A Prudent Approach to Climate Change

Seattle Journal of Environmental Law, Vol. 1, No. 1, p. 137, 2011

Seattle University School of Law Research Paper No. 11-31

14 Pages Posted: 29 Nov 2011

Date Written: November, 29 2011

Abstract

Climate change poses large and difficult issues. The potential stakes are enormous, but there is vexing uncertainty about the likelihood of a catastrophe, our ability to mitigate it, the economic costs of taking action, and the desirability of doing so without the participation of the world’s rapidly developing economies. This article outlines a prudent response to these uncertainties. Given the state of the economy, it does not endorse high taxes or other severe curbs on carbon emissions. But unlike John Kunich’s article in the same volume, it does not suggest it would be appropriate to do nothing. Instead, the article recommends a measured approach to climate change: (1) substantial government funding for clean energy research and development, (2) limits on greenhouse gas emissions that begin at a modest level but gradually escalate in accord with a predetermined schedule; and (3) use of diplomatic tools to induce China, India, and other rapidly developing countries to adopt a comparable program.

Keywords: climate change, global warming, greenhouse gases, carbon tax, emission limits, clean energy research and development, John Kunich

Suggested Citation

Kirkwood, John B., A Prudent Approach to Climate Change (November, 29 2011). Seattle Journal of Environmental Law, Vol. 1, No. 1, p. 137, 2011, Seattle University School of Law Research Paper No. 11-31, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1966117

John B. Kirkwood (Contact Author)

Seattle University School of Law ( email )

901 12th Avenue, Sullivan Hall
P.O. Box 222000
Seattle, WA n/a 98122-1090
United States

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