Eliminating the Tyranny of Eco-Imperialism

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Eliminating the Tyranny of Eco-Imperialism

Those seeking “social justice” should consider the real and demonstrable suffering caused by efforts to mitigate the alleged threat from anthropogenic climate change. 

In the June 2018 Trendsissue, we took a hard look at the business case for mitigating climate change based on the best hard data available today.

We considered the latest research from “Nobel Prize winning,” Yale economist, William Nordhaus who has spent decades using a combination of econometric and climate models to estimate global warming’s future effects. In their 2017 National Bureau of Economic Researchworking paper, Nordhaus and his colleague Andrew Moffatt analyzed and evaluated 36 different estimates derived from 27 peer-reviewed studies of climate change’s impact on “gross world product,” or global GDP, by the year 2100.

As Nordhaus and Moffatt observe, “there are many studies of theoretical temperature increases in the 2-to-4°C range, which imply a reduction in cumulative economic growth that ranges from 0-to-4% of global output.”  And interestingly, the most recent results from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which is almost never reported, states that “Global mean losses could be 1-to-5% of GDP for 4°C of warming.”  This means that Nordhaus and Moffatt’s findings are broadly in line with the IPCC’s climate change consensus.

So, what do these findings imply for people lucky enough to be alive in 2100?  Let’s consider the best-case scenario first.  Annual “gross world product” is currently somewhere around $75trillion; without adjustments, that means that global income stands at around $10,000 per capita.  If we assume a reasonable 3 percent economic growth rate from now until 2100, and a global population in that year of 9 billion, global GDP would rise to $872 trillion and income would be $97,000 per capita, without climate change.  Assuming a 3°C increase in average temperature, that would reduce global GDP from $872 trillion to $854 trillion, and income to $95,000 per capita. At 6°C, the figures would be $800 trillion or $89,000 per capita.

In the unlikely event that global economic growth dawdles along at only 2 percent per year for the rest of this century, global GDP would rise to only $388 trillion and income to $43,000 per capita without warming. A 3°C rise in average temperature would reduce global GDP to $380 trillion and income to $42,000 per person; a 6°C increase would cut global GDP to $360 trillion and income to $40,000 per person.

Importantly, the Nordhaus and Moffatt analysis of studies also found “no indication from the damage estimates of a sharp discontinuity or high convexity...

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