Economist, Shots Across the Stern

Economist, Shots Across the Stern - Shots across the Stern...

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“Shots across the Stern.” 2006. The Economist , 13 December. Was Sir Nicholas's big report on climate change egalitarian, inegalitarian—or both? TO SHOW that you are up to speed on global warming, you need to know your Rio summit from your Kyoto protocol; your Greenland pump from your carbon sink; and your Harald Sverdrup (a Norwegian oceanographer, who measured sea currents) from your Bjorn Lomborg (a Danish controversialist, who annoys greens). And as if all that were not enough, Sir Nicholas Stern's big report on climate change, published by the British government in October, has forced greenhouse gasbags to master another bit of esoterica: the Greek alphabet. Actually, just two letters will do: delta and eta. The characters are Sir Nicholas's shorthand for two concepts. Delta determines the weight he places on the welfare of future generations that are not yet here to stick up for their own interests. Eta governs his answer to a different question: how much weight should be given to the consumption of the rich relative to that of the poor? Just to recap, Sir Nicholas's report concludes that if greenhouse-gas emissions continue on their current path, the cost over the next couple of hundred years in terms of lost output could be colossal. The shorter-term costs of switching away from carbon need not be, however. His judgments have been controversial, and none more so than his use of Greek, which has been
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This note was uploaded on 03/12/2010 for the course PS 225 taught by Professor Pahre,r during the Fall '08 term at University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign.

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Economist, Shots Across the Stern - Shots across the Stern...

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