Sept. 26 News: Climate Change Has Already Lowered Global GDP 1.6 Percent Annually, Concludes Report

Climate change is already contributing to the deaths of nearly 400,000 people a year and costing the world more than $1.2 trillion, wiping 1.6% annually from global GDP, according to a new study. [Guardian]

Air pollution caused by the use of fossil fuels is also separately contributing to the deaths of at least 4.5m people a year, the report found.

The 331-page study, entitled Climate Vulnerability Monitor: A Guide to the Cold Calculus of A Hot Planet and published on Wednesday, was carried out by the DARA group, a non-governmental organisation based in Europe, and the Climate Vulnerable Forum. It was written by more than 50 scientists, economists and policy experts, and commissioned by 20 governments.

By 2030, the researchers estimate, the cost of climate change and air pollution combined will rise to 3.2% of global GDP, with the world’s least developed countries forecast to bear the brunt, suffering losses of up to 11% of their GDP.

Hundreds of thousands of active oil and gas wells go without government inspection in any given year, and fines for regulatory violations are too small to change drilling company behavior, according to an energy watchdog group’s review of regulation and enforcement activities in six states. [Huffington Post]

Duane Braesch’s cornfields are prime evidence of how unforgiving the elements have been for him and so many others across the Midwest this summer. To demonstrate the hardship, the 79-year-old Nebraska farmer let The Associated Press show the world what he’s weathered during the worst U.S. drought in decades. [Associated Press]

Although official drought outlooks failed to provide Americans with advanced notice of one of the worst droughts to strike the U.S. since the Dust Bowl-era — a drought that is still ongoing — there were some computer models that got the forecast right. [Climate Central]

An updated ground and aerial survey indicates about 301 million trees have died in rural Texas because of the 2011 drought. [Associated Press]

For good reason, there has been significant media focus on how a warming sea gobbles up the ice that is polar bear habitat and reduces the area’s capacity to reflect the sun’s rays. But far less attention has been placed on what a naked Arctic Ocean means for its closest neighboring ecosystem: the Arctic tundra. [CNN]

Although leaders around the world, including Obama, have agreed climate change is by far the most serious threat to mankind, it is getting short shrift in the presidential election of the world’s most powerful economy and one of its biggest polluters. [Windsor Star]

Shale gas has jolted traditional roles in the planet’s climate drama, giving cleaner fuel to the United States, whose displaced coal has headed to Europe to pollute the old continent. [Reuters]

Two-thirds of solar panels — 18.5 gigawatts — were installed in Europe last year, a project that totaled roughly $84 billion and grew Europe’s solar photovoltaic industry by an average of more than 40 percent annually. [Huffington Post]

15 Responses to Sept. 26 News: Climate Change Has Already Lowered Global GDP 1.6 Percent Annually, Concludes Report

  1. Joan Savage says:

    Use of a nanoparticle catalyst in diesel fuel may be having the unintended consequence of soy crop damage.

  2. Ken Barrows says:

    Has lowered GDP? To avoid catastrophic climate change, GDP has to fall a lot. Really, Mr. Lacey.

  3. Turboblocke says:

    Lowered global GDP: not a problem as long as FF company profits aren’t affected.

  4. Tom King says:

    This news is wonderful(despite being horrible), because it means that climate change is now being measured in an economic context. Ideally, of course, we would be sufficiently guided by moral persuasion alone. But if the first defenses of the human body fail, there is still hope that the second lines of defense might resist the assault.

  5. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    Nanopollution will be yet another hubristic catastrophe driven by elite pleonexia.

  6. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    ‘Liquidate the serfs! Protect the Capital!’

  7. Merrelyn Emery says:

    Yes, for those who believe the ‘economy’ is real rather than froth and bubble, a construct, watching the covergence of the disappearing economy and ecology might convince them that all we actually have is a planet and some sunshine, ME

  8. David B. Benson says:

    With US$1.2 trillion per annum for many, many decades we could (1) stop increasing CO2 and (2) decrease CO2.

  9. Merrelyn Emery says:

    Won’t take decades David, there is more than one death spiral underway, ME

  10. CW says:

    It’s going to be tougher to bring home the bacon next year, thanks to global warming.

    According to the National Pig Association, a U.K. trade group, there will be a world shortage of pork and bacon next year as farmers stop raising pigs as the price of feed will skyrocket because of the drought in the U.S. Midwest this year.

  11. David B. Benson says:

    So we should do nothing?

    The Stern report suggests that 1–2% of GWP suffices. If not, we’ll need more. But so far we haven’t done much of anything, globally.

  12. David B. Benson says:

    I hope many, many people will now make the connection.

  13. Merrelyn Emery says:

    I know many people who are doing everything they can to halt this madness in many different sorts of ways and so am I. Hopefully others will see the writing on the wall as the situation deteriorates and join the international effort before it’s too late, ME

  14. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    We need much more and for much longer-at least a century, if we survive. Either the three trillion a year spent by the world on ‘defence’ or the thirty trillion plus salted away by Them, the pluto-kleptocrats will be needed. All that money belongs to humanity, which produced it through hard toil, in any case. If we did it, made the world more just and equitable and lowered the population humanely to about one to two billion, we could really do something grand. As it stands we are being driven to destruction by crazed greedheads.