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Cop21: can you put a cost on climate change?

How can we put a value on the natural environment?

Redwood trees in a forest grove. © Michael Schweppe

Natural Capital: Valuing the Planet, by Dieter Helm (Yale University Press, £20)

It was, as it happens, an economist who first suggested 40 years ago that more than 2°C of warming would “take the climate outside of the range of observations which have been made over the last several hundred thousand years.” William Nordhaus of Yale University compared humanity’s approach to climate change to spinning a roulette wheel: “Every year that we…

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