Saturday, October 10, 2009

Mitigating Global Warming -- Too Costly?

There are no reasonable studies that say that a 350 ppm stabilization target will destroy the economy; there are no studies that claim that it is desirable to wait before taking action on climate protection. On the contrary, there is strong, widespread endorsement for policies to promote energy conservation, development of new energy technologies, and price incentives and other economic measures that will redirect the world economy onto a low-carbon path to sustainability.

That’s what the study “The Economics of 350,” concludes. The study was conducted by Economics for Equity and the Environment, a group of climate economists put together by Ecotrust. It puts a price tag on the goal of keeping global carbon-dioxide concentrations at 350 parts per million, an ambitious target.

Stabilizing CO2 concentrations at 350 ppm may cost between 1% and 3% of WORLD gross domestic product. Is that a large or a small number? If you believe that global warming is real, as do the vast majority of climate scientists, if you believe the consequences will be dire, as do the vast majority of climate scientists, and that man-made green-house gas emissions are the cause, as do the vast majority of climate scientists, then the relative cost is really not relevant, is it?

"We’re making choices that future generations are going to have to live with and I don’t really think it’s our choice to destroy something that they are never going to get to see. Scott Doney, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute.

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