change and how to weigh the costs and benefits of mitigation.
Now, climate change scientific activists and even some economists have turned on him.
Nordhaus accepts climate change as likely and his work has involved building a model that relates climate change to technological developments (it’s called DICE, or the Dynamic Integrated Climate Economy).
As Marlowe Hood writes in phys.org (a news aggregator for the American Institute of Physics) Nordhaus’s studies “evolved into the standard toolbox for calculating the economic damages—now and in the future—of climate change. It also established carbon taxes as a key policy lever for promoting green growth.”
So what’s the problem? Nordhaus isn’t sufficiently afraid.of climate change. Here’s Hood:
“By the time, however, Nordhaus gave his acceptance speech in Stockholm [for the 2018 Nobel Prize], his models—out of sync with both the galloping pace of global warming and new approaches in the field of economics—were probably doing more harm than good, say experts.
“Exhibit A is Nordhaus’ conclusion that the cost—measured in lost economic growth—of capping global warming under three degrees Celsius overwhelms the benefits of avoided impacts.
“‘It is simply not aligned with climate science,” said Johan Rockstrom, director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany. “It is an unequivocal finding in the natural sciences that a 3C warming is a disastrous outcome for humanity,'” Rockstrom told AFP.
But Ben Zycher of the American Enterprise Institute sees it differently:
“Nordhaus—by no stretch of the imagination a climate policy skeptic—is under attack more centrally because DICE has not provided answers consistent with the ideological demands of the climate alarmists, and Nordhaus has refused to bend to the political winds.”