The idea that action against climate change will ‘destroy the economy’ couldn’t be more wrong

canada goose clearance Sen. Marco Rubio (R Fla.) admitted Sunday that human activity is leading to increased canadian goose jacket global temperatures and that steps should be taken to mitigate the impact of climate change. But, when pushed for canada goose store concrete policies, he argued that he’s “not going to destroy uk canada goose outlet our economy.” canada goose clearance

Canada Goose Outlet This betrays a consequential misunderstanding of not just how economies work but of what economies are. The idea that economies are somehow canada goose factory sale inherently unable to repel existential threats belies logic and common sense: There is absolutely nothing in canada goose uk shop the construct of this creature we call an economy that precludes mechanisms to fight global canada goose black friday sale warming. To the contrary, such mechanisms abound, as I explain below. Canada Goose Outlet

canada goose store Rubio is making two big mistakes canada goose here. First, he’s defining “our economy” in a way that has little to do with “us” and a lot to do with pay to play politics. Second, he’s claiming there is Canada Goose Coats On Sale no trade off that improves social welfare (not gross domestic product, but people’s broader well being) while enhancing environmental sustainability. canada goose store

canada goose To the contrary, standard issue economics is canada goose clearance extremely clear about the necessity of policies to offset pollution. In fact, the concept is fundamental to Canada Goose Jackets classical canada goose uk outlet economics, which places price signals at its core. If a polluter fails to face the costs of her actions, she canada goose clearance sale will generate “negative externalities” that make others worse off. The classical solution is to “internalize the externality” through policies that shift the cost back onto the person or company causing the degradation. canada goose

cheap Canada Goose Two ways of doing so in this context are taxing carbon and regulating production. cheap Canada Goose

canada goose coats on sale Both solutions which, to repeat, are totally consistent Canada Goose online with standard economics have not only been disallowedby current politics, but, as Rubio’s comment on CNN’s “State of the Union” reveals, also have been prohibited by his perverse definition of “our economy.” In a twist that Orwell would have appreciated, we can’t save our economy because to canada goose coats on sale do so would destroy it. canada goose coats on sale

buy canada goose jacket cheap Status quo supporters arrive canada goose coats at this illogic by conflating human welfare with GDP Canada Goose Outlet and then defining anything that might lower cheap canada goose uk GDP as a destroyer. They couldn’t be more wrong. buy canada goose jacket cheap

canadian goose jacket First, when, for example, we destroy protective wetlands (as in Houston) or degrade clean water rules, we add to corporate profitability, which raises GDP but reduces society’s welfare relative to a scenario that protects such resources. Worse, when hurricanes destroy property because natural buffers have been destroyed (and warming has intensified the power of storms), any rebuilding adds to GDP. If the folly of such measurement practices with regard to people’s well being escapes you, just look at any paper on the devastation from Hurricane Michael. canadian goose jacket

Canada Goose Parka Second, even if we must bow down before GDP growth, there’s no evidence that taxes necessarily lower growth. That’s an outgrowth of the fairy dust known Canada Goose sale as supply side, trickle down economics, in cheap Canada Goose which tax cuts, especially on the rich, boost jobs and buy canada goose jacket growth (and spin off enough revenue to offset their cost). economy has historically grown much faster when taxes were much higher. To be clear, that’s correlation, not causation, but it underscores why you should never accept this “taxes kill growth” nonsense. Canada Goose Parka

canada goose coats Third, there is a potential growth dividend to be paid from sustainable investment. While we’re dithering around with tariffs and trade wars, more forward looking countries (which for now include pretty much all of them) are trying to figure out how they can grab global market share buy canada goose jacket cheap in batteries to store renewable Canada Goose Online energy. Even a simple regulation like requiring industrial scrubbers in smokestacks leads to more, not less, employment. “Renewable portfolio standards” state requirements that some percentage of energy consumption comes from renewables by a later date have been found to generate innovative economic activity to meet the goals. canada goose coats

canada goose clearance sale Finally, when Rubio says “our economy,” he’s not talking about you and me. Paul Krugman put not too fine a point on it, tweeting that “The idea that climate policies would ‘destroyour economy’ is disinformation spread by fossil fuel interests and right wingers.” The investigative journalist Jane Mayer has shined bright lights on the dark money the oil rich Koch brothers have poured into the politics that Rubio’s phrase so perfectly uk canada goose captures. canada goose clearance sale

canada goose black friday sale At this point, someone typically objects that because low income households spend a larger share of their income on energy, a carbon tax would be unfair to them. But such arguments ignore that these same households also have the least resources to insulate themselves against the consequences of climate change. And here again, economics is well equipped to deal with this outcome, by crafting policies that rebate a portion of the tax to those hardest hit by it. canada goose uk black friday (Smart carbon taxes change relative prices, not relative incomes; true, they could lower the income of the Kochs, but I’d call that a feature, not a bug.) canada goose black friday sale

Canada Goose Jackets Two notable, related things recently occurred in this space: The United Nations’ panel of climate scientists issued a report on the increasing urgency of the problem, and economist William Nordhaus, a longtime advocate of much of the economics discussed Canada Goose Parka above, was awarded a Nobel Prize. You could argue this is some higher power’s synchronous sign that we need to get real about this existential threat, or you could argue that it’s a fortuitous coincidence. Canada Goose Jackets

Canada Goose online What you cannot argue, no matter how much you’re paid to believe otherwise, is that there is any inherent contradiction between economics, environmental sustainability and not just our well being, but our very survival Canada Goose online.

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