27 February 2007

Climate Change Questions

I wrote the following in the context of another blog conversation (note that here I've both edited that langage as well as added to it):

(A) Is the Earth experiencing climate change (I really do not like the term "global warming")?

Yes. But that is hardly surprising given the history of this planet's climate.

(B) Is the change rapid in nature?

Probably no more rapid than some periods in the planet's history. How rapid were the were the changes in the past that occurred with the greatest alacrity and what did these changes add up to re: overall climate, etc.?

(C) Is it at least in part a result of man-made processes?

Probably. Though there are also likely other factors involved.

(D) What future problems (or benefits) can we expect from these changes?

This is where scientists seem to be all over the map.


VM said...


again, this is a great primer!

(E) what financial/economic decisions can individuals and businesses make to hedge against problems (augment benefits) from expected changes. What would the portfolio be? What would be the range of risk that these agents would identify...

Or - agents in areas that are more conspicuously effected by climate change would take certain actions, while others in areas less effected would have a different set of reactions.

This thought needs work, but it would be interesting to see how the agents respond using market mechanisms.

nothing absurd like buying beach front property for a resort in Point Barrow, Alaska, but , say investing in certain types of building materials for the Gulf Coast. etc.

or investing (divesting) in companies that would feel benefit (negative impact) from short term and longer term change.


Grotius said...


Yeah, that angle is something that I hadn't considered. Many individuals and businesses will certainly have a significant profit incentive when it comes to climate change.