equity and climate change and a night out in the LCR

A new lesson from our economics module: Equity (or global justice, as others might say) and climate change don’t have anything to do with each other and any attempt to resolve both at the same time is thus doomed to failure. You may not be surprised I don’t agree – but luckily, I am not the only one: Even if you restrain yourself to the debate among economists: “International Equity and Differentiation in Global Warming Policy – An Application to Tradeable Emission Permits” is for example the title of a paper in the journal Environmental and Resource Economics (12: 25–51, 1998). And then there is quite a bit of research about how all these cap-and-trade schemes work outside the textbook, that is: With imperfect competition, powerful companies, volatile prices…
To make it short: They don’t work as the economic textbook approach suggests, ensuring the needed emissions reduction at the least cost. We aren’t even talking about the loopholes in the actual schemes or the appropriation of the atmosphere by corporations and the questions of social and global justice associated with that. Unfortunately, I only have 2000 words to discuss all this plus the basic pollution problem for carbon dioxide.

After getting done my first draft of this essay, I went out to the LCR with some friends for a birthday celebration – my first time at the uni club and I expected the worst. People had basically told me to expect loads of embarrassing drunk first-year students (nothing against people who happen to be 18, but one sometimes feels old if they are the vast majority around you…) and horrible music. Against the background of that expectation, we really had a good time – even though I think I never felt that close to getting into a fight in a club…

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