A Tale of Risk and Calculus on the Front Lines of the Disrupted Global Economy
"In his powerful new book Carbon Shock, Mark Schapiro transcends standard discussions about the well-known culprits and ramifications of climate change and takes us on a harrowing, international exploration of the universal economic costs of carbon emissions. In his path-breaking treatise, Schapiro exposes the multinational corporate obfuscation of these costs; the folly of localized pseudo-solutions that spur Wall Street trading but don't quantify financial costs or public risks, solve core problems, or provide socially cheaper and environmentally sounder practices; and the laggard policies of the US, Russia and China relative to the EU in fashioning longer-term remedies. Not only does Schapiro compel the case for a global effort to thwart the joint economic and environmental plundering of our planet in this formidable book, but he expertly outlines the way to get there."
—Nomi Prins, author of All the Presidents' Bankers and It Takes a Pillage
How Carbon Is Changing the Cost of Everything
Journalist Mark Schapiro’s multi-year investigation into the economic disruption caused by climate change, delves deep into a new kind of chaos—one where carbon, the stand-in for all greenhouse gases, rules.
At the heart of that disruption, questions swirl around how to establish a price for carbon. To find answers, Schapiro deftly explores the key axis points of economic change, records the shifting economic and political powers, unveils new understandings of financial risk, and shows readers the costs of carbon in their everyday lives.
In the drought-ridden farmland of California, higher temperatures are driving up the price of the food we eat, the prices farmers pay for crop insurance, and the impact on taxpayers, who cover their losses. In the jungles of Brazil, foreign polluters are paying to keep “offset” trees standing at a fraction of the cost they are worth to nearby, struggling communities. In Guangzhou, the world’s greatest manufacturing center, Schapiro asks who should pay for the pollution—Chinese producers or Western consumers?
Schapiro also directs our attention skyward, where efforts to put a price tag on the carbon left by airplanes have created a quiet but powerful global trade war, and to the carbon-trading capital of Europe, where economists try to establish a price for a bizarre new commodity—a ton of carbon that will not be emitted.
These are the potent stories behind the headlines. For almost two decades, global climate talks have focused on how to make polluters pay for the carbon they emit and yet, as Carbon Shock reveals, it remains an unfolding financial mystery: What are the costs? Who will pay for them? Who do you pay? How do you pay? And what are the potential impacts?
The answers to these questions, and more, are crucial to understanding how the turmoil in the atmosphere is shifting the economic ground beneath our feet.