Geoeconomic time and global warming: renewable energy and conservation policy

Darwin C. Hall (California State University, Long Beach, California, USA)

International Journal of Social Economics

ISSN: 0306-8293

Publication date: 1 April 1996


The concept of geoeconomic time, introduced here, is based on the interface among economic activity, technology, and geophysical processes. Geoeconomic time is what should frame economic analysis of global warming policy. Otherwise, the analysis will be flawed. Application of geoeconomic time to global warming has two parts. The first is the future time frame for projecting impacts on the earth. The second is the historic time frame for delineating our bounds of ignorance regarding the possible consequences of global warming. Many economic analyses conclude against policies to reduce emissions of warming gases, and instead conclude in favour of the “optimal” policy of adapting to global warming. The concept of geoeconomic time reveals that the magnitude of our ignorance is of such a scale that we can never reduce uncertainty sufficiently to design “optimal” policies. Concludes in favour of risk‐reducing policies for research, development and commercialization of energy efficiency technologies and renewable energy. Successful examples can be found at the state and local levels of government action.



Hall, D. (1996), "Geoeconomic time and global warming: renewable energy and conservation policy", International Journal of Social Economics, Vol. 23 No. 4/5/6, pp. 64-87.

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Copyright © 1996, MCB UP Limited

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