Behavioral science tells us that humans are not very good at adjusting their actions to ensure a positive consequence will happen in the future. We are wired for instant gratification. That’s why it is so difficult to save for retirement and so easy to buy that new pair of shoes instead. What does this have to do with the social cost of carbon? A lot, as it turns out.
We know that continuing to emit carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases now will cause negative economic consequences in the future. Increasingly severe climate events–ranging from floods and coastline loss to wildfires and droughts, hot and cold extremes, hurricanes and tornadoes–will cause economic and social loss due to crop failures, human mortality and property and infrastructure loss. We are already seeing the impacts from global warming caused by prior years’ emissions.
If any further proof is needed of the direct link between human-caused carbon emissions and climate change, the UN’s International Panel on Climate Change’s sixth assessment report delivers that data. The report summary states, “It is unequivocal that human influence has warmed the atmosphere, ocean and land.”..to continue reading click here.
(the full blog, as well as previous posts, are hosted on usglassmag.com)