A Cold Look at Global Warming

by Ramesh Ponnuru

Even if the advocates of carbon caps are right about the science, they’re wrong about the economics. That’s the argument of my new Bloomberg View column, which draws heavily on the work of Jim Manzi.

William Nordhaus, a professor of economics at Yale University and an advocate of a carbon tax, has estimated that reducing emissions could yield a net benefit of about $3.4 trillion over the next several centuries — which amounts to 0.17 percent of the present value of global economic output over that period.

As Manzi points out, though, that estimate assumes that a carbon-reduction program would be optimally designed, carried out and enforced. And that is inconceivable.