I know it sounds weird but, I really enjoy reading stuff by economists. Leavitt and Dubner’s Freakonomics and Super Freakonomics as well as their podcast, everything by Daniel Pink (books and blog), the list goes on and on. So when I heard about this new book by Gernot Wagner, who’s not only an economist but an environmental economist, I knew it was going to be a definite must-read for me. The book is called But Will the Planet Notice? How Smart Economics Can Save the World.
It’s a great read, with clear explanations of problems and policies needed, if a bit on the grim side. It’s actually been a while since I’ve read it, (this post has been a long time coming), and I regret not writing a lengthier review when it was all fresh in my mind. (I meant to, but you know……) I’ll have to get back on the library’s wait list to re-read it.
Perhaps the most jarring part was that he continually referred to the atmosphere as “our atmospheric sewer,” which is indeed what it is, unfortunately. One of his major arguments is that we don’t need to worry about oil running out, as we’ll run out of breathable air long before that happens if we remain on the path we’re on. Yikes.
His main point is that we can change what we do as individuals, but the population is so massive, our little efforts don’t make a difference. What we really need to do is change the policies and laws, which will change the behavior of everyone to make the largest possible impact. He lays out exactly what kinds of policies that would need to be put in place, as well as how and why they would work.
Sometimes I feel like I might have missed my calling as an economist, because I love reading about stuff like that.
If you, like me, have an interest in all things green through economist’s goggles, or if you’re interested to know more, or you just think I’m weird and are perversely curious about my crazy thing for economics, here are a few links you might enjoy:
What are YOUR most highly recommended blogs, books, documentaries, podcasts, websites, or other eco-minded sources of information?