True Cost of Global Warming - Economic Impact

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The truth is that there are very few solid facts when it comes to global warming science.  Loads of data, loads of opinions, loads of theories and models of the future, but very little history.  And that is what we need more of to be 100% sure....

True cost of global warming

Extreme statements and dire warnings have already gripped the imagination of billions of people.  But what is the truth?  What is the real evidence linking carbon dioxide to climate change, and how can we be sure this is mainly due to human activity, and not some massive over-reaction drummed up by eco-freaks and business speculators.

How hot will things really have to get before there is a catastrophe?  Are we already too late to change the future?

The evidence linking human activity to climate change is now overwhelming in the view of most scientific experts on climatology. The economic growth of India and China alone could be enough to tip the world over the edge into an almost unstoppable process, when added to the extravagant waste of industrialised nations.

Most large cities in the world are likely to be hit by rising sea levels because they are built around sea ports.  We could see peak tidal surges more than a metre higher than today. Some countries could be turned to desert.  On current trends more than a billion people will be short of fresh water by 2050.  Many urban areas will be hit by freak storms and flash floods, costing billions a year in reconstruction.  400,000 square miles of Arctic ice have melted in the last 30 years. A quarter of all animal and plant species could be wiped out within the next 30.

Most people alive today will see radical changes in lifestyles because of climate change – as well as new patterns of disease and severe controls on energy

Expect global tensions to rise

The wealthiest nations and largest multinationals will be blamed by the poorest, while wealthier nations will worry about massive jumps in energy use by emerging economies. The stage will be set for new and dangerous conflicts.

As the world’s most wasteful user of energy, the United States will find new global forces attack US business interests through sanctions, trade blocks and consumer boycotts.  Expect vigorous and aggressive American reactions, which will further increase global tension. Governments will see global warming as an issue of national security, more serious than terrorism in its economic impact.

History shows that the future will be shaped by emotion rather than science.  Public mood often changes more rapidly than facts.  Consumer pressure will change aspects of every product and service sold.  Most large companies will run much faster than governments in a rush to save the planet profitably.  In the middle of it all, energy giants will try to reinvent themselves as saviours of humankind.

Impact on business innovation, profits and losses

Some countries and companies will make billions and others will be wiped.  A hundred million small innovations and personal decisions will have dramatic impact on carbon use.  Carbon trading will provide vast new funds for investment in low-carbon technologies.  It will also lead to the greatest financial frauds the world has ever known:  super-criminals trading non-existent virtual assets on carbon-saving exchanges. Governments will be slow to prosecute, sometimes compromised by their own fraudulent claims for high carbon use in the past, and false data on carbon savings today.

Carbon trading works by taking your past use of carbon as a starting point.  Every ton of carbon you save each year in future then counts as a credit, which can be sold to other companies who have to use more carbon to grow.  It enables one carbon-hungry industry to fund savings in another industry altogether, maybe in a different country, where it can do so more cheaply than at home.

Expect many crises as the poorest 4 billion people on earth struggle (or fail) to survive in a world that has been poisoned for many decades by carbon burning in the wealthiest nations.

The message is clear:

We can continue as we are and the result is likely to be disaster.  Or we can apply business ingenuity to solving this problem.  It can be fixed at relatively low cost in terms of total impact on the economic growth of the world, and in a highly efficient and profitable way.

Climate Change Sceptics - and why so many end up supporting action

You may be a

·       Sceptic

·       Hedger        (reduce risk by placing several bets)

·       Pragmatist

·       Activist

·       Evangelist

when it comes to climate change.  It matters for your business, will probably affect where you invest, what money you make.

The sceptic view - often ends up in the same place

If you are a sceptic....   take care.

Let us assume that you are right.  Assume that all the science is wrong, conclusions are flawed and the entire carbon-saving global effort is a meaningless nonsense.

Even if you are right (and you may be... no scientist on earth can 100% prove otherwise),   because most of the world is convinced of the carbon-climate story, every one of the business opportunities described on this website remains.

Global Insurance Against Disaster?

There is another issue:  even if you think there is only a 5% chance that we are heading for a major global crisis as a result of global warming, that is still a very high risk compared to many other risks that you probably insure yourself against such as your home burning down.  But what insurance are you proposing the world takes out against the possibility that global warming is   a) a future reality    b) of catastrophic proportions    c) something that can only be tackled by steps taken many years before the full impact is likely to be felt,  and   d) a threat that it will be almost impossible to counter by the middle of this century?

Most climate change sceptics I have spoken to over the last few years acknowledge the possibility (unlikely they think) that they could turn out to be wrong, and that this means, however reluctantly, that they think some measures at least should be taken now.

But as I say, the reality is that the future of government and business decisions will not in the end be decided by the science - which still contains some uncertainties.  Those decisions will be made in the light of public passion about this issue, which is growing.

And there is another related challenge which is independence of countries from the potential stranglehold of oil and gas rich nations and unstable global market prices for energy.  So even the greatest climate change sceptics in the US are now campaigning alongside environmental activists for alternative energy generation, wind, solar, nuclear, biofuels and so on, plus big steps towards energy savings.

And so, in the end, the future becomes clear.

Expect growing global consensus that energy saving and reduction in carbon dependency are of utmost importance.  And the rest, as they say, will be history.

Many more Global Warming Videos by Futurist Dr Patrick Dixon and Sustainagility book.

Articles and Videos on Global Warming

Here are more resources on this site that you may find helpful.

True Cost of Global Warming
How business will help solve
global warming with green technology
CARBON DIET to save the World

Global Warming - Science Summary

Future of Oil Prices: Middle East, global economy

Roof Gardens Impact on Energy Saving

Biofuels Controversy and Climate Change

Iceland Volcano Eruption - Geothermal Power Potential

Energy Use Consulting - Boom Industry

Smart Power Regulation - Energy Saving

Green Technology Innovation Awards Chaired by Patrick Dixon

Product Exchanges and Climate Change

Wind Turbines and Global Warming

Solar Cell Roofing and Climate Change
Low Energy Streetlights and Global Warming

Polymer Cement - to save 2% global CO2

Carbon Capture - Climate Change Business

Future of Oil Industry
when will oil run out? Kuwait and region
Heat Pumps - to prevent global warming

Cost of
global warming - practical answers
The $40 trillion
climate change business
Impact of Global Warming on Human Life

The Future of the Environment

Green Technologies
innovation will help with climate change
climate change and crazy biofuels policy
innovation will help save world. Sustainable business future
Sustainable business: $40 trillion
green tech boom will help save world
How Green IT saves money and energy, improves image and
environment - keynote
Water Wars Risk?
Futurist Q&A with Patrick Dixon
Global Warming:
green technology will help world
Economic Growth Limits?
Sustainability. FUTURIST Q&A


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