In the United States the Republicans are lining up with overflowing eagerness to tackle Democrats based on the “radical” New Green Deal proposals. The latest conservative issue is that it will cost every citizen of the US $600,000 if implemented. This I suspect is fear mongering at its most robust. I do not know what it will cost, but I do know that business as usual will cost horrendous sums. What will cost more? I wish some reputable economists would tackle this issue.
As Johan Rockström, director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany pointed out:
“We’ve already warmed the world by 1.1C, and we’re experiencing the effects: the International Federation of the Red Cross estimates there are as many as 50 million climate refugees. Once we reach 4C, most models agree it will be impossible to return to today’s abundant world.”
We know the problems that huge numbers of refugees can create. There are enough political refugees. We should add climate refugees to the mix. That can’t possibly end well.
Another climatologist, Ken Caldeira, climatologist at the Carnegie Institution for Science in California put it this way:
“For me, the issue is that we are transforming (and simplifying!) our world for many thousands of years into the future with millennia of rising sea [levels], acidified oceans and intolerable tropical temperatures, just because we weren’t willing to pay the small differential between fossil-fuelled prosperity and prosperity fuelled by non-greenhouse-gas-emitting energy systems…“People live in Houston, Miami and Atlanta because they live in air conditioning through the hot summers. If people are rich enough to air-condition their lives, they can watch whatever is the successor to Game of Thrones on TV, as the natural world decays around them,” he says. But he points out that while richer people risk a loss to their quality of life, the poorer risk their actual lives.”
The environmental reporter Gaia Vince summed it up this way:
“We are now making the climate of 2100 and however hard it seems to meet our emissions targets, it’ll be far harder for our children if we don’t. With international cooperation and regulation, we can make it liveable.”
I think the dangers of climate change are real and we should do everything to mitigate against it. The only ideas that might work, which I have heard so far, are the Green New Deal. Doing nothing serious about it, which basically is the conservative position everywhere, seems to be the worst thing we could do.