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"Good news!" says Ronald Bailey. "It turns out we can fix global warming for only $117 billion per year!

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  • ||

    That sounds like a deal we should take. I'll pitch in my $20 bucks if everybody else will.

  • ||

    I got three toonies, three quarters, two nickels and two pennies in my pocket right now.

    US$117 Billion ~= C$130 Billion/6 Billion = C$21.67 less the C$6.87 I've got = C$14.80

    Can I have credit for the C$14.80 until Tuesday?

  • Chris K.||

    'For the price of a cup of coffee, you, too, can save the earth from environmental apocolypse...' How convenient! All year, these reports have been released to scare the shit out of us (thus, forcing upon us this issue's political RELEVANCE)--but, now, don't worry, because it'll be cheap to fix (thus, making is politically ACCEPTABLE)... I mean, who the fuck's kidding whom? Has any global issue EVER been this cheap--or easy--to remedy, be it terrorism, drugs, poverty, human trafficking--fucking soccer riots?! Maybe show me some competence regarding THOSE issues, and maybe I'll buy into THIS bullshit.

  • The Anti Dan T||

    I'll be dead long before the apocalypse.
    Fry, suckers!

  • Dave T||

    I'll contribute only if Bill Gates manages the spending of the money.

  • VM||

    Bender has a fun contribution :)

  • ||

    Disclaimer: I don't believe that we should engage in these emissions reductions, but I'm throwing this out as a thought experiment and to provoke interesting discussion.

    This price tag is about twice as much as the War in Iraq. The cost of the war is borne solely by American taxpayers. Presumably, our share of the $117 B will be less than half of the total (maybe about 30% or so, in line with our contribution to GDP)*. The damage that could be caused by global warming is estimated to be higher than that of Saddam Hussein. Many hawks are now saying that the risk of Hussein with WMDs was too great to leave alone. I would like to know why greens wanting to spend this much to prevent the threat of global warming is less reasonable than hawks wanting to spend as much as they did on Iraq.

    Discuss.

    * Not to mention the cost in blood.

  • ||

    Bad news, no one!

  • ||

    I can't conceive that these numbers are right.

    This really takes into account that higher current expenses become really expensive in a time value calculation? It takes into account the harm to growth itself?

  • Chris K.||

    Neither is reasonable, not only because both issues suffer from similar 'groupthink' ('Everybody KNOWS that Saddam Hussein has weapons of mass destruction...' 'Everybody KNOWS that global warming will cause catastrophic climate change...'), but because both issues also suffer from similar optimistic delusions ('We can invade and occupy Iraq with only a minimal expenditure in personnel and funds...' 'We can stabilize the climate of an entire planet simply by changing our lightbulbs and improving fuel efficiency standards...'). All that I am saying is that enormous problems require enormous sacrifices--you cannot have it both ways. To my knowledge, there has never been an AFFORDABLE apocolypse--and anybody who believes that the same politicians and bureaucrats who have failed repeatedly to achieve global aims (elimination of poverty, nuclear disarmament, etc.) is naive, at best, or foolish, at worst.

  • Sandy||

    I'll contribute only if Bill Gates manages the spending of the money.

    So...spend vast sums hiring the smartest minds in the world and, er, rejigger the Start menu after 7 years?

  • D.A. Ridgely||

    That sounds like a deal we should take. I'll pitch in my $20 bucks if everybody else will.

    Sure, I'll pitch in another $20 from Dan T. Anyone else? Anybody? Anybody? Bueller? Anybody?

  • Sandy||

    Hopefully the carbon taxes and restructuring charges will kill and maim fewer people than the Iraq war...

  • ||

    This money would be better spent on inventing a time machine and asteroid deflector, so the reptiles could still be running the planet.

  • ||

    "the reptiles could still be running the planet."

    Did you take a look at the group photo for the last G-8 summit?

  • ||

    A nice post.

    This estimate of a light drag on the economy doesn't seem to take into account that many activities that would reduce CO2 can be economically beneficial overall. Increased energy efficiency also leads to increase productivity that offsets any costs (some case studies here - http://www.rmi.org/images/other/GDS/D94-27_GBBL.pdf ).


    "There would be no need to set appliance or building code standards"

    Although these may be a quicker route to a reduced carbon footprint since heating/cooling & lighting are the primary energy uses in industrial societies.

    A switch to energy performance contracting will move things along nicely.

    http://www.rmi.org/images/other/GDS/D04-23_EleyPerfCntrEFRpt.pdf

    A well designed green building will produce large long term cost savings for a modest increase in up front cost.

  • ||

    Mo,

    A nice way to frame the debate.

  • ||

    WTF is it with all of the text strikethrough text on the home page and on everything following this on the Hit&run main page? Am I the only one seeing this?

  • ||

    Even if the US bore the whole cost, it would only be about $400 per person. I'd pay that without complaint if I knew the money would be managed in a sensible way that really did impact on global climate change. Ay, there's the rub.

  • ||

    WTF is it with all of the text strikethrough text on the home page and on everything following this on the Hit&run main page? Am I the only one seeing this?

    No, you aren't the only one seeing it. I don't know what it is or what's causing it though.

  • ||

    I was just about to ask about the 'text strikethrough' myself. Does Reason have a mad web vandal on its hands? An editor gone mad? Gone wild and mad?

  • ||

    "I was just about to ask about the 'text strikethrough' myself. Does Reason have a mad web vandal on its hands? An editor gone mad? Gone wild and mad?"

    The editor, if there is one, could use a dictionary, or more explanation as to what an 'apocolyspe' is. 'Cause I'd be more worried about the 'Apocolypse' if I weren't Lysping our way towards our doom.

  • Guy Montag||

    I was just about to ask about the 'text strikethrough' myself. Does Reason have a mad web vandal on its hands? An editor gone mad? Gone wild and mad?

    As we are frequently reminded, folk who spent a lot of time in the humanaties department need to be watched closely.

  • ||

    All year, these reports have been released to scare the shit out of us (thus, forcing upon us this issue's political RELEVANCE)--but, now, don't worry, because it'll be cheap to fix (thus, making is politically ACCEPTABLE)...

    Reminds me of the In Living Color sketch with the Head Detective. Cop gets blown to pieces by criminals; partner takes him to the ER; surgeon says, "We can rebuild him, but it will cost six million dollars." Partner says, "But I only have $10 thousand!" Surgeon says, "OK."

  • ||

    In re: Strikethrough--no vandals, just incompetent htmling by a certain science policy writer. Have a good weekend!

  • ||

    Blame the same person on the spelling too. Remember folks don't try typing after midnight--especially after a party. ;-)

  • Guy Montag||

    Sure, I'll pitch in another $20 from Dan T. Anyone else? Anybody? Anybody? Bueller? Anybody?

    I shall contribute another $20 from Dan T. plus another $400 from * AND 3 houses of Albert Gore Jr.

    Blame the same person on the spelling too. Remember folks don't try typing after midnight--especially after a party. ;-)

    Ron, real-life-pro writers like you make me not feel so bad when I type before coffee or after a party :)

  • ||

    I shall contribute another $20 from Dan T. plus another $400 from * AND 3 houses of Albert Gore Jr.

    Are we to $117 billion yet?

  • ||

    "Even if the U.S. bore the whole cost, it would only be about $400 per person."

    Even if China ramped up its economy to take advantage of every bit of economic activity we shut down in a misguided attempt to change global climate based on a shaky premise that empowering collectivist politicians to take over our industrial base via regulations and taxes due to a groupthink concensus that directly contradicts their groupthink concensus from the 70s about a New Ice Age, it would only be about infinite dollars per person.

    But hey, feel free to send in your $400 in voluntary additional federal taxes ...

  • ||

    "But hey, feel free to send in your $400 in voluntary additional federal taxes ..."

    This is a global issue- donate the loot to the UN. They will know how to use the money productively.

  • ||

    The question isn't whether we can afford to spend the $$$ on combatting global warning; it's whether we can afford NOT to.

    Or do you really think that if we just go on our merry way there aren't going to be economic effects as well? Rising seas. Dust bowls. Massive migration of population. Changes in standard areas for disease (the US becomes suitable for malaria.) Are you all so certain that none of the above will happen? And are you all so certain that if any of the above happen, there won't be an even much greater hit to the world's economies than if we spent the money now to fix things?

  • ||

    Even if China ramped up its economy to take advantage of every bit of economic activity we shut down in a misguided attempt to change global climate based on a shaky premise that empowering collectivist politicians to take over our industrial base via regulations and taxes due to a groupthink concensus that directly contradicts their groupthink concensus from the 70s about a New Ice Age, it would only be about infinite dollars per person.

    If you believe that global climate change is nothing more than groupthink consensus, then it would be foolish to give money to prevent it. The problem is that the data does not support that assertion.

    However, as this article makes clear, if the US and Europe reduce emissions without a worldwide commitment to do the same, that estimated cost will not result in stabilizing greenhouse gas emissions at the levels climate scientists estimate to be safe. Particularly if China and India are not interested in getting on board. Again, there's the rub.

  • ||

    Changes in standard areas for disease (the US becomes suitable for malaria.)

    Umm...that would not be a change. The US is suitable for malaria right now. There may be people alive today who contracted malaria in the 1930s American south. I don't know any now but in the late 60s I met a woman who had. She was around fifty at the time.

    It was mosquito control and Public Health policy that ended the outbreaks of Malaria and Yellow Fever that ravaged port cities from Galveston to New York in the 19th century.

    But then why would anyone know that? There seem to be people around who don't know there were hurricanes in Florida before 1992.

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