Climate Change Inaction to Cost Trillions

air pollutionA 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.

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2 Responses

  1. We can stop global warming. The frightening thing is we have less than ten years to play with, because then temperature rises become irreversible. Merely “limiting temperature rises” is not good enough and must not be accepted as an option.
    Tufts University's estimates that “failing to fight global warming now will cost trillions by the end of the centaury” are probably conservative. But the costs have already started. There is no waiting period. Global warming effects this centaury are at least a trillion dollars and rising every day. The centaury has just started.
    Fortunately to end global warming and restore world weather to normal probably won't cost a cent. Importing biofuels from wet tropical Third World countries and paying the same as petroleum from the Middle East, is cost neutral. Decommissioning and waste disposal charges included; nuclear generated electricity costs about the same as fossil fuel electricity. So it's cost neutral. Switching to organic type farming to build carbon-sequestering soil fertility is not only a big health benefit but is also; cost neutral. Organic food production may use more machinery but less to zero agricultural chemicals. The often sited “1.6 trillion dollar cost figure to end global warming” is oil company generated junk statistics, all to make the changes look too hard to be acceptable.
    Not having any global warming will be as enormous cost saving. Not funding potential enemies is also sound economics. Keep running on fossil fuels and four more Katrina equivalents will put another trillion dollars down the sink with absolutely no benefit to anyone.
    Ending global warming is the essential primary objective for all sane people. Vague feel-good concepts of merely mitigating it, hopefully slowing it down, or learning to live in a destabilized and horrendously expensive and frighteningly deadly world, is just not good enough. I argue in my book PRIORITY ONE Together We Can Beat Global Warming that ending global warming is easy, practical and is economic common sense. You can read the concise summary, STRAIGHT TALKING or even the whole book, free at our web site
    Four things we do. We use organic type farming to sequest the excess carbon dioxide out of the air to become stable soil organic matter. For transport, we switch totally to ethanol and biodiesel produced locally, or imported from wet tropical Third World countries and give their economies a chance. A 747 can run OK on biodiesel. Then we power our industrial societies on nuclear energy. And fourthly we stop believing the pro-oil, anti-biofuel, anti-nuclear PR put out by well-funded pseudo environmentalists. Allan Yeomans. Australia.

  2. Ali Bakir says:

    I think a radical solution is required to save the Planet and human kind. Two major policies can be implemented in the consumer world of the West which should go a long way to ensure survival:
    1. Controlling birth rate through steralisation, thus reducing consumption in the high consumer society of the West
    2. Boycotting the products of Western companies that have chosen to shift their production capacity to the East where environmental control is lacking, particularly those that have moved capacity to China & India.

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