It takes a special event to nudge me to travel from Los Angeles to NYC in early February! Yesterday, I had the pleasure of giving the Keynote Address at a Rudin Center Event on Urban Livability at NYU’s Wagner School. After the event, I participated in this video interview . I know that I should stick to radio but if you click on the video you will quickly get a sense of my Climatopolis book’s key themes. Climate change is a serious challenge. Unfortunately, world greenhouse gas emissions will continue to rise. Are we doomed? In Climatopolis, I present a logical vision of how urban households, firms and governments will make new investments that collectively help us to adapt to this scary challenge.
We know that “we don’t know” how climate change will impact our cities. The anticipation of coming, ambiguous pain actually helps us to adapt. Households have access to a host of adaptation strategies ranging from migration, to purchasing better air conditioners (Moscow). Entrepreneurs who anticipate coming days of climate change induced suffering have strong incentives to innovate now so that they can get rich selling their “adaptation friendly” products to desperate Homer Simpsons and Rush Limbaughs (who haven’t planned ahead). Unlike previous work, my book focuses on the “small ball” microeconomics of how we individually take actions to protect ourselves so that Mother Nature’s shocks don’t knock us out. Urbanites will continue to thrive in our hotter future. In a future post, I will talk about developing country cities and what they will do to adapt to the real challenge of climate change.