The Economic Costs Of Climate Change–Swiss Re – Watts Up With That?

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The Economic Costs Of Climate Change–Swiss Re – Watts Up With That?

Reposted by NOT MANY PEOPLE KNOW THAT

JUNE 10, 2021

By Paul Homewood

As promised my analysis of Swiss Re’s claims about the costs of climate change:

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  • The new Climate Economics Index tests stress tests of how climate change is affecting 48 countries, which make up 90% of the global economy, and assesses their overall climate resistance
  • Expected impact on global GDP by 2050 under different scenarios compared to a world without climate change:
    -18% if no mitigation measures are taken (3.2 ° C increase);
    -14% if some mitigating measures are taken (2.6 ° C increase);
    -11% if further mitigation measures are taken (2 ° C increase);
    -4% if the Paris Agreement targets are met (below 2 ° C rise)
  • The economies in Asia would be hardest hit, with China losing nearly 24% of its GDP in a severe scenario, while the world’s largest economy, the US, will lose nearly 10% and Europe will lose nearly 11%.

Climate change poses the greatest long-term threat to the world economy. If mitigating measures are not taken, global temperatures could rise more than 3 ° C and the world economy could contract 18% over the next 30 years. However, the impact can be reduced if decisive action is taken to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement, the Swiss Re Institute’s new Climate Economics Index shows. This takes more than what is promised today; The public and private sectors will play a crucial role in accelerating the transition to net zero.

The Swiss Re Institute conducted a stress test to examine how 48 economies would be affected by the persistent effects of climate change under four different temperature rise scenarios. As global warming exacerbates the effects of weather-related natural disasters, it can lead to significant income and productivity losses over time. For example, rising sea levels lead to the loss of land that could otherwise be used productively, and heat stress can lead to crop failures. Emerging countries in equatorial regions would be hardest hit by rising temperatures.

https://www.swissre.com/media/news-releases/nr-20210422-economics-of-climate-change-risks.html

The report offers various warming scenarios, but even the 1.5 degree target would cost 4.2% of GDP, according to Swiss Re:

The impact on poorer countries tends to be higher in percentage terms, but they estimate the cost to the UK would be 2.4%, which is around £ 50 billion a year. At 2.6C this increases to 6.5%. Unsurprisingly, the authors conclude that “no action against climate change is not an option” – which was undoubtedly the purpose of the report!

But where do their numbers come from? First of all, the idea that there could be three degrees warm by 2050 is completely absurd.

Second, it is generally accepted that low warming might actually be beneficial.

The cost calculations are inevitably derived from computer models (!) That try to quantify how the global economy would have looked in a world without climate change. To be honest, that’s silly, because a world without fossil fuels and the economic growth that it generates would be infinitely poorer than it is today. In any case, such studies that try to guess what the world would be like without warming are worthless and just a game for fools and charlatans.

It might have helped if they had used real data to back up their guesses, but they don’t even seem to have done that. They focus on six areas:

Agriculture

There is no question that since the 19th century, warming has brought enormous benefits to agriculture thanks to longer growing seasons and the ability to cultivate areas that were previously too cold.

As for the lazy assumptions that warmer weather will hurt crop yields, it ignores the ability to adapt growing practices such as when to sow, crop choices, and the availability of new, climate-resilient seeds.

There is also an implicit risk of more extreme weather conditions such as droughts, heavy rain and storms. But there is no evidence that this has happened so far.

Human health

The study seems to ignore the fact that cold kills many more people than heat. Meanwhile, experts in the field have long rejected the notion that malaria and dengue are linked to climate change.

The Lancet have long been peddling these falsehoods.

Labor productivity

This is another favorite from The Lancet. But it ignores the fact that working practices have changed beyond recognition. Increasingly, workers no longer have to struggle with bare hands as their ancestors did. Thanks to technology and mechanization, they no longer have to work so long and can therefore take a break at the hottest time of the day. (Has Swiss Re never heard of siestas?)

Sea level

This is the only area where economic losses are likely. But the small rise in sea level over the past century means that further rise will not be noticeable until 2050.

tourism

Talk about scraping the bottom of the barrel!

“Experts” have been warning for years that tourists would visit Spain and other countries because it was too hot.

But imagine it gets really too hot there in summer. What would people do? Just stop by at cooler times of the year.

Energy requirements

A warmer climate will undoubtedly result in lower energy needs in the UK and other countries with similar climates. But this does not only apply to the moderate latitudes. Countries like India and China, for example, also need a lot of energy for heating.

The demand for air conditioning may have increased, but the reality is that most people in poorer countries already need them but don’t have access to them.

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To get back to Britain, it is simply absurd to say that with the Little Ice Age climate we would be £ 50 billion better off, our agriculture would be badly hit, mortality rates higher and energy needs higher.

If the Swiss Re study can’t even do the right thing, why should we trust it?

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