Economic Issues

Steven Grumbine Interviews Steven Hail, Australian Economist

Steve welcomes Steven Hail to discuss the results of the IPPC report. The report findings are very discouraging, showing significant changes in the climate with warming at 2 degrees Celsius above pre-Industrial carbon levels. We are currently 1 degree Celsius above pre-industrial carbon levels.

Steve and Steven discuss what the prospects are for a viable economic system with a 40 percent reduction by 2030 and no new emissions by 2050. We are presently continuing to increase carbon emissions. Coal remains the source of 30 percent of energy production. Among other things, we need a massive effort to develop clean energy and cost-free distribution of knowledge and technology around the world. There may be a need to employ nuclear power as a temporary measure to buy time to develop renewables.

One problem is the will to work on a solution—is there one? Scientists seem to believe there is always something we can do. Modern Monetary Theory shows us that there is no worry about the money to pay for this problem. The issue is the real resources.

Dealing with climate change will provide many job opportunities. However, the world faces a massively unequal distribution of wealth, particularly in the US. This needs to be addressed because the wealthy consume a vastly disproportionate amount of resources.

The good news is that we do have some time to make a change. While the carbon we have emitted is now a mostly permanent part of the ecosphere, we can survive if we can cap emissions at a level commensurate with a 2 degree Celsius increase in temperatures above the pre-industrial carbon level.

Tune in to find out if Steven will join Steve for some “Macro and Cheese”!

Economic Issues Featured Steven Grumbine

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