Oldie-ish-but-a-goodie, this piece by LA Times’s Alan Zarembo explains how adapting to climate change is a far cheaper proposition than fighting carbon zombies. Of course, this upset a lot of people, but the numbers do not lie.
"Pielke’s analysis, published last month in the journal Natural Hazards Review, is part of a controversial movement that argues global warming over the rest of this century will play a much smaller role in unleashing planetary havoc than most scientists think.
His research has led him to believe that it is cheaper and more effective to adapt to global warming than to fight it.
Instead of spending trillions of dollars to stabilize carbon dioxide levels across the planet — an enormously complex and expensive proposition — the world could work on reducing hunger, storm damage and disease now, thereby neutralizing some of the most feared future problems of global warming.
Hans von Storch, director of the Institute of Coastal Research in Germany, said that the world’s problems were already so big that the added burdens caused by rising temperatures would be relatively small. It would be like going 160 kilometers per hour on the autobahn when “going 150 … is already dangerous,” he said.
Consider a United Nations estimate that global warming would increase the number of people at risk of hunger from 777 million in 2020 to 885 million by 2080, a 14% rise, if current development patterns continue.
That increase could be counteracted by spending on better irrigation systems, drought-resistant crops and more-efficient food transport systems, said Mike Hulme, founding director of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research at the University of East Anglia in England.
"If you’re really concerned about drought, those are much more effective strategies than trying to bring down greenhouse gas concentrations," he said.
Downplaying the importance of emissions reductions has raised hackles among scientists around the world, who say that the planet-wide effects of global warming will eventually go beyond humans’ ability to deal with it.”
Read the rest of “Climate Change: Just Deal With It?”