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Catastrophic Climate Change: Pay me now, or pay me (much, much more) later.

The good news about climate change ...

Here's the good news about catastropic climate change. It's man-made (or to be sciency about it, 'anthropogenic'). Why is that good news? Because if we're causing it (as opposed to lunar cycles, solar cycles, aliens ...), WE CAN STOP IT! If we're smart enough to stop digging the hole we have dug so far. So, here's the real, key question to surviving catastrophic climate change: are you smart? Ponder that for a bit.

If you're stupid, there's not really anything more for you here. You should head back to watching videos of people injuring themselves.

If you're smart, you should already know these things:

  • We (humans, especially in the industrialized and industrializing world) are the cause of clmate change.
  • We probably still have time to fix this, but at this stage (2019) none to spare. (2020 update - 2019 was another year squandered)
  • Reducing the impacts and severity of climate change (mitigation) will be easier and cheaper than dealing with it (adaptation).
  • Many of the measures we need to take to reduce climate change impacts have other benefits, such as a cleaner environment, improved health and reduced health costs, better quality of life, less storm damage and casualties and lowering your personal cost of living.

But for now, let's get a taste of what the costs of continuing on the current path would be. Remember, this is just a taste. More GHGs, warming, sea level rise, stronger and more frequent storms than we have experienced so far are to be expected. Then decide if you're OK with that, or prepared to make some minor changes in your life to avoid this possible future. Just to underline this thought, over the last weekend of April 2019, tens of thousands of people are being impacted by the THIRD 'once-in-a century' flood event in 3 years in Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick. This year's floods are higher than those of 2017. Even the measures people implemented after the historic floods of 2017 are not sufficient to meet the impacts of 2019's floods. This is the spiraling trap of adaptation; as the impacts and consequences continue to rise, the work of adaptation will never be done, and the forces of nature only have to win once to end the adaptation game. Are you OK with losing your home or family members or even your community? That is the decision we are making now.

Governments are now talking about buying properties which have been flooded multiple times to relocate owners, and then destroying the structures and not allowing new construction in those flood-prone areas. That's going on your tax bill.

Stern Review

October 2006 Stern report: the key points (The Guardian)

(WWF summary)

February 2011 What is the Stern review?

October 2016 10 Years on, Climate Economists Reflect on Stern Review (Climate Central)

Crikey, you don't want to actually read the bloody thing?!! You won't like it. Really, don't do it.
Very well, you asked for it. The UK government National Archives documents related to the Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change (including the full report)

Or, if you want to get a sense of what's likely to come so you can decide if you want to make efforts or investments to avoid some of the consequences, here's a very concise summary of what's likely on the way if we don't act now and in a significant way. A degree by degree explanation of what will happen when the earth warms. Human extinction is on the menu. Think carefully about your next 'lifestyle' choices.

January 2020 Fires, storms and floods cost $150 billion in 2019. More disasters are on the way

June 2019 Seawalls to protect US against rising oceans could cost $416bn by 2040 (Yes, BILLION) (The Guardian)

January 2019 Climate-fuelled flooding is Canada’s costliest and fastest-growing extreme-weather challenge, report says (Globe and Mail)

January 2019 Homeowners falling behind growing threat of climate-related catastrophes: study (National Post)

January 2019 Severe Weather Causes $1.9 Billion in Insured Damage in 2018 (Insurance Bureau of Canada)

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