I asserted in Part 1 that economists don’t understand climate science. Exhibit 1 would be Robert Mendelsohn, an economics professor at Yale University, whose “research” has prompted headlines in our neighbor up north like “A warmer climate could hold lots of benefits for Canada” and “The UP side of global warming“:
Leading the charge is Robert Mendelsohn, an economics professor at Yale University, who says the benefits of global warming for Canada — from a longer growing season to the opening up of shipping through the Northwest Passage — will outweigh the negative effects.
“You’re lucky because you’re a northern-latitude country, Mendelsohn says. “If you add it all up, it’s a good thing for Canada.”
This series will have three recurring themes about Voodoo Economists aka Mainstream Economists who Opine on Weather (MEOWs):
- MEOW’s understanding of what global warming is doing to the planet now and what it is likely to do by 2100 on our current emissions path ranges from arrogantly incomplete to criminally ignorant. They really talk more about the weather than the climate.
- MEOW’s cost-benefit calculations ["if you add it all up"] are analytically unsound and qualify more as an opinion than a scientifically accurate statement.
- The right wing loves what the economics profession is saying and publishing on climate, which is why they quote and cite them so giddily.
For instance, you would never know from this article — or any of Mendelsohn’s comments — that Canada is already suffering widespread and completely unpredicted devastation from climate change, as I’ve written (see “Climate-Driven Pest Devours N. American Forests” and “Nature on stunning new climate feedback: Beetle tree kill releases more carbon than fires“):