Hal Varian professor of business, economics and information management at the University of California, Berkeley discusses one of the challenges of choosing a course of action to respond to climate change:
“The choice of an appropriate policy toward global warming depends heavily on how one weighs the costs and benefits it imposes on different generations. The Stern Review chose a particular way to do this, but many other choices could have been examined.
Exploring the implications of alternative assumptions is likely to lead to better policy than making a single blanket recommendation.”
The climate is a complicated dynamical system and it makes sense to defer to climate experts, for example at the IPCC or Real Climate, on questions about the state of the climate and how it is evolving. However, all of us can contribute meaningfully to our society’s decision about how to share the burden of climate change between current and future generations.