THE ECONOMIC CASE
Cutting emissions will not be enough to keep global warming in check.
Greenhouse gases must be scrubbed from the air.No one in power is listening to the climate skeptics anymore.
One discovery after another suggests the world is warming faster, and climate damages are appearing sooner, than anyone had expected. Much of the policy discussion so far has been aimed at keeping the atmospheric concentration of CO2 below 450 parts per million (ppm) — which was until recently thought to be low enough to prevent dangerous levels of warming. But paleoclimatic evidence shows 450 ppm is the threshold for transition to an ice-free earth. This would imply a catastrophic rise in sea levels, eventually flooding all coastal cities and regions.
To avoid reaching such a crisis stage, climate scientists now call for stabilizing CO2 concentrations at 350 ppm. The world is now around 390 ppm and rising.
Some scientists and activists believe that a concentration of over 350 parts-per-million of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere could lead to feedback loops (the release of methane from Arctic permafrost, for example) that could make warming almost impossible to stop.
A British team demonstrated that coral reefs won’t survive acidified waters unless we get CO2 concentrations back down below 360 ppm.
Many economic models find that the modest steps called for in recent U.S. proposals would have very small costs and virtually undetectable effects on total employment.
The needed emissions reductions will cost an average of 1 to 3 percent of world economic output, for some years to come. Economic growth would be increased by a program of public investment in green technology and emissions reduction that leads to 350 ppm.
The net costs of reducing carbon emissions (i.e. investment costs, minus the value of energy saved) go down when the price of oil goes up, and vice versa. One estimate of eliminating more than half of world emissions would have zero total cost if the price of oil were $90 per barrel.
DECIDING WHETHER IT’S WORTH THE PRICE
We can actually afford to protect the climate, and leave a livable world to future generations.
The range of cost estimates for reaching 350 ppm, combined with uncertainties about oil prices and future technologies, make it difficult to choose a single estimate of the total economic cost. Suppose that, for the sake of argument, 2.5 percent of world output must be spent on climate stabilization for years to come. Is that an unacceptably large number?
In 68 countries, military spending exceeds 2.5 percent of GDP. In the United States and China, the top greenhouse gas emitters, military spending absorbs more than 4 percent of GDP. Both countries would be safer, not more vulnerable, if they diverted half of their defense spending to defense against climate crisis.
That target is a smart investment — and the best insurance policy humanity could buy.
CLIMATE RISK AND INSURANCE
Think about climate risk as an insurance problem. You don’t buy fire insurance because you’re sure your house will burn down; rather, you are not, and cannot be, sure enough that it will not burn down. Only we know that, in fact, the house will burn down.
The climate crisis challenges us to do it again, to invent the new technologies and industries that will transform life in the mid-21st century and beyond. We know it’s possible: We can afford to protect the climate, and leave a livable world to future generations.
WILL THE WORLD JOIN IN?
The developing world is ‘not joining-in with CO2 emission reductions nor does it have any intention of doing so.
Britain is phasing out its coal-burning power plants, with the last one slated to be shuttered by 2025, if not sooner. It is a startling development for the nation that founded an industrial revolution powered by coal.
The British government has also enacted a law consistent with this range, requiring emissions reductions of 34 percent below 1990 levels by 2022, which would be upped to 42 percent if the world reaches a global climate agreement in Copenhagen in December.
Paris to Ban Fossil Fuel Cars by 2030
Paris announced it will ban all gas- and diesel-fueled cars within city limits by 2030, allowing only electric vehicles onto its streets.
Agroforestry could help solve Climate Change.
HELPING SOLVE WORLD’S CARBON POLLUTION
New Trees are the only solution to soaking up Carbon Dioxide:
- A Micro Hydro Electric System: no dams: HugENERGY.us
- An Irrigation System: NORTHydro.com
- Deliverance Is: DeliveranceIs.com
- An Agroforestry Inter crop System: LivingWaterIs.com
- The Charitable Arm: SunnyUp.net
- God’s Loveletters: Godloveletters.com
- Thunder of Justice: ThunderofJustice.com
Stage 1 Agricultural Mechanization of Africa
Stage 2 Today’s Tall Trees Nursery: Carbon Tax Fund
Stage 3 Micro Finance & Landlord Cooperatives
Stage 4 Irrigation in Remote Areas using kinetic energy from moving water.
Stage 5 Electricity Created in Remote Areas using moving water without the use of a dam.