The Economy vs Climate Change: No Contest

Posted on November 13, 2011

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Look at the economy.

See it wobble this way.

See it wobble that way.

A major stumble in Greece.  Didn’t fall.

A bigger stumble in Italy.  Still a-wobbling.

The economy, yes, this is the mighty, muscled thing that we are going to use to fight the effects of climate change when it kicks in.

Oh please.

If all it takes is bad management and poor attitude in a tiny little corner of the world to put world markets in a panic, then the economy is not ready to face climate change.

Climate change, planet-wide ecological disaster, ocean acidification, all of these are big league problems, far too big for such an ephemeral and fragile entity as an economy to handle.

Let’s get real.

Protecting the economy is a day-to-day thing; but we protect it, it doesn’t protect us.  It’s our day job.  Something we do at the same time as we plan for the future.  It’s definitely not something we do instead of planning for the future.

Running the economy today as if the economy tomorrow matters is, in fact, the only way of really protecting the economy.

Which means that planning for climate change, that is, studying and monitoring it, mitigating it, adapting to it and a low-carbon/no-carbon future, these are the sorts of things that make the soundest economic sense in the long term.

But the argument goes beyond that.  You see, the price of climate change is compounding rapidly.  The longer we delay, the higher the price we have to pay to fight it.

The longer we delay, the less likely we are to avoid a catastrophe which actually brings us down.

The longer we delay, the more likely we are find our ever-fragile economy faced with a real opponent, disaster on a planetary scale—and our economy won’t have the resources to fight it.

Don’t kid a kidder.   It wouldn’t be much of a fight.  Not if a sissy punch from little old Italy can put a buckle in the economy’s knees.

Realistically?

The economy versus climate change could be put on a double bill with Bambi vs. Godzilla.

And the heavy money is not on Bambi.