Episode 50: Murphy Debates Climate Change at Yale Political Union

On February 27, 2018, Bob was the guest at the student-led Yale Political Union, debating the resolution, “The free market can solve climate change.” A member of the audience captured the audio on his phone; we are presenting here Bob’s opening statement, his Q&A, and his summary statement. (We are editing out the brief speeches given by the students in the middle of the event.) Below is a timeline of some highlights, and then links to further reading on Bob’s work on this topic.

7:52 — Bob explains that higher temperatures mean fewer elderly deaths in the winter. When his opponents hiss, Bob jokes that they don’t care about the elderly.

25:55 — Q&A session begins.

30:30 — Student critic asks if Bob believes in any role for government to provide public goods or utilities. (His answer gets a big cheer.)

31:30 — Bob contrasts government-regulated utility service in the summer with Budweiser.

33:19 — A student critic argues that the American public doesn’t care about climate change, and therefore free market won’t solve the problem. Bob turns this critique on its head.

37:50 — Bob gives summary remarks (after the other students have spoken, though their remarks are not included in this audio).

For further reading:

The sound engineer for this episode was Chris Williams. Learn more about his work at