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October 30, 2006

Unchecked global warming will devastate economy

A report commissioned by British Treasury chief Gordon Brown concludes that unchecked global warming will devastate the world economy unless countries act quickly to reduce their carbon emissions:

LONDON -- Unchecked global warming will devastate the world economy on the scale of the world wars and the Great Depression, a major British report said Monday.

Introducing the report, British Prime Minister Tony Blair said unabated climate change would eventually cost the world between 5 percent and 20 percent of global gross domestic product each year. [WaPo]

The Guardian has a much more detailed review of the findings of the Stern Report:

Commenting on the report, Professor Michael Grubb, a professor of climate change and energy policy at Imperial College, London, and Cambridge University said: "The Stern Review finally closes a chasm that has existed for 15 years between the precautionary concerns of scientists, and the cost-benefit views of many economists.

"It finds that most economists' methods have been inadequate for a problem of this scale. Argued with meticulous economic detail, Stern concludes that the problem is indeed massive and urgent - but that it can be solved.

"The most encouraging feature of the Stern review is its conclusion that the problem can be solved by building upon the existing foundations of emissions trading and the Kyoto protocol, combined with strengthened attention to the other pillars of behaviour, efficiency and technological innovation. [Guardian]

You can read the full report on the official website of Her Majesty's Treasury: Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change.

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Comments

There's no cause for alarm because global warming is a myth. Carbon dioxide is our friend. They call it pollution. We call it life. Our friends in the fossil fuels industries have told us so. Just remember that Ronald Reagan proved that trees are bigger polluters than automobiles. It's time to declare a Global War On Timber. Oh wait, that already started on Jan. 20, 2001. I'm pretty sure we're winning.

What was that Quine's Web of Belief post a while back? It seemed to indicate, if I read it correctly, that once a person's beliefs are constructed, even objective fact only occurs at the periphery of their beliefs, and can be rearranged so as not to intrude upon the constructed beliefs. I may have read that wrongly. Considering how long, and how stridently, people have insisted that Global Warming does not exist, is not on the whole destructive, or isn't affected by human beings, despite all empirical evidence to the contrary, there is plainly something of ego, not only money, causing the insistence to continue.

No Ozone, no jobs.

"A report commissioned by British Treasury chief Gordon Brown concludes that unchecked global warming will devastate the world economy unless countries act quickly to reduce their carbon emissions:"

Such a definite statement is unjustified. "will" should be "might".

For those interested, there's some discussion of the Stern Report going on over at Prometheus.

http://sciencepolicy.colorado.edu/prometheus/

I'm right now taking a break between sessions at the APS Division of Plasma Physics conference, just having come out of a series of talks on the future of fission power. Based on what I heard, it seems reasonable to double US fission power output within a decade or so if there was real commitment to do so. That would raise fission's contribution to US electrical power consumption to about 40%, with corresponding GH benefits. One of the more interesting things mentioned during the talks is the possibility of reducing waste half-life from tens of thousands of years down to a hundred years or so, which is a substantial positive step.

This afternoon there will be sessions on the potential for fusion contributions to reducing GH impact. Hopefully somebody will talk about waste transmutation, which seems to me an excellent intermediate step to full fusion power plants. I'll certainly be asking questions about it.

If there is any economy left to devastate

[I used that link 'cause I think its interesting that even reichwingers are alarmed by our course toward national insolvency]
Its also uncharacteristic of Bush administration personnel to speak out about the emperor's sartorial deficiencies...I think Walker saying what he did and when is a sign of his confidence that he is about to have a lot of new congressional support.

It certainly seems like people's world view and beliefs play a very strong role in how they relate to global warming. Someone who believes the earth was created by God a few thousand years ago has no ability to be influenced by any scientific arguments about global warming because they don't believe the science in the first place.

I think the report mentioned in this post will only influence people who already are likely to believe in global warming, or at least believe in science.

However, I do hope reports like these provide an additional incentive to get the people who believe in global warming to act to do something about it ASAP!

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