Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs
The William R. Rhodes Center

America's Climate Change Future: Housing Markets, Stranded Assets, and Entrenched Interests

Friday, February 1, 2019

9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Joukowsky Forum, 111 Thayer Street

The Rhodes Center for International Economics, the Institute at Brown for Environment and Society, and the Office of the President are pleased to announce a one day conference on the economic and political consequences of climate change. The conference focuses on three key areas. First, the economics of rising sea levels for real coastal estate markets, which comprise a large portion of US housing market growth and hence personal wealth. The economics of ‘stranded carbon assets.’ That is, the raw materials and financial assets tied up in carbon release that have a high current value but whose values could decline precipitously in the future, especially if ambitious action is undertaken as scientific consensus suggests is needed. The third is the organized politics of climate denial: who are the agents and institutions behind scientific disinformation and how can such a politics best be countered? A lunchtime keynote speech will be given by Rhode Island Senator Sheldon Whitehouse. Lunch will be provided for participants.

Read full Research Brief on the conference.

Seating is limited. We have reached capacity for the conference and lunch and have closed registration. We will be simulcasting all of the day's talks via the blue links at the top of this page. Overflow seating for all of the sessions and the lunch will be avialable.

8:30 a.m. – Registration, coffee and pastries 

9 a.m. – Welcome remarks by Mark Blyth, Timmons Roberts, President Christina Paxson and U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse

9:30 a.m. – 10:45 a.m. – Session 1: Coastal properties and climate change
Presider/discussant: Curt Spalding (Brown University)
Lint Barrage (Brown University), “Flood risks and coastal property values: going under water?” 
Matthew Gibson (Williams College), "Climate change and flood risk: Evidence from New York real estate"
Stephie Fried (Arizona State University), “Seawalls and Stilts: A Quantitative Macro Study of Climate Adaptation”

10:45 a.m. – 11 a.m. – Coffee

11 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. – Session 2: Carbon bubbles and climate futures
Presider/discussant: Debbie Gordon (Brown University)
Joe Aldy (Harvard University), “Focal Carbon Prices”
Marcelo Ochoa (Federal Reserve Board) "Price of Long-Run Temperature Shifts in Capital Markets"
Armon Rezai (Institute for Ecological Economics, Vienna) “Stranded assets in fossil fuel industries and the capitalization of climate risks”

12:30 p.m. –1:30 p.m. – Lunch: Keynote address by Senator Sheldon Whitehouse “All this risk: Why are we unable to act?”

1:45 p.m. – 3:15 p.m. – Session 3: Institutional dynamics of climate action and inaction
Presider: Timmons Roberts (Brown University)
Robert Brulle (Brown University), “Organized efforts against climate action”
Loredana Loy (Cornell University), “Channeling the Brand: the Tea Party Movement and Climate Change Policy”
Justin Farrell (Yale University), “Climate Change Countermovement Organizations and Media Attention in the U.S.”
Kerry Ard (Ohio State University), “Public opinion on climate and Congressional voting”
Discussant: Won Ha (Energy Foundation)

3:15 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. – Coffee

3:30 p.m. – 4:45 p.m. – Session 4: Pushing against climate denial and defending science
Moderator: Mark Blyth (Brown University)
Initial paper/presentation for discussion: “Evidence-based Solutions to Combat Scientific Misinformation,” by Justin Farrell, Robert Brulle and Kathryn McConnell (Yale University and Brown University)
Kert Davies (Climate Investigation Center)
Timmons Roberts (Brown University)
Kerry Ard (Ohio State University)

5 p.m. – 6 p.m. – Reception