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May 1, 2019

Ways & Means Podcast - Climate Change: Adding up the Bill

Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions

The new season of Ways & Means, a podcast presented by the Sanford School of Public Policy at Duke University, is exploring policy ideas for understanding and dealing with climate change. The latest episode, "Adding up the Bill," looks at who will take the hardest hit financially as the world heats up and whether anything can be done about it.

The episode features an interview with Billy Pizer, an environmental economist with joint appointments as a professor at the Sanford School and as a faculty fellow at the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions. Pizer compares the present-day costs of taking action to the future benefits we will see if we reduce global warming. Is it worth it to spend more now to prevent problems in the future — problems similar to what Maine clammers are experiencing?

Pizer says the financial impact of climate change will depend on where you live.

“In certain parts of the country that are currently cold, you actually see some economic improvements,” Pizer says. “In other parts of the country, the Southeast, the Southwest, where it’s already fairly warm, you see a lot of economic costs.”

The fight against climate change requires global effort and cooperation. That’s hard to achieve when everyone experiences the effects differently, Pizer says.

“The climate change we feel is going to be as much a consequence of what we do as what China does,” he says. Somehow, we have to build a global trust between countries, and develop the capacity to work together to solve this massive problem.