Nobel Prize Laureate Comments on Current State of Climate Change Modeling

At the recent Lindau Nobel Laureate meeting for the Economic Sciences, Lars Peter Hansen my younger brother, commented on the current state of climate change modeling:

Discussions of climate change and economics can be challenging. There is nervousness in many quarters when I remind people of the limits to our knowledge of the transmission mechanism from carbon emissions to climate and economic impacts. There is a concern that this acknowledgement just feeds the appetite of the climate change deniers or provides an excuse for delayed action. But jumping to such conclusion like this fails to recognize a basic insight from decision theory. The possibility of bad consequences in the future could easily be sufficient for a call to action to immediate action. Moreover, it should be a part of a scientific approach to research in this area, as well as in other areas, to acknowledge the quality of the pertinent evidence. In my talk, I described what I consider to be a productive research agenda to promote the provision of quantitative tools to guide climate policy while respecting the fact that our knowledge is incomplete.

At the end of his presentation, Lars quotes Steven E. Koonin, former undersecretary for science at the U.S. Department of Energy:

Any serious discussion of the changing climate must begin by acknowledging not only the scientific certainties but also the uncertainties, especially in projecting the future.  Recognizing those limits, rather than ignoring them, will lead to a more sober and ultimately more productive discussion of climate change and climate policies.

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This entry was posted in Environment, geoengineering, lars peter hansen, Science, Simulations and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Nobel Prize Laureate Comments on Current State of Climate Change Modeling

  1. Sue Ann James Cooper says:

    I was reading a thread about GMM and IV regression for a paper I’m writing about firm-value and carbon emissions for the Journal of Accounting and Public Policy. One of the links was to Lar’s Wikipedia (obviously because of GMM), I saw Utah State on his resume and I remembered that Donna told me that he was your brother! One thing led to another and I found this amazing blog. I love that you do so much humanitarian work and I want to help. My family and I live in Maryland where I am a professor in the Accounting Department at Salisbury University. We’re not far from Chad and Kathy, about 3 hours. We should keep in touch.
    Love, Sue Ann

    • rogerdhansen says:

      Thanks for the kind comments. I hope you understand Lars’s work better than I do. Lars only sends me his papers and presentations that are designed for the general public (no equations). Let me know how you would like to help on our humanitarian projects.

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