By Dan Vergano, USA TODAY
Researchers who deal in cold numbers rather than warming climates believe the "significant benefits from curbing greenhouse-gas emissions would justify the costs of action," a new survey finds.
In fact, the survey of economists finds 94% believe the U.S. should join climate agreements to limit global warming.
The survey results to be released today come as debate over the economics of global warming moves center stage in Washington, D.C. Republican senators boycotted a hearing Tuesday over an Environmental Protection Agency analysis about the costs of a clean-energy bill. In addition, the United States and European Union are preparing for a December meeting in Copenhagen to discuss a climate treaty.
"An economist tree hugger is an imaginary creature," says Michael Livermore of New York University's Institute for Policy Integrity, which conducted the survey. "But we found that economists really see climate change poses a lot of risk to the economy."
The survey approached the 289 economists who had published climate-related studies in the top 25 economics journals in the past 15 years. About half, 144, responded, and 75% agreed or strongly agreed on the "value" of greenhouse-gas controls. …