Science/Environment

The Real Threat of Global Warming

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It’s the money stupid…

From the Wash Post:

Failing to curb the impact of climate change could damage the global economy on the scale of the Great Depression or the world wars by spawning environmental devastation that could cost 5 to 20 percent of the world’s annual gross domestic product, according to a report issued yesterday by the British government.

The report by Nicholas Stern, who heads Britain’s Government Economic Service and formerly served as the World Bank’s chief economist, calls for a new round of international collaboration to cut greenhouse gas emissions linked to global warming.

“There’s still time to avoid the worst impacts of climate change, if we act now and act internationally,” Stern said in a statement. “But the task is urgent. Delaying action, even by a decade or two, will take us into dangerous territory. We must not let this window of opportunity close.”

Okay, so what’s it gonna take to move this out of the partisan arena and unto the collective global stage? How long are we going to wait until we actually do something about this?

I’m sorry people, but too many scientists, economists, what-have-yous are saying that this is a mounting problem…but we’re too busy trying to score political points by saying this boogey man doesn’t exist.

But let me say this…global warming has the potential to do far more damage to our way of life than any band of Islamic extremists ever could. We’ve messed with Mother Nature for a long time now, and the signs point to her getting some retaliation sooner rather than later.

So again…what will it take for us to adopt some type of environmental policy that addresses these realities?

  • kiu

    Blair wants money.

  • http://2peros.blogspot.com/ DosPeros

    5 to 20 percent of the world’s annual gross domestic product

    Please, the relative economic effect will be offset in the increased manufactoring of boats, scuba gear and Jimmy Buffet CD’s. Worry-wort.

  • BrianOfAtlanta

    Global warming exists, or at least the majority of scientific evidence indicates that it exists. The boogey man is the conceit that humans are definitely causing a measurable portion of it. I, for one, am wary about taking drastic economic action which may have no measurable effect on the warming of the planet.

    However, seeing as how London is barely above sea level, I’m not surprised the Brits would be willing to accept a higher cost/benefit ratio.

  • Lewis

    As an engineer, I have to question the measurement techniques and statistics used to back the global warming conclusion. There are still many scientists who disagree and the opinions of the “what-have-yous” (does Gore fall into this classification?) don’t carry any scientific weight.
    Hell, even if they could prove a warming trend, they don’t know if it’s a natural cycle or man-made. So how are we going to prevent a natural cycle from occuring? Do we even want to?

    I haven’t seen any plan for reducing carbon emissions that isn’t a pipe dream filled with unrealistic expectations. How can you abruptly eliminate the most fundamental part of modern civilization (fossil fuels)? The pipe dreamers always seem to gloss over that minor point.

    Do you even know how many of the ordinary everyday items we all take for granted have a significant fossile fuel content? Maybe we should start the analysis by answering that simple little question. Then maybe we can start thinking about a plan.

  • http://probligo.blogspot.com probligo

    The original question – what will it take to change current policies? Try starting at the top…

    Brian of Atlanta – Think on this. Some estimates (blame Greenpeace I think put this around) an increase in sea levels of 24″ could displace over 100 million people world wide. An increase of 3 feet would displace some 200 million more…

    Don’t believe so? Start in Bangladesh where some 4 or 5 million live already “on the sea”. Add in Netherlands, parts of Denmark, large parts of Thailand, Vietnam, parts of southern China and the lower Yangtze…

  • http://www.warning1938alert.ytmnd.com Jimmy the Dhimmi

    If it is true that Global Warming will cause sea levels to rise 2 feet and drown-out the coastline of Bangladesh, then what should be done if Lewis is right and the vast majority of warming turns out to be non-anthropogenic? If we drastically reduce industrial output in order to erringly reduce greenhouse gasses, then how are Bangladeshis going to rise out of poverty so that they can afford to move, or at least buy a house-boat to survive the inevitable flooding?

    You better be very sure that global warming is caused by man before you become satisfied with maintaining 3rd-world poverty at its current levels, because this poverty is guaranteed if you prevent industrial growth in these countries (which are predicted to produce the bulk of CO2 in the 21st century).

  • http://probligo.blogspot.com probligo

    OK, dimmy, you just carry on like you do already and make sure that the worst prognostications of the Hunt report actually happen. I just hope that you don’t then complain about not getting enough warning when your standard of living declines by 20% or more… Oh, of course!! It will all be Al Gore’s fault, or Bill Clinton’s won’t it!!

    Me? If I am not living in my little self-sustaining village by the sea at that time, I will be feeding a small population of daisies somewhere within listening range of the surf.

  • http://probligo.blogspot.com probligo

    Sorry, Hunt report? No, Stern report… Dang!!

  • rachel

    So how are we going to prevent a natural cycle from occuring? Do we even want to?

    How are we going to prevent it? How we’ve always prevented natural cycles from occuring: figure out what to do, and do it. And yes, if global warming is going to damage us like the expansion of the Sahara and Gobi has damaged their local populations, we want to stop it–whether it’s natural or not. Where would the Dutch be now if they had decided, “Oh, well the sea is rising due to natural causes; we might as well get used to it,” back in the Middle Ages?

    I’m not saying we should leap at the first solution that presents itself without paying attention to its long-term effects; human history is full of projects that seemed like good ideas at the time that worsened the situations they were meant to solve. All I’m saying is that lying back and letting Nature (or human impact) do its worst does not appeal to me.

    BTW, the warming trend is a fact, and it’s not going away.

  • Lewis

    Too many highly qualified scientists still dispute the that conclusion. Their position is based on suspect data, measuring techniques and statistics. And you’re wrong about the warming trend not going away. The climate has been getting hotter and colder in a cyclic pattern for a very long time. Who knows, there are probably cycles within cycles.

    The unfortunate truth is we don’t really know what is happening or why. We know that CO2 will absorb the sun’s energy. But so can methane. Some even speculate that it’s all the beef cattle farting that is adding methane. We also know large concrete cities and black paved roads absorb and hold heat. That’s a very 20th century thing. Could that have an impact? Could be it’s not one made made thing, but a combination of a whole bunch of little stuff that MIGHT be changing the weather. Eliminating just one may do nothing.

  • BrianOfAtlanta

    Or the warming may be due to an increase in solar radiation. That is the generally accepted cause of the very similar warming trend from 1920 to 1940, and would neatly explain the current warming on Mars. Too many “ifs”, in my book, to support truncating the world economy by a few trillion dollars on this long shot.