Tellus Publications (Selected)
Viewpoint: Economic Theory and Climate Change Policy
Frank Ackerman, Steve Bernow, Irene Peters
What is the appropriate role for economics in the development of climate change policy? Ideally, when formulating public policy, decision-makers should rely on expertise from a variety of disciplines, economics among them. Yet economics is often looked upon as the ultimate arbiter of policy choices, because it seems to offer something the other sciences do not: a theoretical framework capable of valuing the consequences of different policy choices with a single metric. This paper argues that this practice is not legitimate, and that most economic policy assessment models, in their current forms, are biased against non-marginal policy changes such as those required to meaningfully address the challenges of climate change.
Tellus Institute Packaging Study: Complete Study
Until recently, the United States economic environment encouraged the proliferation of packaging and ignored the social costs of packaging production and disposal. Today, however, the situation is changing, as waste disposal is no longer cheap, resource depletion is widely recognized as a problem, and pollution prevention has moved to the top of the environmental agenda. This report—prepared for the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, the US Environmental Protection Agency, and the Council of State Governments—aims to assess the life-cycle environmental impacts of different packaging materials in order to help provide a scientific basis for formulation of packaging policy.