morriswalters wrote:If it doesn't pay to cure the problem, but the problem needs to be cured,
Error: contradictory premises.
morriswalters wrote:The winners and losers in this case can't be predicted. The problem is climate change. There is no way to tell if the change in any particular location will be beneficial until we get there and by that time it will be to late to worry about it.
Why can't they be predicted? Or are you taking the position that all climate change models are useless?
Take Norway for example. If I recall correctly, it is expected to get increased rainfalls (and for this thought experiment it matters little if this is indeed the case) , this will allow for more hydropower to be produced and possibly offset other more harmful power generating. Increased rainfall will also certainly affect agriculture, probably beneficially and also possibly affect the salinity of the surrounding ocean by a significant amount, this could affect the fishing industry. Slightly warmer temperatures might also beneficially affect tourism and lower heating requirements. Indeed increasing acidity of the oceans could also have effects on Norways fishing industry.
Although, trade may be very negatively affected if other countries end up struggling economically with respect to climate change and that could affect the economics of Norway in a very serious way.
Climate change can have many different affects on a country's economy, some positive and some negative and usually, I think, some effects can generally be describe as being positive or negative but certainly such affects are not quantified.
And even if we did want to, the GCM lack the forecasting skill to quantify such things and they would disagree in some level to each other, so much so, that a rational decision probably couldn't be made one way or the other using the data produced.
And perhaps most importantly, climate science is first and foremost about studying the science of climate change and maybe when we have a much better handle on that, more attention can be applied to studying the economics of climate change, but to be blunt, that is generally outside of the purview of climate science, who, generally are not economists. This is not to say the models are bad, they are very useful, very useful indeed and have done much to further our understanding of both both climate change and atmospheric science in general, but certainly they lack the skill to distinguish winners and losers from climate change in the sense that is being asked here.
However, it is fairly clear that there will be some very big losers, Maldives, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan and other Himalayan States, but again this is not quantified. Identifying winners is much more awkward, clearly countries like Norway and Canada will be on the winning side of things, but whether or not the net effects for these states will be positive or negative is a question I don't think anyone is even willing to have a professional stab at, we don't have that level of understanding. Especially perhaps because the economic well being of any state is so connected to the economic well being within the international community.Second Thought Experiment.
If a hammer is applied to a flower vase, we expect the vase to shatter. Perhaps we want to gain a better understanding of the shattering mechanisms of the vase as the hammer is applied. We produce a computer model to reproduce the shattering mechanisms and perhaps we learn much about the shattering mechanics. But still, after a few years of studying such mechanics we are still unable to accurately predict, for a set hammer force and for a set flower vace, where all the shards of the vase will end up, such a failing in predictive skill does not discredit the predictive ability that the vase will shatter.
Our GCM have limitations, but they are still very useful.