Coherent Identifier About this item: 20.500.12592/c36qwk

HOW ECONOMICS HAS UNDERESTIMATED CLIMATE DAMAGE AND ENCOURAGED INACTION - DAVID SPRATT & ALIA ARMISTEAD

22 April 2020

Summary

The Australian Labour Party, the Business Council escalating climate disasters globally, not least our bushfires, of Australia and others commit to a net-zero emission this preoccupation with the cost of action — and a blind reduction target by 2050, and simultaneously support the eye turned to overwhelming future damage — remains the expansion of the coal and gas industries. [...] In fact, a cursory survey of the scientific literature on the likely impacts of 3°C paints a frightening picture of a world In 2019, Johan Rockström, the head of one of in which it is likely that the structures of societies will be Europe’s leading research institutes, warned that in severely tested, and some will crash (see Three degrees of a 4°C-warmer world it would be “difficult to see how war. [...] Water flows into the great rivers of Asia will be costs of acting to reduce the level of future warming reduced by the loss of more than one-half, and perhaps as compared to the damage caused by not acting, for much more, of the Himalayan ice sheet. [...] In economic assessments of climate evidence for the largest potential impacts of change, some of the largest factors, like thresholds in climate change and the rising probability that major the climate system, when a tiny change could tip the thresholds in the Earth’s climate system will be system catastrophically, and possible limits to the breached as global mean surface temperature rises, human. [...] In calculating benefits, however, only “known knowns” have traditionally made it into the In response to the pandemic and the forced curtailment headline figure, whereas the bias goes the other way in of economic activity, government stimulus spending the case of costs: the rapid progress made in clean- around the world has amounted to 8-20% of GDP (as of energy technologies is largely ignored, de.

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