learning objectivesAfter reading this chapter you will be familiar with the following:
• three major environmental problems with international or even global dimensions;
• the causes and consequences of acid rain;
• the causes and consequences of depletion of the ozone layer;
• the causes and consequences of global warming;
• international efforts to address the problem of acid rain, ozone depletion and climate change;
• the economics of atmospheric pollution.
Most of the world’s climate scientists say global warming is a real and serious threat. Market forces won’t solve the problems, because markets treat pollution as a costless byproduct and underprice it. “Free-Market” advocates are promoting a complex scheme of tradable (transferable) emission rights. But this “market” does not exist in nature; it must first be constructed—by government diplomats and regulators. And these emissaries must resolve complex policy questions: how much overall