By Laura Keil, Publisher/Editor
Nine out of 10 climate economists believe that climate change will make the gap between rich and poor worse in most countries, according to a survey of 730 economists this spring.
Economists are calling for “immediate and drastic” action to cut emissions contributing to global warming.
We seldom talk about the economic impact of climate change in day-to-day conversation. And when we hear leaders talking about the “cost” of tackling climate change and reducing emissions, we seldom hear the paired ghost figure—the cost of doing nothing.
Scientists have known for decades that the cost of doing nothing will out shadow the cost of taking action, but politics and misinformation among the broader public has made swift action impossible.
Many who have denied human-made climate change are the ones who will be hurt the most. And those who have money will snug themselves up in their temperature-controlled safe dome, able to buy all the water their heart desires.
They’ll have water to waste, in fact.
We have seen once again this summer the awful toll that fires, floods and droughts take on large swaths of the population—and the economy. Contrary to the fanciful delusion of enjoying warmer winters, we will look forward to spending a large part of each summer breathing in the awful fumes of forest fires and praying the lightning gods don’t strike too close.
Economists (not environmentalists) think that governments may be underestimating the costs associated with climate change such as extreme weather and economic disruption as they cost-out their potential policies.
Meanwhile, the cost of reducing emissions is dropping as the price of solar and wind generation plummets and many economists expect similar cost-savings for other clean technologies.
Many will argue that Canada is a drop in the bucket when it comes to global emissions, but we also have a lot to lose.
Our arctic is warming at twice the rate as further south. And Canadians are the worst when it comes to per capita emissions. Canada, the United States, and Russia emit more than double the global average per person.
If we have any hope of slowing the awful tsunami upon us, we need to lead by example. Luckily we are a democracy and can choose the direction we go in.
Let’s not just fold our hands politely.