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Guillaume Parrou

The Conversation

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Where in the world we should start on cost effective conservation?

As the dust settles on the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report on the science of climate change, the obvious question is: what do we do next?

Food for thoughts:
http://theconversation.com/adapt-or-die-where-in-the-world-we-should-start-on-cost-effective-conservation-18540

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  • Oct 5 2013: When we contemplate a cost-effective analysis, we must consider the following factors:
    What is the cost of doing something to avoid or prevent the predicted occurrence of a disaster or any possible damages caused by a predicted event, and the consequential benefit if the disaster is prevented. However this analytical computation depends on the probability of occurrence of such a disaster. Of course, the calculation also must quantify the value rendered by the prevention or avoidance of such process.
    In ancient history, there were many "End of the World" (EOTW) predictions by the astrologer/astronomer or other scientist or prescient at that time. The general population, say, the Mayans, etc., would request the "God" or "Heavenly Force" to bless them to avoid such disaster. Sometimes they sacrificed cattle or sheep, occasionally even a few human lives. So far they have all been successful (in avoiding such disaster.) The cost-effective analysis of such avoidance has certainly been of huge advantage to carry out such ceremony. However the cost-effective analysis was based on the assumption that the disaster could at least have a chance of occurrence. What if the chance of this EOTW was astronomically small, or even have almost zero chance of occurring. Then the cost-effective analysis must drastically revised.
    The cost-effective analysis on the global warming program thus hinges on the probability of the global change in temperature as well as the other interfering factors in the heat source inside and outside of the earth, including the atmospheric CO2 level. In my view, our modern scientific advancement is probably not much higher from the ancient EOTW predictors. Furthermore, the IPCC's statistical analysis based on only some empirical data has already been shown that it's prediction has a very large error rate.(see the recently published report by IPCC this year)
    Also, IMO, conservation is usually more cost-effective than policy of carbon tax or cap-and-trade.
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    Oct 23 2013: I'm usually not a pessimist but in this case I think not much will happen. Climate change is something global and being that so, it would require a global effort to tackle the problem.
    As we just saw with the govt. shutdown in the US, not even groups of people in a single country get their act together and do what is best for the country.
    In addition, climate change is not something that can be easily observed by everybody. This means that many people, including govts. don't understand the urgency of doing something.
    And even when everybody would agree about the existence of the problem, it still would be questionable whether they would do something.
    In the US there exists the Tornado alley. People know that every year during several months Tornado will hit in this region. They also know that this not only brings destruction but also costs lives.
    Yet, not only keep people living in this region and rebuild their homes over and over again, but they don't even improve on the quality and resistance of their homes.
    So tell me, what expectation can we realistically have that the global community acts in a meaningful and sustainable way on climate change ?