What is the real cost/risk generated by ‘Climate Catastrophe’?

To the left there is a graph, from a site supporting climate action, trying to put a cost on inaction. This graph has no data for prior to 2100. From the graph, the cost in 2100 will be double The cost on 2100 will be less than double the cost of inaction, and in 2200, the cost of inaction will be around 2.2 times the cost of action.

I do believe in a potential climate catastrophe. But just using terms like catastrophe is in the end, meaningless.

This data above seems like far less than a catastrophe, that might eventuate sometime after every one alive today has died. I personally believe there is a catastrophe pending with things on their current course. What is required is an attitude that does not stop at “oh, it is too horrific to contemplate!” and arrives are real numbers that will make hard headed people invested in other beliefs will respond.

Consider:

  • most political leaders are in office for ten years or less (other than dictators, who are difficult to persuade anyway)
  • the cost of action is definite and measureable, to cost of inaction is based on forecasts and has a degree of uncertainty
  • the cost of action is now, the cost of inaction is in the future
    • in accounting perspective, costs with a degree of uncertainty

Can we get the real cost?

Reality is, if the costs of the above graph are real, than we do not have a significant problem, and this becomes an economic argument for inaction. Again, I do believe action is imperative, the case simply is not being put in the right terms. The challenge here is to put the real cost into tangible terms. Without managing this, real change will be relatively token. Just using terms such as ‘catastrophic’ will persuade anyone who does not already believe.

This post is largely a placeholder for the moment. I will add to it as I find the material. For now, the point is that the consequences of climate change are often only in qualitative unmeasurable terms, and this alone is not enough.

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