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.
- The Rhetoric of Climate Progress
- Climate Progress sceptisism
- Do economists help fight climate change?
Joe Romm’s bashing of economists on Climate Progress:
- Economists are part of the problem, Part 1: Robert Stavins can’t walk and chew gum at the same time
- Voodoo economists, Part 2: Robert Mendelsohn says global warming is “a good thing for Canada.”
- Voodoo Economists, Part 3: MIT and NBER (and Tol and Nordhaus) – the right wing deniers love your work. Ask yourself “why?”
- Voodoo Economists, Part 3.5: Richard Tol says wildly optimistic MIT/NBER study, beloved of deniers, is “way too pessimistic”
- Voodoo Economists 4: The idiocy of crowds or, rather, the idiocy of crowded debates
- Is Larry Summers a voodoo economist on climate (Part 5) and does it matter?
- Voodoo economics reporting, Part 6: The NYT magazine doesn’t understand renewables, efficiency, energy prices or green jobs
- Voodoo economics reporting, 7: Failing to report the consensus that action is cheaper than inaction
From Environmental Economics:
- Climate Progress on Economics, Part II
- I don’t find this post at Climate Progress helpfull at all
- Joe Romm misses the point
- Dano(?) comments
From various blogs: