NWR Climate change

For a start why not forgo the investment in expensive heat-source pumps and instead put all that money into flood defences.
And perhaps we could just stop building on floodplains. But how long will those flood defences remain effective? They might work against the 1 in 100 year floods that are now coming every ten years, but what about the 1 in 1,000 year floods that are coming every 50 years? And how exactly do you mitigate against temperatures that make it impossible to grow crops? Don't most of the economic analyses that compare the cost of doing nothing to stop warming with the costs associated with the consequences warming always show that the latter is considerably more expensive?
 
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The FT article isn't as doom-laden as either of you are suggesting - 300tn of additional investment requires raising the investment budget by 50%, and in due course (although this is only pointed out in the comments) some of that capital investment will be offset by revenue savings (see the Tesla thread for examples). Global GDP is set to be 29tn pa larger in 2026 than this year - let's not be defeatist. On the other hand, the article is right to flag that getting people to pay for the changes is likely a bigger challenge than establishing the technology itself.
 
And perhaps we could just stop building on floodplains. But how long will those flood defences remain effective? They might work against the 1 in 100 year floods that are now coming every ten years, but what about the 1 in 1,000 year floods that are coming every 50 years? And how exactly do you mitigate against temperatures that make it impossible to grow crops? Don't most of the economic analyses that compare the cost of doing nothing to stop warming with the costs associated with the consequences warming always show that the latter is considerably more expensive?
Geordie I did not advocate doing nothing to alleviate climate change as I clearly say in my post. Please don't misquote me for your own purpose of making a binary where there isn't one. I merely said that we should invest significant funds into protecting against the effects of climate change in the UK.

As a tiny nation we are completely beholden to other nations taking drastic action at enormous expense to reduce the effects of climate change and potentially stop at a 1.5C rise. What if they do not? We need to prepare for that reality as much as we do to reduce and contain the changes.

I am not sure where you are getting your figures for the 1 in 100 and 1 in 1000 scenarios but if true then yes we should be building defences that could withstand those events.

Is anyone seriously suggesting the UK could be barren re crop growing? Sorry but no idea what you're talking about there unless you are talking about other parts of the world. I was only talking about a UK context.
 
Wow, what a tissue-thin "argument". "In total we think as much as $300tn in extra investments could be needed to re-tool the global economy with assets that can be fabricated, distributed, operated and eventually recycled using clean energy sources alone." (My bold.) Yep, I'm totally sold. Let's totally change direction on the basis that this guy and his mates think that maybe it'll cost more than we can afford. I'm not saying he's wrong, but I would like to see a slightly more detailed analysis before I jump on board that particular boat. He uses the market for fridges as the example for his argument - we need to make lots of fridges because people are always replacing them and that means lots of carbon being released. Well, yeah, okay, but rather than just saying we need more money to pay for de-carbonising the supply chains, perhaps we could start doing more to stop people replacing their fridges every five years. I would love to see more about ways we can change the way our economic system works, rather than using that economic system as an excuse for not tackling climate change.
Hard to assess how thin the argument is when you haven’t seen any of the analysis behind it. However, the analysis would need to be extraordinarily thin to the point of being completely wrong to invalidate the conclusion that the cost of retooling is vastly too high to be acceptable ie the potential cost would need to be less than a tenth of that 300 tn figure even to begin to think about it being possible.

Taking his specific example re fridges. He specifically refers to when you NEED to replace it because it has broken down ie it’s not a voluntary/unnecessary purchase per se. He quotes 1.5bn fridges today and 200m sold pa. If there’s nothing but replacing existing fridges that’s still 1 every 7.5 years (rather than 5). Of course, that 1.5bn is surely growing as millions of new people each year become able to afford them so I would estimate we typically keep fridges for a lot longer than even 7.5 years. Of course, the key part of your argument is really that the world should consume far less ie you‘re arguing that instead of selling 200m fridges pa we should produce/sell far fewer. That is the very essence of economic collapse when applied to everything in the global economy.
 
The FT article isn't as doom-laden as either of you are suggesting - 300tn of additional investment requires raising the investment budget by 50%, and in due course (although this is only pointed out in the comments) some of that capital investment will be offset by revenue savings (see the Tesla thread for examples). Global GDP is set to be 29tn pa larger in 2026 than this year - let's not be defeatist. On the other hand, the article is right to flag that getting people to pay for the changes is likely a bigger challenge than establishing the technology itself.
You’re assuming that all of that, now 30bn pa, would go exclusively to building this new carbon zero supply chain and that it still taking 10 years at that rate would be fine. That former clearly can’t be the case. If one assumes that no more than half that 20bn could be applied to the new supply chain then it’s 15 years to do it. That global gdp being 29tn by 2026 also means the 300bn needed will be that much bigger too! Meanwhile, temps have continued to rise and will continue to do so for decades thereafter and you haven’t spent anything on dealing with that. Regardless, the 50% increase in global investment is so vast as to be completely beyond the scope of what the global economy could hope to sustain and certainly wouldn't result in the 29tn higher global gdp you referred to.

If anything, the article is far too positive in its conclusion in that it hypothesises about potentially funding this from raising debt, higher taxes and/or adopting a wartime mentality re accepting lower living standards. Again, the sums involved mean that there is no solution that could practically be implemented. You might as well say we’ll move the earth’s population to Mars as it’s literally that preposterous.

There’s no question that we are going to spend vast sums over the next 50 years trying to slow down, stop and ultimately reverse climate change. However, people need to recognise that we aren’t going to be able to achieve even part 2 (ie stopping it), let alone part 3, until the second half of this century, at the earliest/if at all. Adaptation is the only realistic option for the developed world as we know it.
 
I think working out the split between mitigation and adaptation expenditures is as much a technical as a political issue.

A complexity is that mitigation has global benefits while adaptation is more local.

Governments will do both. How they divide the spend will vary by country and politics.

The main thing is for the spend to be as large as each population can bear, and the regulatory incentives for citizens and businesses to be clear, effective and enforced.

Righ now what we see from Government is mostly puffery and dalliance.
 
Hard to assess how thin the argument is when you haven’t seen any of the analysis behind it.
My point exactly.

If he can't bring himself to say, we've crunched the numbers and the results tell us that it's going to cost X amount - but instead says that we think it could cost this much, then that strikes me as pretty thin.
 
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Geordie I did not advocate doing nothing to alleviate climate change as I clearly say in my post. Please don't misquote me for your own purpose of making a binary where there isn't one.
I'm very sorry Gareth, I didn't mean to offend, nor to suggest that that was what you were saying.

The flood scenarios are just plucked from the air - the point being that we don't really know what's coming and so whatever preparations we make now will more than likely be inadequate in a few decades' time. And no, I wasn't talking about it becoming impossible to grow crops here, although there are plenty of possible scenarios involving changes to rainfall and pest distributions that could make that a possibility for some crops.

But I do worry that if we spend too much money and effort on adaptation, then we are certainly going to fall short when it comes to keeping temperatures at a liveable level. Is it really worth spending billions on saving houses that have been built in places where they really should never have been built? And then watching those defences fail? It's true that we could spend a huge amount of money trying to keep the temperature rise below 1.5C and fail, but those efforts might make the difference between 2.5C and 2.6C, which could have a significant benefit.
 
I'm very sorry Gareth, I didn't mean to offend, nor to suggest that that was what you were saying.

The flood scenarios are just plucked from the air - the point being that we don't really know what's coming and so whatever preparations we make now will more than likely be inadequate in a few decades' time. And no, I wasn't talking about it becoming impossible to grow crops here, although there are plenty of possible scenarios involving changes to rainfall and pest distributions that could make that a possibility for some crops.

But I do worry that if we spend too much money and effort on adaptation, then we are certainly going to fall short when it comes to keeping temperatures at a liveable level. Is it really worth spending billions on saving houses that have been built in places where they really should never have been built? And then watching those defences fail? It's true that we could spend a huge amount of money trying to keep the temperature rise below 1.5C and fail, but those efforts might make the difference between 2.5C and 2.6C, which could have a significant benefit.
Thanks Geordie I think we’re broadly on the same page. Though I think we need to mitigate the risk if other nations do not join us in the reduction programme.
 
My point exactly.

If he can't bring himself to say, we've crunched the numbers and the results tell us that it's going to cost X amount - but instead says that we think it could cost this much, then that strikes me as pretty thin.
I still don't get how you can pronounce it "tissue thin" when we haven't seen any of the analysis he's done! All you're doing is picking at his choice of words - he's saying exactly what you state he needs to (ie basd on our analysis we think it costs X) just not in the exact words or order you wanted him to use.
 
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