Global Warming: New Research Blames Economic Growth
Mods: I wasn't sure as to where to place this thread, move at will... I think this is appropriate, for it is in regards to Global Economics, our
future, and a possible necessity for a melt down in regards to global warming...
Global Warming: New Research Blames Economic Growth
ScienceDaily (May 1, 2012) — It's a message no one wants to hear: To slow down global warming, we'll either have to put the brakes on economic
growth or transform the way the world's economies work. That's the implication of an innovative University of Michigan study examining the most
likely causes of global warming.
In a place where many would agree that all things are interconnected, and that everything is related, I figured this would be of interest to many
The study, conducted by José Tapia Granados and Edward Ionides of U-M and Óscar Carpintero of the University of Valladolid in Spain, was published
online in the peer-reviewed journal Environmental Science and Policy. It is the first analysis to use measurable levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide
to assess fluctuations in the gas, rather than estimates of CO2 emissions, which are less accurate.
"If 'business as usual' conditions continue, economic contractions the size of the Great Recession or even bigger will be needed to reduce
atmospheric levels of CO2," said Tapia Granados, who is a researcher at the U-M Institute for Social Research.
For the study, the researchers assessed the impact of four factors on short-run, year-to-year changes in atmospheric concentrations of CO2, widely
considered the most important greenhouse gas. Those factors included two natural phenomena believed to affect CO2 levels -- volcanic eruptions and the
El Niño Southern oscillation -- and also world population and the world economy, as measured by worldwide gross domestic product.
ok.... interesting, but where's the connection?
With El Niño outside of human control, economic activity is the sole modifiable factor. In years of above-trend world GDP, from 1958 to 2010, the
researchers found greater increases in CO2 concentrations. For every $10 trillion in U.S. dollars that the world GDP deviates from trend, CO2 levels
deviate from trend about half a part per million, they found. Preindustrial concentrations are estimated to be 200-300 parts per million.
To break the economic habits contributing to a rise in atmospheric CO2 levels and global warming, Tapia Granados says that societies around the world
would need to make enormous changes.
"Since the mid 1970s, scientists like James Hansen have been warning us about the effects global warming will have on the Earth," Tapia Granados
said. "One solution that has promise is a carbon tax levied on any activity producing CO2 in order to create incentives to reduce emissions. The
money would be returned to individuals so the tax would not burden the population at large.
"What our study makes clear is that climate change will soon have a serious impact on the world, and the time is growing short to take corrective
So... after reading this article, I was sceptical... not really all that sure as to the relationship having the strength in which this article seems
to express. That is, until I saw this graphic:
Annual growth of the world economic output (green line, trillions of 2000 US dollars) and annual change of estimated CO2 emissions (millions of Kt,
black dots). Data on CO2 emisions for 2009 and 2010 were computed from preliminary estimates of carbon emissions obtained from the Carbon Dioxide
Information Analysis Center (CDIAC) of the US Department of Energy on March 2012. All other data from the World Bank (that takes estimates of CO2
emissions from the CDIC). (Credit: Image courtesy of University of Michigan)
Granted, these numbers may appear subjective to some... possibly that the data was manipulated in order to present a case that was intended to be
made. Yet, it seems that there is much truth to this.
Would people be willing to sacrafice their economic prosperity for the good of Earth?
Is this even possible?
I would suggest, that it is not necessarily that we have to stop any progress, but rather change our methods. Which is something that many have been
stating for a while now, in the green tech and green energy circles.
Call it propaganda, sensationalism or what have you... but how long are people going to deny that we do have a role in all of this.
I for one, have never held the assumption that man is responsible for global warming, it has always seemed to be a bunch of whoopla. How could we
possibly effect the Earth that much, as to change its temperatures.
But now, thinking about it....
The actions taken by humanity in the creation of additional CO2, AND the manipulation of resources I would suggest, has to have an impact of some
kind. In a world of 7 Billion people, and a history of industrial revolutions, along with consistent manufacturing... it would seem that we DO in fact
contribute to the condition of the Earth.
What does ATS think?
Is this a possibility?
Are you willing to take the actions necessary in preventing further global warming?