Regarding poll question: economic growth and CO2
Posted May 4, 2012 by MieScatter regarding the following question:
What decrease (if any) in the annual global economic growth rate percentage would be required to keep CO2 concentration in the atmosphere from exceeding 550 ppm? (Note that this question is phrased in terms of percentage points. For example, a change from 5% to 4% would be a decrease of 1%.)
The second question refers to decline in economic growth... but it does not discuss the time period. In the long run, humanity is likely to be much better off and I would have responded <0%. I assumed we were referring to the coming decades, so I expect 0-2% loss relative to busniess as usual.
Good point. This question has been removed from the poll while clarifications are being considered.
James Greyson commented
I wonder if the expert community has let itself down by remaining absorbed in quantitative rather than qualitative policy input. Hence politicians continue to use fears of short-term growth falls as cover for inaction. And the policy option of designing an economy based on the simple obvious principle of not undermining its own prospects remains off the public and political radar. Consider for example that ecological externalities (not just climate externalities) could be rather easily accounted into market prices, which would create vast flows of funds to invest in preventing the problems that today we continue to cause - because experts are busy looking elsewhere?!
Zane Selvans commented
I also disagree with the broadly held assumption that addressing climate change is going to reduce our economic growth, with moderate confidence in the short term (cf the McKinsey study), and near certainty in the long term, as the costs of adapting to living on a different planet eventually outstrip any possible mitigation investment.