30 May 2008

This Is What All The Fuss Is About?

Apparently, an economist has estimated the environmental cost of global warming (assuming the globe does warm) at $23 trillion in 2005 dollars through 2100. I haven't read the book and can't vouch for his methodology, but it's hard to believe that all this hype has been built up over something so trivial.

This years global "GDP" is estimated to be approximately $77 trillion, so the damage from global warming over the course of the 21st century isn't even a third of one years GDP. If we assume a very conservative 1% average real growth in the world economy this century, world GDP in today's dollars in 2100 will be just shy of $200 trillion and total GDP over the next 92 years will be $11.7 quadrillion. So, what in the world is all the fuss about?

4 comments:

Peter Burnet said...

Supply and demand. As scepticism becomes more widespread and fewer folks buy into the doomsday scenarios, the price the fear-mongers charge for fixing the problem drops.

joe shropshire said...

A trillion here, a trillion there, pretty soon you are talking real money.

Harry Eagar said...

I take your point, but the history of the world does not show an unbroken progression of economic expansion.

You guys laugh at me for paying attention first to farming, but a map of the exploitation and abandonment of farmland would be instructive.

A computer graphics person could make it throb with the centuries. It would look like a lung, not like a balloon.

joe shropshire said...

Go for it. Here's the tool, all you need is a time series: Gapminder Graphs Community