Monday, June 29, 2009

Nate Silver does a quick tally of what countries' GDP could add up to the 5% of total GDP predicted to be lost to global warming. He manages to get 81 countries, 43% of the world's population, into a group that could, hypothetically, be the five percent of GDP lost. He writes:
Coincidentally, or not, a lot of these countries are located in the tropics, where global warming would probably have its most pernicious effects. True, they would probably not be entirely eradicated even under some of the worst-case, fattest-tail climate change assumptions.

I'm not exactly sure what mechanism Jim Manzi had in mind for the mechanism of GDP decline, but I'm not exactly sure I also don't suspect that I'd find the tropics to be most effected in terms of GDP. In terms of total damage, or lives lost, perhaps.

Given that the solution to global warming in general is increased sustainability (broadly speaking, of course), and that energy sustainability will have not only the environmental effects but the infrastructure effects, failure to implement such sustainability measures will have an even greater effect on GDP on those places where fossil fuel energy is used most, in the most industrialized nations, not the bottom-rung-of-GDP nations that Nate selected. But, then again, maybe Manzi ignored these effects entirely.

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