Monday, October 30, 2006

is 1% too much to pay to preserve our civilization?

The BBC got an advance copy of the British Treasury-commissioned Stern Report on climate change, published today in England. The gist, in business terms: taking significant action to mitigate climate change would cost us 1% of our global GDP by 2050. And inaction would cost 5%-20% of our GDP -- or if you believe the gloomier prognostications, could cost us billions of lives and bring about the end of our modern civilization.

In other words, serious action on climate change would shave the tiniest fraction off of our growth rates for the next 45 years. Hardly devastating to the economy. Although oil and coal industries, and probably Detroit, wouldn't like it. Gosh, from our inaction you'd think there were people with ties to big oil in the White House. Oh, wait...

We don't have decades to act. We need to get started. The de facto Bush Administration is fiddling, and the planet is burning.


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