EconTalk
Russ Roberts

Denier? Lukewarmer? Alarmist? Why so many pejorative descriptors for those engaging in conversation about climate change? This is among the questions explored in this week's EconTalk episode with with Matt Ridley.

Now we'd like to continue a civil conversation on this important issue. Please use the prompts below as conversational sparks, and share your reactions in the Comments. As always, we love to hear from you.

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Podcast episode Matt Ridley on Climate Change

EconTalk Episode with Matt Ridley
Hosted by Russ Roberts

Science writer and author Matt Ridley discusses climate change with EconTalk host Russ Roberts. Based on his reading of the scientific evidence, Ridley describes himself as a "lukewarmer." While Ridley agrees that humans have made the climate warmer, he argues that the impact is small or positive over some temperature ranges and regions. He rejects the catastrophic scenarios that some say are sufficiently likely to justify dramatic policy responses, and he reflects on the challenges of staking out an unpopular position on a contentious policy issue.

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Is it possible that what we though we knew about Africa's stagnant economy is wrong? Do we need a more stylized economic history? If so, this week's guest, Morten Jerven may be the one to provide it.

Let's hear what you took away from this week's conversation. Share your thoughts with us, and let's continue our education together. Africa2.jpg

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Podcast episode Morten Jerven on African Economic Growth

EconTalk Episode with Morten Jerven
Hosted by Russ Roberts

Morten Jerven of Simon Frasier University talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about his new book, Africa: Why Economists Get It Wrong. Jerven, who will be joining Noragric at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences this fall, argues that economists have misread the economic history of Africa, ignoring successful episodes of economic growth while trying to explain a perpetual malaise that does not exist. Jerven is critical of many of the attempts to explain growth using econometric techniques and suggests that a richer approach is necessary that is aware of the particular circumstances facing poor countries.

Size:33.2 MB
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Go Hollywood this week as Russ chats with Adam Davidson of Planet Money, who recently served as technical advisor on the upcoming film The Big Short.

We hope you're looking forward to the film, too. In the meantime, help us continue to expand our learning and conversation at EconTalk, using the prompts below.

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Podcast episode Adam Davidson on Hollywood and the Future of Work

EconTalk Episode with Adam Davidson
Hosted by Russ Roberts

What's it like to hang out with Brad Pitt, Christian Bale, Ryan Gosling, and Steve Carell for two months? Adam Davidson, who writes for the New York Times Sunday Magazine, was the technical advisor to the upcoming movie, The Big Short. Besides rubbing shoulders with celebrities, he noticed what he calls the Hollywood model where highly talented workers come together temporarily in project-based employment. Davidson discusses the costs and benefits of this approach and its potential emergence as a more common phenomenon throughout the economy.

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Podcast episode Nathaniel Popper on Bitcoin and Digital Gold

EconTalk Episode with Nathaniel Popper
Hosted by Russ Roberts

Nathaniel Popper of the New York Times and the author of Digital Gold talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about Bitcoin. Can Bitcoin make it? What went wrong with Mt. Gox? Why did Ross Ulbricht, the creator of Silk Road, just get sentenced to life in prison? Why are venture capital firms pouring millions of dollars into companies promising easier ways to use Bitcoin? Popper discusses these questions along with the technical side of Bitcoin to help listeners understand why so many investors are excited about the potential of Bitcoin.

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Is climate change the ultimate Black Swan? Harvard's Martin Weitzman joined Russ this week to talk about the potential risks of rising CO2 levels and what policies might be appropriate as a response.

Here are questions for thinking about this week's episode. We feel to respond in the comments making EconTalk more useful to our audience.

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Podcast episode Martin Weitzman on Climate Change

EconTalk Episode with Martin Weitzman
Hosted by Russ Roberts

Is climate change the ultimate Black Swan? Martin Weitzman of Harvard University and co-author of Climate Shock talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the risks of climate change. Weitzman argues that climate change is a fat-tailed phenomenon--there is a non-trivial risk of a catastrophe. Though Weitzman concedes that our knowledge of the climate is quite incomplete, he suggests that it is prudent to take serious measures, including possibly geo-engineering, to reduce the accumulation of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

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What's the track record of multi-billion dollar projects affecting the lives of millions of people? Surprisingly poor according to this week's guest, Oxford University''s Bent Flyvbjerg this week on such megaprojects. Now we'd like to hear about what you took away from this week's episode. Share your thoughts with us in the Comments, and share these discussion questions over dinner. Either way, we love to hear from you!

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