Re: Breaking News: World is 10 deg chillier

Date: Wed Jan 24 2001 - 11:42:23 MST

Barbara writes:
> Given the apparent volatility of the weather as well as rapid technological
> changes taking place at the moment, the best policy seems to be
> flexibility. This is true at a personal level and also true for business
> firms and states. At the level of the business firm, greatest flexibility
> results from maintaining a small core group of relatively permanent
> decision makers associated with a pool of independent contractors who work
> on a project-by-project basis. At the level of the state, an association of
> independent small states is more flexible than one large state.

This makes sense. I'd also like to see a greater role for the market in
bringing all the relevant information to bear on how much we need to cut
back. Robin Hanson's Idea Futures idea,,
describes how we could get quantitative estimates of what likely future
impacts are of global warming. This mechanism should be relatively free
of political bias. We could then use these estimates to set desirable
emissions levels and use tradeable emission rights to get the greatest
emission reductions for the smallest costs.

There is still an element of policy here, where we go
from the quantitative estimates of sea level increase (and
other impacts) to setting emissions limits. Robin's Futarchy
( goes beyond this to simply set a
goal such as maximizing GWP, and automatically implementing policies
relating to emission caps which the Idea Futures market predicts
will achieve that goal. Maybe the cheapest thing is to let the sea
rise and build walls around coastal cities, for example. Whatever the
alternatives, we can use Robin's proposed markets to give us predictions
as to which will work best.


P.S. The online Foresight Exchange game is giving 30% odds of a 1 meter
rise in seal level before 2030. I thinkmost experts would say this
is insane.

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