Monday, April 27, 2009

A Hypothetical?

Suppose my household economy is improved only by causing climate change – because of the economy-energy function. Suppose I am net-net worse off in the new climate even though I am richer. (E.g. $1000 p.a in 450 ppm versus $2000 in 550 ppm.) But that is not the end of the story IF I am better off @ $2000 relative to other more prevalent “stressors” in my environment (level of nutrition, health care I can afford, education I can afford etc) AND that improvement is greater than the net negative climate effect. So, for example, the probability of my offspring reaching a productive age, in my $2000 p.a. household may be improved even though it is associated with higher ppm which have adverse effect on that outcome. This hypothetical got me thinking about our failure to take differing risk-reward perspectives into account in thinking about how people stand relative to acceptable ppm CO2 levels. But is this hypothetical reflected in actuality?

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