Quick, tell me, “An ounce of prevention is worth a…” Well, when it comes to climate change, there is at least one report telling us how much prevention is going to cost us, and it’s not a pretty number. Analysts have already projected that about $5 trillion a year on infrastructure will be spent just to keep the status quo. If we plan on changing anything for the better, however, it’s going to cost an additional $700 billion. So what is $700 billion good for?
Most scientists recognize that climate change is being driven by man-made greenhouse gas emissions, most markedly since the Industrial Revolution about two hundred years ago, and especially carbon dioxide.
Today, if governments and private investors dump an additional $700 billion into the cleantech and greentech, we just might be able to mitigate some of the damage bound to occur if we simply do nothing. Right now, we sorely need advancements in solar- and wind-power, as well as rechargeable battery technology to help ease the acceptance of electric vehicles in the marketplace.
So, how much is “…a pound of cure?” According to a scientist in Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory’s [BNL] Environmental Energy Technologies Division, damages attributed to climate change have exceeded $50 billion each year, and every decade this doubles. Hurricane Sandy’s damages exceeded $50 billion alone, and that was just one storm. By 2020, damages could be as high as $100 billion, 2050, over half a trillion.
While world governments fail to look at the big picture and bicker about who gets to pay for it, it seems they have forgotten that, one way or another, we will all have to pay for it. We’ve probably already passed the “ounce of prevention” stage and now are looking at the “pound of cure” in the trillions of dollars. Wait any longer and we can just skip to the “ton of interment” of our children and grandchildren, because by then it will be too late.