Democracy Has Prevailed.

March 30, 2014

The Tribune-Review Gets It Wrong. Again

And the "it" is Climate Science.

Yea, I know.  Go figure.

Here's what we find in Scaife's Tribune-Review:
Breitbart-London reports that a soon-to-be-released study by none other than the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change radically reduces the previously estimated economic costs of “global warming.” Previous studies placed the costs at between 5 percent and 20 percent of world GDP. The new study slashes that cost to between 0.2 percent and 2 percent of world GDP. As Breitbart tells it, “all it would take is an annual growth rate of 2.4 percent for the economic costs of climate change to be wiped out within a month.” So much for the “moral challenge of our time.” [Bolding in original.]
Ok.  So that leads to this piece in Breitbart-London.  Which says:
The economic costs of 'global warming' have been grossly overestimated, a leaked report - shortly to be published by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) - has admitted.

Previous reports - notably the hugely influential 2006 Stern Review - have put the costs to the global economy caused by 'climate change' at between 5 and 20 percent of world GDP.

But the latest estimates, to be published by Working Group II of the IPCC's Fifth Assessment Report, say that a 2.5 degrees Celsius rise in global temperatures by the end of the century will cost the world economy between just 0.2 and 2 percent of its GDP.
However, Reuters reports:
Many governments want sterner warnings of probable economic damage from global warming in a draft U.N. report due on Monday, saying that existing estimates of trillions of dollars in losses are only part of the picture.

A final draft before talks this week among governments and scientists in Japan projected that warming would cut economic output by between 0.2 and 2.0 percent a year by damaging human health, disrupting water supplies and raising sea levels.

But many countries reckon that is an underestimate because it excludes risks of catastrophic changes, such as a runaway melt of Greenland's ice, collapse of coral reefs or a drying of the Amazon rainforest that could cause massive economic losses. [Emphasis added.]
And so:
Trying to address the objections, an updated draft text from the meeting on Friday, obtained by Reuters, adds that impact estimates "do not yet account for catastrophic changes, tipping points, and many other details."
But there's a bit more to the story.  Reuters has this:
The projected 0.2 to 2.0 percent range for economic losses is based on warming of 2.5 degrees Celsius (4.5 Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial times, more than a 2.0C (3.6F) ceiling set by almost 200 governments for limiting heatwaves, floods, droughts and rising seas.

The range was drawn from a sub-chapter co-led by Richard Tol, an economist at the University of Sussex in England who is often at odds with scientific colleagues for saying that moderate global warming may have economic benefits.

He said this week he had pulled out from the 70-strong team writing the draft summary, saying he viewed parts as alarmist.
Ah, well then.  An outlier economist who's at odds with mainstream climate science.  Climate Science Watch has more:
With respect to global GDP, the WG2 report offers cost estimates only up to 2.5ºC of warming. These impacts are negative, estimated to cost up to 2% of global income, which is acknowledged to be only a partial estimate. In fact, the costs of 2.5ºC of warming laid out in WG2 are something of a best-case scenario (or at least a reasonably good scenario), showing what will happen IF we take strong action to reduce carbon emissions. If we do not take action on climate mitigation, we could be experiencing around 4ºC of warming by 2100 according to the business as usual (RCP 8.5) scenario (WGI Annex II Table 7.5). That’s uncharted territory and possible even within the lifetimes of some who are alive today.
And The Stern Review so dutifully criticized by Breitbart London said, in 2006, of its GDP warnings:
Using the results from formal economic models, the Review estimates that if we don’t act, the overall costs and risks of climate change will be equivalent to losing at least 5% of global GDP each year, now and forever. If a wider range of risks and impacts is taken into account, the estimates of damage could rise to 20% of GDP or more.
So the .02-2% of GDP is if the world takes "strong action" while the 5-20% of GDP is if the world does nothing.  And yet Breitbart says that the former invalidates the latter.  I'd say it invalidates Breitbart London.

Now go back and read what the Trib wrote.  And while you're reading notice all the important stuff they've left out.  Once you've done that, you can decide for yourselves how valuable it is.

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