Krugman and Climate

Aside from the climate blogosphere, Paul Krugman’s “Conscience of a Liberal” is my most regular blog visit.  He does not usually have a lot to say on climate change (which is mildly disappointing) and I have seen only very shallow and casual dismissals of the, to me compelling, notion that perpetual growth as a requirement for economic prosperity is problematic (which is very disappointing).  It is however, usually very interesting and I have learned a lot about economics, something very apropos given the ongoing global crisis.  I do enjoy the political snark as well, as long as it is reality based!

Uncharacteristically, he has made quite a few posts and op-ed columns over the last few months centering on climate issues and I have been keeping tabs on that (literal sense here, I have 10 tabs perpetually open meaning to post about!).  So that I can finally close these down, here is a quick rundown of all that content:

Salvation Gets Cheap – A discussion of some economic optimism regarding the costs of climate change mitigation, specifically good news about the solar energy industry.  This column has an example of the casual dismissal of perpetual growth skepticism I mentioned above.  After the caveat “(I hate it when pundits try to make every issue into a case of “both sides are wrong,” but, in this case, it happens to be true.)” he says “On the left, you sometimes find environmentalists asserting that to save the planet we must give up on the idea of an ever-growing economy; on the right, you often find assertions that any attempt to limit pollution will have devastating impacts on growth. But there’s no reason we can’t become richer while reducing our impact on the environment.”  That “but” only really addresses the concern from the right.  This is not to say the “left” position he has presented is necessarily correct, but it certainly is not dealt with in his column.

Crazy Climate Economics – a discussion of the anticipated Republican response to the (at the time) coming new EPA regulations.  The headline captures well the flavor of that discussion!

Cutting Back on Carbon – this is a good one on how a Chamber of Commerce search for bad economic news regarding carbon regulations is really an “own-goal”.  Their as-pessimistic-as-possible prediction is for a cost to the US economy of $50 billion per year.  This may be many month’s income for a guy like me (hello blogging fees!) but it is just 0.3% of a $17 trillion economy.  This is a tiny price tag given the existential threat climate change poses to society.

Energy Choices – Here Krugman turns his attention to a letter to the Financial Times from Roger Pielke Jr and finds him sadly lacking in intellectual honesty (…or competence, Roger really likes to keep us all guessing on that one).  Money quote: “This is actually kind of wonderful, in a bang-your-head-on-the-table sort of way.”  Welcome to our kitchen, Paul!

The Climate Domino – another op-ed column on the (then proposed) EPA regulations of coal fired power plants and specifically how it relates to the “But China!” objection to any US climate policy.

Interests, Ideology and Climate – Dr. Krugman thinks that ideology is more important than the Koch factor in the climate denial machinations.  Here’s an excerpt:

So why is the opposition to climate policy so intense?

And the natural reaction is denial — angry denial. Read or watch any extended debate over climate policy and you’ll be struck by the venom, the sheer rage, of the denialists.

Incentives and Technology – just addresses a little blow-back from his take-down of RPJr above (Energy Choices).

Yes He Could – An op-ed giving praise to Obama’s accomplishments in the passage of ACA (Obamacare) and his actions around climate change.  I don’t know how much praise Obama merits with respect to action on climate change, but the accomplishment falls short of what is needed regardless of whether it is the best that could be done or not.

The Big Green Test – a discussion of long-time republican Henry Paulson’s op-ed calling for republican action on climate change and more generally how this fits with conservative approaches to economics.

Depression Economics and Climate Policy – a debunking of the “reform conservative’s” answer to calls for climate mitigation action, i.e. “not while the economy is hurting”.  (I’m sure some years down the track it will be “not while the economy is booming”).  Krugman says economically that this is exactly the time for agressive government intervention, while stimulus spending is sorely needed.  This point was actually the cause of my initial Obama disappointment.  I thought that the moment of crisis when he took office was exactly the moment for fundamental changes, economic, political, social.  Kind of a “disaster progressivism” approach ala Naomi Klein’s disaster capitalism, substituting change because we need it to solve the problem for change because that’s what we wanted to do anyway.

And that does it.  It is a relief to close those tabs

…discuss if you wish!


75 thoughts on “Krugman and Climate

  1. BTW, did you know that “renewable” energy from solar panels produces ZERO watt when it is dark outside?

    BTW did you know (of COURSE you don’t: you’re an ignoramus!) that solar power isn’t synonymous with renewables?

    Did you know that we have… duhn duhn duuuuuhn… WIND POWER too?

    BTW did you know about solar thermal power?

    Gosh, looks like the denier morons don’t know much about anything other than hate.


  2. wow, macro, craig, YOU cannot teach anybody (like me) who is absolutely superior to you in any mental dimension you can or cannot imagine. That’s a fact.

    PS: you ignornants really believe that any living organisms that lived in remote times in today’ Italy frontiers can be called “Italians”: you three are really very strange clowns devoid of any historical and biological education

    PPS: I hate Manchester United


  3. The only reason we cannot teach freddykaiboristroll is because he has a mental disorder. If Coby happens to know his real e-mail address, he may want to direct a psychologist to take action, because it won’t take that much longer before freddykaiboristroll does something that causes physical harm (either to himself or to someone in his near surroundings).


  4. olet marii industria aunque wow non placet virumque tenevit. patavit cliatico fundes vam te quevit, dominus vobiscum tantum malum prohibit


  5. “The only reason we cannot teach freddykaiboristroll is because he has a mental disorder”

    No, the fruitcake IS a mental disorder.


  6. Pauline, #57, so you agree your earlier post was compost at best, consisting of the half truths that are the worst lies of all. Well done.


  7. wow-troll, the main reason why you cannot teach freddy is that the level of your education and knowledge is far below that of freddy. Digest it, child


  8. It is clear now that COP20 was a terribe catastro and Paris 2015 the end of the IPCC and delusioned “climate change” policy. This is part of the explanation why childish morons like wowtroll, macro and others behave so incivil and cowardly anxious.


  9. Freddy,

    One way or the other Carbon emissions will need to be cut by half by 2020. That’s increasingly evident with the likelihood of blowing past 2C increase and heat accumulating faster than ever as 2014 closes as the hottest year ever.

    COP or no COP, it’s not going to be pleasant.

    Hope you’re ready Freddy.


  10. wow, your english is too terrible: listen child: I made the claim, hence I WAS ABLE to make the claim. Can you grasp this simple concept?


  11. Kaibot, when you’re finally growing pubic hair, THEN you can start calling others “child”.

    You can make the claim because you’ve never worried about accuracy or facts, but your claim is, as mentioned earlier for those with operating hippocampi, your ability is not able to make the claim.

    Only your ignorance.


  12. It is sad to observe that climate morons like wowtroll start talking about animal biology fundamentals without ANY education and formation on the topic, and are even unable to define what they tried to exeforilim.


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