The Cost of Global Warming

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

In 2006, Prime Minister Tony Blair asked economist Lord Nicolas Stern to put a price tag on the cost of global warming. The result was the The Stern Review. Sir Nicolas has recently turned his groundbreaking report into a book, The Global Deal.


Lord Nicolas Stern

Comments [13]


PPS: tremendous show, Mr. Lopate, as always.

May. 08 2009 04:38 AM

I'm very heartened by the absence of obstructionist fools commenting on this segment. Perhaps their funding ran out.

PS: Mike, you're incoherent -- minority of the population has already caused caused the biggest part of this one problem of excess carbon in the atmosphere. Mike and JP, put your guns where your mouths are.

May. 08 2009 04:29 AM
JP from The Garden State

Mike from Inwood,

Who knows, maybe roaches will evolve and eventually re invent the internal combustion engine and the process can start all over again...

May. 05 2009 03:32 PM
Mike from Inwood

JP [9] I'm sure the microbes and roaches left in the Garden State will take comfort in all of that.

May. 05 2009 03:12 PM
JP from The Garden State

Mike from Inwood,

Earth has been decimated many times over in its history. Ice age, meteor strikes, super volcanoes, all of these natural pheromones wiped out thousands if not millions of species in the blink of an eye in the grand scheme of things. As parasites, maybe Mother Nature created humans to do just the same thing before we destroy our self’s. I laugh when people talk about saving the world. We could completely radiate this planet several times over and completely wipe our selves out along with most of life on earth. But there will still be living entities and evolution will continue on just fine without us. Over several million years (a grain of salt in the timeline of evolution) microscopic organisms will evolve and create just on more new chapter of life in many of earth’s history.

It’s extremely arrogant and closed minded to say we are somehow going to save the earth. The reality that no one wants to admit to is that we don’t have that kind of power. This is more about saving man kind then tigers in Africa or the Amazon River. Evolution does not need the Amazon River or tigers to keep evolving. Nor does it need us.

May. 05 2009 02:05 PM
Mike from Inwood

JP [7] Perhaps climate change is human population control. Like bacteria in a cup of sugar water that will mindlessly breed until there's no sugar left and their corpses are immersed in their wastes. If my remarks betray a certain exasperation, it's because I'd somehow imagined that people could be 'rational' enough to avoid the fate of bacteria. I am naive.

May. 05 2009 01:01 PM
JP from The Garden State

Maybe climate change is human population control. After all we are parasites. When we finally stop to exist, evolution will go on just fine without us. We have absolutely no benefit for evolution like say photosynthesis. There is really no reason we need to exist except for our own survival.

Its interesting that man lived through the end of an ice age with almost no or low technology and yet we are running around like chickens with our heads cut off even though we have more knowledge and technology then man kind has ever had in human history. When the worse case scenario happens (and lets face it, it probably will at the rate we are going), we actually have the technology to adjust and live in a much different world. But sadly I don’t think we have the compassion for each other or the understatnding of keeping our population in check. Those who can still farm will hold all the riches or be a target of those who can’t grow food for their people. Many will probably parish. It almost seems like a natural order. Mother Nature seems to know when one species gets to big. She exploits a weakness and a wrath of death or natural disaster seems to keep things in check. Maybe our weakness is our lack of compassion for each other and lack of respect Mother Nature herself.

May. 05 2009 12:47 PM
Mike from Inwood

Global warming will never be solved until the problem of the expanding human population is solved and all of this is just self-righteous window dressing. Drink some more Kool-Aid.

May. 05 2009 12:33 PM
Mike from Inwood

Once again, another lame Lopate/Lehrer 'global warming' segment where no one even mentions the 'root cause' of global warming: over population. There are now more people alive than have died throughout human history. It's the 800 lbs gorilla in the room that no one acknowledges. This disgusts me so much I'm tempted to become a NASCAR fan just to worship the wanton buring of fossil fuels.

May. 05 2009 12:30 PM
Eric from B'klyn

How do we engage the recalcitrant rightwing Senators and Congress, during a economic downturn... the too expensive argument?

May. 05 2009 12:26 PM
Karen from Westchester

Mother Nature can be seen as cruel to the individual by doing, through change and death, what is needed for the survival of life. As we approach a population that the earth can no longer withstand, with no will to curb population growth, maybe she is set to destroy large portions of the habitability of the planet as a means to set the human race back to its infancy. With all our knowledge, our wisdom and morality is less than primitive. Free market capitalism has been great for the individual but its greenhouse gases destroy the world as we know and cherish it. Nature has the last laugh.

May. 05 2009 12:21 PM
Hugh from Brookyn

For years, conservatives have appealed to arguments from economics to argue _against_ action on environmental change, global warming, etc. (That is, "it's to costly to act on the basis of uncertain projections.)

So how do we resolve at least two competing economics arguments?

(Of course, the right-wing should be creeping about with its tail between its legs after the past year's economic disasters. And there is a perfectly good argument for environmental action based on simple justice and morality -- protecting the environment is the right thing to do.)

One last comment: Mr. Stern is an optimist on the likely decline in the environment. More than a few biologists are talking of the extinction of Homo sapiens.

May. 05 2009 12:12 PM
bernardo issel from Brooklyn

To me it's outrageously tragic that all these hundreds of billions of dollars (perhaps trillions taking into account Federal Reserve loans) is going to bailout the banks when it should be going to bailout the climate and help those effected by the changes already taking place.

May. 05 2009 12:12 PM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.

Get the WNYC Morning Brief in your inbox.
We'll send you our top 5 stories every day, plus breaking news and weather.