David Gerard, associate professor of economics at Lawrence University, discusses the considerable consensus about climate policy that economists have reached in the college’s annual Honors Convocation.
The Honors Convocation publicly recognizes students and faculty recipients of awards and prizes for excellence in the arts, humanities, sciences, social sciences, languages and music as well as demonstrated excellence in athletics and service to others.
Gerard was chosen as speaker as the recipient of Lawrence’s annual Faculty Convocation Award, which honors a faculty member for distinguished professional work. He is the sixth faculty member so honored.
A specialist in risk analysis, Gerard will outline projected impacts of fossil fuel emissions on global temperatures and discuss the economic and political challenges associated with mitigating carbon emissions, drawing upon his research in electricity generation costs and “clean coal” technologies.
His research focuses on rules and regulations that govern everything from health and safety to the environment, including remediation of hazardous waste sites, automobile fuel economy and emissions and the effect of changing from standard time to daylight savings time on traffic fatalities.
He shared his expertise with the Senate subcommittee on Environment and Public Works on Clean Water Act reform in 2000 and spent two years as a member of a special National Academy of Sciences panel investigating the safety challenges of advanced automotive electronics, sparked by the rash of unexplained accelerator accidents in Toyota vehicles.
Gerard was instrumental in the development of two interactive websites that allow users to explore various dimensions of mortality risks. TrafficSTATSallows users to explore traffic risks for various vehicle types and demographic characteristics while Death Risk Rankings enables users to compare the probability of dying by various causes in the United States and the European Union.
Prior to joining the Lawrence faculty in 2009, Gerard spent eight years at Carnegie Mellon University as the executive director of the Center for the Study and Improvement of Regulation in the department of Engineering and Public Policy.
Gerard earned a bachelor’s degree in American studies and economics from Grinnell College and earned a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Illinois.
Gerard, David, "Is it Warm in Here? The Intractable Challenges of Climate Change" (2015). Convocations. Paper 1.