Tag Archives: gary yohe

Professor Yohe, Superstorm Sandy, Climate Change, and the Election

What we have been experiencing recently is only the harbinger of a future that will be punctuated by more severe weather extremes and increasing damage. —Gary Yohe, Professor of Economics

Wesleyan’s celebrity economics professor Gary Yohe has received much media coverage after releasing a rather troublesome report on Tuesday about Superstorm Sandy and climate change. Yohe, a senior member of the United Nations International Panel on Climate Change (which shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with Al Gore), starts his report off with a laundry list of crazy climate events that have taken place globally in the past couple of years. He then claims that this isn’t “the new normal,” but rather “only the harbinger of a future that will be punctuated by more severe weather extremes and increasing damage—all driven as the future unfolds by past and future emissions of heat-trapping gases.” Yohe elaborates:

the changes in the current climate that have been observed across the planet are the products of only about 50 percent of the warming to which we have already committed ourselves with our past emissions. This means that the planet would warm another 2 to 4 degrees Fahrenheit through the middle of this century even if concentrations of heat-trapping gases were to achieve their maximum tomorrow — not likely, since sustaining a specific concentration starting tomorrow would require an 80 percent reduction in emissions overnight.

Basically, we’re fucked.

Yohe on Greening the Global Economy

Economics professor Gary Yohe was quoted in the NY Times in an article about how rising fuel costs are muzzling the globalized economy and long-distance trade:

“If we think about the Wal-Mart model, it is incredibly fuel-intensive at every stage, and at every one of those stages we are now seeing an inflation of the costs for boats, trucks, cars,” said Naomi Klein, the author of “The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism.”

“That is necessarily leading to a rethinking of this emissions-intensive model, whether the increased interest in growing foods locally, producing locally or shopping locally, and I think that’s great.”

…“Being green is in their best interests not so much in making money as saving money,” said Gary Yohe, an environmental economist at Wesleyan University. “Green companies are likely to be a permanent trend, as these vulnerabilities continue, but it’s going to take a long time for all this to settle down.”

NY Times: Shipping Costs Start to Crimp Globalization