TITLE

The Greenhouse Effect and Energy Policy in the United States

AUTHOR(S)
Nowotny, Kenneth
PUB. DATE
December 1989
SOURCE
Journal of Economic Issues (Association for Evolutionary Economi;Dec89, Vol. 23 Issue 4, p1075
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
The article focuses on the greenhouse effect and energy policy in the U.S. The greenhouse effect may be the ultimate negative externality or "public bad." If environmental scientists are correct, the build-up of certain gases in the atmosphere, such as methane and carbon dioxide results in the increased ability of the atmosphere to store heat. The increased storage ability is gradually raising the earth's average temperature, threatening to change climate conditions, affecting humanity's ability to grow crops with traditional technology and threatening to reduce the polar ice caps and flood low-lying areas contiguous to the world's oceans. The article briefly summarizes the nature of the physical characteristics of the greenhouse effect and then develops its implications for market structures in various sectors of the economy currently based on the use of fossil fuels. Conclusions of the article are that "free rider" problems common to public good analysis allow to conclude that freely operating markets can no longer be relied upon to allocate fossil fuel resources to energy users and that any attempt to allow competition into the market for electricity generation will only exacerbate problems of the greenhouse effect.
ACCESSION #
4672201

 

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