Public lecture | Climate (and other) catastrophes
LSE Deparment of Government and Grantham Research Institute public lecture, introduced and chaired by Dr Kai Spiekermann
Attendance at this event is by registration only, if you would like to attend please register here.
How great is the risk of a climate catastrophe, and what should we do about it? The likelihood and possible impact of a catastrophic climate outcome is what drives the social cost of carbon (SCC), and thus the case for a stringent climate policy. But what is that likelihood, and what kinds of outcomes might occur? Might the impact of a catastrophic climate outcome be limited to a sharp reduction in GDP and consumption (as most climate models assume), or might the impact also include the deaths of large numbers of people? The answers to these questions are necessarily speculative, but we must address them. To complicate matters, there are other potential catastrophes that we must also worry about, such as nuclear or bioterrorism, or the spread of a “mega-virus.” I discuss the policy implications of these threats, and consider how we might respond to the risk of climate – and other – catastrophes.
Professor Robert S. Pindyck is the Bank of Tokyo‐Mitsubishi Professor of Economics and Finance in the Sloan School of Management at MIT. He is also a Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research and a Fellow of the Econometric Society, and he has been a Visiting Professor at Tel‐Aviv University, Harvard University, and Columbia University. Professor Pindyck’s research and writing have covered topics in microeconomics and industrial organization, the behaviour of resource and commodity markets, financial markets, capital investment decisions, and econometric modelling. His recent work in economics and finance has examined the determinants of market structure and market power, the dynamics of commodity spot and futures markets, criteria for investing in risky projects, the economics of R&D and the value of patents, environmental policy, and the economic and policy implications of global catastrophic events.
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