Thursday, November 02, 2006

Global warming and economics

Global Warming To Cost Up To 20% of Global GDP

In college and in grad school, I had ongoing debates with my roommates and friends about the need to quantify, in dollar terms, the costs of global warming, if we wanted the businesses and governments around the world to start taking it seriously. If there isn't a dollar value attached to it, it doesn't affect their bottom line, and they don't have to worry about it.

Sir Nicholas Stern has just done this, in a 700 page report he prepared under a commission from the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Gordon Brown, in the UK. In his report he presents the costs of global warming at between 5-20% of annual global GDP over the next century plus. If this were an average loss to everyone on the planet, it would mean the average american would earn 8,000 less a year, just because of global warming.

It's a long report, the executive summary is even 27 pages. The middle of the summary is pretty interesting. I'd suggest starting to read at page 10 or so.

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