I can’t read the thing myself today – I’ve been up all night – but according to Reuters, GW can be kept to less than 4 degrees Fahrenheit in the next 50 years by means of current technology and no more than an average annual investment/effect of one-eighth of one percent of global GDP, maybe even a slight increase in GDP if we really get it right. It includes what will be a controversial nod to nuclear power – inevitable IMHO, the lesser evil, climatologically, ‘big picture.’
Cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 50 to 85 pct., though? I don’t think so. This is the next chapter in that sexennial* series of reports from thousands of United Nations scientists, always tweaked by government reps, and final editing went overtime, so I have to think the governments have spun it excessively optimistically. Of course I would love to be wrong, but with China and India powering *up,* and First World “conservatives” resistant, and oil and natural gas sooner to be replaced by old coal and worse things than by new nukes…. Maybe the actual report can convince me. I’ll try to catch it in the next couple days.
The underreported angle is that to make that one-eighth-percent GDP investment will require heavier regional commitments from the First World: we currently have the money to spare (comparatively), we have the concentration of economic production as well as of the technology that can help make this happen, and justly, we’re the source of most of the effect we’re seeing right now (since we industrialized first, back to 1750). Logically, OTOH, ISTM any gains will mostly be realized in China and India, where they’re not completely powered-up yet, but have alot of tech know-how even if the First World remains reluctant to share. So we’ll have to take the hit, they’ll get the short-term economic benefit – but in the end the whole world reaps the reward.
Can short terms in office, dependent on wealthy and business campaign contributions and Republican-dominated electronic voting companies, with perhaps our wisest leaders – our hereditary constitutional monarchs – having to just take “advice,” produce or sustain the kind of long view and altruism needed to make this happen? Again, I remain seriously doubtful. The Bushies have already panned this report claiming it costs too much… the same (fake) reason they kicked Kyoto in the groin, even though we’re the biggest offender (for now). And the Democrats can’t even impeach the Republicans or get us out of Iraq.
What if we just totally replaced the Dems with the Greens? Not bit-by-bit to undermine ourselves (ala Nader 2000), but all at once! I notice Canada’s Green Party is raising its profile (though they really still need some form of Proportional Representation)….
If it goes as I expect, maybe we can cut some deal with China and India: we share the tech with them, they do what they can to help us with the necessary “recession.” I don’t know exactly: continued offshoring sure won’t help us, but cutting the cost to us of what’s already there would, even some givebacks. And what if we linked the Asian and North American electric grids across the Bering Strait and shared output? (IS there an Asian one yet? or even in Alaska? Both might need serious build-out – that’ll be good for the economy… if we can produce the juice that is… which I also have doubts about.) And there’s always cutting the cost to us of the products they already sell us, and service for same….
(*–They might get more WWW hits if they used the word sexennial frequently!!!)