The 4th Annual Hans Landsberg Memorial Lecture
Global Warming: Intellectual History and Strategic Choices
Wednesday, December 6, 2006
Thomas C. Schelling
2005 Nobel Prize Laureate in Economics and Distinguished Professor,
School of Public Policy, University of Maryland
Our understanding of the global warming threat and the debate over strategies to mitigate and adapt to it have emerged only within the last three or four decades. We have learned much during these years – what the science seems to be telling us, what the possibly irreversible risks may be, and what technology and policy options may be available. Still, by historical standards, the insights gleaned over the past 30 to 40 years are insufficient to form a confident basis for crafting future strategies, especially given the complexity of climate change. As practically as possible, flexibility must continue to be a hallmark of global warming mitigation policies.
To explore this perspective, RFF welcomes Nobel Laureate Thomas Schelling to present the 2006 Hans Landsberg Memorial Lecture.
Thomas C. Schelling is a 2005 Nobel Prize Laureate in Economics and a distinguished professor at the University of Maryland’s School of Public Policy. Before coming to Maryland, he served 20 years at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, where he was the Lucius N. Littauer Professor of Political Economy. He has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Medicine, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 1991, he was president of the American Economic Association, of which he is a distinguished fellow. He was the recipient of the Frank E. Seidman Distinguished Award in Political Economy and the National Academy of Sciences award for Behavioral Research Relevant to the Prevention of Nuclear War. He served in the Economic Cooperation Administration in Europe and has held positions in the White House and Executive Office of the President, Yale University, and the RAND Corporation.
Dr. Schelling has published on military strategy and arms control, energy and environmental policy, climate change, nuclear proliferation, terrorism, organized crime, foreign aid and international trade, conflict and bargaining theory, racial segregation and integration, the military draft, health policy, tobacco and drug policy, and ethical issues in public policy and in business.
The Hans Landsberg Memorial Lecture honors the memory of Landsberg, a pioneer in energy and mineral economics who was a devoted member of the Resources for the Future staff for nearly 40 years. Hans was a friend and mentor to many individuals, motivating them to pursue careers as diverse as his many interests. His contributions include lead-authorship of Resources in America’s Future, a 1963 landmark volume examining the multiplicity of natural resource requirements to sustain the nation's economic growth, and to Energy: The Next Twenty Years (1979), a major research effort he directed to probe the nation's energy dilemmas in the wake of emerging environmental concerns.
Hans was one of RFF’s founding fathers. His friends, family, and colleagues established the Hans Landsberg Memorial Fund to ensure that his legacy of scholarship – rooted in solid knowledge and analysis, yet widely accessible and policy relevant – lives on. Additional contributions are welcome.