Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Drought, Flood, Famine & Disease: The Economic Horsemen of Global Climate Change

From the Toronto Globe/Mail:
Global climate change will cost the world economy as much as $7-trillion in lost output and could force as many as 200 million people out of their homes because of flood or drought unless drastic action is taken by governments worldwide, a report to the British government says.
"Our actions over the coming few decades could create risks of major disruption to economic and social activity later in this century and in the next, on a scale similar to those associated with the great wars and the economic depression of the first half of the 20th century,” the report's author, Sir Nicholas Stern--former chief economist of the World Bank--writes.

Canada signed up to the Kyoto agreement and agreed to reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 6 per cent below its 1990 levels between 2008 and 2012. Instead, those emissions are up considerably and the Conservative
government has conceded it won't come close to meeting those commitments.

The report suggests that 1 per cent of global domestic product be spent immediately on dealing with climate change, to avoid higher costs later. Failure to act would lead to a drop of 5 to 20 per cent of global GDP and make large swaths of the Earth's surface uninhabitable.

Even if the pace of growth of emissions did not rise beyond current levels, the level of gases in the atmosphere would double preindustrial levels by 2050 to 550 parts per million. And based on current trends, average global temperatures will rise by two to three degrees Celsius within the next half century compared with where they were prior to 1850.

It also warns that the developing world will be hit first and hardest and that the richer countries have a responsibility to help them adapt.

Yeah, that's gonna happen, you betcha...If you are 1) poor and or 2) brown-skinned, and 3) live anywhere near the coast, better take swimming lessons, cuz the fascist corporate culture ain't gonna lift a fuckin finger to help you out.

1 comment:

Metro99 said...

Agreed. There ain't a snowball's chance in hell on a hot August afternoon that proactive, preemptive action will be taken. It will take a massive (un)natural ecological catastrophe before any serious measures are put into effect. I'm talking about something on the order of New Orleans x 10 and the majority of the victims are Caucasian.

In the meanwhile, we will remain fat, happy, stupid, and oblivious. Hell, it took 90 minutes for the Titanic to sink after it struck the iceberg. Why worry?