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Watch: Statistician Dr. Kevin Dayaratna on ‘The Social Benefits of Lukewarming’


ICCC-14 Preview, Ep. 1: Kevin Dayaratna, The Social Benefits of Lukewarming

In this preview of Heartland’s 14th International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC-14) on Oct. 15-17 in Las Vegas, the Heritage Foundation’s Kevin Dayaratna, Ph.D., gave a brief presentation on his new paper with Ross McKitrick and Patrick Michaels on climate sensitivity, agricultural productivity and the social cost of carbon. This event was live-streamed at 3 p.m. ET on April 22, 2021. About Kevin Dayaratna:…
In my research at Heritage, I have extensively examined the integrated assessment models used to estimate the social cost of carbon (SCC) that have been used as a basis for regulating the energy sector of our economy. In particular, I have examined their robustness to a variety of assumptions, including specification of a discount rate, time horizon, and an equilibrium climate sensitivity distribution and found that these models are highly sensitive to reasonable changes to these assumptions and thus highly prone to user manipulation. In this research (co-authored with Ross McKitrick and Pat Michaels) published in the peer-reviewed journal Environmental Economics and Policy Studies, we examine yet another assumption in one of the integrated assessment models – the agricultural productivity component of the FUND model.
We find that this assumption is based on outdated research and vastly understated. Under a variety of reasonable adjustments to this aspect of the model, however, the FUND model results in a net-zero or negative SCC, suggesting that there may be effectively zero or perhaps even net benefits due to a moderate amount of climate change.