One Finite Planet

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

First Published:

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.

Comment?

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Categories

COP27: Climate change action sabotage?

Reports from COP27 seems indicate the key initiative this year to make wealthy nations cover the cost of the damages poor nations will incur as a result of emissions that have main originated from those wealthy nations.

The proposal as it stands has a missing an essential piece, and trying to cover for that essential piece, appears most to likely to increase emissions, and move COP away from a focus on solving the climate crisis and instead toward just fighting over the cost.

This is a troubled look at the key flaw in what has been put forward and the real solution that should be in place.

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Did Al Gore nail it: Is climate change merely inconvenient, or is it an existential threat?

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This webpaper, seeks to translate ‘catastrophic’ outcomes and ‘existential threats’ into more concrete outcomes.

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Typical government position: Is it ok?

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The Power struggle in Australia.

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The current crisis in Ukraine not only drives up energy prices globally, but it also creates a dilemma for gas producing nations.

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Environmental impact of the transition to EVs.

Its 2022, and only 1 in 8 new car purchases globally is an EV, and as only 1 in 4 car purchases is a new car, only 1 in 32, or around 3% of all car purchases, are an EV purchase. While the EV percentage is rising, there will be gas/petrol/diesel cars until at least 2045, and little reduction in emissions from the EV transition alone.

As demand for EVs will continue to outstrip supply, no one will need to choose an EV to save the planet, or run out of other choices any time soon. Bans are to pressure manufacturers to move from protecting their existing assets and produce enough EVs to meet demand, rather than force consumers into ICEVs.

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Big Oil, AKA Big Fossil: How real, and what about ‘big climate’?

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This is a look at the financial might on each side of the argument, and the respective motives for each side to overstate their case.

Is this really a balanced fight, or is it more like the might of ‘big tobacco’ vs ‘whistle blower medical research’ all over again?

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EV Home Charging and V2G: Missing an opportunity for the planet.

Move to renewables for energy, and electricity for transport, and we solve the climate problem.

But renewables require storage, and uptake of EVs requires home charging, and there is a cost to both.

But what if electric vehicles could solve the “green power grid” problem, provide energy security, and avert a threat of increasing inequality, and reduce costs? It turns out this dream scenario is definitely possible but can be fully realised only if the home charging problem is solved.

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