Upcoming Event

Gernot Wagner and Martin Weitzman

discuss

Climate Shock:
The Economic Consequences of a Hotter Planet

This event includes a book signing

Date

Mar
27
Friday
March 27, 2015
7:00 PM

Location

Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138

Tickets

This event is free; no tickets are required.

Harvard Book Store welcomes lead senior economist at the Environmental Defense Fund GERNOT WAGNER and professor of economics at Harvard University MARTIN WEITZMAN for a discussion of their book Climate Shock: The Economic Consequences of a Hotter Planet.

If you had a ten percent chance of having a fatal car accident, you'd take necessary precautions. If your finances had a ten percent chance of suffering a severe loss, you'd reevaluate your assets. So if we know the world is warming and there's a ten percent chance this might eventually lead to a catastrophe beyond anything we could imagine, why aren't we doing more about climate change right now? We insure our lives against an uncertain future—why not our planet?

In Climate Shock, Gernot Wagner and Martin Weitzman explore in lively, clear terms the likely repercussions of a hotter planet, drawing on and expanding from work previously unavailable to general audiences. They show that the longer we wait to act, the more likely an extreme event will happen. A city might go underwater. A rogue nation might shoot particles into the Earth's atmosphere, geoengineering cooler temperatures. Zeroing in on the unknown extreme risks that may yet dwarf all else, the authors look at how economic forces that make sensible climate policies difficult to enact, make radical would-be fixes like geoengineering all the more probable. What we know about climate change is alarming enough. What we don't know about the extreme risks could be far more dangerous. Wagner and Weitzman help readers understand that we need to think about climate change in the same way that we think about insurance—as a risk management problem, only here on a global scale.

Demonstrating that climate change can and should be dealt with—and what could happen if we don't do so—Climate Shock tackles the defining environmental and public policy issue of our time.

Gernot Wagner and Martin Weitzman
Gernot Wagner and Martin Weitzman

Gernot Wagner and Martin Weitzman

Gernot Wagner, Ph.D., is a lead senior economist at EDF, where he co-leads the office of economic policy and analysis to advocate for market-based solutions to a wide range of environmental problems. His particular focus is on climate and energy economics. He teaches energy economics as adjunct faculty at Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs. Gernot is a research associate at the Harvard Kennedy School and a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations. 

Martin L. Weitzman is Professor of Economics at Harvard University. Previously he was on the faculties of MIT and Yale. He has been elected as a fellow of the Econometric Society and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He has published widely in many leading economic journals and written two books. Weitzman's interests in economics are broad and he has served as consultant for several well-known organizations. His current research is focused on environmental economics, including climate change, the economics of catastrophes, cost-benefit analysis, long-run discounting, green accounting, and comparison of alternative instruments for controlling pollution.

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1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138

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