Of course, I could not resist reading the review of the worst introductory economics textbook on climate change first (snark injected):
The book’s treatment of climate science is captured in the following statement: “[T]he earth has experienced both warming and cooling trends in the past, and the current warming trend may well be unrelated to the emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.”
Ah. I love it when economists hang their hats on the tails of the distribution of a scientific finding that they can't possibly understand very well. Imagine if your t-stat was 2.56 and a geologist said "work experience may well be unrelated to income" or your t-stat is 3.27 and a biologist said "travel cost may well be unrelated to recreation trips." What would you think about that geologist and biologist. I'd think they were a couple of dorks.
This statement is not only out of line with the 2007 IPCC report, it’s even out of step with the conservative Cato Institute, which says in its 2009 policymakers handbook that “[g]lobal warming is indeed real, and human activity has been a contributor since 1975.”
What's wrong with Cato? Only one conclusion is possible: They must be a bunch of dorks. But seriously, if I didn't quite believe the climate science I wouldn't say that (because I couldn't possibly really understand why I didn't quite believe it), instead I'd say, hey, we should use a discount rate of 7% to assess climate possible. Since the big negative impacts are so far away the discount impacts don't amount to much and we could avoid pursuing any sort of climate change policy. That's what I'd do.
But don’t expect the authors’ treatment of global warming to change anytime soon. The material in the 13th edition, from 2010, is almost word-for-word identical to the treatment in the 11th edition, which was published in 2006. So future editions seem likely to continue the uninterrupted barrage of one-sided statements about an alleged climate conspiracy, and how economists are supposedly lined up in opposition to climate action.
Yoram, you really can't expect textbook writers to update everything that needs updating when publishers expect a new edition every two years, can you? Honestly, you can't expect them to change much at all (and they don't), but still updating statements about science when the science is updated might be a mild expectation.
All this and more makes this book the winner of the 2010 Ruffin and Gregory Award for the Worst Treatment of Climate Change in an Economics Textbook.
Yoram notes that his past winner (Ruffin and Gregory) is selling for $0.55 at Amazon. Price change is a measure of value that economists can understand.