Opinion: The case for “conditional optimism” on climate change

arctic melt, climate change, NASA

DAVID ROBERTS / VOX – Is there any hope on climate change, or are we just screwed?

I hear this question all the time. When people find out what I do for a living, it is generally the first thing they ask. I never have a straightforward or satisfying answer, so I usually dodge it, but in recent years it has come up more and more often.

So let’s tackle it head on. In this post, I will lay out the case for pessimism and the case for (cautious) optimism, pivoting off a new series of papers from leading climate economists.

First, though, let’s talk about the question itself, which contains a number of dubious assumptions, and see if we can hone it into something more concrete and answerable …

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