Climate Change

Bjorn to Run (Numbers)

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The immortal Bjorn Lomborg takes on a new study claiming global warming will cost 20 percent of global GDP if left unchecked, in today's Wall Street Journal (free). There's a reason Lomborg is the most famous Skeptical Environmentalist out there–his takedown is very clear, very thorough, calmly rational, and completely devastating:

The Stern review's cornerstone argument for immediate and strong action now is based on the suggestion that doing nothing about climate change costs 20% of GDP now, and doing something only costs 1%. However, this argument hinges on three very problematic assumptions.

First, it assumes that if we act, we will not still have to pay. But this is not so–Mr. Stern actually tells us that his solution is "already associated with significant risks." Second, it requires the cost of action to be as cheap as he tells us–and on this front his numbers are at best overly optimistic. Third, and most importantly, it requires the cost of doing nothing to be a realistic assumption: But the 20% of GDP figure is inflated by an unrealistically pessimistic vision of the 22nd century, and by an extreme and unrealistically low discount rate. According to the background numbers in Mr. Stern's own report, climate change will cost us 0% now and 3% of GDP in 2100, a much more informative number than the 20% now and forever.

Lomborg also reports on another round of 2004's Copenhagen Consensus experiment, with the same results as last time:

Last weekend in New York, I asked 24 U.N. ambassadors–from nations including China, India and the U.S.–to prioritize the best solutions for the world's greatest challenges, in a project known as Copenhagen Consensus. They looked at what spending money to combat climate change and other major problems could achieve. They found that the world should prioritize the need for better health, nutrition, water, sanitation and education, long before we turn our attention to the costly mitigation of global warning.

Read the whole thing here, or read 540 pages of kickass analysis on the same point here.

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  1. Eh?

    Global warming is not costing us 0% now, it is already costing billions.

    And there are steps that can be taken to minimize CO2 output and help adapt to inevitable changes…it would even save money: Stop with the corproate welfare for the Fossil Fuel and Agricultural industries. Keep the carbon exchange for those who want it.

  2. The primary step necessary to achieve many of the goals Lomborg identifies – such as better water quality and better health – is the same as that necessary to combat global warming: the replacement of fossil fuels as our primary energy source.

  3. The primary step necessary to achieve many of the goals Lomborg identifies – such as better water quality and better health – is the same as that necessary to combat global warming: the replacement of fossil fuels as our primary energy source.

    We need alternative energy to clean up water supplies and sanitation?

    You don’t even make sense any more. At least you just used to spout party line.

  4. “Global warming is not costing us 0% now, it is already costing billions.”

    Oh really? I would like to see some facts and figures on that.

  5. I strongly recommend Lomborg’s very readable book. It is an eye opener.

  6. The world’s taxpayers are supposed to go financially balls deep into stopping global warming, which is killing nobody right now, when it can’t even prevent simple diarrhea from killing 2 million people every single year?

    Will every world government get a Competence/Anti-corruption vaccination before this huge effort begins?

  7. John,

    A quick google search; from here: http://www.yesmagazine.org/article.asp?ID=678
    this:
    “As the intensity and frequency of droughts, floods, hurricanes, and windstorms increase with global warming, so do insurance losses. Forty years ago, an average of 16 large weather-related disasters occurred annually around the world. Today, the average is 72. The cost to insurers for weather-related events has risen from $7 billion to $90 billion.”

    a fair chunk of those ‘costs’ can be chalked up to increased population and development, etc. But still, the Insurance companies are now paying total attention. So should we.

  8. The primary step necessary to achieve many of the goals Lomborg identifies – such as better water quality and better health – is the same as that necessary to combat global warming: the replacement of fossil fuels as our primary energy source.

    At what cost?

    Isn’t it possible that the cost of government solutions might be worse than the costs associated with the problem itself?

    I used to be against proposed solutions like Kyoto ’cause 1) I wasn’t sure global warming really was a problem and 2) government controls on industry are a rotten way to solve any problem. If global warming really is a problem, and I’ve come to believe it is, that doesn’t mean government controls suddenly became a good solution.

  9. Goiter,

    “We need alternative energy to clean up water supplies and sanitation?”:

    No, we need to stop using fossil fuels to prevent the pollution of water supplies.

    How sad for you that, when confronted with a novel idea that you don’t immediately grasp, your response is to immediately assume it must be wrong, even if you don’t understand it well enough to know how.

    A real intellectual failure, but we already knew that about you.

  10. Sam-Hec, I believe many of those studies also say the primary cause of exploding insurance costs is rich people who want to live in high risk locations — like on the beach.

    The problem can be solved by merely charging the appropriate premiums for living where there is a good chances that a hurricane will wipe out you house sometime in the normal human lifespan.

  11. The world’s taxpayers are supposed to go financially balls deep into stopping global warming, which is killing nobody right now, when it can’t even prevent simple diarrhea from killing 2 million people every single year?

    It is worth noting that at the standard $7 million per person price of a life in a US court or insurance company analysis, the $14 trillion cost of this loss of life is 110% of US GDP.

    What is it about global warming that completely boggles people’s ability to do cost-benefit analysis?

  12. No, we need to stop using fossil fuels to prevent the pollution of water supplies.

    the problem with fresh water supplies, which i assume you are talking about, is not hydrocarbons, but microorganisms that make people sick and they die. changing to a hydrogen economy won’t help that.

  13. Sam,

    I dont’ buy that for a moment. The fact that Florida and the Gulf Coast has about 10 times the number of people and probably 1000 times the value in real estate that it did 50 years ago has nothing to do with global warming. Further, even climatetologists who believe in global warming admit that there is no scientific ling between warming and stronger hurricanes. Further, think about the areas that are most prone to weather disasters (namely typhones and hurricanes) it is Southeast Asia and the American Southeast. Both of those areas have undergone huge economic and population growth in the last 40 years. Of course the cyclones and hurricanes are doing more damage, there is a lot more stuff to hit than their used to be.

  14. Sam,

    From the Lomborg column:

    “Even if global warming does significantly increase the power of hurricanes, it is estimated that 95% to 98% of the increased damage will be due to demographics. The review acknowledges that simple initiatives like bracing and securing roof trusses and walls can cheaply reduce damage by more than 80%; yet its policy recommendations on expensive carbon reductions promise to cut the damages by 1% to 2% at best. That is a bad deal.”

    I would consider 95-98% more than a “fair chunk”.

  15. Sam-Hec beat me to it.

    …and I would ask, why should people who don’t live in areas affected by the increased frequency and intensity of hurricanes, for instance, bear the burden of those costs?

    Let’s say Chinese industry really is the cause of that increased frequency and intensity–why would we want consumers elsewhere in this great land of ours to pay higher prices for consumer goods?

    What is the cost of making consumers everywhere pay more for consumer goods? …relative to the costs associated with global warming as sifted through a free market?

    Whether global warming is responsible for increased hurricane frequency and strength is beside the point.

  16. “No, we need to stop using fossil fuels to prevent the pollution of water supplies.”

    Joe could you please explain how it is that fossil fuels cause millions in Africa to die of dysentery and microbial diseases? I am really dying to hear how you dig yourself out of this one. I will give you a head start. I suppose you could argue that a warmer climate produces more mosquitos and bugs that cause disease.

  17. Carrick & John…

    Didn’t I just get thorugh saying as much?

    Yes there has been more development over the past forty years. And yes much of the difference in damages are attributable to that omcrease in development.

    But those and future developments are still being hurt and threatened by increasing powerful weather damage. Apart from human development, there is simply more energy in the climate system due to human activities.

  18. “Apart from human development, there is simply more energy in the climate system due to human activities.”

    That is not clear at all. Some models of climate warming produce more el-nino’s which causes fewer and less powerful storms. Yes, 2004 and 2005 were bad hurricane seasons but there are just as much anicdotal evidence of huge storms and bad seasons in the past. Even if you buy global warming, it is a big jump to say a warmer climate is a more violent climate.

  19. But those and future developments are still being hurt and threatened by increasing powerful weather damage. Apart from human development, there is simply more energy in the climate system due to human activities.

    Bold statements, please provide references.

    Before you get wound up, it seems intuitively obvious that if you pump billions of tons of pollutants into the atmosphere you’re going to cause an effect.

    Now whether that effect is simply accelerating the cool/warm/cool cycles the earth goes through or is actually pushing the climate out of equilibrium is still very much an open and interesting question.

  20. Maybe I can put it better another way.

    For those of you who already agree that government solutions are a rotten way to mitigate for the costs of hurricane damage now, why would increasing their frequency and intensity change your mind?

    Do bad solutions get better when implemented on a larger scale? …do bad solutions get better when implemented more frequently?

    Convince me that it’s a good idea for government to mitigate for the costs of hurricane damage now, and you might convince me that government should mitigate for the costs of more frequent and more intense storms in the future.

  21. No, we need to stop using fossil fuels to prevent the pollution of water supplies.

    Wow. You have gone off the deep end. So, the only reason that millions of people die from freshwater pollution is because of all of that nasty oil in the rivers and wells?

    I’ll make sure that the people in Bangladesh know that all they have to do to prevent them from shitting their guts out is to stop drilling that oil and mining that coal!

    You are quite fool. Your narrow world-view continues to expose you as nothing more than a spouting mouthpiece for the ill-informed but well-opinionated.

    –Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered

  22. KMW: I’m not entirely sure what to think about the global warming debate. However, if Lomborg’s piece is the most “devastating” argument the skeptics have, I think I might be a skeptic of the skeptics.

    “First, it assumes that if we act, we will not still have to pay. But this is not so–Mr. Stern actually tells us that his solution is “already associated with significant risks.”
    It isn’t a strong argument to accuse someone of failing to make a proper assumption when the person you are accusing has taken into account the very information you accuse them of leaving out. The second and third points are nothing more than Lomborg disagreeing with the math without providing any foundation of his own. I’m not sure which way I lean regarding this issue, but Lomborg’s piece is mediocre, at best. He seems like one of these academics who is constantly trying to couch the “Aww, c’mon” argument in big words.

  23. The problem can be solved by merely charging the appropriate premiums for living where there is a good chances that a hurricane will wipe out you house sometime in the normal human lifespan.(emphasis mine)

    Don’t tell that to the current crop of politicians in Florida. The number one issue in this election is the “insurance crisis”.

    This “crisis” is due to the fact that Florida homeowners, having spent years paying premiums kept artificially low by populist Insurance Commissioners, are facing premiums in line with actual risks plus having to bail out a bankrupt state run insurance scheme which has insulated high risk properties from the hazards they faced.

  24. the problem with fresh water supplies, which i assume you are talking about, is not hydrocarbons, but microorganisms that make people sick and they die. changing to a hydrogen economy won’t help that.

    He doesn’t understand that, and never will.

    —-Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered

  25. “Convince me that it’s a good idea for government to mitigate for the costs of hurricane damage now, and you might convince me that government should mitigate for the costs of more frequent and more intense storms in the future.”

    It is a terrible idea and as Issac points out above, the government trying to mitigate costs just winds up increasing them. Make people bear the costs of living in hurricane prone areas. Why do we have millions of people living on the beach even though a hurricane is bound to destroy their homes every few years? Because the government keeps rebuilding their homes for free and giving them subsidized insurance rates. Its lunacy.

  26. Yes, 2004 and 2005 were bad hurricane seasons but there are just as much anicdotal evidence of huge storms and bad seasons in the past. Even if you buy global warming, it is a big jump to say a warmer climate is a more violent climate.

    Rather that call 2005 the anamoly, the global warming nuts will call 2006 the anamoly.

    —-Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered

  27. “Bold statements, please provide references.”

    How about Ron Bailey?

    “Now whether that effect is simply accelerating the cool/warm/cool cycles the earth goes through or is actually pushing the climate out of equilibrium is still very much an open and interesting question.”

    No…the milankovich cycles we go through indicate we should be in a stable period for the next 10,000 years at least. There simply shouldn’t be the spike in temperatures we are experiencing…except for all the greenhouse gasses we are pumpingo into the air.

    Having read up on Milankovich cycles…if the Earth’s pole were pointed at Vega and not Polaris, then this might be a good question.

    Again if the NH summers were at the Perigee of Earths orbit, and not the Apogee like they are now, then that might be a good question.

    If the axial tilt were more extreme than it is now (and sometimes is) then that would be a good question. None of the extreme orbital factors are in play right now.

    The sun’s variability has been ruled out as a significant factor.

    Only the increase in CO2, methane, soot, and other human effects can explain the current rise in temperatures and other energetic effects.

  28. “Rather that call 2005 the anamoly, the global warming nuts will call 2006 the anamoly.”

    1998-9 was an anomaly, as it was an el nino year. 2006-7 will also be an el nino. 2005 was very much representative year of background trends, and was not an anomaly.

  29. “No, we need to stop using fossil fuels to prevent the pollution of water supplies.”

    It takes energy to remove the pollutants – most importantly the cholera and typhus bacilli – from water. I could see an argument for developing new energy sources so that we can continue to do so in the future.

    Further, some of the government supported pricing mechanisms on water promote both energy inefficiency and waste of water resources. [I think Ron had a post on this some time back.]

    So it can be argued that the same practices can fight both global warming and disease.

    However, Joe, your ad hominem slur on TPG is wholly unwarranted.

  30. “It is a terrible idea and as Issac points out above, the government trying to mitigate costs just winds up increasing them. Make people bear the costs of living in hurricane prone areas. Why do we have millions of people living on the beach even though a hurricane is bound to destroy their homes every few years? Because the government keeps rebuilding their homes for free and giving them subsidized insurance rates. Its lunacy.”

    I agree, more or less. …and my point is that, regardless of whether global warming causes more intense and more frequent hurricanes, government involvement in mitigating for costs is a bad idea.

    …which is another way of saying that arguing about whether global warming causes big, frequent hurricanes is beside the point. It’s easy to get distracted in this debate. We could lose this debate arguing about things that don’t matter and not talking about things that really do.

  31. Sam-hec

    Slight nitpick but 1998-9 and 2006-7 are not anpmalies. El Nino is a perfectly normal part of the climate cycle and mitigates the N Atlantic storm cycle.

    It is widely recognized by hurricane experts that 2004-5 were also perfectly normal for the N Atlantic storm cycle. Neither the number nor the intensity of the storm were outside of long term historical norms.

    Also note that we have only been able to determine the number of storms in a year since weather satellites were introduced since so many storms never get near land and are thus never perceived.

  32. “It takes energy to remove the pollutants….”

    Dude- haven’t you noticed how CLEAN the water in those nuclear reactors is?

  33. P. Brooks

    I’ll drink the amount of tritium-laced reactor water as you’re willing to drink of sewers-of-Delhi water.

  34. One thing I’m unclear of is this whole 1% and 20% thing.

    In particular, if the world GDP grows at a rate of 4% per year, in 100 years it will be 50 times as big as it is now. If 1% of GDP is taxed to mitigate global warming without bringing immediate return, the resulting 3% GDP growth rate will make GDP in 100 years only 20 times that of today.

    So, if 20% of GDP in 2106 is lost to global warming effects, that still leaves 40 times today’s GDP to play with. If the world spends the 1% per year to mitigate those global warming effects, those in 2106 will have only 20 times today’s GDP to play with.

    At lower GDP growth rates, the absolute difference in 100 years is even more profound.

    So why is it even considered sane to spend any effort to stop global warming, even to prevent the worst case scenario? Could someone who has read some fraction of the 700 pages please clarify?

  35. “Slight nitpick but 1998-9 [actually that’s 1997-8…my bad, Sam-Hec] and 2006-7 are not anpmalies. El Nino is a perfectly normal part of the climate cycle and mitigates the N Atlantic storm cycle.”

    I did not mean to suggest that El Ninos (and La Ninas) weren’t a ‘normal’ part of the climate experience, but rather they are peaks and troughs on a trend line. 2005 was representative of the trend line, while 1997-8 was a relatively anomalous peak.

  36. The primary step necessary to achieve many of the goals Lomborg identifies – such as better water quality and better health – is the same as that necessary to combat global warming: the replacement of fossil fuels as our primary energy source.

    Yes because as we all know cholera and malaria never existed before the invention of the combustion engine

  37. “Yes because as we all know cholera and malaria never existed before the invention of the combustion engine”

    We will need more energy and power than fossil fuels can provide in order to get clean water for virtually everyone.

    Advancements in geothermal energy sound promising.
    http://tinyurl.com/q7zo2

    But ‘Big Government’ does not.

  38. the problem with fresh water supplies, which i assume you are talking about, is not hydrocarbons, but microorganisms that make people sick and they die. changing to a hydrogen economy won’t help that.

    Microorganisms are made of hydrocarbons…maybe that is where Joe’s complete misunderstanding stems from?

  39. So, what do we do if, let’s assume, that we do everything that the greenies want to do about climate change and warming continues anyway?

    Note that it’s assumed that reducing CO2 emmissions _will_ reduce warming. Call me silly, but isn’t this grand plan still just a theory?

    So what’s Plan B?

  40. We will need more energy and power than fossil fuels can provide in order to get clean water for virtually everyone.

    I don’t think a lack of energy is the issue with clean water.

    What these countries need is a govt. that isn’t filled with despots and kleptocrats and an actual, working economic system. A property right or 2 wouldn’t hurt either.

  41. “So what’s Plan B?”

    I got my Plan B…and have been trying to promate variations of it here with out much response or input:

    (from a preivous H&R thread with some editing) “I don’t like too many regulations, as the climate change future will require flexibility with which to adapt to the coming changes. Regulations get in the way.

    The best start is to stop providing corporate welfare to the fossil fuel companies. In the U.S. this is peanuts at $15 billion a year in various monies and protections, but even doing away with that is an important signal to industry. Elsewhere, this would be harder, as fuels are often directly and heavily subsidized.

    Next end subsidies and many regulations, especially in the agricultural industries; not all, but these things prevent the freemarket development of biofuels, and contribute to soil degradation. And the subsidies do hurt the development of other developing nations; and if they don’t develop, we may likely get pulled into nasty expensive wars that would otherwise be avoided; this would be due to panic response to climate change s they did not/could not prepare for. On that note, helping to end corruption in foreign lands would help them be willing to prepare.

    Third, don’t require consumers/producers to be more efficient/use renewables etc.; but do require that our governments to be effectively carbon-neutral. We need is real leadership with a critical mass of demand and supply. The purchasing power of our governments can provide this.

    Lastly, it is more or less the right of governments to control their borders. So simply require that all persons, products, and possibly services crossing borders be effectively carbon neutral via a carbon-tariff. This will boost local economies, at the expense of the global. But it will not destroy civilization.

    All the above is not anti-capitalist at all, and provides a balanced solution to our near term climate issues. (it could use some improving though).”

    It’s not without costs, but it’s better than an Enviro-Nazi SuperState. Please help make this plan better.

  42. “Microorganisms are made of hydrocarbons…”

    er, There is a substantial difference between hydrocarbons and carbohydrates and other biological carbon molecules.

  43. Hey John, Where did Joe go? Doesn’t he owe you an explanation?

  44. Sam-hec, I’ll respond to your idea with a question of my own:

    Here’s a question for the have-to-do-something-right-now club?

    Let say it’s a given that scientists do not fully understand how exactly the climate works. There is a moderate level of understanding, naturally, but a complete understanding of a highly chaotic system and all of its inputs, vectors, etc? No.

    Now, let’s compare that to something we do understand and know a good deal about: automobile accidents. We know why they happen, we know how they happen. We understand the physics behind them and can reconstruct them with a high degree of certainty. They are the cause of tens of thousands of deaths every year in the US alone and have a significant economic impact.

    I argue that if we really wanted to, we could virtually end car accidents in a short time. It wouldn’t be easy, or cheap, but it could be done: Draconian restrictions on car ownership, mandatory breathalyzers in cars with biometric fail-safes, cameras at every intersection, pop-up tire spikes that activate on red lights at major intersections and all along the road, far heavier penalties for reckless driving, larger (and more vicious) police forces, reactive armor on the outside of cars (for pedestrians, natch), speed governors on all new vehicles preventing exceeding the posted speed limit, GPS tracking and instant speeding tickets, night curfews on driving combined with sleep sensors for those with an approved reason to be driving late at night, radar-linked brake systems, serious jail time for moving violation recidivists, etc.

    It would take a decade or so and require a sea-change of culture and behavior. I’m not saying it should be done, but it could be done.

    We don’t do all these things now because of an obvious rash of reasons: financial cost, societal upheaval, cost to personal liberty, just to name a few. What we do instead is far more reasonable: mitigate risk as much as possible with better engineered cars, seat belts, air bags, ABS, ESC, etc.

    So, a show of hands now: who would say no to ending auto accidents with the scenario above but yes to climate control proposals of the same magnitude?

  45. All of you cheap-ass climatological surrender monkeys need to move to France.

  46. “So, a show of hands now: who would say no to ending auto accidents with the scenario above but yes to climate control proposals of the same magnitude?”

    I reject the assumption that the measures required would be comparable to your suggested auto safety measures.

  47. But I like watching auto accidents…

  48. JW, my proposal is much more in line with what’s actually been done with auto safety. Which I should note that seat belts were supposed to have destroyed the U.S. economy by now.

    (sorry about the Bold Tag…i think that was my fault)

  49. Sam-Hec:

    How do you explain the observed ocean cooling of the past three years?

    http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Newsroom/NasaNews/2006/2006092123135.html

    This article calls it a “global warming speed bump”, but the only way we’ll know that for sure is it it does not continue. Even the scientists don’t know the cause yet, but it seems to extend to 2,500 meters in places. I imagine that this would have a negative effect on hurricane strength.

  50. Well from your article:
    “Lyman said the cause of the recent cooling is not yet clear. ”

    Sounds like it might a short term coooling event…like a La Nina. Or maybe saltier water currents are changing. Why ask me? As far as hurricane effects…depend on where the cooling is (and isn’t) taking place; the article only mentions ‘average’ temperatures. Hurricanes are regional events dependent on regional heating.

    The article also predicts greater average ocean temperatures.

  51. Okay, since this was brought up earlier in the thread by a couple of folks:

    Insurance and Natural Disasters.
    Insurance payouts after a natural disaster should not be counted as “losses”. Payouts are the product that the insurance industry produces. They are not losses, they are the cost of doing business.

    In a truly free market, insurance companies would charge what they felt was an appropriate amount to cover thier losses and still make a profit in the event of a payout. The more expensive the property and riskier the situation, the more your premium would cost. If the risk was too great, they would refuse to insure you and say “Yer on your own kid”.

    Where the average citizen gets hosed is when the Government gums up those works. In Florida, there is a legislated cap on how much your insurance premium can be, regardless of the risk. What ends up happening is that the insurance companies are faced with hard choices, insure the risky location at a less than reasonable premium or not insure them at all. Prior to the 2004/2005 Hurricane seasons the rationale was, unless the house was in the multimillion dollar range, insure them at the highest price allowed by law since there hadn’t been a really bad storm in 10 years. After the 2004/2005 seasons many insurance carriers stopped insuring Florida, a few ended up declaring bankruptcy.

    Does this mean that those at high risk are unable to obtain insurance that would make them think twice about building a high cost home right on the beach? The sad answer is no. The state of Florida has a taxpayer backed “Public Insurance” company that “provides insurance to, and serves the needs of, homeowners in high-risk areas and others who cannot find coverage in the open, private insurance market”.
    About Citizens Property Insurance Corp.

    In other words, a carte blanche to build wherever you damn well please because the state assumes your risk.

    I am not familiar with other states or countries, but I suspect that many have similar programs.

  52. “Insurance payouts after a natural disaster should not be counted as “losses”.’

    the property owner whose life is either disrupted or even over would liekly disagree with that recontextualization. ‘Insruance Payouts’ are still a measure of actual damage experienced.

  53. What is it about global warming that completely boggles people’s ability to do cost-benefit analysis?

    Funny how people are that way with articles of faith.

  54. I love the new site and its rapid posting capability, but I have noticed a recent alarming increase in Global Bolding.

  55. Kwix | November 2, 2006, 7:21pm

    Excellent stuff on the Florida insurance market and the scandal that is the Citizens Property insurance Corporation.

    I think in this election insurance has become the biggest political football*. Each Gubernatorial candidate has a “plan” to “fix” the “problem”. So does everyone else.

    Nobody seems to recognize that the rising insurance premiums are the industry lodly yelling “Hey you, you’re living in a hurricane zone. Get used to it, or move somewhere else.”

    Of course like so many other things, anyone who has confused the insurance industry with a free market is living in a fantasy world.

    *The rise in property taxes due to the housing price bubble is the other.

  56. I reject the assumption that the measures required would be comparable to your suggested auto safety measures.

    Bzzt. Point missed. Try again.

  57. There is some noise about Stern report coming from economists as well…and it isn’t positive…

    see here:

    http://www.env-econ.net/2006/11/costs_of_climat.html

    http://www.env-econ.net/2006/11/more_on_annual_.html

    http://www.env-econ.net/2006/11/tols_comment_on.html

  58. And the average person will never hear of these rumblings. The drumbeat of doom will drown out all but the most determined skeptic.

    All anyone will hear is “You’re all gonna die poor and soggy!”

  59. “the costly mitigation of global warning.”

    Who says it is costly?
    It is an opportunity to make more money…
    The doomsayers are the ones who think that addressing the problem leads to economic doom.

    “far from being costly, protecting the climate is actually good for the economy. Greenhouse-gas emissions are simply the byproduct of the uneconomically wasteful use of resources. The obvious solution, then, is increased efficiency. Being more efficient not only reduces emissions, it also saves money and increases economic competitiveness. In fact, it doesn’t even matter whether global warming is happening or not, because the most effective climate-protection measures are things we should be doing for economic reasons anyhow.

    RMI’s approach to climate therefore focuses on market-based, profitable measures to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions. Since most emissions are linked to energy use, our climate work is closely allied with our efforts to promote energy efficiency.”

    http://www.rmi.org/

  60. “No, we need to stop using fossil fuels to prevent the pollution of water supplies.”

    Actually, if you were to take a look at the real world, there is almost certainly a very strong correlation between amount of fossil fuel use per capita and *avoidance* of contaminated water supplies.

    That is, the parts of the world that use the most fossil fuels per capita (e.g., North America, Europe, Japan) have the lowest percentage of people dying from contaminated water supplies. And the parts of the world that use the least fossil fuels per capita (e.g., Sub-Saharan Africa, Bangladesh) have the highest percentage of people dying from contaminated water supplies.

  61. I was interested in Bjorn’s article until I read the end, where he proudly announces that a bunch of ambassadors think global warming is no big deal. Excuse me? Are ambassadors either qualified to OR allowed to make high level policy decisions, or are they just shining Bjorn on? Skepticism is great ’till it turns into denial, and Bjorn’s grasping at straws here.

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