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Climate Shock:
The Economic Consequences of a Hotter Planet
Gernot Wagner & Martin L. Weitzman

2016 Outstanding Book of the Year “Most Likely to Save the Planet,” Independent Publisher Book Awards
A Financial Times Summer Books 2015 selection
One of Financial Times ( Best Books in Economics 2015, chosen by Martin Wolf
One of the Globalist’s Top Books of 2015
Longlisted for the Financial Times and McKinsey Business Book of the Year 2015

Hardcover | 2015 | $27.95 | £22.95 | ISBN: 9780691159478
264 pp. | 5 1/2 x 8 1/2 | 3 line illus. 5 tables.
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A Q&A with Gernot Wagner & Martin Weitzman

Gernot Wagner interview, Weather Channel, Wake Up with Al (Roker)

Book Trailer

If you had a 10 percent chance of having a fatal car accident, you'd take necessary precautions. If your finances had a 10 percent chance of suffering a severe loss, you'd reevaluate your assets. So if we know the world is warming and there's a 10 percent chance this might eventually lead to a catastrophe beyond anything we could imagine, why aren't we doing more about climate change right now? We insure our lives against an uncertain future--why not our planet?

In Climate Shock, Gernot Wagner and Martin Weitzman explore in lively, clear terms the likely repercussions of a hotter planet, drawing on and expanding from work previously unavailable to general audiences. They show that the longer we wait to act, the more likely an extreme event will happen. A city might go underwater. A rogue nation might shoot particles into the Earth's atmosphere, geoengineering cooler temperatures. Zeroing in on the unknown extreme risks that may yet dwarf all else, the authors look at how economic forces that make sensible climate policies difficult to enact, make radical would-be fixes like geoengineering all the more probable. What we know about climate change is alarming enough. What we don't know about the extreme risks could be far more dangerous. Wagner and Weitzman help readers understand that we need to think about climate change in the same way that we think about insurance--as a risk management problem, only here on a global scale.

Demonstrating that climate change can and should be dealt with--and what could happen if we don't do so--Climate Shock tackles the defining environmental and public policy issue of our time.

Gernot Wagner is lead senior economist at the Environmental Defense Fund. He is the author of But Will the Planet Notice? (Hill & Wang). Martin L. Weitzman is professor of economics at Harvard University. His books include Income, Wealth, and the Maximum Principle. For more, see and


"[Climate Shock] is a witty, far-ranging, and literate set of observations…[I]t is always informed by a deep understanding of the complexities of economics and particularly the difficulties of reaching international environmental agreements."--William D. Nordhaus, New York Review of Books [See full review]

"'Top 10: Business & Economics' for Spring 2015."--Publishers Weekly [See full review]

"Economists Gernot Wagner and Martin Weitzman deliver a high-voltage shock in their analysis of the costs of climate change."--Nature [See full review]

"[U]seful for policy workers in helping shape dollars-and-cents arguments about the environment and global climate."--Kirkus [See full review]

"[A]n impressive (and concise) book."--Diane Coyle, Enlightened Economist [See full review]

"This informative, convincing, and easily read book offers general audiences the basic case for global climate mitigation."--Ian Parry, Finance & Development [See full review]

"This book represents a synthesis of research and offers a clear-headed look at what must be done."--Toronto Star [See full review]

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Table of Contents:

Preface: Pop Quiz ix
Chapter 1. 911 1
Chapter 2. 411 30
Chapter 3. Fat Tails 48
Chapter 4. Willful Blindness 80
Chapter 5. Bailing Out the Planet 92
Chapter 6. 007 116
Chapter 7. What You Can Do 128
Epilogue: A Different Kind of Optimism 148
Acknowledgments 153
Notes 155
Bibliography 207
Index 243

Another Princeton book authored or coauthored by Gernot Wagner:

Another Princeton book authored or coauthored by Martin L. Weitzman:

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File created: 9/14/2017

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