Climate Change Inaction to Cost Trillions
A new report from the Global Development and Environment Institute of Tufts University finds that “failing to fight global warming now [more] will cost trillions of dollars by the end of the century even without counting biodiversity loss or unpredictable events like the Gulf Stream shutting down… spending just 1.6 trillion pounds a year now to limit temperature rises to two degrees could avoid annual economic damage of around 6.4 trillion pounds.” The article and report itself correctly grasps the magnitude of the ecological collapse that will be caused by continued greenhouse gas emissions [search] and other environmental wrongs such as habitat fragmentation, water and ocean mismanagement, and toxics. Yet given the impossibility of engineering a biosphere, the report does an injustice by monetizing ecosystem services. It is not that a large price tag will be presented to humanity for failing to reduce greenhouse gas emissions now. The price will be paid for in human misery and injustice.