In his speech to businessmen in Europe the Liberal Democrat minister added: “And climate change’s long-term impact on the global economy?
“Well, we can be sure it will make current economic troubles look mild in comparison.
“So if you meet in your boardrooms people who still doubt the evidence, ask them how they normally assess risk.
“And how they normally act on the evidence and presence of risk. For on the basis of any normal risk assessment – weighing probability against impact, weighing the cost of acting against the costs of inaction – taking a gamble on climate change wouldn’t be just incredibly stupid, it would have you locked up in jail for corporate negligence.”
Gosh, that\’s interesting. Because we\’ve actually got a large report on the economy under climate change. The Stern Review (and, of course, the SRES that preceeded it).
And guess what? If we all bumble along and do nothing at all about climate change at all then in 2100 the global economy will be 5 to 11 times the size it was in 1990. And if climate change turns out to be as bad a the IPCC thinks it might possible be, at the extreme, then that might wipe 20% off that figure.
If you were a corporate manager and you were offered that deal, 11 times the profits or maybe 9 times as long as you sat there and did nothing wouldn\’t it be corporate negligence if you did start to do something?
It\’s even true that in that Stern Review we\’re told what we should do about it all as well, if there\’s anything that we wish to do. A carbon tax at $80 a tonne. Around £25 billion a year. A tax which we already have (fuel duty alone is more than that).
The problem with Little Ed\’s shouting about climate change is that when we do get to the part he wants to talk about, what should we do about it, all of the science, all of the economics and all of the reports tell us that he\’s doing exactly the wrong things.
Makes you wonder why he wants to talk about those things really.