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Global Warming Scenarios 19 April , 2007

Posted by eugene in 4 Spread Message & Influence Others.

Global Warming




On The Back


Ever After

Reap And Sow

For those who do not believe in global warming, is it possible for them to still take action? What if we don’t presume that global warming is happening? Can we take action by looking at different scenarios and then decide what to do?

Let us imagine four scenarios in the future as shown in the table above. The horizontal axis indicate whether global warming is happening in the future and the vertical axis indicate whether early action was taken to mitigate the effects of global warming.

Scenario One is called “Happily Ever After” where there is no global warming and no action taken. The skeptics were right and there is no global warming. No money was spent to implement useless plans to tackle climate change. Everyone lived happily ever after.

Scenario Two is called “Pat On The Back” where there is global warming and action was taken. Global warming is happening but with less impact because we took early preventive actions. Money was spent but it turned out to be a good investment. We are able to cope with climate changes and make necessary adjustments to our lifestyles. We gave ourselves a pat on the back for doing what was necessary and right. It was not easy but we managed to pull through.

Scenario Three is called “No Regrets” where there is no global warming and action was taken. The scientists were wrong and global warming did not threaten us. Money was spent to implement preventive plans which was not needed. Skeptics lambasted, “We told you so, money was wasted. The money could be used to save lives in developing countries”.

But believers of global warming retorted, “Yes, you’re right on hindsight that there is no global warming. Money was spent but that did not go to waste. The money was spent on making our buildings and transportation system more effective and efficient. The money was spent on developing alternative energy and reliance on oil was reduced. The money was spent on protecting trees and natural habitats.”

According to the Stern Review Report, the annual global cost of reducing total greenhouse gases emissions to three quarters of current levels is estimated at $134 billion per year in 2015 or $930 billion per year in 2050 (1% of GDP in 2050). According to the UN Millennium Development Goals, the estimated total cost of meeting all the millennium development goals in all countries is $189 billion in 2015.

The world GDP in 2005 is $44,384 billion (World Bank). According to Worldwatch Institute’s Vital Signs: the world military expenditures in 2004 is $1,024 billion; the global advertising expenditures is $570 billion in 2005. There is money to help the people in developing countries and also reduce the impacts of global warming. We are not short of money, we are short of political willpower, foresight and spending the money in the right areas.

Scenario Four is called “Reap And Sow” where there is global warming and no action was taken. We see the impacts of global warming and climate change, now everyone believes. But it’s too late, we reap what we sow.

So, which scenarios would happen? Let’s forget about whether global warming is real for the time being. If we take action, we either have no regrets or we can pat ourselves on the back in the future. Nothing much to lose or everything to gain. If we don’t take action, we either live happily ever after or reap what we sow. Everything to gain or everything to lose. What’s your choice?

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