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Stephen Schneider

American environmental activist, Professor in the Biological Sciences Department at Stanford University and the Former Department Director and Head of Advanced Study Project at the National Center for Atmospheric Research Boulder, author of Laboratory Earth and other works


 Investigators assessing the economic costs of reducing greenhouse gas emissions typically have considered the costs of reaching given targets for emissions reductions, or alternatively, the costs of given taxes on fuels that contribute to greenhouse gas emissions. In my view virtually all of the models suffer from an important omission - the neglect of price-induced technological change. This omission biases upward the estimation of the costs of policies to avoid climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Climate change policies, by raising mean prices of conventional fuels, can stimulate more rapid development of alternative, non-fossil fuel technologies and lower the prices at which these technologies break even. Such induced technological change mitigates, perhaps substantially, the cost of climate policies.

Oct. 6, 1995 - from the London Times Higher Education Supplement
 [Environmental activism] We have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified dramatic statements, and make little mention of any doubts we may have. Each of us has to decide what the right balance is between being effective and being honest.

Oct. 1989 - quoted in Discover Magazine