Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs
Climate Solutions Lab

The Costs of Climate Change

Brown University


Fall 2021

Prof. Daniel Hirschman

Undergraduate seminar

This seminar examines debates over the costs - economic, environmental, and social - of climate change. We will explore how economists attempt to solve seemingly impossible problems of valuation like: how much should we value the wellbeing of current versus future generations? How much value does the ecosystem as a whole provide? We will then survey how these numbers (sometimes) enter into environmental regulatory debates. Finally, we will study how movements fighting for environmental justice adopt - or reject - the language of economics to make claims about the morality and economics of fossil fuel producers.