Cost of not acting on climate change $44 trillion: Citi

Up to $44 trillion could be going up in smoke if the world does not act on climate change, according to the latest piece of research from U.S. banking giant Citigroup.

The report – Energy Darwinism II: Why a Low Carbon Future Doesn’t Have to Cost the Earth — has forecast that spending on energy will hit around $200 trillion in the next 25 years.

The study then examines two scenarios: one that Citi describe as an “‘inaction’ on climate change scenario”, and another that looks at what could happen if a low carbon, “different energy mix” is pursued.

Luiz Filipe Castro | Moment | Getty Images

“What we’re trying to do is to take an objective view at the economics of this situation and actually look at what the costs of not acting are, if the scientists are right,” Jason Channell, Global Head of Alternative Energy and Cleantech Research at Citi, told CNBC Tuesday.

“And those are rather alarming numbers in themselves,” he added. “I mean, the central case we have in the report is that the costs in terms of lost (gross domestic product) GDP from not acting on climate change can be $44 trillion dollars by the time we get to 2060.”

“So it’s not a sort of a zero sum game, there is a cost to not doing this, and although there is a cost to acting, what we’re trying to do is to actually weigh up the different costs here.”

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Fossil Fuels Just Lost the Race Against Renewables

The race for renewable energy has passed a turning point. The world is now adding more capacity for renewable power each year than coal, natural gas, and oil combined. And there’s no going back.

The shift occurred in 2013, when the world added 143 gigawatts of renewable electricity capacity, compared with 141 gigawatts in new plants that burn fossil fuels, according to an analysis presented Tuesday at the Bloomberg New Energy Finance annual summit in New York. The shift will continue to accelerate, and by 2030 more than four times as much renewable capacity will be added.

“The electricity system is shifting to clean,” Michael Liebreich, founder of BNEF, said in his keynote address. “Despite the change in oil and gas prices there is going to be a substantial buildout of renewable energy that is likely to be an order of magnitude larger than the buildout of coal and gas.”

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The U.S. wind energy boom couldn’t be coming at a better time

Wind energy provides roughly 5 percent of U.S. demand.
Photo by: Ron Antonelli/Bloomberg

The Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan, released last week, requires the country to use a lot more renewable energy by the year 2030 — and a lot less coal. And right on time, two new reports published Monday by the Department of Energy find that one key renewable sector — wind — is booming, a development that can only help matters when it comes to reducing carbon emissions.

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This will give you hope: Developing countries are racing to install wind and solar

“Emerging markets can deploy solar, wind  and other renewable technologies without costly grid infrastructure, making it possible for developing countries to leapfrog the 20th-century model of energy service provision and employ the 21st-century solution of distributed service delivery, as they have done successfully in the telecommunications sector,” notes the report.

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Global Climate Change: Consensus 97% of climate scientists agree

Multiple studies published in peer-reviewed scientific journals1 show that 97 percent or more of actively publishing climate scientists agree: Climate-warming trends over the past century are very likely due to human activities. In addition, most of the leading scientific organizations worldwide have issued public statements endorsing this position. The following is a partial list of these organizations, along with links to their published statements and a selection of related resources.

Global Climate Change: Consensus 97% of climate scientists agree

Simple Messages Increase Understanding of the Climate Change Consensus

We are pleased to announce a newly published article: Simple Messages Help Set the Record Straight about Scientific Agreement on Human-Caused Climate Change: The Results of Two Experiments….

Human-caused climate change is happening; nearly all climate scientists are convinced of this basic fact according to surveys of experts and reviews of the peer-reviewed literature. Yet, among the American public, there is widespread misunderstanding of this scientific consensus. In this paper, we report results from two experiments, conducted with national samples of American adults, that tested messages designed to convey the high level of agreement in the climate science community about human-caused climate change.

The first experiment tested hypotheses about providing numeric versus non-numeric assertions concerning the level of scientific agreement. We found that numeric statements resulted in higher estimates of the scientific agreement. 

Simple Messages Increase Understanding of the Climate Change Consensus

Scientists: Earth Endangered by New Strain of Fact-Resistant Humans – The New Yorker

Scientists: Earth Endangered by New Strain of Fact-Resistant Humans

BY ANDY BOROWITZ

MINNEAPOLIS (The Borowitz Report) – Scientists have discovered a powerful new strain of fact-resistant humans who are threatening the ability of Earth to sustain life, a sobering new study reports.

The research, conducted by the University of Minnesota, identifies a virulent strain of humans who are virtually immune to any form of verifiable knowledge, leaving scientists at a loss as to how to combat them.

“These humans appear to have all the faculties necessary to receive and process information,” Davis Logsdon, one of the scientists who contributed to the study, said. “And yet, somehow, they have developed defenses that, for all intents and purposes, have rendered those faculties totally inactive.”

More worryingly, Logsdon said, “As facts have multiplied, their defenses against those facts have only grown more powerful.” Continue reading