Yesterday, I read an alarming article on the BBC site on the true cost of global warming. According to economist Sir Nicholas Stern, global warming could shrink the global economy by 20% and there is no time to wait. (I had not heard of Sir Nicholas but according to the BBC site, Sir Nicholas is a former chief economist of the World Bank – so someone who probably knows a little about economics) Global warming could cause the displacement of people due to flooding, which I think we have all seen recently in New Orleans and it can happen now. He recommends that 1% of global GDP be spent on tackling the problem and that richer nations shoulder much of the burden. It is a great article outlining objectives and goals for the EU, assistance for China, etc. The site also has a number of interesting links on the right-hand side: Science, Global Politics, Animated Guides to Green house gases. You can also read Sir Nicholas’ entire presentation and review summary.
What is also interesting is that his report is one of the first provided by an economist and not an environmentalist. I think that represents a shift right there. The discussions I have seen have always been either/or. The environment or jobs, spotted-owls or the economy, when really the true costs of using our resources needs to be factored in when we consume.