Investments in renewable energies and low-carbon infrastructure can help the environment and the economy at the same time, says a comprehensive new report released Tuesday.
The report — Better Growth Better Climate — found that about US $90 trillion will likely be invested in infrastructure in the world’s cities, agriculture and energy systems over the next 15 years, unleashing multiple benefits including jobs, health, business productivity and quality of life.
“The decisions we make now will determine the future of our economy and our climate,” Nicholas Stern, Co-Chair of the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate, said in a media release.
“If we choose low-carbon investment we can generate strong, high-quality growth – not just in the future, but now. But if we continue down the high-carbon route, climate change will bring severe risks to long-term prosperity,” he said.
Felipe Calderón, Chair of the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate, said the report refutes the idea that humankind must choose between fighting climate change or growing the world’s economy.
“That is a false dilemma,” Calderón said. “Today’s report details compelling evidence on how technological change is driving new opportunities to improve growth, create jobs, boost company profits and spur economic development. The report sends a clear message to government and private sector leaders: we can improve the economy and tackle climate change at the same time.”
Stern, a professor at the Grantham Institute at the London School of Economics, and his co-author Simon Dietz found that the current economic models used to calculate the cost of climate change are vastly inadequate and need to be updated so that proper decisions can be made about risks associated with global warming.
They said that even the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has cited the existing economic models and, as a result, has arrived at severely limited assumptions about the costs of global warming.
“It is extremely important to understand the severe limitations of standard economic models, such as those cited in the IPCC report, which have made assumptions that simply do not reflect current knowledge about climate change and its potential impacts on the economy,” Stern, a former chief economist with the World Bank, said in a media release.
Prince Charles is a “global warming Nazi” and, apparently, so is U.S. President Barack Obama.
That’s according to Dr. Roy Spencer, one of the world’s most often cited deniers of the risks of human-caused climate change.
In a blog post titled “Time to push back against the global warming Nazis,” Dr Spencer of the University of Alabama, Huntsville, wrote that he had made a decision about anyone who used the term “denier” to describe … well… deniers of the threats of human-caused climate change.
He’s going to call them “Global warming Nazis.”
When politicians and scientists started calling people like me “deniers”, they crossed the line. They are still doing it.
They indirectly equate (1) the skeptics’ view that global warming is not necessarily all manmade nor a serious problem, with (2) the denial that the Nazi’s extermination of millions of Jews ever happened.
Too many of us for too long have ignored the repulsive, extremist nature of the comparison. It’s time to push back.
I’m now going to start calling these people “global warming Nazis”.
It’s a commonly held belief, even within the climate action advocacy community, that significant technological breakthroughs are necessary to harness enough clean, renewable energy to power our global energy demands.
Not so, says a new study published this month, which makes an ambitious case for “sustainable sources” providing 95 percent of global energy demand by mid-century.
This new analysis, “Transition to a fully sustainable global energy system,” published in Energy Strategy Reviews, examines demand scenarios for the major energy use sectors – industry, buildings, and transport – and matches them up to feasible renewable supply sources.
It is entirely possible, using technologies largely available today, to power nearly the entire world with clean energy—but we need to conjure the will to make revolutionary strides in public policy and the scale of deployment.
It’s hard to know whether to celebrate or to weep.
CanWest News Services reporter Mike de Souza has learned that the government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper is calling for a lightning fast (eight-week), bargain basement ($40,000) report on the potential economic impacts of climate change in Canada.
We certainly laud the Prime Minister’s sudden interest, but if this is anything more than a public relations exercise designed to lobby the anti-science cohort in his own caucus, it is an affront - so terribly inadequate to the task as to only further humiliate Canada on the international stage.
As there’s a 25-to-30-year lag between greenhouse emissions and the full impact of their warming, current climate chaos is a result of carbon spewed in the late 1970s. The hit from more recent discharges – including China’s coal plants – is but pain yet to come.
British economists have urged India to battle climate change, saying vulnerability to the phenomenon goes hand in hand with poverty . Dimitri Zenghelis, lead author of the Stern Review, which examined the costs and benefits of climate change moderation, said there is 90 per cent recognition of climate change in the developed world compared with only 50 per cent by developing countries.
The board of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the nation’s leading general science organization, has issued a statement declaring global warming “a growing threat to society.” The first-ever stand by the AAAS, which publishes the journal Science, also attributes recent warming to human activity.
The Brazilian government has announced the first-ever introduction of large-scale logging in its tropical rain forest despite the potential impact on global warming. Logging in the remote Amazonian heartland will be “monitored” by a new and untested government agency and local officials.
Energy and environment ministers from the world's top 20 polluting nations are meeting in Mexico to consider the economic costs of climate change. Former World Bank chief economist Sir Nicholas Stern is expected to say rich nations must cut emissions immediately, and help developing nations adapt.
Democracy is utterly dependent upon an electorate that is accurately informed. In promoting climate change denial (and often denying their responsibility for doing so) industry has done more than endanger the environment. It has undermined democracy.
There is a vast difference between putting forth a point of view, honestly held, and intentionally sowing the seeds of confusion. Free speech does not include the right to deceive. Deception is not a point of view. And the right to disagree does not include a right to intentionally subvert the public awareness.