Climate Shock: It's Not Over 'til the Fat Tail Zings
Grantham Research Institute public lecture
Gernot Wagner, lead senior economist at the Environmental Defense Fund and Adjunct Associate Professor of International and Public Affairs at the Columbia School of International and Public Affairs, discussed his book “Climate Shock” co-authored with Martin Weitzman.
If you had a 10 percent chance of having a fatal car accident, you’d take necessary precautions. If your finances had a 10 percent chance of suffering a severe loss, you’d re-evaluate your assets. So if we know the world is warming and there’s a 10 percent chance this might eventually lead to a catastrophe beyond anything we could imagine, why aren’t we doing more about climate change right now? We insure our lives against an uncertain future—why not our planet?
Climate Shock explores in lively, clear terms the likely repercussions of a hotter planet, drawing and expanding from work previously unavailable to general audiences. What we know about climate change is alarming enough—Climate Shock helps readers zero in on the unknown risks that may yet dwarf all else. It also shows how the economic forces that make sensible climate policies difficult to enact can make radical would-be fixes like geoengineering all the more probable.
Demonstrating that climate change can and needs to be dealt with—and what could happen if we don’t—Climate Shock is an authoritative call to arms for tackling the defining environmental and public policy issue of our time.
For further details on Gernot’s new book, Climate Shock, please click here.
Gernot Wagner is the lead senior economist at the Environmental Defense Fund and Adjunct Associate Professor of International and Public Affairs at the Columbia School of International and Public Affairs. He previously worked for the Boston Consulting Group and wrote for the editorial board of the Financial Times in London as a Peter Martin Fellow, where he covered economics, energy, and the environment. He holds a Ph.D. in political economy and government from Harvard University and a master’s degree in economics from Stanford. He is a research associate at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations.