The Economics of Climate Change: Adaptations Past and Present
While debates over the consequences of climate change are often pessimistic, historical evidence indicates that there are many viable opportunities for responding to potential changes. This volume takes a close look at the ways in which economies—particularly that of the United States—have adjusted to past challenges posed by climate change. Among the many adjustments were new crop varieties, irrigation, flood control, the extension of cultivation to new geographic areas, and institutional features that helped insulate the economy from shocks. These innovations indicate that people and economies have considerable capacity to acclimate, especially when private gains complement public benefits. This is a thought-provoking look at options for adjusting to climate change and how improved communication and the emergence of new information and technologies may increase the potential for adaptation in the future.