How much would it cost to stop Global Warming?
The sooner we act, the cheaper it will be.
Research, done by Sir Nicholas Stern, Head of the UK Government Economic Service, and a former Chief Economist of the World Bank, endorsed by Nobel Prize winning economists, clearly shows that the cost to stop global warming will become higher the longer we delay.
Research has shown that the global number of ‘Great Natural Catastrophe’ events increased from twenty nine to seventy four events between 1970 and 1990 alone, leading to a cost of hundreds of billions of dollars.
Increased illness and malnutrition in underdeveloped countries will also cost billions. Some may be so callous as to say “just let them die, the world is overpopulated anyway.” However I don’t believe people will just sit down and wait to die. When their numbers increase, these people will rise against the rich and take what they need by force if it is not given freely. (But that’s just my opinion and you are free to think otherwise.)
The rise of sea levels will also cost tremendous amounts of money just to protect cities which will be flooded without protection. Whole islands and coastal areas may disappear.
Just have a look at this map to see exactly how much land will be flooded.
Eventually it could lead to a twenty percent reduction in current global per capita income. Every single person on the planet would lose money, everyone would have to take quite a few steps back and we will never again see the kind of comfort people live in, in developed countries. However, if we take strong and decisive action now, it may not cost more than one percent reduction. Scientists are very clear on this point: The sooner we act, the cheaper it will be.
The cost of not doing anything, of letting the climate warm, will be much higher than the investment needed to limit carbon dioxide emissions.
Who should pay the bill?
Of course those countries who will suffer most from Global Warming are the ones that have the least money to spend. If anything is going to be achieved it will have to be paid for by developed countries. Many of these countries feel no need to make such huge investments for the benefit of others; especially at a time of global recession.
But one thing we should keep in mind when talking about the effects of Global Warming is that the developed countries of the world are the ones who caused carbon dioxide levels to rise to where they are today. The USA alone is responsible for at least a quarter of those emissions.
Thanks to developed countries temperatures are rising all over the world. Therefore it is only just that they should be the ones to bear most of the cost to stop global warming and of reducing carbon dioxide emissions.
How could taking action to stop Global Warming be good for the economy?
Many economists feel that taking action to stop Global Warming will help our economy . If we decide to develop renewable energy technologies, this will create work for many people and the injection of funds into new industries will boost our economy.
Fossil fuels are becoming increasingly scarce and in the long run they will have to be replaced by renewable energies anyway. The first countries to develop economically viable renewable energy technologies will be able to export their technology all over the world as energy demand continues to increase. They will make a huge profit and their economy will boom.
Therefore it is probably advisable to invest in renewable energy technology development, whether one believes humans to be the cause of Global Warming or not.
Another question is whether we should spend a lot of money developing technologies which aim at reducing carbon dioxide release from the burning of fossil fuels.
One reason to answer ‘yes’, is that the development of new technologies will create employment for many people, which is a great benefit, especially at a time of economic recession.
Another reason is the simple fact that fossil fuels are still needed. It will take some time to develop renewable energies. Until we can produce sufficient energy for all our needs from renewable energies we will still need fossil fuels. Since the burning of fossil fuels means releasing carbon dioxide into the atmosphere with disastrous results, it will be well worth developing technologies which aim at reducing carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels.