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Costs of climate change adaptation
October 1, 2006 3:38 AM   Subscribe

The costs of climate change adaptation are estimated at US$1 Trillion* (wordwide, by 2050), equal to one year's growth. "Our analysis suggests that there are technologically feasible and relatively low-cost options for controlling carbon emissions to the atmosphere. Estimates suggest that the level of GDP might be reduced by no more than around 2-3% in 2050 if this strategy was followed, equivalent to sacrificing only around a year of economic growth for the sake of reducing carbon emissions in 2050 by around 60% compared to our baseline scenario. But if this is to be achieved, it will take further concerted action by governments, businesses and individuals over a broad range of measures to boost energy efficiency, adopt a greener fuel mix, and introduce carbon capture and storage technologies in power plants and other major industrial facilities". * that's less than half one cock-arse war!
posted by wilful (13 comments total)

 
Cost of Global warming = Eventual cost of war on terror?
posted by banished at 7:53 AM on October 1, 2006


GDP might be reduced by no more than around 2-3% in 2050

Sure, but who's going to break the news to the shareholders?
posted by sourwookie at 8:48 AM on October 1, 2006


This is not strictly the cost of climate change adaptation as much as the cost of prevention. At the current exchange rate, might the cost of adaptation be $16 trillion?

From the second link: "If sea levels rise and a lot of people in Bangladesh drown do you calculate the loss of their lifetime earnings, even though they will be lower than for the UK? It is a difficult moral question"

Difficult if it ever arises, but this reminds me of 19th-century predictions that by the year 2000 London will be buried by horse manure. Change is not always something to be afraid of.
posted by hoverboards don't work on water at 9:14 AM on October 1, 2006


right.
it is 2006 and london is buried by horse manure, london residents could not be happier.

and to think that it would stink. *slaps knee*
posted by nola at 9:31 AM on October 1, 2006


I can guarantee that whatever the worst costs are, it won't be the poluters that pay.
posted by Artw at 10:54 AM on October 1, 2006


this reminds me of 19th-century predictions that by the year 2000 London will be buried by horse manure. Change is not always something to be afraid of.

Glib skepticism notwithstanding, Bangladesh will be devastated by even the moderate sea-level rise predicted at the more conservative end of the spectrum. And the key difference between this prediction and 19th-century soothsaying is the, you know, the almost two centuries of breakneck-paced scientific advancement.

I wonder too, if the cost of adaptation might not be even lower, since these studies seem not to factor in the huge profits to be made developing and implementing the systems involved in adaptation. Anyone ever come across a study that includes both sides of the balance sheet?
posted by gompa at 11:09 AM on October 1, 2006


What I meant was that shit may happen but life will nevertheless find a way. Bangladeshis aren't going to drown en masse. They may die in bloody civil war as the coastal population is forced inland, but more likely their way of life will change in some unforeseeable way. Is it so unimaginable that Bangladesh might transform itself into a South Korea-style high-tech economy which can afford to lose 20% of its land area? Well, maybe it is. But it's more likely than them sitting around doing nothing until their knees get wet.
posted by hoverboards don't work on water at 11:53 AM on October 1, 2006


From the second link: "If sea levels rise and a lot of people in Bangladesh drown do you calculate the loss of their lifetime earnings, even though they will be lower than for the UK? It is a difficult moral question"

Drown? Is it somehow going to take them more then twenty years to get out of the way? I'm sure people are going to notice the water start to rise. Very. Slowly.
posted by delmoi at 12:25 PM on October 1, 2006


Difficult if it ever arises, but this reminds me of 19th-century predictions that by the year 2000 London will be buried by horse manure.

Or those crazy predictions from a couple years ago that Iraq would turn into some bloody quagmire, or the predictions that Hitler would conquer most of Europe.

Just more crazy-ass alarmism.

Change is not always something to be afraid of

But obviously changes for the worse are, clearly, to be avoided. I mean in what world is the earth loosing a significant amount of land, with a special attention to the most currently heavily populated a good thing?
posted by delmoi at 12:31 PM on October 1, 2006


But obviously changes for the worse are, clearly, to be avoided. I mean in what world is the earth loosing a significant amount of land, with a special attention to the most currently heavily populated a good thing?

I'm not going to argue that catastrophic climate change is a good thing. I'm just saying that climate change doesn't have to mean instant death for Bangladeshis. I have zero faith that we will make the changes required to reverse a sea level rise, so the inevitable victims had better start planning for it now.
posted by hoverboards don't work on water at 1:31 PM on October 1, 2006


People don't need to DROWN to be affected by climate change.
posted by DenOfSizer at 4:19 PM on October 1, 2006




hoverboards:

A look at the geological record shows that significant climate change is apparently *always* accompanied by great loss of life. Certainly the resulting disturbed ecology results in increased opportunities for a few who will eventually profit, but there is always great death.

As to the "horse manure" comparison, I really have to wonder what you are thinking. The Victorians were not children -- the writer intended the perfectly accurate warning, "If we don't deal with this problem, the consequences will be severe". Internal combustion engines dealt with this problem, but that didn't invalidate the original claim.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 5:44 PM on October 1, 2006


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