2011-01-08 10:10:03Saving Money by Pricing Carbon
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
38.223.231.252

Keith provided some references to cost-benefit analyses of carbon pricing/emissions reductions proposals.  It's something that was lacking in my "cost too much" rebuttal, because many economic analyses just look at the costs of pricing carbon and ignore the benefits.

So I put together a blog post 'Saving Money by Pricing Carbon'.  I'm not great at coming up with clever titles, so if you can come up with something better, let me know.  I'm thinking I'll condense this blog post into a paragraph or two and incorporate it into the existing Intermediate "CO2 limits will harm the economy" rebuttal.

Feedback on the blog post (and title) would be appreciated.

2011-01-08 22:57:09Looks good to me
John Cook

john@skepticalscience...
60.231.58.57
Well organized review with clear take-home message. Good work, Dana
2011-01-08 22:57:53Forgot thumb
John Cook

john@skepticalscience...
60.231.58.57
Ok from me
2011-01-09 08:35:04
Rob Painting
Rob
paintingskeri@vodafone.co...
118.93.231.21

Yet more good work. Do we have a simple graphic for some of those figures, the cost of action vs non-action?. Make for a good basic rebuttal.

Not a subject I'm much read on, but David Suzuki often says that in this type of scenario, the economic model says that you throw a whole lot of money at the problem to fix it, before costs can escalate. Do you know what "economic models" he's talking about?.

2011-01-09 12:05:05Sexy graphic
John Cook

john@skepticalscience...
60.231.58.57
Dana, if you have an idea for a graphic and need help creating a colorful, eye-catching version, just let me know what you have in mind and I can help. If there was a way to summarize your take home message in a single graphic that could be taken out of context and still make sense, it would add to the power of your article and also make a useful resource for the climate graphics page.

We should always be thinking of ways to turn our messages into graphical form - it has the potential to greatly enhance our reach. Of all the recent posts we've done, the "many lines of evidence for global warming in a single graphic" was the most retweeted.

2011-01-09 12:29:04graphics
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
69.230.110.116

Graphics are tough because there are so many different figures.  Cost for US policy, cost for global policy, benefits for each, etc.  Sometimes they're given in terms of percent of GDP, sometimes in dollars.  Some go to the year 2050, some 2100, some 2200.  It's tough to compare!

We could try to use the German report numbers to generate a figure:

"If climate policy measures are not introduced, global climate change damages amounting to up to 20 trillion US dollars can be expected in the year 2100....The costs of an active climate protection policy implemented today would reach globally around 430 billion US dollars in 2050 and around 3 trillion US dollars in 2100." 

So costs are $3 trillion.  We're not going to offset all of the $20 trilliion in damage, but according to Watkiss et al. we would offset about 56% of the damage costs.  So maybe we could make a figure showing the numbers at the year 2100:

costs of climate policy - $3 trillion

damages if climate policy is implemented - $9 trillion

total cost if climate policy is implemented - $12 trillion

cost if no policy is implemented - $20 trillion

The German report had a similar figure on the last page, but I thought it was a little confusing so I didn't include it.

According to the Watkiss report, by 2200, climate policy can offset $41 trillion by 2200, but I'm not sure how much the policy costs would be by 2200.  But maybe you could incorporate their figures into the graphic too:

damages by 2200 if climate policy is implemented - $32 trillion

damages by 2200 if no policy is implemented- $73 trillion

2011-01-09 14:58:13social cost figure
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
71.140.0.210
Actually there's a nice graph in the report on the US legislation which shows costs vs. benefits for different 'social cost of carbon' values.  I'll probably put that in there, but it might also be nice to have a bar graph showing the cost-benefit numbers in my comment above.
2011-01-10 07:41:18updated
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
71.140.0.210
I updated the blog post to include the social cost of carbon cost-benefit graph, as well as more detail regarding where the social cost of carbon figures come from and how the benefits were estimated in these studies.  I think it's a lot more informative now, but would appreciate any additional feedback.  I also updated the Intermediate "too expensive" post to include a cost-benefit section, and referenced it at the bottom of the blog post in the green box.