What the Economic Models of Nobel Laureate William Nordhaus Say on Climate Change

by Robert P. Murphy, October 22, 2018 in The IndependantInstitute/FEE



First, Nordhaus shows that aggressive mitigation policies can be a cure worse than the disease, and he specifically includes the United Nation’s latest goal in his examples of such misguided goals. Second, Nordhaus’s estimate of the optimal carbon tax (for the year 2025, for example) has almost tripled in less than a decade. Third, far from being tied to specific analyses of particular threats, Nordhaus’s global damage estimate was largely driven by a simple survey of experts, and this figure was furthermore manipulated arbitrarily by Nordhaus in light of new developments. The public would be very surprised to learn just how crude the “settled science” underlying various proposals to limit climate change really is.