A survey of top economists has found them remarkably like-minded on the economic threat posed by climate change. As I wrote Wednesday in The New York Times:
A New York University School of Law survey found near unanimity among 144 top economists that global warming threatens the United States economy and that a cap-and-trade system of carbon regulation will spur energy efficiency and innovation.
“Outside academia the level of consensus among economists is unfortunately not common knowledge,” Richard Revesz, dean of the law school, said during a press conference on Wednesday. “The results are conclusive – there is broad agreement that reducing emissions is likely to have significant economic benefits.”
The law school’s Institute for Policy Integrity sent surveys to 289 economists who had published at least one article on climate change in a top-rated economics journal in the past 15 years. Half of those economists responded anonymously to a dozen questions that solicited their opinions on a range of issues, from the impact of climate change on particular industries to how the benefits of reduced greenhouse-gas emissions should be calculated.
The survey found that 84 percent of the economists agreed that climate change “presents a clear danger” to the United States and global economies – hitting agriculture the hardest – even though the severity of global warming remains unknown.
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