Saturday, June 7, 2008

Combatting Global Warming

From my good friend David Adams, a story on Yahoo! News about the projected $45 trillion cost to reduce carbon emissions worldwide by 2050.

Two kickers in this for me:
Assuming an average 3.3 percent global economic growth over the 2010-2050 period, governments and the private sector would have to make additional investments of $45 trillion in energy, or 1.1 percent of the world's gross domestic product, the report said.
It sure seems like a lot of money until you realize how much output this planet produces. If we can't invest 1.1% of our collective GDP on this problem, the results will be devastating.
[The study's recommendations] would drastically reduce oil demand to 27 percent of 2005 demand. Failure to act would lead to a doubling of energy demand and a 130 percent increase in carbon dioxide emissions by 2050, IEA officials said.
This is a sobering assessment of the problem we face. David included a tag-line to the story, and I'm unsure of its authorship so I won't attribute it to him, but it stated, "It will cost much less and be more effective to adjust to climate change than to attempt to control it!"

See, I'm completely not of that camp. Adaptation is certainly going to be part of the process as we try to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, and I'm sure some of that adaptation will involve new approaches to agriculture, food distribution, and industrial production. But if we don't invest -- and invest heavily -- in remediation of the problem, we will have a global disaster on our hands.

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