Dr Plokta (drplokta) wrote,
Dr Plokta

Climate Change

We keep seeing scary-looking estimates of the cost of climate change -- most recently an estimate here that it could be costing the UK £42 billion per year by 2080. What all these estimates have in common is that, while they look scary, they are in fact extremely small numbers, and indicate that we should do nothing about climate change.

Let's take that £42 billion per year by 2080 as an example. The UK's GDP is currently a little over £1 trillion per year. But if we assume 2% real growth in the economy per year over the next 74 years, then in 2080 it will be over 4.3 billion, and that £42 billion per year will be less than 1% of the economy, or equivalent to delaying economic growth by less than six months. Put another way, the effect of climate change will be to reduce average growth over the period from 2.00% to 1.99%, so it doesn't seem worth spending more than .02% of current GDP, or £200 million per year, to do anything about it.
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