Tuesday, February 28, 2023

The Pace of Change

The acceleration of climate change continues apace, with no reduction in the total global fossil fuel emissions, per the EIA. We are seeing increasing impacts of climate damage as the carbon in the atmosphere grows exponentially larger. The storms, torrential rains and hurricanes are more intense; the massive, hot forest fires and expanding deserts across the planet are larger and more severe every season. The damages are increasing to the point that crops and timber are diminishing rapidly, and flooding is becoming widespread. This impacts the false metric, but still the only fully acceptable US measure of economic expansion, of the GDP.

It turns out that the financial cost of slowing down climate change can be reduced by some basic steps. It's not that hard physically to reduce carbon emissions, but it's the financial impact of taking these steps that resists change. However, the economics of climate change are shifting because of the increasing costs of damages that impact that silly GDP number.

GDP is a very skewed and incomplete measure of well-being, and that metric needs to reflect a more comprehensive score. There's alternative approaches to measuring economic health, such as the Human Development Index (HDI).

 "When we talk about what makes a country a success or failure with respect to the SDGs, GDP simply does not reflect the progress of human development."