We All Need to Think Like Economists to Save the Planet
In order to put the right economic policies in place, we need a generally well-educated public who understand the value of these policies in the first place.
Gernot Wagner is an economist at the Environmental Defense Fund. He teaches at Columbia and graduated from both Harvard and Stanford. He doesn't eat meat, doesn't drive, and knows full well the futility of his personal choices. www.gwagner.com
We need more economists, more people who have studied economics, who practice economics, and who do it in a way that doesn’t just enrich them personally, because they take the knowledge and try to make a buck or two. We need people to use that knowledge for the betterment of the world, for a greater good. We need people who essentially want to change the system like, for example, looking at the way we treat the planet and try to figure out ways to make people pay for the full cost of their pollution.
We need that on the one hand. We simply need an army of economists. What economists also need, of course, is an army in the first place. In order to put the right economic policies in place, we need a generally well-educated public who understand the value of these policies in the first place.
It would take everybody taking one economics class. That is probably at least as important as having a core group of really committed economists who really know their stuff out there to try and make a difference as a group of economists. What I would strongly urge everyone to do is consider economics to try to make sense of the world.
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