Articles on Future discounting

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The lawsuit accuses the US government of knowing about the harmful effects of greenhouse emissions for 50 years, but failing to stop them rising. EPA/Justin Lane/AAP

Teens sue Obama over climate, asking why future generations’ rights are not respected

The US government is being sued by teenagers who say it hasn't done enough to protect future generations from climate change. The case raises the crucial question of how we weigh up society's future rights.
This sign might actually be appealing to treasure hunters in the distant future. Alan English CPA/Flickr

Three problems with the way we think about nuclear power

Our natural difficulties in thinking about the future, low probabilities and considering risk make many of our views about nuclear power problematic.
Economist Thomas Piketty has warned “climate change cannot be eliminated at the stroke of a pen”. Parti Socialiste du Loiret/Flickr

Thomas Piketty, climate change and discounting our future

French economist Thomas Piketty and his book Capital in the Twenty-First Century are a global publishing phenomenon. But while Piketty’s writing on wealth inequality has been widely debated, far fewer…

The science of dread: anticipating pain makes it worse

For most people, a chocolate today is better than one tomorrow. Economists refer to this as “future discounting”, where we prefer to have nice things now rather than wait and unpleasant things later rather…

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