The world is facing a potential catastrophe from greenhouse-gas emissions. But nations don't have to wreck their economies to avert the crisis. The Journal Report See the complete Environment report. Critics argue that the legislation passed earlier this year by the U.S. House of Representatives—to cut U.S. emissions 80% below 2005 levels by 2050—will mean big, disruptive changes to our infrastructure and untold economic damage. But they make a couple of basic errors. For one thing, they seem to think we'd have to replace the entire infrastructure quickly, paying trillions of dollars to shift to cleaner power. They also seem to assume that we have to choose between much more expensive energy and no energy at all. The move to greener power doesn't have to be completed immediately, and it doesn't have to be painful. The right transition plan will increase consumers' bills gradually and modestly, and allow companies to make gradual, well-timed moves.
Stavins, Robert N. "Can Countries Cut Carbon Emissions Without Hurting Economic Growth? Yes, the Transition Can be Gradual B and Affordable." Wall Street Journal, September 21, 2009.