[Editor’s note 9/25/09: This week’s Weekly Score was meant to link to this post: “It’s Too Expensive to Price Carbon”]
That’s always the mantra: serious climate policy is too pricey, especially in this economy.
To that I say: watch this excellent video from King 5 News. (It’s almost 16 minutes long, but well worth it.) The impacts of climate change, such as flooding, carry a very steep cost. And judging by the video, the costs aren’t mostly borne by the rich—they’re paid for by those who can least afford it.
I want to be perfectly clear. The floods in Western Washington—this year and in several recent years—are completely consistent with what the climate science has been predicting for the Northwest. It doesn’t really matter whether or not these particular floods are the direct result of global warming (that’s an untestable hypothesis), what matters is that this is exactly what we should expect in the future.* If the scientists are right, get ready for more.
So if you think carbon pricing is too expensive, just wait until you see the bill for failing to put a price on carbon.
Photo is from Mike Kane in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer’s stunning photo gallery.
* Update 1/9/09: More precisely, lowland flood that results from altered precipitation patterns is what we should expect according to a significant share of climate impact models. But there are also some models that do not predict a high likelihood of such flooding. Thanks, JB.
It would be too expensive to try to stop climate change. Should we spend anything on climate change? After all, our Precious Lord has promised to come down from heaven during the Rapture and take us deserving souls to heaven. And all signs point to the Rapture happening very soon. It is better to spend our energies preparing for the Rapture in heaven than to try to save the world, don’t you think?
Oh Jesse…sigh. If only this could remain in the realm of a joke.As Tina Fey said in her Sarah Palin guise:”Gwen, we don’t know if this climate change hoozie-what’s-it is man-made or if it’s just a natural part of the ‘End of Days.'”Sadly, it seems there are people who actually believe that.Oh Jesse.
What frustrates me is the reporter standing in the middle of the flooding river telling us there is nothing we can do about it. That is true for the moment, but if we care about the future for our children at all, we can be lobbying Congress to make carbon (coal for one) too expensive to burn, encouraging wind and solar power, and we can stop pretending that there is no connection between the weather patterns we are seeing now and the climate changes due to global warming that are occurring all over the place. Katrina? heat waves and drought (ask the Australians) etc.