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Date and Location

November 23, 2020
12:15 PM - 1:30 PM ET


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​How much will climate
change cost? How will we know? In this talk, I outline preliminary results from
a new research project on the role of economic experts in constructing climate
change as a social problem. Most prior STS research on climate change has
focused on natural scientists, from the technical underpinnings of climate data
to public controversies over the basic facts of climate change sustained by
fossil fuel industry campaigns. These dynamics have produced a tendency among
natural scientists towards "erring on the side of least drama"
(Brysse et al 2013), downplaying the possibility of extreme negative events. In
turn, I argue that climate economics has doubled down on this tendency,
building "least drama" economic models atop already truncated climate
models that project minimal aggregate damages from levels of warming seen as
catastrophic by most natural scientists. I document these trends in the IPCC
Assessment Reports and their reception.

Speakers and Presenters

​Daniel Hirschman, Associate Professor of Sociology, Brown University.


Additional Organizers

​Graduate School of Arts and Sciences; Weatherhead Center for International Affairs; School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.