Delay climate mitigation, escalate the costs: study
Costs would escalate five-fold in next seven years
Which would hurt less: a global carbon price of $US20 now, or a $US100 carbon price in 2020?
That’s the stark choice offered by a new study by the International Institute of Applied Systems Analysis in Austria, published in Nature (abstract here).
The paper, Probabilistic cost estimates for climate change mitigation, seeks to generate “distributions of the costs associated with limiting transient global temperature increase to below specific values,” the authors explain.
If agreement can’t be reached before 2030, the researchers say, a 2°C target will be out of reach, the authors told Reuters.
Even an immediate price of $US20 per tonne of CO2 isn’t a guarantee of anything, the study’s authors explain: it only provides a 60 percent chance of keeping temperature rises to below 2°C.
The study, which also included researchers in Switzerland, New Zealand, Australia and Germany, found that the timing of greenhouse emission reduction is far more influential than any scientific uncertainty. And that means the politics is now far more important than anything that might pop up on denier blogs.
IIASA says if action is delayed, the outcome will include an urgent need to take coal-fired power generation offline.
If mitigation steps aren’t taken, the researchers say, global annual emissions by 2020 will reach 55 gigatons of CO2 each year. At that point, IIASA’s Keywan Riahi says, “you would need to shut down a coal power plant each week for ten years if you still wanted to reach the two-degree Celsius target”.
“Fundamentally, it’s a question of how much society is willing to risk,” says IIASA energy researcher and a co-author of the study, David McCollum. ®
To Public Citizen: "Do your bit for global warming, pay your due"
To Mr Government: "Continue to fund me and I'll give you a chance to really tax the shit out of your citizens! Then spend the money on some airy fairy bullshit that suits your political agenda.."
Until they tell me exactly what f*cking use this money is and being spent on, they can all go f@#$ themselves!
In order to pass the Bridge of Eternal Peril, you must first answer this question...
"Which would hurt less: a global carbon price of $US20 now, or a $US100 carbon price in 2020?"
Inflation means that USD 100 in 2020 will be actually worth far less than USD 20 NOW. It might even be worth nothing at all.
On the other hand, if you have USD 20 now you could actually invest it and hope that it grows to a lot more (in whatever denomination) by 2020 (though seeing the serial sabotage of any growth prospect by the Keynesians in charge, I wonder how that would be possible). That investment might yield the unexpected result of actually reducing carbon dioxide emissions!
Indeed, performing a bit of tax evasion will certainly work towards that goal, reducing government spending on wars and hindering crap like Olympic Games and schemes to reduce CO2 emissions.
Finally, how do I spend USD 20 per tonne of CO2, pray tell? Who takes the 20 USD and what do I get for it? This seems to be an exchange. Will the government give me USD 20 if I continue to drive my old car for a bit longer, as opposed to promising me rebates and tax deductions if I scrap it now and buy a new one I don't need in order to "kickstart the economy" (actually destroying the second hand market)? Somehow I doubt it.