“A Richer World Is Much More Resilient Against Weather Extremes”

(p. A15) A new peer-reviewed study of all the scientific estimates of climate-change effects shows the most likely cost of global warming averaged across the century will be about 1% of global gross domestic product, reaching 2% by the end of the century. This is a very long way from global extinction.

Draconian net-zero climate policies, on the other hand, will be prohibitively costly. The latest peer-reviewed climate-economic research shows the total cost will average $27 trillion each year across the century, reaching $60 trillion a year in 2100. Net zero is more than seven times as costly as the climate problem it tries to address.

. . .  A richer world is much more resilient against weather extremes. In the short term, therefore, policymakers should focus on lifting the billions of people still in poverty out of it, both because it will make them more resilient against extreme weather and because it will do so much good in a myriad of other ways.  . . .

Careful science can inform us about the problem of climate change, but it can’t tell us how to solve it. Sensible public debate requires all the facts, including about the costs of our choices. Some of the most popular climate policies will have costs far greater than climate change itself. When politicians try to shut down discussion with claims that they’re “following the science,” don’t let them.

For the full commentary, see:

Bjorn Lomborg. “‘Follow the Science’ Leads to Ruin.” The Wall Street Journal (Thursday, March 14, 2024): A15.

(Note: ellipses added.)

(Note: the online version of the commentary has the date March 13, 2024, and has the same title as the print version.)

The “new peer-reviewed study” mentioned above is:

Tol, Richard S. J. “A Meta-Analysis of the Total Economic Impact of Climate Change.” Energy Policy 185 (Feb. 2024): 113922.

The “latest peer-reviewed climate-economic research” mentioned above is:

Tol, Richard S. J. “Costs and Benefits of the Paris Climate Targets.” Climate Change Economics 14, no. 04 (2023): 2340003.

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