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You are one of seven billion people on Earth. Put bluntly, whatever you do personally – eat tofu in a Hummer or hamburgers in a Prius – the planet doesn't care. Nor, for that matter, does the economy. And when confronting the entwined challenges of climate change, species preservation, and a planet going off the cliff, it is what several billion people do that makes a difference.
The solution? Not scientists, not politicians, not activists. Cue the economists. The hope of mankind, and indeed of every living thing on the planet, is now in the hands of the masters of the dismal science. But Will the Planet Notice? is the Environmental Defense Fund economist Gernot Wagner's tour of global economics and of the economists wrestling with the scope of climate chaos and the means of realigning incentives to resolve the threat.
"It's always a pleasure to read a confident, funny and convincing writer who promotes counter-intuitive conclusions. If you like the idea of an environmentalist who works for one of the nation's largest environmental groups making a full-throated argument against the Endangered Species Act [...] then But Will the Planet Notice?: How Smart Economics Can Save the World is the book for you."
- Dan Shapley, The Daily Green
"Wagner's wry, witty prose brings rationality to an emotionally charged subject and urges us to take personal responsibility for the planet by demanding an economically sound solution to guiding market forces in the right direction, making it in our best interests to do the right thing."
- Publishers Weekly
"If you want to understand how an economist thinks about the biggest challenge our planet has ever stumbled up against, this book is an awfully good place to start!"
-Bill McKibben, author of Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet
"Idealism will not shift the choices of billions of people as effectively as self-interest. Gernot Wagner has written a lucid and enjoyable exposition of the underlying economics. We must remove the incentives to treat scarce resources as if they were free. He respects the moral principles of the idealists who want to change behavior by precept alone. But, as an economist, he knows that if we want less of anything, including pollution, we must raise its price."
- Martin Wolf, Financial Times
"This splendid book showcases why environmental economics is such an exciting field today. Who knew that an economist not named Krugman could write so well? I will buy my mom a copy."
- Matthew E. Kahn, author of Climatopolis: How Our Cities Will Thrive in Our Hotter Future