Arctic Melting Could Cost Trillions

Two false memes spread by global warming deniers is that 1) this is a prediction of future events as opposed to something which is already happening, and 2) this is a view held by people who are hostile to market economies. A study by the Pew Environment Group shows that melting of the arctic ice caps is already occurring, and already costing billions:

Arctic ice melting could cost global agriculture, real estate and insurance anywhere from $2.4 trillion to $24 trillion by 2050 in damage from rising sea levels, floods and heat waves, according to a report released on Friday

“Everybody around the world is going to bear these costs,” said Eban Goodstein, a resource economist at Bard College in New York state who co-authored the report, called “Arctic Treasure, Global Assets Melting Away.”

He said the report, reviewed by more than a dozen scientists and economists and funded by the Pew Environment Group, an arm of the Pew Charitable Trusts, provides a first attempt to monetize the cost of the loss of one of the world’s great weather makers.

“The Arctic is the planet’s air conditioner and it’s starting to break down,” he said.

The loss of Arctic Sea ice and snow cover is already costing the world about $61 billion to $371 billion annually from costs associated with heat waves, flooding and other factors, the report said.

The losses could grow as a warmer Arctic unlocks vast stores of methane in the permafrost. The gas has about 21 times the global warming impact of carbon dioxide.

Melting of Arctic sea ice is already triggering a feedback of more warming as dark water revealed by the receding ice absorbs more of the sun’s energy, he said. That could lead to more melting of glaciers on land and raise global sea levels.

It is necessary to respond to the effects of climate change which are already occurring. Contrary to the paranoid conspiracy theories popular among many in the anti-science right this view is not motivated by opposition to our industrialized society or market economies or a desire to control the world, but out of a realization that action is needed to preserve our economy.

It is consistent with human nature to deny climate change and avoid having to take action to solve difficult problems such as this. Conservatives and libertarians have the added motivation to deny climate change because it is a problem which can only be addressed by government and by international cooperation.

Conservatives prefer not to admit that any problems require government action for their solution and would prefer to deny that the problem exists. Conservatives might go along with some big government programs, primarily those involving invasion of other countries, torture, or imposing their religious codes upon others. They are far less likely to go along with big government programs which involve cooperation with other countries as opposed to invading them.

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  1. 1
    Mill Messenger says:

    #liberal Arctic Melting Could Cost Trillions

  2. 2
    Serious Implications says:

    Strictly speaking, melting of Arctic sea ice will not raise sea level, just as melting of ice in a drink dos not cause the drink to overflow. The sea ice displaces the same volume now as an equal mass of liquid water. John Stossel has made use of this fact to in an attemppt to discredit climate scientists. 

    Although most of the Arctic is covered by the Arctic Sea, seven nations have land masses within the Arctic Circle. including Greenland with its immense ice sheet that, as it melts and drains to the sea, will definitely raise sea level. I don’t think Stossel wants to talk about that.

  3. 3
    Mill Messenger says:

    #liberal Arctic Melting Could Cost Trillions

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