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书评 气候变化的解决之道

发布时间:2021-03-18    来源:体育外围app29991

本文摘要:When economists think about climate change, some think a lot about horse manure. Specifically, they consider the greatmanure crisis of the late 1800s, when the world’s cities relied on horses for transport to such an extent that a public sanitation disaster loomed. Fine minds set to work on a crisis that The Times of London estimated in 1894 was so dire that in 50 years every street in the city would be buried 9ft deep in horse droppings.当经济学家思维气候变化问题时,其中一些人会重点研究马粪。

When economists think about climate change, some think a lot about horse manure. Specifically, they consider the greatmanure crisis of the late 1800s, when the world’s cities relied on horses for transport to such an extent that a public sanitation disaster loomed. Fine minds set to work on a crisis that The Times of London estimated in 1894 was so dire that in 50 years every street in the city would be buried 9ft deep in horse droppings.当经济学家思维气候变化问题时,其中一些人会重点研究马粪。具体来说,他们研究的是19世纪末的马粪大危机。当时世界各地的城市极为倚赖马匹作为交通工具,以至于一场公共卫生灾难很快迫近。

1894年,伦敦《泰晤士报》(The Times)估算,50年后这场危机不会显得十分可怕,伦敦的每一条街道都将覆盖面积9英尺薄的马粪,于是一群聪明人开始著手应付这场危机。As it turned out, a simple solution was at hand: not new laws or policies but the motor car, a technical innovation so successful that the equine pollution problem was swiftly overcome.结果,迅速就经常出现了一个非常简单的解决问题方法:不是新的法律或者政策,而是汽车。这种十分顺利的技术革新让人们很快解决问题了马粪带给的污染问题。The lesson is obvious for anyone worried about climate change, say economists such as Steven Levitt. In 2009’s SuperFreakonomics he and co-author Stephen Dubner used the tale to argue that technological fixes are often far simpler and cheaper than doomsayers imagine; and global warming could be addressed by so-called geoengineering, or manipulating the environment to halt rising temperatures.史蒂文莱维兹(Steven Levitt)等经济学家回应,这给任何忧虑气候变化的人获取了显而易见的教训。

在2009年出版发行的《超级魔鬼经济学》(SuperFreakonomics)一书中,莱维特和年出版者斯蒂芬杜布纳(Stephen Dubner)利用这个故事坚称,通过技术解决问题往往比末日论者想象的非常简单得多,成本也较低得多;可以用所谓的地球工程来解决问题全球气候变化问题,也就是通过操纵环境来遏制温度下降。The dangerous allure of such thinking is a central theme tackled by two other economists: Gernot Wagner, an academic who works for the US Environmental Defense Fund, and Harvard professor Martin Weitzman in Climate Shock: The Economic Consequences of a Hotter Planet.另外两位经济学家指出此类点子具备危险性的诱惑力,并作为其著作的主题加以辩论:就任于美国环保协会(Environmental Defense Fund)的学者赫尔诺特瓦格纳(Gernot Wagner)和哈佛大学(Harvard)教授马丁威茨曼(Martin Weitzman)年出版了《气候冲击:一个气候变化星球的经济影响》(Climate Shock: The Economic Consequences of a Hotter Planet)。They are right to do so. Interest in geoengineering ismounting as warming carbon dioxide emissions have continued to rise despite decades of UN climate negotiations, billions of dollars worth of renewable energy subsidies and sporadic attempts to price carbon. The failure of those efforts underlines the fact that climate change is, as the authors point out, the ultimate “free rider” problem. It is hard to get people to limit their own pollution when they bear the costs and the benefits are global.他们这样做到是准确的。

人们对地球工程的兴趣逐步快速增长,同时尽管联合国(UN)几十年来仍然举办气候谈判,人们投放了数十亿美元为可再生能源获取补贴,有时候还不会尝试碳定价,但导致气候气候变化的二氧化碳废气仍在之后下降。这些希望的告终凸显如下事实:正如两位作者认为的那样,气候变化问题最后是“搭便车”问题。

当人们自己分担成本、益处毕竟全世界分享的时候,他们就很难容许自身导致的污染。Geoengineering, on the other hand, is so cheap that one country alone could conceivably carry out a plan discussed by Levitt and many others: mimic the 1991 eruption of the Mt Pinatubo volcano in the Philippines, which cooled global temperatures by about 0.5C the following year, by shooting sulphur dioxide into the stratosphere to create a giant sunshade.另一方面,地球工程的成本十分便宜,可以说道单个国家就能实行莱维特和其他许多人辩论过的一种方案:仿真1991年菲律宾皮纳图博(Pinatubo)火山的火山爆发。那次火山火山爆发向平流层喷气了大量二氧化硫,生产了一个极大的遮阳车顶,使全球气温在接下来的一年里约减少了0.5摄氏度。The cost could be lower than that of cutting emissions, say Wagner and Weitzman, while the impact could be huge — which, they argue, means geoengineering turns the standard economics idea of climate change on its head, from a “free rider” to “free driver” problem.瓦格纳和威茨曼回应,地球工程的成本的确有可能比排放量较低,而影响毕竟极大的——他们指出,地球工程完全政治宣传了经济学上对气候变化的标准观点,从“搭便车”问题变为了“随意进”问题。

But the risks of such geoengineering are myriad — from ozone depletion to fast-rising temperatures should Mt Pinatubo-style techniques ever stop — because the underlying emissions causing warming would continue.但这种地球工程不存在诸多风险,从臭氧层毁坏到一旦暂停皮纳图博式的作法就不会造成气温较慢下降,因为引起气候气候变化的潜在废气仍将持续。A further obstacle to reducing emissions is the lack of certainty about precisely how much warming they will cause. This is another theme of Climate Shock, a title chosen to highlight one widely misunderstood aspect of climate change: it is not enough merely to stabilise annual emissions. They have to be slashed to near zero to bring down C02 concentrations, which in 2013 rose to 400 parts per million, well above the 280 ppm of pre-industrial times.排放量的另一个障碍是,对碳排放引起气候气候变化的程度缺少具体理解。

这是《气候冲击》一书阐述的另一个主题。作者之所以自由选择这个标题,是为了特别强调一个被普遍误会的气候变化问题:意味着平稳年度排放量还过于。

要减少碳浓度,碳排放量必需被大幅度缩减至相似零排放的程度。2013年碳浓度早已升到400ppm,远高于工业时代前280ppm的水平。

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Dissecting the latest scientific findings about how much global temperatures are likely to rise as C02 in the atmosphere doubles, the authors conclude there is about a 10 per cent chance of temperatures eventually exceeding a catastrophic 6C. Homeowners take out insurance policies against devastating fires that are almost always less likely than this.如果大气中的二氧化碳含量缩减到,全球气温可能会下降多少?两位作者仔细分析了近期的科学找到。他们的结论是,现在气温升幅约有10%的几率最后不会多达6度,而气温下降6度就不会引起极大灾难。房主不会投保防治毁灭性大火,而实质上经常出现这种大火的几率完全总是高于10%。

The correct economic solution has been well understood for years, they argue: stop subsidising fossil fuels by about $15 a ton of C02 globally, and create a price of at least $40 a ton. But Climate Shock advises economists to stop demanding a global carbon price and start working on more politically possible solutions, such as fuel economy standards. That sounds dull compared with geoengineering. But it is also infinitely safer.多年来,人们已对经济方面的准确对策了如指掌,他们主张暂停在全球征税每吨大约15美元的碳税(那样是在补贴化石燃料),碳价最少不应提升至每吨40美元以上。但是《气候冲击》一书则建议经济学家不要再行制订全球碳价,开始探索更偏政治的有可能解决方案,比如制订燃油经济标准。与地球工程比起,这样的措施听得一起有些乏味,但它也安全性得多。This is not a book for people deeply versed in climate policy, few of whom will find its contents remotely shocking. For the intelligent lay reader wanting a lively, lucid assessment of the economic consequences of global warming, however, it is well worth reading.这本书不是为那些有为气候政策的人打算的,他们会实在这本书的内容多么令人震惊。

这本书对全球气候气候变化的经济影响展开了生动而明晰的评估,对于那些想一览此类内容的聪慧的一般读者,该书十分有一点一读书。The writer is the FT’s environment correspondent本文作者是英国《金融时报》环境记者Climate Shock: The Economic Consequences of a Hotter Planet, By Gernot Wagner and Martin Weitzman, (19.95, $27.95)《气候冲击:一个气候变化星球的经济影响》(Climate Shock: The Economic Consequences of a Hotter Planet),赫尔诺特瓦格纳与马丁威茨曼年出版,售价19.95英镑/27.。


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