From “hide the decline” to the “hockey stick” to Rush Limbaugh, the debate over climate change is fraught with accusations that the other side is willfully lying about the facts in order to win. Now there are two academics out with a paper justifying lying about climate change in order to convince global governments to “do something” about it.
Fuhai Hong and Xiojian Zhao, economists at Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University and Hong Kong University of Science and Technology respectively, are publishing a paper in the American Journal of Agricultural Economics called “Information Manipulation and Climate Agreements,” which argues that manipulation of information by the media will “enhance global welfare” by inducing countries to agree to environmental accords (IEAs).
We show that the exaggeration of climate change may alleviate the problem of insufficient IEA participation. When the mass media has private information on the damage caused by climate change, in equilibrium they may manipulate this information to increase pessimism regarding climate damage even though in actual fact the damage may not be that great. Consequently, more countries will be induced to participate in an IEA in this state, thereby leading to greater global welfare ex post.
The article purports to prove, with an economic model, that the urgency of climate change and the necessity of international agreement makes it okay to lie about the projected consequences of climate change.
Read more at TownHall.com.