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Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Space mirrors, carbon permits, and global warming

Could it be. Could technology save us from global warming through “space mirrors” and ” carbon absorbing rocks” (source).


Maybe.


In that case, should we not worry about pricing carbon.


No.


Why? Well, if it turns out that countries can cheaply get below the appropriate carbon producing targets with these technologies, then the price of carbon permits will collapse. The price will adjust to capture this technological change.


As a result, we should keep running with a scheme to limit the quantity of carbon emissions (in order to avoid or limit the damage of a global warming event) and we should realise that technological progress will get captured in any price adjustment – in fact the very existence of such prices will increase the incentive for people to develop these technologies.

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