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under 10 minutes
The Biggest Story in the World: Economics
The Guardian
Number five in this series of lively and informative audio podcasts linked to the Guardian's series climate change/leave it in the ground campaign focuses on the economic questions linked to world-wide transformation away from fossil fuels, with three main choices: doing nothing, "light green," and "dark green."
(29 minutes, 2015)

For longer, more thorough, older-but-still-accurate videos about entrepreneurial opportunities, business challenges and adaptations, and the general economics of climate change, see our archive

Climate Economics: The State of the Art
Frank Ackerman and Elizabeth A. Stanton, Stockholm Environment Institute, 2011, 148 pp.
This thorough and wide-ranging look at this complex topic has excellent introductory chapter summaries to help you navigate the whole. Free download.

Cold Cash, Cool Climate: Science-Based Advice for Ecological Entrepreneurs
Jonathan Koomey, Analytics Press, 2012, 199pp. 2008
Written for entrepreneurs, this readable book offers a summary of the climate change situation (focused on greenhouse gas emissions), our current choices and their ramifications, and competing ways of thinking about climate economics, all as groundwork for thinking about entrepreneurial opportunities in this critical realm. Good resources (see 104-110 as well as "Further Reading") and extensive endnotes.



Climate Change: What's Your Business Strategy?
Andrew J. Hoffman and John G. Woody. Boston: Harvard Press, 2008
This short, lucid book (part of Harvard Business School's "Memo to the CEO" series) is full of useful and interesting information about what businesses are, can be, and should be doing about the impacts of climate change on their operations and potentials. "Don't think about climate change as an environmental issue; think of it as a market issue," the authors suggest, and then go on to describe in practical and concrete terms what business leaders need to know and think about.

articles & essays
Hidden Costs of Climate Change Running Hundreds of Billions a Year
Stephen Leahy, September 2017
Considering both extreme weather (exacerbated by climate change) and the health impacts of fossil-fuel burning, the costs to the U.S. economy of not acting are, and will continue to be, very, very high. This story addresses reasons, possible solutions, and a chart making the comparative costs visual.

Comprehensive Study: Carbon Taxes Won't Hamper the Economy
Dana Nuccitelli, The Guardian, July 2018
"But global warming will." Eleven modeling teams met at Stanford to consider this question, and their results agreed. This article from a reliably good reporter is a good overview of their findings.

Risky Business: The Economic Risks of Climate Change in the United States
Created by a high-powered team of financial, risk, and climate experts, this ongoing series of reports tackles the likely and potential damage that we will face if we stay on our current emissions path. (The co-chairs are three prominent financial figures: former Secretary of the Treasury Henry Paulson, a Republican; former mayor of New York City Michael Bloomberg, an Independent; and financier Thomas Strayer, a Democrat.) Organized according to economic sector and region, the report focuses on coastal infrastructure, agriculture, energy needs, and human productivity. Underlying data are in the Rhodium Group's American Climate Prospectus: Economic Risks in the United States. The most recent report looks at economic opportunities in tackling climate change.

More Than 900 Examples of How Climate Change Affects Business
Harvard Business School, March 2017
This very interesting set of blog-length reports on likely climate-change impacts on a huge variety of businesses and what those business are or should be doing about those impacts results a course assignment to MBA students at Harvard. A good introduction to the sheer range of such impacts, many of which might not be immediately obvious.

How Would a Low-Carbon Economy Work?
Eric Marx, ClimateWire, Scientific American, June 2015
A short, clear account of some important practicalities now being considered.

Understanding the Social Cost of Carbon‒and Connecting It to Our Lives
John Wihbey, Yale Climate Connections, February 2015
A very informative discussion of this important measure‒how the monetary value of carbon put into or kept out of the atmosphere is determined; what this pricing can and can't do; how it links to our daily decisions.

It's Not Too Late To Stop Climate Change, and It'll Be Super-Cheap
Joe Romm, ThinkProgress, January 2015
An interesting, provocative, and relatively optimistic blog post on the subject of how to think about the costs of action and inaction on climate change.

The New Abolitionism
Christopher Hayes, The Nation, April 2014
This provocative essay compares the political economy of slavery and the political economy of fossil fuel, based on the fact that "Averting planetary disaster will mean forcing fossil fuel companies to give up at least $10 trillion in wealth." When has something on this economic scale happened before? When "wealth" in the form of human slavery was abolished.

Climate Change Threatens Economic Growth‒UN Report. How Should Investors React?
Mike Scott, Forbes.com, April 2014
A good introduction to some of the conversation surrounding risks and opportunities for businesses and investors who are paying attention to the climate news and prospects.

The Two Numbers Climate Economists Can't Stand to See Together
Alex Morales, Bloomberg, March 2014
How much might climate change cost in damages? How much might it cost to prevent some of those damages? The second and third working groups of the 2014 IPCC report (impacts and solutions) both offer numbers, but because they measure different things (and don't measure everything important), they can't be compared. An informative article on this often confusing topic.

Economist Says Best Climate Fix A Tough Sell, But Worth It
Richard Harris, NPR, February 2014
Appealing introduction to (and excerpt from) a new book by prominent economist William Nordhaus,
The Climate Casino: Risk, Uncertainty, and Economics for a Warming World.

How British Columbia Enacted the Most Effective Carbon Tax in North America
Chris Mooney, Atlantic (and Climate Desk), March 2014
With this story of one real-world example, this article offers sound footing in a sometimes contentious topic.

Inaction on Climate Change: The Cost to Taxpayers
Nancy D. Israel, Ceres, October 2013
This lucid, comprehensive report "focuses on five disaster relief and recovery programs in which the costs of inaction on climate risk are most pronounced" (federal disaster relief, the federal flood and crop insurance programs, wildfire protection, and state-run insurance plans) and recommends practical changes to how these programs are run. For another piece on the same subject, see Coral Davenport's thorough, eye-opening, and readable article, The Scary Truth About How Much Climate Change Is Costing You (National Journal, February 2013).

Why the World Bank Is Taking On Climate Change
National Journal, August 2013
This pithy interview with the World Bank's vice president of sustainable development, Rachel Kyte, makes a good, quick introduction to the bank's current focus on climate change and its relationship with sustainable development and the fight against poverty. See also the bank's climate change site.

Can China Clean Up Fast Enough?
The Economist, August 2013
An excellent article about China's huge problems with pollution, both local (filthy air, toxic water and soil) and global (carbon dioxide) and what the country is doing about them. For a good short video introduction to this story, click here.

Microsoft's Carbon Fee: Integrating the Environment into Everyday Business
TJ Dicaprio, The Guardian, June 2013
Interesting blog by the woman in charge of environmental sustainability at Microsoft about her company's internal carbon fee‒why they created it (in 2012) and how it works.

Emissions: How Companies Can Bridge the 'Gigaton Gap' and Make Money
Daniel Cusick, ClimateWire, June 2013
This article clearly details the incentives for businesses to reduce their carbon emissions‒and the urgency with which they need to do so.

The "Social Cost of Carbon"
Brad Plumer, Washington Post, June 2013
A clear explanation of what this number means and how the U.S. government calculates it, in the context of a 2013 update.

Melting Ice Opens Fight Over Sea Routes for Arctic Debate
Flavia Krause-Jackson and Nicole Gaouette, Bloomberg, May 2013
Some of the ramifications of the opening of arctic waters for trade routes, resource mining, national security, and other important topics.

64 companies follow Wal-Mart's effort to reduce suppliers' emissions
Julia Pyper, ClimateWore, May 2013
Good quick story about the efforts taken by very large companies, including Walmart, to cut the carbon emissions from their supply chains.

What is Climate Finance and Where Will It Come From?
Samuel Fankhauser, Grantham Research Institute and The Guardian, April 2013
Helpful primer on "flows of funds from developed to developing nations to help poorer countries to cut their emissions and adapt to climate change." Part of the Guardian's climate change FAQ series, which includes other central economic topics.

Investors Seek Ways to Profit From Global Warming
Business Week, March 2013
This short piece details how companies are now viewing climate change as inevitable and buying up water rights, water treatment plants, arable land, etc., to prepare for when the demand for these will soar.

In Energy Taxes, Tools to Help Tackle Climate Change
Eduardo Porter, New York Times, January 2013
An overview of some of the costs of dealing with climate-change linked events (such as crop-destroying droughts), in the context of the energy taxes levied by many nations other than the US.

Carbon Tax V. Cap-and-Trade: Which is Better?
Grantham Research Institute, The Guardian, January 2013
This short, clear explanation of these two options is part of this newspaper's "ultimate climate change FAQ" series.

The Secret to Solar Power
Jeff Himmelman, New York Times, August 2012
Entertaining and informative piece about the significant financial benefits of solar power (especially leased), both for individuals and for companies, and how this plus is sometimes obscured by the industry's lingering image as "idealistic."

Why the Global Warming Skeptics Are Wrong
William D. Nordhaus, New York Review of Books, March 22, 2012
Straightforward refutation of the six main points made by skeptics in the Wall Street Journal, written by an economist from Yale whose work they misunderstand and distort.

As Global Temps Rise, More Companies Begin Adapting to a Warmer World
Michael Coren, Yale Climate Media Forum, July 2011
Interesting article about the ways major global companies are taking climate change seriously and incorporating its effects into their business plans. Good links to sources.

A New American Environmentalism and the New Economy
James Gustave Speth, 2010, 17 pp (plus additional materials)
Clear-eyed, grounded, and visionary talk by a distinguished thinker (and achiever) about how our future wellbeing depends on our inventing new versions of environmentalism, economy, economics, and politics. A key articulation of some central principles of sustainability.

Building a Green Economy
Paul Krugman, New York Times Magazine, April 11, 2010
A lucid, thorough, balanced overview of current ideas about the economics of various ways of lessening the impacts of climate change, along with a well-argued position on the subject from the winner of the 2008 Nobel Prize for Economics.

The US Economic Impacts of Climate Change and the Costs of Inaction
Center for Integrative Environmental Research, University of Maryland, 2007
This clearly written report is organized by region and covers costs related to water supply, agriculture, coastal impacts, energy, forest fires, human health, and insurance claims. 40 pages, plus references.

The Economics of Climate Change: A Primer
U.S. Congressional Budget Office, 2003
In some fifty pages of very readable text and figures, plus extensive notes and sources, the CBO lays out in a clear language the basics of thinking about climate change in terms of economics and associated policy.

Clean Economy Wire
This subset of (the Pulitzer Prize winning) InsideClimate News collects stories about clean energy economic development. A good one-stop shop for this sort of information.

This coalition of investors, companies, and public interest groups, which works to "weave sustainable strategies and practices into the fabric and decision-making of . . . key economic players," pays attention to climate change, water, energy, and supply chains. Interesting website even for those of us who don't control investments or run businesses.

Climate Change Economics
This site offers basic economics guidance on cap and trade programs, mitigation and adaptation, cost-benefit analysis, discounting the future, equity as efficiency, pricing non-market goods, and risk and uncertainty-as well as sections on lessons from experience, tools for legislators, and many links to web resources and articles. Useful both for nonspecialists and for teachers and students of economics.

An Introduction to the Economics of Climate Change Policy
John P. Weyant (prepared for the Pew Center on Global Climate Change), July 2000
A comprehensive overview of factors used in computer modeling of climate change economics, focused on the reasons model results are so varied. Nonspecialist readers will find these 46 pages challenging but educational; specialist teachers and students should find in them a very useful account of key issues in the field.

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