Föhrenbergkreis Finanzwirtschaft

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Posts Tagged ‘Climate Change’

The Costs of Climate Change

Posted by hkarner - 18. Oktober 2018

Date: 17-10-2018
Source: YaleGlobal by Kenneth Gillingham

Economic models allow societies to analyze complex problems and make sensible decisions. Yale University Professor William Nordhaus has been named winner of the 2018 Nobel Prize in Economics for his research on models that integrate climate change into long-term economic analysis. Paul Romer of New York University was also named for his work on endogenous growth theory. Kenneth Gillingham of Yale University reflects on Nordhaus’ profound contributions to the field of economics – and to society more broadly – that led to this recognition, explaining that “Nordhaus laid the groundwork for what is now an entire field on the economics of climate change.” The research analyzes how climate change can be mitigated at the lowest-cost possible, what the optimal climate policy is, and how society’s choices about climate mitigation can influence long-run well-being. Gillingham concludes that Nordhaus’ work is global in scope and visionary, dedicated to preparing societies for what may be the most pressing challenge of our time. – YaleGlobal

William Nordhaus, winner of a Nobel prize, laid the groundwork for an entire field – the economics of climate change

Prescient: William Nordhaus of Yale University studied and built models on climate change’s long-term effects, including the damage for agriculture, and his work has been recognized with the 2018 Nobel Prize for Economics Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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California leads subnational efforts to curb climate change

Posted by hkarner - 18. September 2018

Date: 15-09-2018
Source: The Economist

Local authorities and companies are crucial if global carbon-emissions targets are to be met

SUPPOSE Britain’s prime minister ordered civil servants to make the world’s fifth-biggest economy fully carbon-neutral by 2045, and thereafter to extract more greenhouse gases from the atmosphere than it emits. In a sense that is what happened on September 10th, when Governor Jerry Brown of California—whose economy last year overtook Britain’s—inked an executive order mandating state agencies to begin such preparations.

He had just signed into law a bill setting the same 2045 deadline for the state’s complete transition to renewable and other zero-carbon electricity. The bill could be revoked by a future legislature, and the order by Mr Brown’s successor. But the Golden State’s inveterate environmentalism makes that unlikely. Californians, the outgoing governor has made clear, remain committed to the Paris agreement of 2015, in which countries vowed to keep global warming “well below” 2°C relative to pre-industrial levels, and ideally to no more than 1.5°C. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Whom the Climate Bell Tolls

Posted by hkarner - 10. September 2018

J. Bradford DeLong is Professor of Economics at the University of California at Berkeley and a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research. He was Deputy Assistant US Treasury Secretary during the Clinton Administration, where he was heavily involved in budget and trade negotiations. His role in designing the bailout of Mexico during the 1994 peso crisis placed him at the forefront of Latin America’s transformation into a region of open economies, and cemented his stature as a leading voice in economic-policy debates.

Those living large in temperate zones across the Global North might like to think that a warming planet is an inconvenient, costly, but ultimately manageable problem that need not affect their current standard of living. Yet, to believe that, one must be prepared to write off the rest of humanity.

BERKELEY – Scarcely had I begun my first lecture of the fall semester here at the University of California, Berkeley, when I realized that I was too hot. I desperately wanted to take off my professorial tweed jacket.

A tweed jacket is a wonderful but peculiar costume. If all you have for raw material is a sheep, it is the closest thing you can get to Gore-Tex. Not only is it perfect for a cloudy, drizzly climate, it is also surprisingly warm – wet or dry – for its weight. In the world before central heating, the wool fabrics now most commonly associated with male formal and semi-formal attire were both effective and comfortable, regardless of whether one lived in Oxford, Cambridge, Edinburgh, London, Bristol, or Norwich. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Why oil firms should worry more about climate change

Posted by hkarner - 11. August 2018

Date: 09-08-2018
Source: The Economist
Subject: Too much in the tank

Many are using an overly high oil price and possibly overvaluing assets

THE oil industry has much to fear from the Paris climate deal of 2015, which aims to limit temperature rises to less than 2°C above the pre-industrial era. To curb carbon emissions, demand for fossil fuels will have to drop in coming decades. That is likely to push down oil prices and the value of investments that firms have made based upon them.

A report published on August 6th by Sarasin & Partners, an asset manager in London, suggests that oil firms are assuming that decarbonisation will be limited and are thus overstating their assets. Sarasin notes that eight European oil giants all used long-term oil price assumptions of $70-80 a barrel, rising by 2% a year with inflation to $127-145 by 2050, to price their assets. But that does not appear to assume any drop in demand. The International Energy Agency predicts a price of just $60 by 2060; Oil Change International, an activist think-tank, estimates one as low as $35 (see chart). Oil firms could face a sticky mess of forced writedowns.

The picture is complicated by the fact that in Europe oil firms can choose their own long-term prices, whereas in America regulators compel firms based there to use the average price over the past year, which is nearing $70. Executives in both places have their reasons for thinking that prices will be higher than the worst forecasts, particularly as the world is set to miss the Paris goals. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Wir sind jetzt alle Klimaflüchtlinge

Posted by hkarner - 3. August 2018

Jeffrey D. Sachs, Professor of Sustainable Development and Professor of Health Policy and Management at Columbia University, is Director of Columbia’s Center for Sustainable Development and of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network. His books include The End of Poverty, Common Wealth, The Age of Sustainable Development, and, most recently, Building the New American Economy.

NEW YORK – Der moderne Mensch, der in ein klimatisches Zeitalter – das Holozän – hineingeboren wurde, hat nun die Grenze in ein anderes – das Anthropozän – überschritten. Doch statt eines Moses, der der Menschheit in dieser neuen und gefährlichen Wildnis vorangeht, führt derzeit eine Bande von Wissenschaftsverleugnern und Umweltverschmutzern die Menschheit in die Irre und in immer größere Gefahr. Wir sind inzwischen alle Klimaflüchtlinge und müssen einen Weg in Sicherheit abstecken.

Das Holozän war das geologische Zeitalter, das vor mehr als 10.000 Jahren begann und sich durch günstige klimatische Umstände auszeichnete, die die menschliche Zivilisation, so wie wir sie kennen, stützten. Das Anthropozän ist eine neue geologische Ära mit Umweltbedingungen, wie sie die Menschheit noch nie erlebt hat. Unheilverkündender Weise ist die Erdtemperatur inzwischen höher als während des Holozäns, was durch das Kohlendioxid bedingt ist, das die Menschheit durch Verbrennen von Kohle, Öl und Gas sowie durch die wahllose Umwandlung der Wälder und Steppen unserer Welt in Agrarbetriebe und Weideflächen in die Atmosphäre entlassen hat. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Energy for the Common Good

Posted by hkarner - 19. Juni 2018

Jeffrey D. Sachs, Professor of Sustainable Development and Professor of Health Policy and Management at Columbia University, is Director of Columbia’s Center for Sustainable Development and of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network. His books include The End of Poverty, Common Wealth, The Age of Sustainable Development, and, most recently, Building the New American Economy.

Aristotle famously contrasted two types of knowledge: “techne” (technical know-how) and “phronesis” (practical wisdom). Scientists and engineers have offered the techne to move rapidly from fossil fuels to zero-carbon energy; now we need the phronesis to redirect our politics and economies accordingly.

NEW YORK – The climate crisis we now face is a reflection of a broader crisis: a global confusion of means and ends. We continue to use fossil fuels because we can (means), not because they are good for us (ends).

This confusion is why Pope Francis and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew are spurring us to think deeply about what is truly good for humanity, and how to attain it. Earlier this month, the pope and patriarch each convened business, scientific, and academic leaders, in Rome and Athens, respectively, to hasten the transition from fossil fuels to safe renewable energy. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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A Climate-Friendly Response to Trump’s Protectionism

Posted by hkarner - 5. Juni 2018

Barbara Unmüßig

Barbara Unmüßig is President of the Heinrich Böll Foundation.

Michael Kellner is Secretary General of the German Green Party (Bündnis 90/Die Grünen).

Rather than allowing itself to be dragged into Donald Trump’s destructive trade games, the European Union should turn them on their head, by introducing a CO2 levy, including border adjustment. Such a response would help protect the environment and boost the EU’s own international clout.

BERLIN – As US President Donald Trump translates his “America First” strategy into import tariffs, and the European Union prepares to adopt countermeasures moving the global economy toward a trade standoff, the real challenge facing the two economies – indeed, the entire world – is being ignored. That challenge is to shape the global economy, including trade, so that it finally respects the planet’s natural boundaries.

Trump’s trade agenda is putting progressives into a paradoxical position. For many years, they have been denouncing the current trade system as both unjust and ecologically destructive. But in the face of Trump’s nationalist protectionism, with its echoes of the fatal mistakes of the 1930s, some feel obliged to defend the current system. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Climate change is making the Arab world more miserable

Posted by hkarner - 4. Juni 2018

Date: 03-06-2018
Source: The Economist

Expect longer droughts, hotter heatwaves and more frequent dust storms

SIX years ago Nabil Musa, a Kurdish environmentalist, returned from over a decade abroad to find Iraq transformed. Rivers in which he had swum year-round turned to dust in summer. Skies once crowded with storks and herons were empty. Drought had pushed farmers to abandon their crops, and dust storms, once rare, choked the air. Inspired to act, he joined a local conservationist group, Nature Iraq, to lobby for greener practices. But Kurdish officials pay little attention. “One of the last things we want to think about is climate change,” says Mr Musa.

Apathy towards climate change is common across the Middle East and north Africa, even as the problems associated with it get worse. Longer droughts, hotter heatwaves and more frequent dust storms will occur from Rabat to Tehran, according to Germany’s Max Planck Institute for Chemistry. Already-long dry seasons are growing longer and drier, withering crops. Heat spikes are a growing problem too, with countries regularly notching lethal summer temperatures. Stretch such trends out a few years and they seem frightening—a few decades and they seem apocalyptic.

The institute forecasts that summer temperatures in the Middle East and north Africa will rise over twice as fast as the global average. Extreme temperatures of 46°C (115°F) or more will be about five times more likely by 2050 than they were at the beginning of the century, when similar peaks were reached, on average, 16 days per year. By 2100 “wet-bulb temperatures”—a measure of humidity and heat—could rise so high in the Gulf as to make it all but uninhabitable, according to a study in Nature (though its most catastrophic predictions are based on the assumption that emissions are not abated). Last year Iran came close to breaking the highest reliably recorded temperature of 54°C, which Kuwait reached the year before. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Climate change will affect developing countries more than rich ones

Posted by hkarner - 12. Mai 2018

Date: 10-05-2018
Source: The Economist

Temperatures in tropical climates will become far more variable

GLOBAL warming is often used as a synonym for climate change, and most discussions of the topic focus on the expected increase in average global temperatures. However, the frequency and severity of individual, catastrophic weather events depend heavily on the variability of temperatures as well as their mean. The larger the swings, the more often extremely hot or cold conditions can wreak havoc.

Unfortunately, according to a new study by Sebastian Bathiany of Wageningen University and three other scientists, poor countries are not only predicted to bear the brunt of the increase in average temperatures, but also to suffer from higher variation. Their paper finds that, as the planet warms, soil in areas near the equator will dry up, reducing its ability to dampen temperature swings. This problem is expected to be especially acute in the Amazon rainforest. Consequently, the authors expect the standard deviation of monthly temperatures to increase by nearly 20% in Brazil.

In contrast, countries in the northern latitudes, which are mostly rich, will not be affected nearly as much by changes in soil moisture. Far from the equator, countries will actually see smaller temperature fluctuations, because of changing atmospheric patterns. In terms of both means and variances, the countries that bear the most historical responsibility for climate change are likely to be the ones least harmed by its consequences.

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Why Paris is all wet again

Posted by hkarner - 1. Februar 2018

Date: 31-01-2018
Source: The Economist

Two years after it last struggled with floods, the metropole is reeling once more

IN mid-2016 the River Seine in central Paris burst its banks. It rose to 6.1 metres, briefly closed the Louvre and Musée d’Orsay, disrupted trains and affected businesses and homes. The cause: intense rainfall in much of western Europe, which led to the worst flooding in the city for 34 years. Now the waters are back. By January 29th the river had reached the 5.8 metre-mark, causing similar disorder. Some 1,500 people have been evacuated from their homes. Rats are fleeing sewers. Locals at one vulnerable spot downstream from the city, Ile de Migneaux, told a newswire, L’Agence France-Presse, that they have endured eight swampings in two decades. Are such floods becoming more common, and more disruptive, in Paris? Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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