Daily Archives: September 19, 2014

Paul Krugman Has Some Truly Shocking News About Climate Change | Alternet

Hint: It’s good. But will deniers and despairers listen?
September 19, 2014 |
Paul Krugman is seldom cheery, and you almost never hear good news about climate change. Which is why Krugman’s Friday column is a pleasant surprise.

“This just in: Saving the planet would be cheap; it might even be free,” the Nobel-prize winning economist announces right off the bat.

Krugman has the research to back up his assertions—as usual—namely, two major new reports on the economics of climate change: There’s a big study by a blue-ribbon international group, the New Climate Economy Project, and a working paper from the International Monetary Fund.

In other words, this is some serious analyses of the issue, and it comes up positive. Nevertheless, Krugman knows the news will be met with the usual denialism and despair, the view that economic growth can only be fueled, so to speak, by “ever-rising emissions of greenhouse gases.” It is high-time to debunk that myth. And Krugman is the man to do it:

Where is the new optimism about climate change and growth coming from? It has long been clear that a well-thought-out strategy of emissions control, in particular one that puts a price on carbon via either an emissions tax or a cap-and-trade scheme, would cost much less than the usual suspects want you to think. But the economics of climate protection look even better now than they did a few years ago.

On one side, there has been dramatic progress in renewable energy technology, with the costs of solar power, in particular, plunging, down by half just since 2010. Renewables have their limitations — basically, the sun doesn’t always shine, and the wind doesn’t always blow — but if you think that an economy getting a lot of its power from wind farms and solar panels is a hippie fantasy, you’re the one out of touch with reality.

On the other side, it turns out that putting a price on carbon would have large “co-benefits” — positive effects over and above the reduction in climate risks — and that these benefits would come fairly quickly. The most important of these co-benefits, according to the I.M.F. paper, would involve public health: burning coal causes many respiratory ailments, which drive up medical costs and reduce productivity.

And thanks to these co-benefits, the paper argues, one argument often made against carbon pricing — that it’s not worth doing unless we can get a global agreement — is wrong. Even without an international agreement, there are ample reasons to take action against the climate threat.

Krugman’s biggest beef is with the prophets of “climate despair,” whom he says exist on both the right on the left. The Koch-fueled right is more pernicious in its virulent insistence that economic growth and emissions slashing are absolutely at odds. But there are those on the left and even scientists who agree

…(read more).

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Krugman, IMF: Fighting Global Warming Is ‘Cheap’ And ‘Might Actually Lead To Faster Growth’ | ThinkProgress

by Joe Romm Posted on September 19, 2014 at 12:10 pm

CREDIT: AP Photo/ Francisco Seco

Every major independent analysis of aggressive climate action has found it has very low cost, virtually no impact on growth, and several valuable co-benefits. And one more thing — it avoids climate impacts so catastrophic their costs are almost incalculable, a staggering $1240 trillion, by one analysis.

Two new studies further underscore these points, as Nobel prize-winning economist Paul Krugman explains in his latest New York Times column:

I’ve just been reading two new reports on the economics of fighting climate change: a big study by a blue-ribbon international group, the New Climate Economy Project, and a working paper from the International Monetary Fund. Both claim that strong measures to limit carbon emissions would have hardly any negative effect on economic growth, and might actually lead to faster growth. This may sound too good to be true, but it isn’t. These are serious, careful analyses.

We have known that climate action is super cheap for a long time. I first reviewed the literature back in my 2009 post, “Introduction to climate economics: Why even strong climate action has such a low total cost.” The key finding is that it has “a cost of one tenth of a penny on the dollar — not counting co-benefits.”

Just this April, the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) issued its big report on mitigation that again reviewed the literature. It found that the cost to achieve the low emission 2°C (3.6°F) pathway needed to preserve a livable climate is to reduce the median annual growth of consumption over this century by a mere 0.06%. And that’s “relative to annualized consumption growth in the baseline that is between 1.6% and 3% per year.”

That means annual growth of, say 2.24% rather than 2.30% to save billions and billions of people from needless suffering for decades if not centuries. As always, the report was signed off on by every major government in the world line-by-line. And this does not include the full accounting of co-benefits.

As Krugman explains:

On the other side, it turns out that putting a price on carbon would have large “co-benefits” — positive effects over and above the reduction in climate risks — and that these benefits would come fairly quickly. The most important of these co-benefits, according to the I.M.F. paper, would involve public health: burning coal causes many respiratory ailments, which drive up medical costs and reduce productivity.

…(read more).

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Democracy Now – David Solnit – FloodWallStreet.Net

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24 Hours of Reality: Hour 24 of 24


Climate Reality

Published on Sep 19, 2014

http://www.24Hoursofreality.org In hour 24 of 24 Hours of Reality we learn why the United Nations believes the world is ready to get serious and work together for climate action.

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Arctic Campaign Shell Pushing to Expand Drilling


freespeechtv

Published on Sep 19, 2014

Thom Hartmann talks with John Deans, Arctic Campaign-Greenpeace USA, about the new movie, “Black Ice – the story of the Arctic 30”.

https://www.freespeech.org/tv-schedul…

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Climate Change: The Next Generation | Moyers & Company

http://billmoyers.com/episode/climate-change-next-generation/
September 19, 2014

As world leaders converge for the UN’s global summit on climate and thousands gather in New York for the People’s Climate March, Bill talks to 18-year-old Oregonian Kelsey Juliana, who is walking across America to draw attention to global warming.

Kelsey Juliana comes by her activism naturally – her parents met in the 1990’s while fighting the logging industry’s destruction of old growth forests and she attended her first protest when she was two months old.

Now just out of high school, she’s co-plaintiff in a major lawsuit being spearheaded by Our Children’s Trust that could force the state of Oregon to take a more aggressive stance against the carbon emissions warming the earth and destroying the environment. She’s walking across America as part of the Great March for Climate Action, due to arrive in Washington, DC, on November 1.

“You don’t have to call yourself an activist to act,” she says. “I think that’s so important that people my age really get [that] into their heads. As a younger person, I have everything to gain from taking action and everything to lose from not… It’s important that youth are the ones who are standing up because of the fact that we do have so much to lose.”

Producer: Robert Booth. Editor: Sikay Tang. Outro Producer: Lena Shemel. Outro Editor: Rob Kuhns.

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Why We March | Blog, Perspectives | Bill McKibben, et. al.

by Bill McKibben, Eddie Bautista and La Tonya Crisp-Sauray

‘The Next One Won’t be Biblical’ poster, one of the winners of the People’s Climate March design contest.(Poster: Ellie and Akira Ohiso)

This post first appeared at TomDispatch.

On Sunday, September 21st, a huge crowd will march through

the middle of Manhattan. It will almost certainly be the largest rally about climate change in human history, and one of the largest political protests in many years in New York. More than 1,000 groups are coordinating the march — environmental justice groups, faith groups, labor groups — which means there’s no one policy ask. Instead, it’s designed to serve as a loud and pointed reminder to our leaders, gathering that week at the United Nations to discuss global warming, that the next great movement of the planet’s citizens centers on our survival and their pathetic inaction.

As a few of the march’s organizers, though, we can give some sense of why we, at least, are marching, words we think represent many of those who will gather at Columbus Circle for the walk through midtown Manhattan.

We march because the world has left the Holocene behind: scientists tell us that we’ve already raised the planet’s temperature almost one degree Celsius, and are on track for four or five by century’s end. We march because Hurricane Sandy filled the New York City subway system with salt water, reminding us that even one of the most powerful cities in the world is already vulnerable to slowly rising ocean levels.

…(read more).

and http://www.tomdispatch.com/blog/175894/

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