Wednesday, September 26, 2012

100,000,000 To Die by 2030 from Climate Change

And that's if we're lucky.   A study commissioned by 20-governments finds that, unless our leaders reverse course on climate change, it will claim the lives of 100-million people by 2030.

And, for those like our own miscreant government, that argue it would be economically unwarranted to move quickly to decarbonize our economy and our society, the report finds that, in addition to those 100-million dead, the world economy will take a 3.2 per cent hit in GDP as well.

As David Suzuki was reported to have quipped in Toronto recently, you simply can't have a healthy economy without a healthy biosphere.   It can't be done.

The report seems to embody the deficiencies that tend to prevail in these discussions.   Foremost of these is that it addresses global warming in isolation and doesn't factor in the gamut of associated and building threats and challenges including deforestation; desertification; air/soil/water contamination, especially across Asia; resource depletion and exhaustion, particularly the rapidly building freshwater crisis; overpopulation and population migration; disease and pest migration; species migration and extinction, particularly the collapse of global fisheries; sea level rise and salination of coastal freshwater resources; severe storm events of increasing frequency and intensity; both cyclical and sustained floods and droughts often on a regional scale; and a host of resultant security threats including food insecurity, terrorism, nuclear weapons proliferation and the intensifying arms races, notably in South and East Asia, two regions in the crosshairs of climate change.

Where the study is almost certainly correct is in the assertion that not acting effectively to propel ourselves into a low-carbon economy will be vastly more costly than action.   In other words, the path that Harper has set Canada upon is socially and economically perilous in the mid-range and devastating in the long-range.

Responding to the report, Oxfam International said the costs of political inaction on climate were “staggering.”

“The losses to agriculture and fisheries alone could amount to more than $500 billion per year by 2030, heavily focussed in the poorest countries where millions depend on these sectors to make a living,” said executive director Jeremy Hobbs.

British economist Nicholas Stern told Reuters earlier this year investment equivalent to 2 per cent of global GDP was needed to limit, prevent and adapt to climate change.

His report on the economics of climate change in 2006 said that without any action to tackle climate change, the overall costs and risks of climate change would be equivalent to a cut in per-capita consumption of perhaps up to 20 per cent.

What also tends to go unsaid is the deteriorating security situation  resulting from global warming sparking the likelihood of regional wars and perhaps even world war and the inevitable drag on GDP that will result from rearmament.


lungta said...

One death is a tragedy; one million is a statistic.
Joseph Stalin
harpers religious philosophy basically says that this is gods will (the tribulation) and if they were favored by god (not lost) it wouldn't happen to them.
His church also teaches the environment cannot be irreparably damaged by men.
Harpers church also says that articles like this are the work of demonic heathen earth worshipers agents of the "green dragon".
harpers church eagerly awaits the final conflict between "good and evil" to usher in "the second coming" and (this is mine :) ) seems to actively promote anything that might ignite that.

awesome eh?
our current government can't see this other than win-win-win-win.

liberals and ndp
under one banner
or steal votes from each other and harper for anouther win
pick one

Anonymous said...

No one in their right mind would beleive a study from 20 governments, its absolute rubbish.


The Mound of Sound said...

No one in "his" (one, being singular Klem) would believe anyone who can't spell "believe." Back to fifth grade, chum, remedial English.

Anonymous said...

I’ve seen a number of otherwise-reputable media outlets run stories like this one claiming that “more than 100 million people will die and global economic growth will be cut by 3.2 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) by 2030 if the world fails to tackle climate change.” After reading a story like that, you’re likely to conclude that rich Western countries need to shift to “a low-carbon economy” to avoid killing those 100 million people.

Yet if you actually read the study the numbers tell a very different story:

You can see that “climate” and “carbon”-related maladies accounted for almost 5 million deaths in 2010 and are projected to account for almost 6 million deaths in 2030. More than 60 percent of those deaths in 2010, and a majority in 2030, are due to “indoor smoke,” which means deaths due to “indoor smoke from burning wood and coal for cooking and heating.” In other words, they have nothing to do with greenhouse gases emitted by industrialized nations. Mostly these countries need fast enough economic growth that ordinary people can afford modern stoves and furnaces.

The next biggest cause, “air pollution,” accounts for 28 percent of 2010 deaths and 42 percent of 2030 deaths. Here’s what the report says about that:

Preventing or reducing air contamination relies on a community’s or region’s determination to ensure safety and health. Technology, such as particle filters for vehicles, high quality reined fuels, and regulations on clean air are the main tools for limiting toxic emissions. Air pollution and its negative effects for health can and have been brought under control through these means in major economies of the world.

Read the rest of what the report actually says and not the bogus headline at



The Mound of Sound said...

Ah, Deno. It may surprise you but I genuinely appreciate your responses when they're considered.

What to say? I've been meaning to write a piece entitled "Fall Back and Regroup" about the shifting dynamic of climate change science and denialism. Outright denialism survived a surprisingly long time but it's now given in to a more classical rearguard approach.

My greatest criticism of this study is that it approaches global warming in isolation which essentially defies solution. You go the route of obscuring climate change within carbon and respiratory issues.

Those who read this modest blog know that, from the outset, I have contended that climate change is but one malady of several, all more or less but to some extent inter-related. I have become pretty good at reciting most of them -

desertification; deforestation; air/land/water contamination; species extinction and migration, particularly global fisheries; overpopulation and population migration; disease and pest migration; both cyclical and sustain drought and floods on a regional scale; severe storm events of increasing frequency and intensity and the gamut of human-driven security threats including food insecurity, terrorism, nuclear proliferation and arms races, particularly in South and East Asia.

You see, Deno, you want to narrow the issue but that's a pointless diversion. It's only when you take climate change in context with all of these other issues, all to some degree inter-related, that the face of the underlying problem and its solutions emerge.

Think on them, take them apart, explore them. You'll find just a few common threads that run through them all and, having found those, you'll begin to identify solutions.

I won't give you my views. You must come up with your own conclusions, your own answers. They are pretty apparent. But there's no other way to convince you than to let you convince yourself. Good luck with that, Deno. I mean that quite sincerely.

Anonymous said...

Yes, Deno , you actually looked at the article and discovered that the headline is just another weak attempt at alarmist scare mongering. Since you dared to question the alarmist religious orthodoxy, you are a denier. There is no doubt about it now Deno.