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Review By Omar Al Saadi

False Alarm: How Climate Change Panic Costs Us Trillions, Hurts the Poor, and Fails to Fix the Planet
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HOW CLIMATE POLICY HURTS THE POOR

The book explains how climate policies can negatively impact poor communities in various ways. For example, climate policies that aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions often involve increasing the cost of energy, such as through carbon taxes or cap-and-trade programs. This can disproportionately affect low-income households, who spend a larger portion of their income on energy. And some climate policies, such as regulations on fossil fuel industries, can lead to job loss in those sectors. This can have a particularly significant impact on poor communities where those jobs are an important source of income. Moreover, certain climate-friendly technologies, such as electric cars or solar panels, can be expensive and, therefore out of reach for low-income individuals. Without access to these technologies, they may be unable to take advantage of incentives or benefits offered by climate policies. And, in some cases, climate policies can lead to the displacement of vulnerable communities, such as those living in areas at risk of flooding or other climate-related disasters. These communities may not have the resources to relocate or rebuild in a safer area.

The book discusses the impacts of climate change on Africa and the indirect impacts of climate policies. It notes that Africa will be affected the most by global warming, and it will lose 4.1% of its GDP to global warming in 2100 if we follow the green pathway. However, if we follow the fossil fuel pathway, Africa will be thirty times more prosperous in 2100 than in 2020, even after accounting for climate damages. The text also states that education, health, technology, and access to plentiful energy are the most important factors in Africa’s future well-being. The text also explains that well-meaning climate policies, like the Paris Agreement, have indirect impacts, and it cites malaria as an example. The Paris Agreement is claimed to be an important way to help tackle health issues like malaria, but it will have no perceptible impact on malaria because it will lead to such small temperature changes; in fact, it is very likely that its total impact will actually lead to more malaria deaths. The Kyoto Protocol, the world’s previous climate agreement, would have reduced the global number of malaria deaths by about four hundred thousand over the century, but higher costs in rich countries implementing Kyoto would also have meant slightly slower growth for trading partners like Africa, forcing them to linger in poverty longer. The text also cites the biofuels craze, which resulted in a reduction in food and an increase in food prices, pushing millions of people into poverty and hunger. Another way in which climate policy can hurt the poor is by reducing economic growth. Some policies, such as regulations on carbon emissions, can impose costs on businesses and make it more difficult for them to operate. This can lead to reduced economic growth and job losses, which can have a significant impact on low-income workers. For example, a report by the Global Warming Policy Foundation found that the closure of coal mines in the United Kingdom, which was driven in part by climate policy, led to the loss of over 30,000 jobs, many of which were in low-income areas. Climate policy is an essential tool for addressing the urgent issue of climate change. However, it is important to recognize that these policies can have negative impacts on certain groups, particularly the poor. Policy-makers must take steps to address these impacts and ensure that vulnerable communities are not left behind in the transition to a more sustainable future. By doing so, we can ensure that our efforts to combat climate change are not only effective, but also equitable and just.

How to Fix Climate Change: Carbon Tax - The Market-Based Solution

This chapter explores the idea of a carbon tax as a potential solution to combat climate change. The author explains that a carbon tax is a tax on carbon dioxide emissions, which creates a financial incentive for companies and individuals to reduce their carbon emissions. The author notes that this market-based solution has been successful in reducing pollution in other contexts, such as the reduction of acid rain in the 1990s. The chapter addresses common concerns about a carbon tax, such as its impact on low-income households and certain industries, and suggests that these concerns can be addressed through careful planning and implementation. The chapter also highlights the potential benefits of a carbon tax, such as encouraging innovation in renewable energy and improving public health.

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