About once a week or so, I receive an email from random people/businesses wanting me to post something they think is relevant to my blog. More often than not they just want to generate traffic and/or get a bit of free advertising. So far, I am yet to post anything because I don’t wish to be used in that way and don’t wish to promote private businesses, that I know nothing about. Today I am making an exception because the infographic I was sent does two things.
First it highlights just how stupid we humans are in terms of how we treat our home. It shows oil spills, nuclear disasters, the great plastic garbage patch in the Pacific and a few others and it puts a price tag on them.
The second thing it does, is it fails to mention the cost of anthropogenic climate change, and I thought that was interesting, because the annual cost of that is orders of magnitude greater than the one-off costs of the disasters it lists. More on that in a moment.
Here is the infographic. Note: In no way do I endorse the educational courses this mob are promoting. I don’t know enough about them, if the courses are legitimate or value for money or whatever. I just like the picture.
Chernobyl is listed here as the most expensive man-made disaster at $235 Billion. I don’t know if that figure is a direct cost or if ongoing opportunity costs are factored in and I’m not going to bother checking, because it pales into insignificance against the cost of anthropogenic climate change.
In September, 2012 a large study, entitled Climate Vulnerability Monitor: A Guide to the Cold Calculus of A Hot Planet was published by the Europe based DARA group and the Climate Vulnerable Forum. Commissioned by 20 governments, it was written by more than 50 scientists, economists and policy experts. From the executive summary…
Climate change caused economic losses estimated close to 1% of global GDP for the year 2010, or 700 billion dollars (2010 PPP). The carbon-intensive economy cost the world another 0.7% of GDP in that year, independent of any climate change losses. Together, carbon economy- and climate change-related losses amounted to over 1.2 trillion dollars in 2010.
The cost figure of 1.7% of global GDP is expected to rise to 3.2% annually by 2030. That’s a lot of money for a human caused disaster, but hey, it’s only money. The report also estimates that human deaths caused by climate change will reach 100 million by 2030. Sobering thought.
The infographic website is here.