Climate Change

Published on April 30th, 2014 | by Sandy Dechert


Michael Mann — Costs Of Climate Change (VIDEO)

April 30th, 2014 by  

Originally published on Planetsave.

Michael Mann on CBC, April 24, 1014 (screen shot)Climatologist and author Michael Mann during CBC interview posted April 24 (screen shot).

Senior business correspondent Amanda Lang of the respected Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s Lang and O’Leary Exchange interviewed physicist and climate expert Michael Mann on Thursday about the accumulating magnitude and costs of climate change. (See the entire interview on video below.)

Like a resounding chorus of others, from the latest UN IPCC report authors to the passionate scientists and screen artists of The Years of Living Dangerously, Dr. Mann perceives opportunities for humankind in addressing the challenge—but doing nothing about heat-trapping emissions for another 15 years may make the problem unsolvable with known technologies and crippling to future generations, he thinks. The sooner we act, Mann says, the less it will cost.

In this interview Michael Mann stresses some major observations he’s made about the anthropogenic climate change we’re experiencing now and its projected near-term challenges. He also repeats the caution that we are approaching a whole new level of climate risk, one in which we may not be able to reverse some of the damaging consequences.

Lang asks Professor Mann point-blank what he thinks will be the tipping point in the climate change crisis. Watch the interview for his pointed reply. You’ll also gain insight into why Michael Mann says the costs to us of existing climate change (1% of global GDP) have begun to exceed the costs of taking action against greenhouse gases and other effects of cheap but ultimately dangerous fossil fuel consumption.

A few interesting comments on the interview:

This dude is going to put that settlement money to good use.—Arnold Ziffel

By the time the climate changes beyond what the average person can no longer deny by looking out the window it will be too late.—OccamsRzzr

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About the Author

covers environmental, health, renewable and conventional energy, and climate change news. She's currently on the climate beat for Important Media, having attended last year's COP20 in Lima Peru. Sandy has also worked for groundbreaking environmental consultants and a Fortune 100 health care firm. She writes for several weblogs and attributes her modest success to an "indelible habit of poking around to satisfy my own curiosity."

  • Stuart Blaber

    History won’t judge us because were going to be extinct by 2100 according to Fenner. I agree with him. In 40 years since we discovered the problem we have done nothing but argue about it. There is no time left but we continue to argue and to burn fossil fuels and continue to increase our population. An intelligent species would not do this.

  • Banned by Bob

    Wow, a discussion of tacit data points on weather events masquerading as a commentary on climate change. Seems like others get abused when they mention contrary tacit data points as being uninformed, unintelligent, insert your favorite epithet here.

  • MikeSmith866

    I don’t know how much damage climate change needs to do before people recognize it as a problem.

    Last year we had 2 major floods (in Calgary and Toronto) that caused about $2 B in damages, but memories are now foggy.

    California has serious water shortages threatening their agriculture. Lake Mead behind the Hoover Dam is at 40% of capacity. They can raise cattle in Texas because of lack of rainfall so they have moved their herds to Nebraska. Nebraska irrigates a lot of their crops but the Ogallala aquifer is running dry. England and Europe are getting record flooding and the Philippines got hammered with Typhoon Haiyan, one of the worst in history.

    You don’t have to do a lot of reading to figure this out. Maybe read a newspaper once a week and look out the window.

    Maybe we have to run out of food for people to take notice but by then it will probably be too late.

    • Bob_Wallace

      Signs of an emerging El Nino continue. Some massive heat waves over the next year or two, if they occur, will get people’s attention.

      Most people aren’t looking at the data. And the right wing along with fossil fuel interests keep the water muddied. I think it will take some more usually bad weather to get people to start demanding action.

      • MikeSmith866

        My wife and I were driving back to Florida after Christmas and we got caught in a blizzard with -50F temperatures with the wind chill.
        We got stuck in a snow drift that had blown onto the road. It took 3 hours for the police to find us. If my car had run out of gas we would have died.

        I think if the eastern US has another winter next year like this one, people will be calling their congessmen. And the likelihood is that eastern US will get another super cold winter and western US will get another drought next year and maybe for 10 more years.

        And its hard to grow food without water. California has about 17 de-sal plants under way or being planned because they have no water. This of course will drive up the price of food. That will create calls to congress as well.

    • thinkclearly68

      I honestly don’t see anything unusual in the weather patterns. There have always been floods, droughts, hurricanes, etc. Nothing new. And who is this Michael Mann? Never heard of him.

      • Bob_Wallace

        Eyes shut, hands over ears, ….

      • MikeSmith866

        I know you are joking when you say your don’t know Michael Mann.

        But here is a link from the Toronto Dominion Bank in Canada

        banks don’t normally talk about the climate but this is saying that
        storms we used to have every 40 years are going to occur every 6 years.
        And the severe weather damage in Canada will cost us $5 per year by 2020
        increasing to $43B by 2050. These are numbers over and above historical

        If you are still not convinced I can send you articles
        about Munich RE which re-insures insurance companies who handle weather
        damage. And its not just the price of lumber, it is the frequency and
        intensity of storms that is the largest part of the premium increases.

      • Calamity_Jean

        Yes, there have always been floods, droughts, and other weather disasters, but they are getting worse and more frequent. Here’s an example from Australia:

      • Never heard of Michael Mann? Do you live under a rock? Are you the mythical Rip Van Winkle? Seriously?

    • Ross

      We had flooding last winter in Ireland but the government is talking about an insurance surcharge to help pay for compensation to people that can’t get insurance in flood prone areas. Our second city is built on a marsh. Flooding there is getting to be an annual event.

      • MikeSmith866

        Ross, in the US, there was a plan by the insurance companies to increase premiums for people living on low lying, flood prone land.

        The issue went to Congress and they gave these people a reprieve of 4 years before they could have this treatment by the insurance companies. So whats happening is the rest of the people are being charged more to make up the difference.

        Its just one more example of not facing the reality of sea level rise and higher storm surges from Global Warming.

        The problem is people are electing these people so the real problem is the American people are not facing the reality.

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