Joe Romm unfairly disses Rob Stavins on his "cooking dinner in the shower" quote:
One of my New Year’s resolutions is to blog more about the general lameness of the economics profession when it comes to energy and climate issues ...
In short, whatever we do to address climate must not attempt to create jobs. And whatever we do to create jobs should make no effort whatsoever to get off our self-destructively unsustainable economic path. That would not be a Pareto optimum, I guess.
Seriously, Dr. Stavins, just because you haven’t figured out how to walk and chew gum at the same time, doesn’t mean nobody else can.
I know it is hopeless ask the media and policymakers to stop listening to economists, but if anyone can tell me of any intelligent thing a major economist has recently said on energy or climate other than Weitzman — (see Harvard economist disses most climate cost-benefit analyses) — or Stern (see Stern admits report “badly underestimated” climate change risks), I’ll cook them a soggy dinner.
All kidding aside, I think the economics profession’s misunderstanding of climate science and its misapplication of cost-benefit analysis are among the single biggest impediments to serious and intelligent efforts to avoid humanity’s self-destruction. I will lay that out in future posts.
Economists are right in there trying to figure out the best way to deal with climate change. We have tools that might help. Agree or disagree with us, but silly insults don't help keep the conversation going. I guess we'll wait and read more attacks on economics in future posts at Climate Progress.
And, by the way, scientists in all disciplines have gotten things wrong. The most difficult thing economists try to understand is the aggregate outcome of trillions of decisions made by billions of people. That is a tough task. Non-economists should try it professionally for awhile. It is relatively easy to point out mistakes and broadbrush an entire profession.
And, another by the way, walking and chewing gum at the same time are much easier dual activities than cooking dinner in the shower. My guess is that Rob CAN, in fact, walk and chew gum at the same time. Stimulating a macroeconomy and cleaning the environment are both difficult things to do by themselves. Trying to do both at once is like, well, trying to cook dinner in the shower.