Paul Romer

Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Romer distinguishes something called a complacent optimism from conditional optimism. Complacent optimism is the feeling a child gets wait for presents.  Conditional optimism is the feeling of a child who wants to build a tree house and thinks, “Well, if I get some nails and some wood and persuade some of the kids to come along and help me, we could build something really cool.”  He nurtured a theory called endogenous growth, and what endogenous growth tells us is that it’s conditional optimism and not complacent optimism that is necessary to change the world.  Instead of suggesting that we can relax because policy choices don’t matter, it suggests to the contrary that policy choices ar even more important than traditional theory suggests. 

More about the Nobel laureate and climate change here.