chapter  6
Markets
Pages 25

The greenhouse gas emissions that are currently causing climate change have been produced primarily by industrial activity associated with the massive expansion of the global economy over the last 250 years. Rather uncomfortably for those seeking to argue that economic development can be sustainable, industrial output correlates almost perfectly with greenhouse gas emissions, so that more economic activity equals more emissions. One startling indication of this relationship is that the 2008 global economic recession did more to reduce emissions than the efforts of environmentalists and regulators put together. On this reading, it is questionable whether the brand of market economics that caused climate change is capable of reversing it.