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Cass R. Sunstein

Talking Like Grownups About Climate Change

Why are Americans unwilling to incur any cost to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions?
America's champions of climate change.

America's champions of climate change.

Photographer: Photographer: George Frey/Bloomberg

Are Americans worried about climate change? Do they want their government to regulate greenhouse gases? A recent survey -- from Stanford University, the New York Times and Resources for the Future -- found that strong majorities say “yes” to both questions.

But there’s a big catch, which isn't getting the attention it deserves: A strong majority also say that they oppose increasing taxes on either gasoline or electricity in order to reduce climate change. That’s important, because any serious effort to lower emissions is going to raise prices (certainly in the short run).
Climate Change