Thursday, November 17, 2016

Not Gonna Happen

Economics isn't perfect in large part because even Nobel prize winning economists seem to remember the bits of Econ 101 that fit their political agenda and none of the rest. But there are actually some smart if often obvious things "known" to economists. It's well understand that some things require some form of mandatory collective action, that on their own individual entities will not do nearly enough.

Even in a post-Trump era, unless fossil fuel industry contributions to Congress are contained (currently in the hundreds of millions annually), we won’t see Washington move as quickly as it must.

Into this perilous void will step business. In fact, just this week, 365 companies and investors reaffirmed their commitment to addressing climate change and called on the U.S. government to do so as well.

Some businesses will be more affected by climate change than others, some will be affected by regulations aimed at stopping it more than others, and some don't see themselves as being affected too much one way or another so might join in for the good PR. But it's the middle group that's the problem, and they aren't going to mend their ways without appropriate incentives. Economists know that, or should, also, too.