Thursday, November 1, 2012

Bringing Hurricane Sandy into your Econonomics Class: Links on Price Gouging and Climate Change

Hurricane Sandy has dominated the news this week. How can you tie the storm into your econ class? Here are some links that should help.
  • In this post on Slate, Matthew Yglesias gives a brilliant explanation of why "price gouging" laws make it harder to prepare for and respond to natural disasters.
  • Writing for the blog of the Council for Foreign Relations, Michael Levi reminds us that measures to reduce CO2 in the atmosphere do not have immediate effect. Because of climate inertia, they take decades to affect air temperatures and even longer to affect ocean levels. Reducing methane emissions works a little faster, but not tomorrow. In short, don't expect measures to mitigate climate change to stop storms like Sandy. Investment in more resilient infrastructure has to be part of the package.
  • In "Playing God," Written for Foreign Policy, economists Gernot Wagner and Martin L. Weitzman write that with efforts to halt climate change on life support, scientists are looking at some radical geoengineering options to save our planet. But could the cure be worse than the disease?

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