Time to Accept the Obvious; to Be Pro-Growth, We Need to Be Pro-Green. the Costs of Action Are Smaller Than the Cost of Business-as-Usual-By a Factor of Five to 20

By Miliband, David | Newsweek International, December 4, 2006 | Go to article overview

Time to Accept the Obvious; to Be Pro-Growth, We Need to Be Pro-Green. the Costs of Action Are Smaller Than the Cost of Business-as-Usual-By a Factor of Five to 20


Miliband, David, Newsweek International


Byline: David Miliband

Climate change raises issues of science, economics and politics. By the month the debate moves on: 2007 will be a key year. And the science is now unambiguous. At the recent 12th annual United Nations Conference on Climate Change in Nairobi, no country challenged the consensus: climate change is man-made, it is happening now, carbon levels already in the atmosphere are

dangerous, and if we carry on catastrophic climate change will become more, rather than less, likely. Contrary to Robert Samuelson's unfounded claim in NEWSWEEK (Nov. 15 issue), scientists do have a good idea how much warming might occur. Within ten years we will be running a better than even chance of a two degrees Celsius average change in the earth's temperature; within 50 years it will be a majority chance of a three-degree change.

The economic debate is also turning full circle. The report by Sir Nicholas Stern, Head of the U.K. Government Economics Service, shows that to be pro-growth, especially but not only for developing countries, we need to be pro-green. Put another way, the costs of action are much smaller than the costs of business-as-usual--by a factor of between five and 20. Samuelson alleges "public relations," "fictions" and "fabrications" but offers no argument. Stern makes mainstream and transparent assumptions about risk and discount rates. His conclusion is obvious to anyone concerned that Hurricane Katrina or the Australian drought might be related to climate change: investment in adaptation and mitigation is not without cost, but the economic dangers of our current path are much greater.

Samuelson suggests that the technology does not exist to cut global greenhouse-gas emissions. Wrong. In each of the five main sources of greenhouse gases--electricity, heat, transport, agriculture and deforestation--there are solutions. Energy efficiency in homes and buildings is the cheapest approach; in the U.K., we have improved energy efficiency of new homes by 40 percent since 2002. As the International Energy Agency has shown, low-carbon technologies, from wind and solar to nuclear and carbon capture and storage, are available. In transport, hybrid cars reduce emissions by a third. Deforestation can be avoided if people are provided with alternative ways of earning a living.

The question is not technology; it is providing the money to fund the difference between high-polluting and low-polluting technologies. That is a matter of politics. Samuelson says politicians are cowards, and anyway even if we cut our emissions the developing world will more than make up the difference. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Time to Accept the Obvious; to Be Pro-Growth, We Need to Be Pro-Green. the Costs of Action Are Smaller Than the Cost of Business-as-Usual-By a Factor of Five to 20
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.