Common Tragedies

Thoughts on Environmental Economics

Solving one type of knowledge problem

Posted by Danny Morris on July 28, 2009

Have you ever found yourself wandering through midtown Manhattan, thinking “I wonder how many tons of CO2 humanity has cumulatively released into the atmosphere”? Well, you’re lucky that Deutsche Bank had you in mind when they designed their new billboard:

Now you know. And I have no doubt this counter will have as much of a lasting impact on the national conscious as the National Debt counter.

H/T: G2 Weather Intelligence

8 Responses to “Solving one type of knowledge problem”

  1. Carlos Ferreira said

    Can I just ask how do you rate the impact of the Debt Clock, and what effect has it had on US national debt?

    • Danny Morris said


      I would rate the success of the National Debt Clock on national debt trends since its installation. When the clock was first installed in 1989, national debt was about $2.7 trillion. Now it’s roughly $11.6 trillion. So you can see how helpful the Debt Clock has been in helping us control our debt. I’m sure the carbon counter will be just as effective.

      p.s. sarcasm doesn’t always carry well over the internet. sorry about that.

      • Carlos Ferreira said

        No worries. It seems sarcasm doesn’t carry well in blog comments as well.😉

        Next time I walk in downtown Manhattan, I’ll have something to look forward to.

      • Danny Morris said

        Touche, good sir. i’m always better at giving it that receiving it.😀

      • Andrew Stevenson said

        That’s what she said?

    • Josh said

      I’ll be a tiny voice of dissent. In 1989, the debt clock helped to foster a growing outrage at our spiraling debt. This reached crescendo in 1992 with Ross Perot running for President, peeling off Republican support, and resulting in an economist becoming President. Within seven years, and for the first time since the late ’60’s, we were running budget surpluses.

      Of course, I don’t give all the credit to the debt clock, but it was a symptom and a catalyst. I remember when it first came out.

  2. WooHoo said

    Thank goodness for DB stepping forward to do the right thing.

    Their motivation to save the environment should be commended when they could be promoting carbon trading as a pure financial play.

    Oh, wait…never mind. I was almost naive there for a moment.

    • Carlos Ferreira said

      Not much wrong with DB making profit out of it, as long as emissions are reduced. Other banks will step in and profits will be reduced.

      At least that’s what my faithful Microeconomics book predicts.

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