December 17, 2009
Slowing global warming could mean less economic growth

The international climate talks in Copenhagen received a jump start today, just one day before the meeting ends with a gathering of more than a hundred world leaders.

On the key issue of helping developing nations deal with global warming, Hillary Clinton said that the U.S. would join other countries in raising $100 billion.

But the likely economic impact of cleaning up the environment is preventing many nations from committing to a regulatory blueprint.

Melissa Chan of Al Jazeera English reports from Shanxi province in the coal belt of northern China.

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How concerned are you about the economic impact of tougher environmental standards?

Tell us what you think in the comments section below. Please be respectful and on-point. Malicious or offensive comments will be deleted, and repeat offenders will be banned.

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36 comments

#36

I wonder what happen to that 2 miles of Ice that used to be in New York City? I guess it melted! Earth has been getting warmer for 15,000 years.
It has only been in the last 30 years that it has jump. CO2 has jumped and the oceans can not absorb much more of it. Man has cut down his forest to produce more food for the more people to eat. Science has kept more people alive for longer periods then any time in history. We humans are killing all other species of this planet. We humans are turning a green blue planet into a hunk of mud. It is to little to late even if we all went to sleep for a 100 years this minute the planet would take as long to recover. You kid yourself to think that somehow you are going green and the rest of the world will fellow you. They want what you have. A hot meal 3 times a day. To be fat and die of being to fat. They qwant the big TV and big car in front of the big house with the swimming pool in the backyard. Most of all they want to come to America or anywhere that can get them out of the wasteland they now live in. For those green poeple who will read this, if your were truly green you would not be wasteing all of that energy it takes to read this message.

#35

It is true that the high standard of living in the US, Canada, Australia and the like was built on comparably cheap and easily available energy sources. But for many reasons, including global warming, we must develop cheaper renewable alternatives to fossil fuels. Our sending of hundreds of billions of dollars annually overseas is a another major reason to get off fossil fuels.
The question is, can our economy survive the transition? It has to mean a reduction of standard of living. When I came to the US as a baby, we lived in a cold, rat-infested tenement. My parents never owned a car. From there we went to housing projects, and eventually got to a two-family row house and “middle class” status.
As a society we may simply have to retreat from homes back to apartments, and from suburbs back to inner cities. From any POV, whether it be climate or simply growing national debt, we have no choice but to accept a strategic retreat from the overbloated standard of living that most Americans came to believe as some inherent right from the Creator. It isn’t. SOcieties have to adapt, or face self-destruction. It’s happened to others in history, and will happen to us if we refuse to be adaptable and accept the fact that what goes up sometimes has to come down from unsustainable heights.

#34

People seem to forget that the earth has not always had ice caps…in the US…what is now Utah, Nevada and much of Colorado…what we call the Great Basin, was once part of the Pacific Ocean.Did dinosaur farts cause that global warming?

#33

Without a healthy environment, we will not have a healthy economy. The Global Climate Crisis is the #1 issue facing our country. Feedback from Nature is slow. We don’t see the impact today what we did yesterday. We see today what we did 15 years ago. We must take the long view.

#32

UNTIL SCIENCE SHOWS THAT REDUCING THE SIZE OF A COUNTRY’S ECONOMY, INDUSTRY, ETC WILL CAUSE WORLD TEMPERATURES TO GO DOWN, I DON’T BELIEVE ANY COUNTRY SHOULD TAKE STEPS THAT MIGHT NEGATIVELY IMPACT INDUSTRY OR PEOPLE. FROM WHAT HISTORY SHOWS CLIMATE CHANGE APPEARS TO BE A NATURALLY OCCURING EVENT THAT IS MOSTLY DRIVEN BY SOLAR ACTIVITY.

#31

Humaity must take into account the environment from now on. Our lack of understanding of the value of the natural world is reflected in our lack of understanding of the value of human life. Nature will hit back at us. We will learn the the school of the clash of hard knocks. We will weep and and wish we had known the value of life divine.

#30

I am very concerned, I feel bad for the men and weman it effects economically. I know we “the world” have got to think about Mother Earth and how we are rapeing her. The workers that have lost their jobs and are going to lose their jobs must be subsidised,both in China and America.

The parts of the world that are being effected by climate change must be helped out by the wealther
developed nations who have caused the greatest harm to Mother Earth.

#29

No cost is to great, it is our responsibility to correct the mess we have created. The economic impact will effect everyone on this planet, but the corrupt banking industry, and the very wealthy will be hurt the most. I believe the current environmental regulation changes are not going far enough. It is time we wake up and educate everyone, and stop the spread of propaganda. Most of the American media organizations only say what they are paid to say. They have forgotten what their true purpose is. Accelerated Global Warming is real, we have altered the path of natural climate change. For those who think it’s a hoax, wake up, and stop listening to junk science that is funded by large corporations, their goal is only to gain wealth and not to better humanity. Keep in mind that for every molecule of Carbon released into the air, their are now two less Oxygen molecules. The air we breathe now contains 380 ppm of CO2, we are adding about 2 ppm per year, and at that rate we may reach 480 ppm by 2060. Once we reach that level it will become very hard to breathe. So, no cost is to great. We have to educate everyone, and change must happen now. How many people actually understand where coal came from, and why it was formed? It was burried deep in the earth for a reason. If we do not change our ways we will be doomed to a repeat of this process, but we will not be here to see it. The planet will heal itself.

#28

Coal and its wood, the cheapest energy source, have been around or under production for the longest time. Coal miners of China and Virginia as their politicians have little choice but to convert to another source of income and/or energy. It is either now or later; by putting it off, the conversion time shortens. Yet this is a symptom of the Green Revolution; the real problem is survival and survival’s development.

The development is worldwide depression: Like the Russian’s revolution, the people were starving because of the war and the lack of substance provided. People have little to lose, money of little use, when faced with starvation. To clarify this problem there are three areas of development:

Strict control or reduction, of the world’s monetary system must take place. This is shown by the numbers: with approximately 300 billion people on the earth and only 50 billion (approximately 1/6th) sellable products. Currently, and for the foreseeable future, there aren’t enough products for most of the earth’s population to sell and make a living. For example (immigration): A fruit is selling for .25 at the local store; Joe is selling the same fruit down the street for .15. The local store has to lower its price to compete, but Jane in the produce stand has to make a living so she sells the fruit for .10. Eventually, the cost of the fruit sells for less than it cost to produce. The fruit is no longer sold. There is little problem, if it is only one fruit type, but there are 6 people for every one product, and the natural resources are being reduced yearly through pollution and population migration. This process leads to fruit mafias or clan, etc. This is further compounded by job lose.

The world’s population is changing over to a green system of energy, but the old system is deleting existing natural resources. At the same time, large groups of people are losing jobs in old industries. Worldwide malnutrition is the highest in the world since records started. These are only three symptoms of the real problem.

All of these symptoms are solvable – but humanity must step up a notch on the social evolutionary ladder. This evolutionary step is NOT to remove the monetary system but to make it less prominent. By doing this, one may be able to avoid Egyptian, Russian, French, China, Indian, and American experiences of depression and starvation. This step is to establish a common human value by making fresh-water and substance types, such as beans and potatoes, a right for all the earth’s population – not a charity. Every country’s priority, as world, is to establish the rights of the population – in fresh-water and nutrition. This will hold off the tide of war over survival - a family can survive until the green revolution becomes fully functional and producing enough jobs. This will also allow for the urgent removal of polluting industries – ELSE:

The French, like China, found when the common people of Paris had no bread to eat – revolution. When the world population realizes it has no planet to call home – revolution won’t have any worth; neither will the “last-person-standing.”

#27

Less economic growth means more poverty in the 3rd world, fewer jobs, higher taxes, and a lower standard of living in the developed world. But some wil prosper. Climate alarmists like AlGore, who, so far, has reaped over $100 million with his carbon trading scam, George Soros with his financial manipulations et.al. will do just fine. All based on Junk Science……Suckers!

#26

I don’t care what the economic cost would be to ensure that we lived on a clean planet. A premature and disastrous end to life on earth is a much more terrifying possibility then a couple of good ol’boys in west virginia living on food stamps for a few years.
The coal and meat industries are two of the leading ecocide criminals. Fortunately, there is an easy way to stop their crimes…stop supporting them. It’s not very difficult to enroll in the green energy programs that most utility companies offer, and it is very easy to stop eating meat and start eating organic.

#25

Whatever the financial impact, we have to bite the bullet. If the earth becomes uninhabitable, that will have a negative financial impact on everybody. We do not have a backup planet!

#24

I am a physicist who firmly believes in clean air and water as well as the pursuit of alternative energy and conservation. That said, I have observed that most people in favor of the proposed global warming treaty in Copenhagen have very little or no scientific knowledge and are easily led by politicians and celebrities with socialist agendas who are clueless regarding the complexity of climate change.

Check out http://www.geocraft.com/WVFossils/greenhouse_data.html

#23

There was an oil filter maker commmercial that use to have a tag line that said, “pay me now or pay me later.” If we do not pay now, the future cost will be more than anyone is willing to admit or be able to pay. Unfortunatly, human kind will drag its feet, complain, blame, avoid and all ways run from the inevitable. Mother nature will have her way with us and we all WILL pay. You can fuss and discuss until the cows come home, but unless we as a species get moving and quickly, I shudder at what our world will be like three generations from now.

#22

When are these poloticians going to admit that man made global warming is a hoax???????????

#21

When the Berlin Wall crumbled, all of those interested learned just how much dirtier the environment was in that socialized paradise the American Left, including PBS, is even today promoting. It was the efficiency of Capitalism that allowed us to clean up the environment without sabotaging our living standard.
If you do not believe it, compare East Germany to West Germany, when the Iron Curtain came down.
People contracted emphysema from the dirty air in cities

#20

The economic impact from climate change will be far greater than short term cost of transitioning to green energy. Not to mention the benefits of developing a green energy industry here in the United States.

Similar arguments were made by the tobacco lobby when warnings were first placed on cigarette packets and yet the savings through fewer smoking illnesses and tobacco farmers transitioning to different work has overall benefited the entire country. Unfortunately our political system is not equipped to deal with issues longer than the next election cycle.

#19

I think that global warming is much like the big scare over y2k. Some members of the government, industry and media have used a situation to create fear so that they can build up their own power and wealth. Anyone that has lived on this planet can see that there is climate change. It is a natural occurance that has gone on forever. I believe the actions of mankind have very little to do with these changes so there is not much we can do to prevent these changes. Spending huge sums of taxpayers money, destroying jobs and lives over this foolishness would be a big mistake.

#18

Despite claims of the utility and mining industry,
burning coal is probably the most expensive way to generate electricity when the true environmental costs are included. These costs are now externalized and born by the public in the form of poisoned lakes by mercury,respiratory disease and destroyed ecosystems by mining. Even without the CO2 problem, burning of coal should be discontinued. A rapid switch to wind and solar generation would be an economic boon to the nation, regard-less of whether CO2 causes global warming or not.

#17

I’m not at all concerned about the economic impact of tougher economic standards. I’m concerned about the economic impact of climate change. Anything that minimizes that is good.

#16

The goal shouldn’t be reducing things that are possibly enviromentally unfriendly, but creating things that are enviromentally friendly and eventually make those creations cheaper than what we have now.
To hurt families to supposibily save the planet is more immoral than the actual use of things that perhaps hurt the enviroment. When we understand this we will see progress. The solutions the whole enviromental movement proposes now is absurd to most thinking people.

#15

The biggest problem for me is the comingling of real issues, such as sulfur, mercury, soot and deforestation with the increasingly questionable issue of man made global warming.

Yes, let’s crack down on pollution and the decimation of our environment. But CO2 is the “gas of life”! It supports agricultural productivity. The connection to climate change is dubious at best. Get it off the table and let’s move forward.

And we should help the people who need help with practical ventures. Not the Voodoo Magic of reduced CO2 emmissions.

#14

Republican fools and their dirty-coal Democratic co-conspirators are in league with the electrical utility industry producing dirty air and dirty water. Solar, wind, nuclear, and nat gas are much better sources of energy. The US is now awash in nat gas, but Congressmen are bought and sold by the 19th century dirty coal lobby.

#13

after it has become very clear that “scientists” have cooked the books to make things look worse than they are , we should review the co2 theory since it now looks as if that issue is being used to accomplish THE goal : transfer of wealth!!!
co2 may have little or nothing to do with the natural temperature change trends the world has been experiencing since its birth.

#12

Based on the current political position regarding climate change, I am extremely concerned about the economic impact of tougher environmental standards. I agree that man has contributed to regional climate impact from deforestation and I also agree that man has contributed significantly to pollution of the atmosphere. However, I strongly disagree with the conclusion reached by the UN IPCC panel that attributes the current global warming cycle to man-made CO2. CO2 levels have been up to 18 times higher than present levels in the past without runaway greenhouse warming and the CO2 level during the late Ordovician Period was nearly 12 times higher than today during an ice age. In addition, the current, average global temperatures have been going down for the past ten years in spite of the continuous increase in atmospheric CO2 levels. Unless the IPCC can provide convincing evidence to account for these phenomena, carbon protocol agreements that are based on the current IPCC climate assumptions are, at the very least, totally irresponsible. AGW is being forced on the gullible public like a cheap infomercial.

#11

We don’t learn! Our politicians are responsible for the Man made component of Global Warming”. After the wake up call in 1973, Governments every where should have initiated and stimulated research in “clean coal” and alternative energies. They didn’t do a thing! Now we must pay the price of cheep politics. It’s a travisty!! I have worked with environmental issues and emmissions for more than 30 years. Wake up people and hold your politicians accountable.

#10

I live in KY and 90% of our electricity is coal generated. At the same time my community of Lexington, which is beautiful horse country, has be biggest carbon footprint per person than any of the 100 largest cities in the US. If we don’t get behind the green movement we won’t build the green industry that’ll provide better jobs. And, later when we finally get around to it China and the other countries will own that business because we did nothing for too long. We should give incentives for green business to locate some of their plants in coal country to help ease their pain in this transistion.

#9

Removing all Coal burning from the current situation would not change the overall situation for many many years. We have time to develop new energy sources, and use the current ones. The current emergency is nothing more than a way to redistribute US wealth.

#8

Sooner or later, coal has to go. Even if you don’t accept the overwhelming evidence of global warming, there’s no question coal mining is poisoning water supplies and has destroyed entire communities through coal sludge build-up. Coal states have to be weaned from coal to the development of new, cleaner forms of energy that could provide new jobs. In the mean time, there are entire nations that could be destroyed by rising sea levels, and developing countries have made it clear they won’t reduce their CO2 emissions until we reduce ours. Global warming is real, and the U.S. has to take a leadership role in developing green energy.

#7

Well I think we have to balance going greener, with the needs of the economics of it. Like coal miners that may be fined for mining coal, they could be weened off of mining coal, and they could help to produce other means of energy, like nuclear, wind, solar, etc. Also, with the oceans rising with polar melting, and with african people needing water, why not introduce a means to extract the salt from the water and put pumps into the oceans to give the African people water?

#6

That humans cause global warming is totally unproven. The ‘hockey stick’ temperature rise is seen to be blatant data manipulation; if we look at the data before 1400 AD we see that the earth has been much warmer in the past. Co2 increase is definitely caused by human activity, but 1.5 deg.C is the highest possible temperature rise which can be caused by Co2 at even 4x present levels. Pseudo science is being used hoodwink the gullible and hijack the world economy.

#5

There is no question that people will suffer from tougher emission standards. For example in the coal regions of West Virginia and China.
I think
it is fear and for some, greed, that prevents us from seeing the bigger picture. We are looking at our very extinction. Global warming is no hoax.
It’s real.

#4

I feel bad for the workers who will be victims, but not the industry. It was the presidents of the power companies who should have known, prepared and warned the workers that one day coal would be a dying industry and that they should have a back up plan; it is only common sense that coal burning is hazardous to the environment and our health and that one day we would find safer alternatives.

#3

December 17-2009:

TO: letters@worldfocus.org

How Concerned Are You About The Economic Costs Of Global Warming?

My Response:

Personally, very concerned! For the following reasons.

* I do not believe the current view that Global warming is caused by humans.

* I do believe that Global Warming is cyclical, and human actions of pollution, have very little impact globally on this cycle.

* I also believe that the Global Financial Institutions, and most governments in developed countries, are being encouraged to instill fear into people, in order to get their financial support.

* When people are scared, they tend to be vulnerable to almost any solution offered them!

Derryck.
NYC.

#2

What I think most people do not understand about climate change is that whatever we humans may do to prevent greater and greater natural calamities from occurring is NOT intended to ’save the planet’ but to actually save the human race on the planet. If mankind poisons his planet and ultimately all humans become extinct, earth will, in time, heal itself and a new species will become master of the planet.

#1

We have enough smart people to figure this all out. Hire those involved with coal for wind-mills, hydroelectricity and other green programs that don’t pollute the environment, provide jobs and eliminate our need for foreign oil.

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