+ Climate change - Armageddon?
In the UN general assembly chamber this week, the world’s leaders gathered
to share the latest grim news of the planet’s climate crisis.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres told country leaders they must come to the podium with 'concrete and transformative plans' to tackle climate change, and respond to the global climate strikes
Trump made a surprise visit
(having said he wound't be attending) to hear Indian PM Narendra Modi and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern issued a plea to use a collaborative approach
on carbon emissions prices to tackle climate change, rather than face a "prisoners' dilemma" and wait for a different country to act first, writes Derek Cheng at the NZ Herald.
16-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg gave an emotional appeal in which she chided the leaders with the repeated phrase, "How dare you."Bjørn Lomborg
, author, former director of the Danish government's Environmental Assessment Institute, and President of the think tank, Copenhagen Consensus Center, presents a less catastrophic view of the effects of climate change and proposes a global carbon tax.
"We need to solve climate change, but we also need to make sure that the cure isn’t more painful than the disease," he says.
We mustn't forget that in many ways the world is getting better, he writes.
"In 1990, nearly four in ten
of the world’s people were poor; today, less than one in ten are. That has helped to transform the way people live. Between 1990 and 2015, for example, the proportion of the world’s population practicing open defecation
halved to 15%. And in the same period, 2.6 billion people gained access to improved water sources
, bringing the global share up to 91%."
Quoting the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) report, he writes that "climate change is real, and it is a problem. According to the IPCC, the overall impact of global warming by the 2070s will be equivalent to a 0.2-2% loss
in average income. That’s not the end of the world, but the same as a single economic recession, in a world that is much better off than today."
His solution is a carbon tax - target polluters - and "a commensurate response" to invest much more in researching and developing cheaper carbon-free energy sources that can eventually outcompete fossil fuels. "That would ensure a smooth transition that doesn’t slow economies down and hurt the worst-off in society."
"The future is bright, and we need smart decisions to keep it so," he writes.