Brothers' grim warning on carbon dioxide

May 23, 1997

It would be economically damaging to cut carbon dioxide emissions, despite the dangers of irreversible global warming, according to controversial new research findings. It may even be beneficial to increase emissions, claims Alastair Ulph, professor of economics at the University of Southampton, and his brother David, from University College London's economics department.

In their paper, Global Warming, Irreversibility and Learning, the researchers build a "simple theoretical model of global warming" which challenges the mainstream economic argument that carbon dioxide emissions should be cut now to avert potential problems in the future.

"Cutting carbon dioxide emissions now would mean much higher fuel prices which could be politically very dangerous," said Professor Ulph. "No one really knows if global warming is real. We must take into account that we will learn more in the future. Even if it means even more drastic action has to be taken tomorrow, future preventative measures will be less expensive than we think now."

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