$10 to save the planet

The UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change concluded today that it would cost .12% of the world's domestic product to substantially reduce our collective greenhouse gas emissions.

GDP of the world economy: US$60 trillion

.12% of $60 trillion: $70 billion

Total population of the earth: 6.5 billion

Cost per person to significantly reduce heat-trapping gas worldwide: $10 a year

Cost of saving the planet from droughts, famine, mass flooding, species extinction and rising sea levels: priceless.

Note: I've revised the calculations here. From $110 to $10 per person.

Here's the math: $60 trillion/.0012/6.5 billion = 10 (rounded figures)


Of course, roughly half of the planet lives in absolute poverty. Granted, this is not a price-sharing plan, but it is worth noting that the burden will and should fall on the wealthier nations. Let me know where to send my $200 check.

Developing nations played very little role in creating the problem. I am assuming that the .012% GDP means that such a cost would not be tied to the population but the economy, so in the US it would be around $478 per person ($12 trillion GDP x .012% = $144 billion/30 million people = $478 per person).

Whereas, say a developing nation like Gambia with a GDP of $3billion and a population of 1.5 million would pay about $24 per person.

No matter how it's sliced, developed nations pay more.  

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Brian Mulroney, a guy who I have little time for in general, once said to Margaret Thatcher in private meetings about Apartheid that it was important for the commonwealth nations to not be on the wrong side of history. I am very encouraged to see that the majority of people are starting to come around on the issue of Climate Change.

It is through tireless work by groups like the Desmogblog crew that consciousness is being raised, regulatory agendas are being changed, legislative directions are shifting and it appears that, like the Ozone issue, the Carbon issue will be tackled. This is a good thing.

It is a good thing for me, and for my 18 month-old daughter. Accelerated climate change is bad thing for the stability and health of human societies. As the website developer for the DesmogBlog project I am admittedly biased in favor of the success of this project.

That said, my involvement in this project is pre-dated by my more general bias toward good sense, good science, collaboration, peer review, transparency and humanism, and against ideology, shillery, and ressentiment. There is far too much of the latter being published on this blog in the name of open debate. I’m not referring to the articles, but the comments.

Kevin, Richard and others do a very distasteful job in attempting to answer the endless stream of non-sense and ad hominem directed at the writers and their work being published here. My fear is that the effect the comments section has on the average reader is to give the impression that there is some sort of even debate going on about this issue. There isn’t.

In addition to the usual crack-pots that seem to have endless capacity to noisily occupy a fringe contra position against anything reasonable and proven, the scientific community in general is pitted against a well-funded and/or vocal minority of interests that have a stake in the status quo - the global warming denier community. Average folk are watching this and thinking it is a debate between equal or evenly matched ideas and approaches.

That’s not the case. One voice - the denier voice - is being magnified by money and power. This is not unusual. It is also not unusual that this magnified voice is on the wrong side of history. So, my purpose in writing this lengthy comment is two-fold. First, I want to congratulate my colleagues on the great job they are doing. Second, I want to point out to the average reader that the proliferation of comments attacking the project and the good science it promotes DO NOT represent a significant body of opinion, thought, ideas, innovation or anything of the sort. Look closely and you will see the same handful of individuals, probably magnified by sock-puppetry (multiple false identities) into a much larger group than actually exists. You will see a great degree of ad hominem, bitterness and sarcasm.

You will see them being consistently defeated on point, yet returning with the same mistaken assertions again and again. Allowing un-moderated comments on this site is something Kevin and the team are committed to. The price they pay is enormous in terms of time and effort. It is unfair that they should have to constantly bat at the same horseflies, and the good work they do is very likely diminished as a result.

Like all bugs though they have a short life span, thankfully. I retain hope that the by the time things finally get moving on the action side of things it wont be to late. Good post btw

As mentioned on TreeHugger.com comment, the math needs multiplication by % not division. $60 TIL * 0.0012 / 6.5 BIL people