7 Business (and Economics)

Many of the big economic questions in coming decades will come down to just how extreme the weather will be, and how to value the future versus the present. 

Neil Irwin

The issue of climate change provides numerous opportunities for the economics classroom. Two obvious, and timely, ones are discussions and analyses of the concept of carbon pricing as well as comparing the costs of inaction (status quo) and active investment in “green infrastructure”. As an example of stranded assets, one could assess the challenges to the fossil fuel industry and those invested in it of the transition away from fossil fuels. Higher level business classes might use case studies built on the the ethics of marketing products with known harms or the use of “casting doubt” as a strategy for avoiding action.

Selected resources for topics listed above

Flavelle, Christopher. 2021. “Climate Change Could Cut World Economy by $23 Trillion in 2050, Insurance Giant Warns.” The New York Times, April 22, 2021.

Irwin, Neil. n.d. “Climate Change’s Giant Impact on the Economy: 4 Key Issues.” The New York Times, sec. TheUpshot. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/17/upshot/how-to-think-about-the-costs-of-climate-change.html.

Oreskes, Naomi and Stern, Nicholas. 2019. “What’s the Price of Ignoring Climate Change?” The New York Times, November 5, 2019, sec. Opinion. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/05/opinion/climate-change-economics.html.

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