What Might Man-Induced Climate Change Mean? [Excerpt]
Society, Science and Climate Change [Excerpt]
The Cost of Combating Global Warming
Toward a Real Global Warming Treaty
Stick with Kyoto: A Sound Start on Global Warming
What Makes Greenhouse Sense?
What to Do About Climate Change
Copenhagen's Inconvenient Truth
How to Salvage the Climate Conference
The Low-Carbon Diet
How the Market Can Curb Climate Change
Globalizing the Energy Revolution
How to Really Win the Clean-Energy Race
Tough Love for Renewable Energy
Making Wind and Solar Power Affordable
Cleaning Up Coal
From Climate Culprit to Solution
How Big Business Can Save the Climate
Multinational Corporations Can Succeed Where Governments Have Failed
How Washington Can Bolster a Stronger Climate Deal
Why Municipalities Are the Key to Fighting Climate Change
The Geopolitics of the Paris Talks
The Web of Alliances Behind the Climate Deal
The Problem With Climate Catastrophizing
The Case for Calm
Climate Catastrophe Is a Choice
Downplaying the Risk Is the Real Danger
Paris Isn't Burning
Why the Climate Agreement Will Survive Trump
Why Trump Pulled the U.S. Out of the Paris Accord
And What the Consequences Will Be
Trump's Paris Agreement Withdrawal in Context
The Polarization of the Climate Issue Continues
THE COST OF COMBATING GLOBAL WARMING
At international conferences, people speaking for the developing world insist that it is the developed nations that feel endangered by carbon emissions and want to retard elsewhere the kind of development that has been enjoyed by Western Europe, North America, and Japan. A reduction in carbon emissions in the developing world, they assert, will have to be at the expense of the rich nations. Their diagnosis is wrong, but their conclusion is right. Any costs of mitigating climate change during the coming decades will surely be borne by the high-income countries. But the benefits, despite what spokespeople for the developing world say, will overwhelmingly accrue to future generations in the developing world. Any action combating global warming will be, intended or not, a foreign aid program.
The Chinese, Indonesians, or Bangladeshis are not going to divert resources from their own development to reduce the greenhouse effect, which is caused by the presence of carbon-based gases in the earth's atmosphere. This is a prediction, but it is also sound advice. Their best defense against climate change and vulnerability to weather in general is their own development, reducing their reliance on agriculture and other such outdoor livelihoods. Furthermore, they have immediate environmental problems -- air and water pollution, poor sanitation, disease -- that demand earlier attention.
There are three reasons the beneficiaries will be in the developing countries, which will be much more developed when the impact of climate change is felt. The first is simple: that is where most people live -- four-fifths now, nine-tenths in 75 years.
Second, these economies may still be vulnerable, in a way the developed economies are not, by the time climate change occurs. In the developed world hardly any component of the national income is affected by climate. Agriculture is practically the only sector of the economy affected by climate, and it contributes only a small percentage -- three percent in the United States -- of national income. If agricultural productivity
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