Economists vs. Environmentalists

The voodoo climate-economics debate continues. Common Tragedies calls the bashing of economists on Climate Progress evidenceless and reveals a big problem with Joe Romm’s critique: 

Fortunately a prescient cohort of superintellects headed up by Joe Romm have calculated the true costs of climate action and inaction, and mapped out the optimal sequence of investment and innovation, which they will reveal to the world at some point in the very near future, making all the mainstream economists look like IDIOTS.

That is almost the ‘if-you-cannot-do-it-better-yourself-then-shut-up’ argument, which never applies (I’ll expound on why someday; remind me). Romm has more problems with his critique, however. As the TerraPass Footprint blog points out (Environmentalists and economists engage in slap fight while world burns), Romm quotes and uses results from economists in his arguing when they agree with his point of view, but still dismisses the economic science. “Which is it?” asks TerraPass,

The media is to blame for underreporting the awesome job economists are doing building a case for action on climate change? Or economists are a planet-destroying scourge? It can’t really be both.

The TerrePass post continues

I’m picking on Romm here, but this sort of commentary is fairly endemic to the green blogosphere. And it’s unfortunate […] [T]here is in fact a lot of prominent and dubious economic research on climate change that deserves proper critique, rather than unhinged broadsides against an entire academic discipline.

Romm do come up with some (but not only) proper, well-argued, and specific critque against specific economic research, but does the error to dismiss the entire discipline on the basis of specific examples. Furthermore, he does so inconsistently, as TerraPass already has pointed out, by recognizing only the results he agrees with. There are reasons (here is more) to be sceptic towards Climate Progress, in other words.

Hat-tip: Env-Econ

Related posts:

Joe Romm’s bashing of economists on Climate Progress:

From Environmental Economics:

From various blogs:


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One Response to “Economists vs. Environmentalists”

  1. More Voodoo « Kvams Says:

    […] Economists vs. Environmentalists (this post also has links to most of the key posts in the voodoo debate) […]

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