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Can We Afford the Future?: The Economics of a Warming World (The New Economics) Paperback – January 6, 2009


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Can We Afford the Future?: The Economics of a Warming World (The New Economics) + Economics and the Environment + Economics, the Environment and Our Common Wealth
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Product Details

  • Series: The New Economics
  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Zed Books (January 6, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1848130384
  • ISBN-13: 978-1848130388
  • Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 5 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #773,133 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

'Frank Ackerman provides the ammunition that advocates of strong climate policy need to debunk the conclusion that stabilizing our future climate is 'too expensive'.' - Stephen H. Schneider, Stanford University 'This book is essential reading for anyone trying to understand the major economic debates around the major new long-term challenge of our times - global warming. Frank Ackerman has done us all a great service with this very accessible critical survey of the varied and complicated issues involved.' - Jomo Kwame Sundaram, UN Assistant Secretary General for Economic Development

About the Author

Frank Ackerman is a research fellow at Global Development and Environment Institute and a senior scientist at Stockholm Environment Institute-US Centre, both at Tufts University. He is a founding member of Economists for Equity and Environment (E3) and a member scholar of the Centre for Progressive Reform. He has directed major policy studies for organizations ranging from Greenpeace to the European Parliament. He has written numerous academic and popular articles on the economics of climate change, energy and environmental policy. His previous books include Poisoned for Pennies: The Economics of Toxics and Precaution, and (with Lisa Heinzerling) Priceless: On Knowing the Price of Everything and the Value of Nothing.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By John Mashey on January 15, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a clear, readable first book for the non-economist, to start understanding the economics around climate change, and the various differing arguments by economists.

Unlike climate *science*, where most real scientists agree on the fundamentals, it seems that real economists have some fundamental arguments about climate *economics*, although that might be because I have more exposure to the former than the latter. It is often hard for a layperson learning a new topic to know whether disagreements are serious or relatively minor.

In any case, it really helps to have a good overview of the arguments, before diving into the details.

I've studied the Stern Review, the Nordhaus DICE model, Lomborg books, other books, other papers, and other discussions ...
and reading this book first would certainly have saved me effort.

So, start here, then sample his references for other viewpoints.

I especially liked his 4 bumper stickers, which handily summarize the book:

Your grandchildren's lives are important
We need to buy insurance for the planet
Climate damages are too valuable to have prices
Some costs are better than others
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Brian Cady on May 25, 2011
Format: Paperback
Interesting eminently readable introduction, with some outstanding analogies. I especially liked the the card game analogy, with the ever-changing deck. The discussion of the wisdom of discounting our grandchidren's world to present value, and the relative wisdom of discounting at different interest rates, are both great points, well- and briefly-made. Also important is the addressing of climate as insurance versus as investment. Altogether an important and accessible book.
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By NOTWORTHIT on June 18, 2013
Format: Paperback
Excellent book for college class.
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