Slow Burn: The Hidden Costs of a Warming World
Date and Time:
May 8 2024 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Note: Event start time is Central Time (CT).


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R. Jisung Park, Ph.D.

Assistant professor at the University of Pennsylvania in the School of Social Policy and Practice and the Wharton School of Business

Robert Frank, Ph.D.

H. J. Louis Professor Emeritus of Management and Professor Emeritus of Economics at Cornell University's Johnson Graduate School of Management

Slow Burn: The Hidden Costs of a Warming World

Activism | American History | Behavior | Business | Civics | Climate Change | Community | Crisis Management | Economics | Ethics | Health | History | Immigration | Inequality | Innovation | Public Health | Public Policy | Science | Well Being

BONUS AFTER-HOURS EVENT: Attendees who purchase a copy of Slow Burn from FAN’s partner bookseller The Book Stall are invited to attend an AFTER-HOURS event hosted by Prof. Park and Prof. Frank that will start immediately after the webinar. Details on the webinar registration page.

It’s hard not to feel anxious about the problem of climate change, especially if we think of it as an impending planetary catastrophe. In Slow Burn: The  Hidden Costs of a Warming World, R. Jisung Park, Ph.D., an environmental and labor economist at the University of Pennsylvania, encourages us to view climate change through a different lens: one that focuses less on the possibility of mass climate extinction in a theoretical future, and more on the everyday implications of climate change here and now.

Drawing on a wealth of new data and cutting-edge economics, Prof. Park shows how climate change headlines often miss some of the most important costs. When wildfires blaze, what happens to people downwind of the smoke? When natural disasters destroy buildings and bridges, what happens to educational outcomes? Park explains how climate change operates as the silent accumulation of a thousand tiny conflagrations: imperceptibly elevated health risks spread across billions of people; pennies off the dollar of productivity; fewer opportunities for upward mobility.

By investigating how the physical phenomenon of climate change interacts with social and economic institutions, Park illustrates how climate change already affects everyone, and may act as an amplifier of inequality. Wealthier households and corporations may adapt quickly, but, without targeted interventions, less advantaged communities may not. Viewing climate change as a slow and unequal burn comes with an important silver lining. It puts dollars and cents behind the case for aggressive emissions cuts and helps identify concrete steps that can be taken to better manage its adverse effects.

Prof. Park received a Ph.D. in economics from Harvard University, where he was an NSF Fellow, and master’s degrees in Environmental Change and Management (MSc) and Development Economics (MSc) from the University of Oxford, where he was a Rhodes Scholar. He will be in conversation with Robert Frank, Ph.D. (FAN ’22), the H. J. Louis Professor Emeritus of Management and Professor Emeritus of Economics at Cornell’s Johnson Graduate School of Management.

This event suitable for youth 12+. It will be recorded and available on FAN’s website and YouTube channel.