William D. Nordhaus’ speech at the Nobel Banquet
Ers Majestäter, Ers Kungliga Högheter, Excellenser, Kära pristagare, Mina damer och herrar, Våra barn, Våra barnbarn.
The 2018 citation for economic sciences highlights “the causes and consequences of technological innovation and climate change.”
The science of climate change was founded in 1896, the very year that Alfred Nobel died and established these prizes. In that year, the Swedish chemist Svante Arrhenius provided the first numerical prediction of the impact of doubling atmospheric carbon dioxide. His estimate of 5.1 °C is remarkably close to the figures produced by the highest-resolution models today.
Over the last half-century, the full implications of climate change and its impacts have been illuminated by the intensive research of scientists in different fields. These studies depict an increasingly dire picture of our future under uncontrolled climate change.
The signal contribution of economics is to recognize that climate change is a har