Cost Of Inaction On Climate Change Far Higher Than The Cost Of Action

Posted by: SamStevens

A number of countries and companies have long been worried that the costs of tackling climate change (prevention, mitigation, adaptation, etc) will be prohibitive and would rather deal with the consequences. Opine this question by filling out the answer form below. Provide commentary to further express your opinion if necessary.

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Diqiucun_Cunmin says2015-04-05T21:15:49.6626031-05:00
@Mathgeekjoe: If you cut emissions while other countries don't, you'll still face global consequences of global warming (e.G. Rising sea levels) but at least your country will not warm up as seriously as the heavy emitters. That alone could save a lot of lives.
Mathgeekjoe says2015-04-05T21:17:29.7541852-05:00
@Diqiucun_Cunmin you clearly don't know how climate change works.
kman100 says2015-04-05T21:17:44.4630617-05:00
@Diqiucun Climate change is global. If one country completely stops all Co2 emissions they will still keep warming up with the rest if the world and their neighbors
Mathgeekjoe says2015-04-05T21:19:11.3467929-05:00
Shoot, did I just become briantheliberal by being condescending?
Diqiucun_Cunmin says2015-04-05T21:26:32.7446359-05:00
@Mathgeekjoe: Explain why the countries with the most serious positive temperature anomalies are all highly industrialised nations, while less developed areas have less serious heating or even negative temperature anomalies.
Diqiucun_Cunmin says2015-04-05T21:33:18.2034404-05:00
@kman100: I don't deny that. If you neighbours keep emitting, you'll still heat up, just at a slower rate.
Diqiucun_Cunmin says2015-04-05T21:37:40.5797352-05:00
If you emit less CO2/N2O/methane etc. over your skies, naturally there will be less terrestrial longwave radiation trapped by such gases. You thus heat up slower, which means fewer heat waves and fewer people dying from heatstroke/sunstroke. It's like the urban heat island effect on a larger scale, really.
kman100 says2015-04-05T21:39:20.1514890-05:00
Yes, but the negative consequences of climate change that result in a loss of life such as droughts and rising sea levels occur at a global level
Mathgeekjoe says2015-04-05T21:40:36.1646386-05:00
"If you emit less CO2/N2O/methane etc. over your skies, naturally there will be less terrestrial longwave radiation trapped by such gases. You thus heat up slower, which means fewer heat waves and fewer people dying from heatstroke/sunstroke. It's like the urban heat island effect on a larger scale, really." Wind and diffusion of wind.
Diqiucun_Cunmin says2015-04-05T21:40:39.0195118-05:00
@kman: Yes, but I was arguing that the cost of inaction is higher than the cost of action even if other countries do not stop their emissions because valuable lives are still saved.
Mathgeekjoe says2015-04-05T21:40:46.4151015-05:00
Woops typo
Mathgeekjoe says2015-04-05T21:41:40.2580825-05:00
Diffusion of air. Not diffusion of wind
Diqiucun_Cunmin says2015-04-05T21:42:07.2758638-05:00
@Mathgeekjoe: The point is just that you'll heat up LESS, not that you won't be affected at all...
Diqiucun_Cunmin says2015-04-05T21:47:07.6168879-05:00
Here's an analogy... I live in a new town with relatively good urban planning, so we have less pollution than other parts of our notoriously polluted city. However, we often experience photochemical smog, especially when winter monsoons bring VOCs from factories in the ZDR region to us. That doesn't mean town planning was in vain; the quality of the air would be much lower were there no urban planning strategies that reduced pollution.
Diqiucun_Cunmin says2015-04-05T21:55:17.3414523-05:00
ZDR means the region encompassing Shenzhen, Zhuhai, Guangzhou, etc. that make up the delta of a certain important river in South China. I can't type it out in full because it triggers some filter on DDO for whatever reason.
TBR says2015-04-05T22:18:52.2934588-05:00
Wow. I want to jump in, but this discussion is a mess.
retrogamer176 says2015-04-05T22:25:56.1061084-05:00
That's why I haven't commented.
Mathgeekjoe says2015-04-05T22:54:42.9227204-05:00
Diqiucun_Cunmin, CO2 spreads very quickly through the hemispheres they are in. Effectively the only barriers to CO2 is the poles and the equator. The US, only produces about one fifth of the world's CO2 emissions, Effectively, we lose all of our energy in fossil fuels then still get burdened by CO2 produced by other countries.
MasturDbtor says2015-04-05T23:14:31.6334173-05:00
@ Mathgeekjoe But that doesn't mean it isn't worth it just because we don't get every other country in the world to join us over night. Various incentives and economic sanctions could help nudge other countries in the right direction. If it wasn't for some of these other countries having nuclear weapons I'd go as far as to say that war in order to stop climate change could be justified if climate change were projected to be disastrous enough.
MasturDbtor says2015-04-05T23:17:45.6723079-05:00
Some of the other countries might not be reducing their greenhouse gases for the same reason. It's just like when a woman was murdered in broad day light in New York City and a whole crowd of onlookers did nothing, not even call the police. They didn't feel guilty about not helping, because they saw other people around who were just doing nothing. We are responsible for climate change even if all the other countries that are also responsible do nothing to stop it. We should do what ever is feasible to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and also pressure other countries into doing the same. Along with economic sanctions and incentives our mere example would go a long way to encourage change in other countries.
Mathgeekjoe says2015-04-05T23:19:15.0768872-05:00
If a nuclear winter works, it would counter global warming.
Diqiucun_Cunmin says2015-04-05T23:35:38.5572751-05:00
@Mathgeekjoe: The fact remains that, the regions with the most serious heating are the ones that have emitted the most GHG historically, such as North America and Europe. The South, by contrast, is heating up much less. If a country like Luxembourg or Singapore decides to cut its emissions, of course it will be pretty much in vain, but if the US cuts emissions, there's no doubt there will be much less heating.
Mathgeekjoe says2015-04-05T23:40:14.4359870-05:00
Lowering emissions in US doesn't mean china and Europe will. You will still face their CO2 emissions.
Diqiucun_Cunmin says2015-04-05T23:43:35.8929763-05:00
China will still emit, so considering my location, I'll still be seriously affected LOL. However, if the US decides to cut emissions, the US will heat up less rapidly than now, no doubt about it. BTW what do you mean by 'the only barriers to CO2 is the poles and the equator'?
Diqiucun_Cunmin says2015-04-05T23:46:32.6947109-05:00
Look at this picture: http://media.treehugger.com/assets/images/2011/10/nasa-global-warming-maps-image-02348234.jpg It is obvious that most of the heating 2000-2009 is found on the Northern Hemisphere, places with heavier industrialisation, while African and South America are not heating up as quickly.
Mathgeekjoe says2015-04-05T23:47:33.5110707-05:00
Equator and the poles are barriers because of air currents. Look at this CO2 map. Map http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=82142
Diqiucun_Cunmin says2015-04-05T23:56:17.3450518-05:00
I don't get it TBH. Don't greenhouse gases travel along regular atmospheric circulation routes like everyone else?
Diqiucun_Cunmin says2015-04-06T00:04:13.7910892-05:00
I can understand why CO2 would not travel through the Doldrums (since air rises up there and goes back poleward, subsiding in the Horse Latitudes and travelling back to the Equator as trade winds) but I'm not sure I understand why that would happen in the poles... (though if you'd said the Arctic and Antarctic Circles, then I would have understood what's happening since air also rises there).
Mathgeekjoe says2015-04-06T00:05:49.3339799-05:00
If it makes you feel any better, scientist still don't know the CO2 currents well yet, that why we need more satellites.
Diqiucun_Cunmin says2015-04-06T00:20:25.9643932-05:00
To me, that's all the more reason to insist that it's preferable to act on climate change even if the other refuse. :P
Mathgeekjoe says2015-04-06T00:21:39.2205844-05:00
Killing your countries energy supply will make it harder for your country to react to climate change.
Mathgeekjoe says2015-04-06T00:22:33.7727353-05:00
Country's, sorry typo
Diqiucun_Cunmin says2015-04-06T00:23:33.5507857-05:00
You don't have to kill your energy supply. Acting on climate change does not mean completely replacing fossil fuels overnight. Plus, a lot of countries have found viable alternatives to fossil fuels. If you live in Iceland, you'll find geothermal power very useful, for example.
xhammy says2015-04-08T08:37:55.2450028-05:00
The smoke stack in that picture is a clean burning one as shown by white smoke. I am saying that water vapor is not pollution. If you want to complain about dirty coal plants get pictures of Chinese coal plants, they are black as heck!
Mathgeekjoe says2015-04-08T08:40:57.2882608-05:00
I don't think we should decrease fossil fuel use, we just need to increase clean energy use. Fossil fuels + clean energy=more energy.
Diqiucun_Cunmin says2015-04-08T09:02:33.3186284-05:00
I do, however. It's not just about global warming. The fossil fuels are running out and won't last. We're going to have to last entirely on alternative energy eventually. What I do support is transitioning to cleaner energies with fuels like shale oil or methane hydrate, but we have to remember, even this stuff is limited and we need to think of better alternative solutions fast.
Mathgeekjoe says2015-04-08T09:07:56.1679500-05:00
Yes fossil fuels will run out, but that doesn't mean things like oil will run out. There are green energies that can make renewable oil. Algae bio fuels is the easiest example. Algae bio reactors benefit from using fossil fuels since the CO2 and bi-products actually fertilize the algae. In the future we may have a oil power plant working in tangent with an algae bioreactors.

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