Waiting for a Miracle

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COP18 Climate Change THE NEW ECONOMY

For most of the last two decades, frustrated climate campaigners have been saying that “the climate is changing faster than the pace of the climate negotiations”, or words to that effect. While we all hoped that that was not really true and that it would spur governments into action, it is now really the case.

The much-reported record loss of Arctic sea ice is only the tip of the proverbial iceberg. A new study from independent researchers estimates that climate change is already contributing to the deaths of 400,000 people per year, and costing the global economy about US$1.2 trillion per year, or roughly 1.6 per cent of global GDP, which of course is expected to continue to rise dramatically. Put that next to the furore surrounding the IMF’s recent announcement downgrading its expectations for global GDP growth in 2012 from 3.6 to 3.5 per cent, and for 2013 down to 3.8 per cent from a previous projection of 4.1 per cent, and you have to wonder…

Extreme drought conditions across the United States have wreaked havoc with this year’s corn crop, and the litany of extreme weather events, increasing evidence of ecosystem change from the Arctic to the tropics, floods, heat waves famine and accelerating sea level
rise has built up to a pitch that even government climate negotiators cannot ignore. Or can they? Read full article