Environmental Stand-up Economist: ‘We’re Going to Find Out How Bad Climate Change Really Is’

BY Paul Solman  July 20, 2012 at 5:06 PM EST


Stand-up economist Yoram Bauman spent five months in China recently, studying climate change at a university and sending occasional video dispatches to us at Making Sen$e. I myself spent some time in China in 2005, reporting on the country’s growing economy, among other things, and trying to capture images through the smog. So I was particularly interested to hear his thoughts on how China (and the rest of us) are playing a role in increased carbon emissions, presumably making the world a hotter place to live. In short, he’s not optimistic.

“China passed the U.S. as the largest CO2 emitter in 2007 and their emissions still continue to grow rapidly,” Bauman told me.

Global Carbon Dioxide Emissions, 2010 Estimates

Click image for larger version. Preliminary estimates for 2010 data from the Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center. Graphic by Elizabeth Shell.

Since returning from China, Yoram has co-authored a working paper called “Impacts of Climate Change on Milk Production in the United States.” For a lighter, unbalanced take on the study, see “Washington College Students Rally to Protect Cows From Global Warming,” which attributes the research not to Bauman but to “University of Washington economist Rainbow Moonglow Rabinowitz.”

And in a final bit of news, Yoram is now married. He offers the following newlywed advice: “Be careful about scheduling comedy tours that conflict with your anniversary. (Fortunately she appears to have forgiven me!)”

This entry is cross-posted on the Rundown- NewsHour’s blog of news and insight.