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On the Web Thu Nov 19 2009

AV Club Interviews Steven D. Levitt

The Onion AV Club interviews Superfreakonomics author and University of Chicago professor Steven D. Levitt, questioning him on the book's controversial chapter on global warming and taking him to task on other claims, such as the effects of terrorism and the size of Indian men's, um, body parts. Says Levitt in answer to the first topic:

Our chapter does not deny the existence of global warming. What we do is, we say that the current solution people are proposing is one that involves reducing carbon emissions dramatically. The problem with that solution is, it's incredibly expensive. The economists who have looked at it think it will cost trillions of dollars in reduced economic output to accomplish it. Also, it requires everyone in the world to get together and suddenly become allies and friends to try and change their behavior, to moderate how much they produce. And even if we do it, because carbon dioxide stays in the air for so long, it will take 50 years to really feel the benefits, or even know if we are getting benefits. So we take a very different approach, which says, "Let's just say the earth got too hot and we wanted to make it cooler, would reducing carbon emissions be the right way to go?" And we think the answer is no.

 
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Book Club is the literary section of Gapers Block, covering Chicago's authors, poets and literary events. More...

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