Sunday, March 25, 2007

March 07: more recent climate press

Cost of doing nothing. If you think any steps to reduce emissions will cost our economy too much, what about the cost of doing nothing? This excellent article in TerraDaily tells the story of an economics professor at a small Canadian college who asked his class to calculate this cost:
The important question is the cost of these opinions [in favor of doing nothing] being wrong relative to the cost of the IPCC report being wrong in its assessment.
Indeed. Even if you hate statistics, read this article for a good introduction to some of the concepts and how they apply to this question of what to do?

Investors on board. This Reuters article by Timothy Garner tells us which investor groups are asking Congress for climate change legislation. According to John Donnelly of the Boston Globe, they've signed an agreement calling for legislation.

Food. Don't Panic but Steve Conner of The Independent has news that some crop yields are already feeling the effects of climate change.

Repression. The New York Times reviews material released by the congressional committee looking in to administration attempts to quiet government scientists on climate change:
The documents “appear to portray a systematic White House effort to minimize the significance of climate change,” said a memorandum circulated by the Democrats under the committee chairman, Representative Henry A. Waxman of California.

Big Enviro. Alternet has a post from Megan Tady with the provocative title "Are Big Enviro Groups "Holding Back" Anti-Warming Movement?". The holding back is relative: the complaint is that they aren't doing enough. Greenpeace in particular is taken to task for not pushing hard enough for renewable support and energy-use reduction.
...Greenpeace is not pushing for the government to get heavily involved in funding and distributing renewable energy, but instead promotes weaker reforms like removing subsidies for fossil-fuel industries and forcing prices to reflect the actual costs of environmental damage.

Scaling back. GW-activist Bill McKibben has an editorial in the L.A. Times that begins to question if "more is more" in our 21st century lifestyle.
We made an assumption — as a society and as individuals — that more was better. It seemed a reasonable bet, and for a while it may have been true. But in recent years economists, sociologists and other researchers have begun to question that link. Indeed, they're finding that at least since the 1950s, more material prosperity has yielded little, if any, increase in humans' satisfaction

That may be true in some general sense but as a music fan, I'm grateful for the recording technology advances since the 50s.

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