The Inexact Science of Climatology

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Climatology is an inexact science to say the least. The only undisputed facts are: there are gases that are transparent to ultraviolet light but absorb infrared radiation, creating the ‘greenhouse effect’, and human activity has caused the accumulation of greenhouse gasses to increase across the world (McKibben & Wilcoxen, 2002). The application of microeconomic principles can be used to address some of the fallout of the climate change caused by the greenhouse effect. In this paper we will take a look at three such measures and what their application can mean to the industry. The same way that there are various uncertain factors when accounting for climate change (clouds, ocean temperature, aerosols’ effect, etc.), there are various microeconomic principles that can be applied to help reduce emissions, with equally diverse results. One of the most limiting forms of creating clean emissions standards is a renewable portfolio standard (RPS) limited to renewable technology (Paul, Palmer & Woerman, 2011). This is restrictive because of an unfair distribution of credits dependent upon which technology the RPS is being applied to. For example, an RPS that treats all renewables equally would highly encourage the low-cost renewables like bio-mass and wind, while high-cost renewables like solar would not be promoted as fairly (Paul, Palmer & Woerman). Some states help address this disproportion allotment with ‘carve-outs’ or portions of the RPS that addresses separate renewables

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