how the world could transform

In reality, of course, there has been no landlord’s inspection for a long time and the fabric of the Earth is being continually damaged by our economic activities. The case of global warming is the most insidious of the running repairs that we are failing to make: in fact the longer we ignore it, the more difficult and expensive it is going to be to put right. However the most surprising aspect is just how cheap action beginning now will be compared with how very expensive it will be if we wait for the impacts to be more fully felt. We have already passed the upper level of concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere (350 part per million) that has existed in human history so far. This can be seen as having lost the nail and whether or not we choose to fix it now will determine the kingdom can be saved.

The “cost” of abandoning the use of fossil fuels tends to be imagined as being prohibitively expensive, a notion that the fossil fuel industry does nothing to contradict. However, those independent bodies that have undertaking studies have concluded that the costs are remarkably low, especially when compared with the level of human misery and wealth destruction that will be avoided. The consultancy McKinsey Global Institute published a study in 2008 on how the world could transform itself away from carbon based energy and concluded “The macroeconomic costs of this carbon revolution are likely to be manageable, being in the order of 0.6-1.4 percent of global GDP by 2030. To put this figure in perspective, if one were to view this spending as a form of insurance against potential damage due to climate change, it might be relevant to compare it to global spending on insurance, which was 3.3 percent of GDP in 2005.”

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